Things I liked:
- Tools like spike strips and helicopter were fun and gave racing a bit of spice.
- The hot pursuit mode was cool chasing several racers or racing while escaping from the cops.
- Some cars were fun and cool but often felt similar to each other when driving.
- Difficulty level seemed to scale well as you progressed
Things I didn't like:
- Annoying menus, load screens, and car intros that were impossible to skip through (typical EA).
- The racer mode was slightly more fun to me than cop mode, but neither were all that exciting.
- Plot is a joke/non-existent.
- Controls difficult on PC. If I were real serious I would use a gamepad or wheel, but I have neither.
- Multiplayer seemed okay, but nothing too exciting. Basic matchmaking system seemed fine.
- As I said hot pursuit mode is cool but I felt going through career I had to play a whole bunch of boring standard "time trials" or basic races to get to the fun races. Often felt tedious.
Overall: It is an okay game and was kind of fun for nostalgia reasons, but it seems very bare, like it's missing so many things. I wouldn't recommend buying it for more than $5, maybe $10 if you really miss Need for Speed. Right now it is $20 on steam so I would pass unless you catch it on some random sale like I did. If you want to get a good racing game I recommend Forza Motorsport 3 for the Xbox 360. I can't technically recommend Forza Motorsport 4 because I haven't played it, but I want it and that metascore is sick. Unfortunately if you don't have a 360, I don't have a PS3 to recommend games, and I don't think people make very good racing games for PC. I always enjoyed the Burnout series on consoles so perhaps Burnout: Paradise is okay but I haven't played it. In general racing games are tough to control without a gamepad or wheel so I'd probably shy away from them on the PC.
Final Score: 2/5