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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 USAFlag November 16th, 2005
Flag of Europe November 24th, 2005
PlatformInfoboxIcon PC, PS2, GC, GBA, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mobile Phone
GenreInfoboxIcon Racing/Arcade-Action
RatingInfoboxIcon ESRB: T
PEGI: 12+

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 ceases their car 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 them a choose 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 them 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 slip 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 rivalling 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


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.

Reward CardsEdit

Reward cards are obtained by a player after beating Blacklist racer. Players can choose from six reward cards; the first three being marked with question marks whilst the other three contain tuning upgrades.

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 reward cards 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 their time expires.

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 was shut down on August 11th, 2011.[1]


Main article: Pursuit System

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 marked the return of supercars which were absent in the previous Underground games. Muscle cars increased in numbers, although there's also a large amount of Japanese sports cars.


Customisation overall is not as extensive as seen in the Underground games. The game is more focused on the action of racing and police chases. Most Wanted is the only game in the franchise to feature part exchanges, which are available to both types of customisation.

Performance CustomisationEdit

Nfs most wanted cayman s

Lightweight and ECU tuning modifications were dropped in Most Wanted. Fine-tuning is no longer as comprehensive as in Need for Speed: Underground 2 and can be only done in free roam mode from the pause menu.

Junkman parts also appear which are special car parts that can be won from beating Blacklist racers.

Visual CustomisationEdit

Many visual customisation options seen in the last two games were cut from Most Wanted. They can be used to lower the heat level of a car. It is only possible for players to equip body kits, rear Spoilers, rims, vinyls and window tints.

My CarsEdit

Players can pick any vehicle and modify it with unlocked parts without the exchange of ingame credits. These vehicles cannot be used in career mode but can be used in Quick Race and Multiplayer modes.

There are a wide range of vehicles although the beginning of career mode only offers four relatively low performance vehicles. If the player has a gamesave from Need for Speed: Underground 2 then the game will thank the player for playing it and will add a bonus of $10,000 to their bank.

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 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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