Game of the Year: Need for Speed Most Wanted
Most Wanted is the experiment that sent all the rest of them back to the drawing board
The earlier Most Wanted was the last of the epic NFS games that gave you heavy car customisation options and had that tight arcade-style control that made the games legendary. The new Most Wanted is a nod to its predecessor only in spirit, but it does do a number of great things that make it worthy of the TopGear Game of the Year award.
The open-world environment is impeccably detailed, not only in its textures, but also in environmental effects, lighting and overall presentation. In bright sunlight, you can see dust specs on your screen. Enter a tunnel and your satnav gets static interference. If the devil is in the details then this game is Lucifer.
The play itself is frantically fast paced, especially for an open-world game. All races are a rolling start, and the cops can come in to spoil the party at the drop of a hat. And these cops don’t give up easily, not even after you win the race. Luckily, you have access to almost all of the 41 in-game cars right from the start. All you need to do is spot them.
Each car comes with its own set of races that lets you earn better upgrades and refinements for the car. This way, you get to try out just about every car that the game has to offer, rather than stick to a handful of favourites.
The Need for Speed franchise has been the most experimental of the lot, while just about every other game developer seems to be playing it safe. Most Wanted is an experiment that worked.