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Need for Speed: Most Wanted

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DeveloperInfoboxIcon EA Canada
EA Redwood Shores
Ideaworks Game Studio
PublisherInfoboxIcon Electronic Arts
ReleaseInfoboxIcon MainPageFlagUSA Nov 15th, 2005
MainPageFlagUSA 360 Nov 16th, 2005
MainPageFlagEuropeMainPageFlagAustralia Nov 25th, 2005
MainPageFlagEurope 360 Dec 2nd, 2005
MainPageFlagJapan 360 Dec 10th, 2005
MainPageFlagJapan Dec 22nd, 2005
PlatformInfoboxIcon PC, PS2, GC, GBA, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mobile Phone
GenreInfoboxIcon Racing/Arcade-Action
PEGIRating12 ESRBRatingT
Need for Speed Most Wanted - Intro Trailer01:13

Need for Speed Most Wanted - Intro Trailer

For the PSP release see - Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0
For the 2012 reimagining see - Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

Need for Speed: Most Wanted is a multiplatform racing video game developed by EA Canada and published by Electronic Arts. It is the 9th game in the Need for Speed series.

The game reintroduces police chases into a large body of the game's street racing-oriented gameplay with certain customisation options introduced in the Need for Speed: Underground series. The game is succeeded by Need for Speed: Carbon which serves as a sequel to Most Wanted.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted was released for PC, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and mobile phones. An Xbox 360 release was later launched to coincide with the console's release in 2005.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted was also released for the PlayStation Portable, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS entitled Need for Speed: Most Wanted: 5-1-0.



Main article: Player
The opening of the Career Mode sees the player arriving in Rockport with a BMW M3 GTR following Mia. The player is then pulled over by Sergeant Cross' Chevrolet Corvette C6.R at an intersection. Cross notices the Player's car and proceeds to talk to explain that the police are cracking down on street racing in Rockport.

Cross and his partner get called to a chase in progress. Cross uses his car key to scratch the player's M3 GTR in a display of frustration of not being able to arrest the player. He then comments on the M3's new "pinstripe".

Races seems to be in the player's favour until a group of "cheaters" led by the game's antagonist Razor sabotages the player's engine and causes the player's car to cease functioning. The player is then arrested by Cross without a ride resulting in the player being released due to a lack of evidence.

Mia picks up the player and then informs the player about Razor's plans for Rockport. She then helps out the player by giving the player a choice of "starter car" so they can work their way up the Blacklist (a group of drivers most wanted by the Rockport Police Department) and eventually beat Razor.


The final rival challenge sees the player race against Razor. The player reclaims his M3 GTR but Mia reveals that she is actually an undercover police officer. Mia throws the keys to the player and yells at the player to go.

Razor is taken into custody and the player is pursued by the entire Rockport Police Department under the command of Cross. The player manages to leave Rockport by jumping his car over an incomplete bridge that Mia points out to the player in a phone call.

Cross issues a 'Most Wanted' status over the player and lists them in the National Most Wanted List.

The game's story continues into Need for Speed: Carbon.



  • Player
  • Mia Townsend
  • Rog


  • Clarence Callahan (Razor)
  • Nathan Cross
  • Cross' Unnamed Partner
  • The Blacklist


The career mode in Need for Speed: Most Wanted is not based on levels as in Need for Speed: Underground 2. Instead, players need to rise up through a Blacklist represented by a Most Wanted sheet in the Rockport Police Department. During the career mode players can freely purchase and tune any car featured. The maximum amount of vehicles a player can own at once is seven.


Main article: Blacklist
The player has to climb up a list of the best racers in order to advance in the Career Mode. The Blacklist shows the most notorious racers in the city of Rockport. 

The player has to beat pursuit records (Milestones) achieved by a rival Blacklist driver, reach a required amount of event wins and reach a certain bounty amount before they can challenge that Blacklist racer.

Rap SheetEdit

Main article: Rap Sheet

The Rap Sheet lists a players statistics in the fashion of a Rockport Police Department database. There's also a top ten of several categories such as pursuit length, cop vehicles disabled and highest cost to state.

