Want personalized picks that fit your family?
Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.
Need for Speed: The Run
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Need for Speed: The Run is a street racing game that places a lot of emphasis on dodging the police. There are even some scenes in which the police go so far as to send in helicopter units that shoot machine guns at the player but the unwavering message is to continue playing and avoid law enforcement. This game glamorizes the illegal sport of street racing and has little to no positive messages. If players crash their vehicle, they are sometimes rewarded with points and almost always rewarded with a glamorous, slow-motion depiction of wreckage and destruction. It should be noted, though, that measures are taken to mitigate the impact of the violence and unsavory behavior -- for example, humans are never depicted as being injured in car crashes, actual police officers are rarely seen (players usually only see police vehicles), and the focus is always on racing and mastering the controls. There is rough dialogue in this game as well as some suggestive content with women depicted in provocative outfits and acting with suggestive mannerisms.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In NEED FOR SPEED: THE RUN, players are ultimately working to drive across the country from coast-to-coast. They engage in street races along the way, competing against other nefarious racers to earn money and recognition in the underground racing community. Some of these characters are downright seedy and underhanded while others come across as normal people; but they all share the same love of illegal street racing. The story depicts the police as an enemy force that wants to stop players from their dangerous activity.
Is it any good?
Need for Speed: The Run exemplifies the characteristics that have made the Need for Speed series one of the most heralded names in racing games. The graphics are beautiful, the controls are sophisticated and extremely well executed, and there is an addicting level of vehicle customization that will drive players to keep playing until they create the ultimate ride. The adrenaline of running from the police adds an extra jolt of excitement to this game, but only for players who recognize that in real life, what is presented in the game is dangerous and toxic and should only exist inside the realm of a video game. Fans of the Need for Speed series or racing games in general will enjoy the masterful presentation here, despite the lack of positive role models or messages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the glorification of car crashes in this game. Why is this form of violence so appealing and is it different when you don't actually see people during the crash?
Would there be a way to keep the same intensity to this game while still offering a better moral message?
What are the negative messages in this game and what is done to curtail their impact?
For kids who love high speed in their games
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.