Need for Speed Heat
Summary: After a nearly nonexistent run-up to launch, some fans' fears were realized. Need for Speed Heat manages to fill your free time if you're just looking for some new wheels, but there are better options in which you should speed off.
Captures the Essence
Returns many fan-favorite features like cop chases and vehicle tuning.
Lifeless Open World
A surprising lack of NPC drivers makes for a deserted city.
Needs a Tune-Up
The physicality of racing just isn't there.
Top Critic Average
Thrilling night races make Heat the best Need for Speed in years, even if I want to batter every one of its racers.
Need for Speed Heat is a mosaic of existing ideas but it is easily the most impressive Need for Speed game in years.
Ghost Games strips back the recent excess to deliver a simple, satisfying take on the Need for Speed formula, even if some problems persist.
The best Need For Speed in several years, which may sound like mild praise but despite a lack of variety this is a fun arcade racer hybrid that respects its roots.
Great modding and a decent game engine can't disguise the tired story and simplistic driving.
The game's day/night structure is part of a compelling structure that makes NFS Heat a solid entry in the franchise.
Need for Speed Heat puts the series back on track with a renewed focus on simple racing and customizing cars.
In present day, Need for Speed Heat seems limited, reminding me of all the things that made it distinct, but still hedging against them in case I don’t find them enjoyable. I’m confused about what would have made this game better, but the series seems just as confused about what it wants to be.
Need for Speed Heat is a conglomeration Need for Speeds past. A little Payback, a little Rivals, a little Hot Pursuit, a little Underground. The result is a good foundation to build upon, but weird AI issues, a lack of variety in events, and some poor tuning in cop chases mean it's not great. Maybe next gen will see Ghost Games bringing a little more real heat.