Need For Speed: The Run review

Photo of Need For Speed: The Run

There has now been three Need For Speed games that have hit the shelves in the past twelve months, and there are rarely moments in Need For Speed: The Run, the latest of them, that massively impress. 

The new game is arcade-focussed, thus a follow-on, of sorts, to the Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit version, where certainly at times, some of the scenery does seem a little familiar. However, ‘The Run’ never pumps its veins quite so impressively with seat-of-the-pants adrenaline rush, as Hot Pursuit, which in itself was the finest arcade racing game since Split/Second.

The focus of The Run, is a little different from the previous game. Instead of lots of piecemeal events to choose from, the game is strung together by one long road race, stretching across America. It is broken down into the same individual challenges – with some truly tedious cut scenes linking it at times – but there’s rarely a reminder of where you are, in the overall race.

The problem is that you rarely feel part of a bigger race. An individual challenge, for instance, might be to gain six places before you reach a checkpoint, but that’s the best you can do. Impressive racing doesn’t gain you seven spots; what you have instead, is a collection of smaller tests, which you routinely pass or fail. These challenges are varied at first, before falling into a regular pattern, as the cars, traffic and tracks become just a little homogenous.

These tests are enjoyable, but don’t be fooled into thinking that The Run isn’t worth a try. It is. It’s just that the Need For Speed franchise is reversing a little, rather than making the impressive inroads that it did with the first Need For Speed. Your money, as a consequence, won’t be wasted on the Run. It’s just better spent picking up Split/Second or Blur out of the bargain bin, if you don’t own either of those.


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Company: EA Games


  • It’s just good fun, and you’ll get solid value out of it.
  • A bit repetitive; dull cut scenes; a few new ideas wouldn’t hurt.


A decent enough arcade racing game, but it’s the Need For Speed variation that’s destined to be in the middle of the series, rather than repeating the drive of Hot Pursuit.