Free RoamEdit

Main article: Rockport

The entirety of Most Wanted is set in the city of Rockport during the day with some occurrences of rain that can impact a car's handling. Rockport consists of industrial, urban and rural areas. Large territories are connected by highways. In Most Wanted, it is also possible to drive in remote forestlands.

Free roam is limited to career mode only. The player can freely cruise around three districts of Rockport and may become involved in a police chase. Outruns are no longer available as well as AI street racers in free roam mode. For navigation, a GPS system is available for use.


Markers are obtained by players after defeating a Blacklist racer. Players can choose from six markers; the first three being marked with question marks whilst the other three contain customisation items.

The ones marked with question marks include money rewards, extra impound strikes, coupons and most importantly a pink slip to the rival's car. The player can only select two markers and cannot undo their choices.

Challenge SeriesEdit


The Challenge Series includes 68 regular events and 2 additional special events in which the player is tasked with either beating a target time in a Tollbooth event or beating a milestone within a pursuit.

Quick RaceEdit

Mercedes slr nfs most wanted
Players can instantly get into races by selecting Quick Race. This section allows the player to select a race track and event type in which they want to participate in.

They can also select their desired vehicle, amount of laps, traffic amount, amount of rivals and rival difficulty. Additional tracks, modes and vehicles will unlock as the player progresses through the career mode.

Race TypesEdit

  • Circuit - Players compete with rivals in closed circuits with a set number of laps.
  • Sprint - Point A to Point B races.
  • Drag - Short and straight courses with some or no curves. The winner is the player that reaches the finish line first. Drags can only be played with manual transmission.
  • Lap Knockout - Systematically the same as Circuit events except that players that finish a lap in last position will be eliminated.
  • Speedtrap - Players have to achieve the highest collected speed record. To build up a speed record players need to drive through Speedtrap cameras.
  • Tollbooth - Tollbooth races are similar to Checkpoint events, where players have to get from one tollbooth to another before they run out of time.

Both the Speedbreaker ability and Pursuit Breakers are available for the player to use at any time. Any race mode can be played with up to four players (except Tollbooth).

The online services for the PC and Xbox 360 releases of Need for Speed: Most Wanted were shut down on August 11th, 2011.[1]


Main article: Pursuit

Police chases have been integrated into certain racing sessions. The police deploy vehicles and tactics to either slow down or halt the player's car. Players may drive several police cars in the Challenge mode but they are solely used in checkpoint races.

Most Wanted pursuits are more intensive and challenging compared to previous titles. Police chases become more difficult depending on what vehicle the player is driving, their current career progression, pursuit length and style of driving.

Additional police vehicles will join a pursuit after all currently engaged vehicles have been disabled. This is represented to the player as a Backup Timer.

Players can use Pursuit Breakers to disable police vehicles. Each pursuit breaker can only be used once by a player in a single pursuit.


Need for Speed: Most Wanted's car roster was complemented with a higher number of European and American sports cars and supercars that were absent in the Underground series. It also introduced a series of special reward cars that cannot be modified, nor used in career mode.


Performance CustomisationEdit

Nfs most wanted cayman s

All vehicles are upgradeable through leveled performance part packages, although Lightweight and ECU upgrades, as well as single part installations from Underground 2 were dropped in the title. Players can also obtain unique Junkman parts from beating Blacklist racers that permanently raise a vehicle's performance characteristic.

Fine-tuning setups that allow player further performance adjustments can be created in free roam mode from the pause menu.

Visual CustomisationEdit

Visual customisation upgrades are categorised in Parts and Visual, the former offering bodywork-related modifications and the latter offering mostly paint customisation. Each options can be used to reduce a vehicle's pursuit heat level. Players are also able to obtain unique visual upgrades from beating Blacklist racers that cannot be unlocked otherwise.

My CarsEdit

Main article: My Cars

In the My Cars menu, players can pick vehicles that were unlocked in career mode and modifiy them at no cost. All vehicle presets created in My Cars can be only selected in Quick Race and multiplayer modes.

