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  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Developed by Criterion Games. Focus back onto the exotics. And a Bugatti Veyron cop car.
  • Broken Base:
    • Specifically, the pre-Underground fans versus the Underground fans. The massive amounts of Fan Dumb over Shift is astounding. Here's proof.
    • For another example, see the comments here, some of which are rated at around +10. Maybe deservedly so, Your Mileage May Vary.
    • Not even Criterion is immune from this; immediate reactions after the confirmation that the next game in the series would be a reboot of Most Wanted developed by them ranged from excitement that the developers of the Burnout series and Hot Pursuit 2010 is returning for another reboot of a fan-favorite Need for Speed title to disappointment that they're not returning to Burnout just yet with expressions being made that Criterion's first NFS title wasn't as good as they hoped it would be.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: Nitro received much flak for having a drastically different art style from the rest of the series, as well as for replacing Shift on the Wii.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Some of you gamers may wonder why Forza Motorsport 4 and Gran Turismo 5 didn't feature any Porsche. This is the reason. (Forza 4 did get a Porsche DLC expansion recently.)
  • Character Tiers: The series as a whole tends to divide cars into "Classes," putting similar cars into different classes (for example, putting high-performance sports cars like the Lamborghini Diablo VT and the Ferrari 512TR in their own Class).
  • Crazy Awesome Car: Nitro allows the player to (visually) mod vehicles such as a Volkswagen Type 2 or a Tesla Roadster, among other things.
  • Critical Dissonance:
    • Undercover did very poorly with critics but well with most fans.
    • Critics hailed Most Wanted (2012) as one of the best racing games ever while most fans had low opinions of it, mainly for being a Burnout game in all but name.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Has its own page.
  • Dork Age: The series fell into one starting around Carbon (although some will claim everything post-Underground as Canon Dis Continuity), and left it with Shift and Hot Pursuit 2010. Then some claim it fell back into it right after that until Need for Speed (2015).
  • Even Better Sequel: Shift 2: Unleashed is generally viewed as this.
  • Excuse Plot: Seriously, EMPs? Satchels? Police stings? Bleh. Just drive and laugh.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: See Broken Base. Every game is this for someone. "I wish NFS was still around."
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Fridge Logic: After a few Races in Hot Pursuit 2010 as the cop you'll probably get this... The game gives you some of the fastest cars in the world complete with some seriously awesome looking police paint jobs and sirens (in fact you can even select what kinda sound you want your sirens to make)) that would probably still be heard amidst the noise of the engine. But the Civilians on the roads don't seem to mind at all, which can be particularly frustrating when you're driving say a Konigsegg CCX down the freeway at max speed while truck drivers or cars are moving at a gentle pace down the same freeway.
    • What's worse is hitting said vehicles get's a huge +3 time penalty (hitting the sides of the road costs 2) and can make some challenges nearly impossible.
  • Game Breaker: There's usually one, or more, in every game.
    • Most Wanted (2005):
      • The Porsche Carrera GT. It's stats are near-maxed out and it truly Takes One to Kill One. Most players use it in the final race to get back the M3 GTR.
      • Ming's custom Lamborghini Gallardo mixes this with Infinity+1 Sword as it comes equipped with several modifications that won't be unlocked until after the career mode is finished.
    • Carbon:
      • The 240SX. It's a Disc One Nuke. Though it has pretty mediocre top speed and poor initial acceleration, it's nimble enough with stats that match most muscle and tuner cars.
      • Though it's pricey, the Jaguar XK can defeat most Tier 2 cars in its stock configuration.
    • The 370Z in Undercover. Upgrade it and it can defeat a Bugatti.
    • Most Wanted (2012):
      • The Audi A1 Clubsport quattro. It's available from the get-go and has stats far better than everything else in its class.
      • The Hennessey Venom GT. It's already one of the fastest cars in the world and the Infinity+1 Sword of the game but what makes it such an egregious example of this trope is that it's a DLC car.
      • Most cars in this game can be unlocked just by driving around and finding them on the map, a large complaint of the game's difficulty, or lack thereof. Many players used a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to start the game.
