The Player is an unnamed street racer from Palmont City. The role of the Player is to be a faceless protagonist that any person playing the game could foresee being during the story. The character is shown in footage as a male although this could be fit the genre's target consumer market.
The player has been shown in four games of the Need for Speed series although their face is never shown. They are shown with either a blurred face in a police arrest video or are shown story elements in first person from the character's perspective.
The player is also Rockport's Most Wanted and is on the National Most Wanted list.
Before Need for Speed: UndergroundEdit
Before Need for Speed: Underground the player was in a race with the three crew bosses of Palmont City; Wolf, Angie and Kenji. They were all ambushed by the Palmont Police Department and the three crew bosses had their vehicles disabled by the police.
The police missed the player's vehicle which meant they could flee the scene with a bag of money placed in the car by Nikki. The player discovers that the money bag is actually filled with stacks of paper in rubber bands that resembles the look and weight of stacked money.
The player settles in Olympic City after fleeing a race in Palmont City. They appear in the beginning of the title's story driving an Acura Integra Type R during a dream sequence.
The player leaves Olympic City after a dire crash. Samantha's friend - Rachel Teller - helps the player get to Bayview in a similar bid to what Samantha did when the player arrived in Olympic City.
The player reaches the top of the street racer scene and eventually defeats Caleb.
The player returns and appears in a city named Rockport. The player is treated like trash because they arrive as the "new kid" on the scene and has little to no rep.
The player is challenged to a race against Razor who, at the beginning of the game, is number 15 on the Blacklist. Razor cheats and tampers with the player's BMW M3 GTR before the race, which results in the player's defeat.
Another new racer to the scene known as Mia Townsend helps the player move up the Blacklist to race against Razor and earn back the BMW M3 GTR. The player faces Razor at the end and wins back their car back whilst getting Razor as well as other Blacklist members arrested by Mia, who was an undercover cop.
She also helps the player escape Rockport by revealing an incomplete bridge. The player jumps over the broken bridge whilst in their BMW M3 GTR and can no longer be pursued by Cross or the Rockport Police Department.
The player returns to Palmont City and notices a big change in crew culture from when they fled. The player is chased by Cross whom has become a bounty hunter after being fired from Rockport PD and forces the player to total their car.
Darius arrives shortly after and saves the player by getting Cross to leave. Darius then gets the player help from their ex-girlfriend Nikki and Neville.
Neville helps the player gain crew members and win races whilst Nikki teaches them the basics. The player beats the other 3 main crew bosses. Darius tells the player that he rigged the race in order for him to get the player out of his way.
The player works their way towards Darius and defeats him in a canyon duel. The player is given the keys to Darius' Audi Le Mans quattro as well as the racing territory of Palmont City.
Player's Story CarsEdit
- Fleeing Palmont City - Toyota Supra (Shown in cutscenes from Carbon)
- Need for Speed: Underground - Acura Integra Type R (Dream sequence driving tutorial)
- Need for Speed: Underground 2 - Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 (Olympic City flashback)
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted - BMW M3 GTR (Opening race with Razor and bridge jump out of Rockport)
- Need for Speed: Carbon - BMW M3 GTR (Canyon pursuit with Cross which leads to the car being wrecked)
The player has many people helping them out during the four Need for Speed titles:
- Need for Speed: Underground - Samantha
- Need for Speed: Underground 2 - Rachel Teller
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted - Mia Townsend and Rog
- Need for Speed: Carbon - Colin, Neville, Nikki, Sal, Samson & Yumi
- Underground - Eddie, Melissa
- Underground 2 - Caleb, The Wraiths & Nikki Morris
- Most Wanted - Razor, Blacklist & Cross
- Carbon - Darius, Cross, Wolf, Kenji & Angie
- The player's role was changed to a faceless racer known as Ryan Cooper in Need for Speed: ProStreet as a separate character to previous Need for Speed titles. The police in Need for Speed: Undercover mention Ryan Cooper through radio chatter.
- It is unknown if the player character seen in Need for Speed: Undercover and later Need for Speed titles are the same person featured in earlier titles, as there is no connection or linking story given.