Need for Speed Payback
Summary: Need for Speed Payback is a roadblock for the franchise. A grindy progression system backs up mediocre driving, a lifeless open world, and forgettable storytelling.
Top Critic Average
Enjoyable arcade handling packaged within a game that gets monotonous long before it rewards your time investment.
Need for Speed returns in this, a grossly unremarkable open world racer that marks another step back for the series.
Need for Speed Payback is a big, competent, and confident arcade racer but it's really let down by its linear cop chases, its overwrought and insidious upgrade system, its dreadful dialogue, and its superficial action sequences. It feels fine and it looks flashy, but Payback really went all-in on its direct-to-DVD revenge tale and it was a bust for me.
The worst Need For Speed game of the modern era, that leaves no stone unturned in its attempts to make itself as boring, repetitive, and exploitative as possible.
Need for Speed Payback successfully returns to its Fast and Furious roots with aplomb, but a focus on the grind and a beautiful but empty world means it ultimately falls short of greatness.
This open world has plenty of racing content, but bad progression, technical problems, and throwaway storytelling make it hard to get invested
Need For Speed Payback doesn't do many favors for itself. It's a fun racing game whose flashy story would be fine if I felt like I was building a blinged-out career worthy of it. Instead, I felt driven toward pure stats upgrades, heedless of what the car was or what it looked like.
Dull and uninspired, with a relentless emphasis on grinding, Need for Speed Payback is neither fast nor furious.
Need for Speed returns with another flawed entry. There's the core of a great racing game here and when you're just driving around the open world, it's wonderful. The progression system encourages grinding and the basic story is delivered with B-movie seriousness, taking away from the racing pleasure. There's a better game inside of Payback, but you have to go through everything else to get to it.