    • The Lamborghini Huracán, the 2015 Mustang GT, and the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR in 2015.
    • Payback:
      • The Lamborghini Huracán is the best drift car in the game, followed by the Porsche 911 Carrera RSR and the 240Z.
      • Amazingly, the Porsche 911 Carrera RSR, when fully upgraded can keep pace with the Regera.
      • The Acura NSX is the best drag car there is.
    • Heat:
      • The Porsche 911 Carrera RSR keeps up its record.
      • The Volkswagen Beetle. Its lightweight means that with the right upgrades, it goes like a rocket and can leave hypercars in the dust.
  • "Grand Theft Auto" Effect: To be expected when you have an EA soundtrack in your game. Snoop Dogg? Spiderbait? The Buzzhorn? Bush? Hot Action Cop? Disturbed? Bitchin.
  • In Name Only: The series between Underground and Undercover is this to the previous games. Also, the V-Rally installments.
    • The Broken Base starts at Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks: One of the two major complaints about Heat. Once enough upgrades are unlocked, nothing even comes close to being a challenge.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks: The other major complaint about Heat. The campaign can be completed in a maybe half a day and missions cannot be replayed.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: What some say about Carbon.
  • Memetic Mutation: One of Razor's lines about betting "five grand -- FIVE GRAND!" against the player character in one of the opening cutscenes to Most Wanted is an inside joke at Giant Bomb that comes up whenever a NFS game is in the news.
  • Never Live It Down: Carbon is generally regarded as a decent, if particularly challenging in some regards, game. But no one will forgive it for totalling the BMW M3 GTR.
  • Porting Disaster: While not exactly a port as such, the Play Station 2 and Wii versions of Undercover are considered by reviewers as nothing more than just cash-ins for fans who don't have a more premium system, and therefore, the superior version. The visuals are worse than Carbon's, despite being two years younger, the frame-rate is (amazingly) worse than the 360/PS3 versions, and the game's landscapes aren't actually new; they're actually just various roads and highways from both Most Wanted and Carbon clobbered together. On top of that, it still suffers various problems that griped the superior versions i.e. the glaring, shiny street effect.
    • Even worse with the Wii version of Hot Pursuit 2k10. Bear in mind how the game was praised for dragging the series out of the stale tuner street racing theme and returning to its roots. The Wii version is effectively Nitro, but with out a cartoony style and several new courses and cars from the more mainstream versions. Everything else however? Nearly identical. You can still modify the look of your car, which, given the car selection, is tragically hilarious.
    • The Game Cube, X Box, and PC versions of Hot Pursuit 2 all look worse than the Play Station 2 version, despite all of them being more powerful. They also had less content and worse gameplay.
  • Sacred Cow:
    • Most Wanted (2005). Part of the reason that Most Wanted (2012) took such flak.
    • Heat is starting to become this.
  • Sequel Displacement: Underground caused many to overlook the earlier games.
  • So Okay It's Average: Though there are some vocal YouTubers that complain about it, most fans seem to regard Payback as this.
  • That One Boss:
    • Earl in Most Wanted served as this for a lot of people, usually due to the aforementioned Rubber Band AI, because at that stage of the game the cars available are not as maneuverable as they should be for his final course, so although the player will usually outpace Earl for the vast majority of it, when the player gets to the last 15% or so of the course the rubber-banding would kick in and Earl would accelerate enormously, and if the player made even the tiniest mistake in turning the ridiculously sharp corners--which would almost always happen--Earl would be going so fast that the player would find it impossible to catch up in time.
    • Darius, the Final Boss of Carbon. His Audi Le Mans Quattro (the R8 prototype) is a Jack of All Stats and requires the player to use a fully maxed out Tier 3 car just to have a hope of winning.
  • That One Level: The Miami circuits in Shift 2: Unleashed are bloody awful. The kerbs on gentle curves can spin your car out with ease and even with the skill to avoid spinning you'll be fishtailing for quite a while.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: What some say about Carbon.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: A complaint about Need for Speed: Payback, even among its fans, is that it's basically The Fast and the Furious as a Need for Speed game.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: The series does this for supercars.
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