Long before the Need for Speed series became synonymous with fibreglass body kits, neon underlighting and the sort of paper-thin plotting that even Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift would be ashamed of. It was initially first released on the now-forgotten 3DO console back in August 1994. Formally titled ‘The Need for Speed’, this game instead focussed on supercars – as they were known at that time as ‘exotics’, making them sound less like cars and more like a breed of rare parakeet. The 90s has a lot to answer for.
After a decade of successfully releasing racing games, Electronic Arts announced in 2009 that the franchise had sold over 100 million units. Hence, making Need for Speed the most commercially successful racing game series. Today, we bring you the most significant Need for Speed cars that have left an imprint in our video game community and the automotive industry.
The 350Z has seen plenty of screen time. Whether in the Fast and Furious franchise or video games like the 2004 Need for Speed: Underground 2. Most notably, it appears as the goal car to unlock after completing a special underground event.
If you, too, have a similar taste in Nissans just like the game, perhaps this retro-inspired Z sports car might spark your interest.
Many people have fond memories of first experiencing the Nissan GTR in Need for Speed: Pro Street. Not to mention, it was also the game’s cover car. But whether you picked this car up in Pro Street, Undercover, or Shift, you could be sure it won’t let you down.
You don’t need a video game when you can pick this car up in the real world. And unlike the video game, there isn’t any required underground event to take you to unlock this car. Check out the GTRs available for pick up right here.
Darius’ Audi LeMans Quattro
Before we had the R8, the LeMan’s Quattro was a concept car introduced by Audi at the 2003 Geneva Motor show. Of course, Need for Speed quickly picked up the model for their 2006 title Need for Speed: Carbon.
We remember how tough it was trying to pull away from Darius’ LeMans Quattro in the game’s final race, but to little avail. However, when you finally do obtain it, oh boy, is it nice. We, too, had a tough time thinking of questions when we met up with Audi’s managing director here in Singapore. Check it out in this video.
Razor’s Ford Mustang GT
Razor’s Mustang didn’t get that much screen time in the 2005 Need for Speed: Most Wanted. However, we still remember it as the car of one of the most hated individuals in the video game. That being said, we must admit that the custom body kit and flames were pretty badass for 2005 standards.
Unlike the video game, we sure did get sufficient screen time with 2019’s Ford Mustang 2.3 Ecoboost. You can read all about it in this article.
Eddie’s Nissan Skyline GTR R34
Also known as the most desirable and iconic car of Need for Speed: Underground. Although the game was released in 2003, it’s hard to forget the dark orange Nissan GTR (R34) driven by its main antagonist Eddie.
CarBuyer actually covered an article on another gorgeous Nissan. But we still aren’t sure which is more disappointing – the release date or the price. Maybe you could make that decision after checking it out here.
Cross’ Corvette NFS MW
Driven by the arrogant police Sergeant Jonathan Cross, this black-and-white Corvette C6 will go on to chase you through multiple Need for Speed games. Nevertheless, given the amount of screen time it received over the years, coupled with the uneasy memories of attempting to lose this car in a police chase, it has to be one of the greatest Need for Speed vehicles ever.
There is. However, a retro two-seater styled after a Corvette. No, not like Jonathan’s cop car in the game. However, if you want to get your hands on that little Corvette-lookalike, you’ll have to be quick because only 20 cars were exported.
BMW M3 GTR E46
Need for Speed: Most Wanted allows the player to get a taste of this great race car from the very beginning before it was sabotaged by the main antagonist Clarence “Razor” Callahan. The player needed to defeat all of Razor’s 15 cronies in the game’s career mode to obtain the M3 GT3 back from the saboteur.
Widely regarded as the greatest Need for Speed car, the M3 GTR also makes Most Wanted the best game in the franchise in the eyes of many fans. No wonder this game went on becoming the best selling game in the series with 16 million copies sold.
If the BMW M3 was your favourite pick from Most Wanted, we thought of sharing with you our favourite picks of M3s too! Check it out here.
With EA games having made their decision to move Criterion Games onto Battlefield 6. We won’t be seeing another Need for Speed title until 2022. During this wait, if you need a new car, check out our Marketplace! There are thousands of great deals available from dealers islandwide.