Special EditionsEdit

Black EditionEdit

Need for speed most wanted black edition

A special collector's "'Black Edition'" of Need for Speed: Most Wanted was released in celebration of the Need for Speed series' tenth anniversary.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted: 5-1-0Edit

Nfsms510 pspbox usa org 000boxart 160w

Need for Speed: Most Wanted: 5-1-0 is a variation of Need for Speed: Most Wanted released only for the PlayStation Portable. It doesn't feature any form of Free Roam driving but follows a similar design structure as Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

The game features fewer cars than in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Boss vinyls can be unlocked and used by the player.

It also allows the player to play as the police in the game mode Tuner Takedown. The Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance releases of Need for Speed: Most Wanted reuses many aspects present in Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0.


Development DifferencesEdit

  • The Police Civic Cruiser and Police Undercover Civic Cruiser used to closely resemble the 2002 Ford Police Interceptor Concept car.
  • The BMW M3 GTR featured in early promotional material had a red body paint colour and yellow tinted headlights that resembled the 2001 American Le Mans Series racer of which it is based on.
  • Some cars were supposed to be in the final release but they were cut or unused, possibly because of licensing issues. Some folders and textures indicate that;
  • A truck shipping large concrete tubes was cut from being one of the featured traffic vehicles.
  • A truck hauling a tanker was cut from being one of the featured traffic vehicles.
  • An Ambulance was cut from being one of the featured traffic vehicles.
  • A billboard advertising the fictional KNFS 101.9 radio station was cut.
  • The menu select confirmation sound is different in the demo of Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
  • The police lights loading screen was different and flashed at a higher rate in the demo of Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
  • A set of tollbooths at the entrance of Thrilltown in Point Camden were removed in the final release of Need for Speed: Most Wanted but appear in the title's demo.
  • Tollbooths in the demo of Need for Speed: Most Wanted featured barriers that would span both lanes of a road and raise at the beginning of a Tollbooth event.
  • Rog was featured in early trailers and being the 16th member of the Blacklist, and also drove a Ford Mustang GT instead of a Pontiac GTO.
  • A busted cutscene involving the player being placed into a choke hold was trimmed down in the final release to only show them being pinned to the rear of a police car.
  • The PlayStation 2 demo of Need for Speed: Most Wanted stated in a promotional screen that the title would featured online play for that platform. It did not, however, feature in the final release.
  • The prison in Camden previously had a brick wall and a securely placed fence that would prevent the player from driving through it.
  • Some areas of conceptual areas such as the airstrip at the Downtown Rockport Airport were not produced.


  • The event "Blacklisted" from Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) appears to refer to the Blacklist in Most Wanted. The event sees the use of Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Police vehicles in reference to Sergeant Cross' Corvette C6. Although it may also refer to the Mercedes-Benz Black Series that the player has to use.
  • Sergeant Cross' Chevrolet Corvette C6.R differs in cut scenes and gameplay. The Corvette featured in cut scenes is a Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, although the car used during pursuits shares the same body model with the Police Federal and Undercover Federal cruisers.
  • Rog says "Look what the Underground let loose. Let's see how well you do in daylight" when the player first encounters him. Rog also says at a later point of the game - "People as far as Bayview are throwing cash down on this." These are undeniably references to the Underground series.
  • The BMW M3 GTR featured in the game and its cover art were recreated in real-life by the SPEED Channel television program Tuner Transformation. They used a BMW 330ci E46 and upgraded it with M3 GTR performance parts as well as with customised vinyls and body parts to the likeness of the in-game car. The finished car did not completely resemble the M3 GTR featured in Most Wanted.
  • Players with saved game data from Need for Speed: Underground 2 will be given an additional $10,000 at the start of the career as well as a message thanking them for playing Need for Speed: Underground 2.
  • The protocols of the RPD were inspired by the protocols of the LAPD, NYPD, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Vancouver Police Department.
  • The real life actor footage featured in the game was filmed at the Lion's Gate Studios in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Need for Speed: The Run could be pre-ordered with the Most Wanted Challenge Series, which included events and cars inspired by the original game.


See AlsoEdit


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