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Need for Speed: Most Wanted U review

EA's racer is just as good on Nintendo's new console

Pros

  • Fun and varied multiplayer racing modes
  • Challenging racing system that values skill over luck
  • Great leaderboard implementation

Cons

  • Underwhelming singleplayer campaign
  • Poor feedback regarding racing routes
  • Poor fit for GamePad's off-screen play

Editor's Note: The below review pertains only to the Wii U version of Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Check out our complete Need for Speed: Most Wanted review for more on the game as a whole.

When Need for Speed Most Wanted burst onto the scene last fall, it combined many of the best features of the franchise--intense high-speed police chases and loads of real-world vehicles--with the strongest traits that the developer Criterion had cultivated in the Burnout series over the years; namely, over-the-top vehicular destruction. When it was announced that Most Wanted would be coming to the Wii U, some were worried that something would get lost in translation.

The Wii U version of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which released on March 19, 2013, is no afterthought. It sports a terrific look and sound to go along with its meaty campaign. A clear hierarchy of controllers exists for Most Wanted’s notoriously demanding mechanics; the Wii U Pro Controller offers the best experience, followed by the GamePad then the Wii Remote.

The Co-Driver mode, unique to the platform, is an interesting feature allowing a second person to lightly influence the main player’s game. While most core gamers won’t give it a second thought, it can certainly be fun for parents to let their youngsters distract cops during a police chase, choose different vehicles and paint jobs, or change it from day to night.

The Wii U’s off-screen play on the GamePad is beloved by many system owners, and Most Wanted offers it as well. While it looks superb and is welcome in situations when your significant other wins the rights to the TV, the split-second reactions needed in the packed-to-the-gills streets on the small screen will have you pining to get the action back on the big one.

As a standalone Wii U title, Most Wanted U offers a tremendous amount of fun to lots of gamers. If you’ve already spent a decent amount of time tearing up the streets of Fairhaven, it may not be worth your while to revisit. However, since any progress you’ve made in the game on any platform will automatically be brought forward, that could actually turn out to be a bonus. Need for Speed is a powerful, compelling game with some creativity to go along with its deep gameplay, and Wii U owners should be happy it’s around.

More Info

GenreRacing
DescriptionNeed For Speed: Most Wanted comes to the Wii U, featuring local co-op mode, Co-Driver. Using just their fingertips, a partner can distract pursuing cops, switch from night to day or activate enhanced performance for any car and even control the amount of traffic on the road.
Franchise nameNeed for Speed
UK franchise nameNeed for Speed
PlatformWii U
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor rating
Release date:19 March 2013 (US), 21 March 2013 (UK)
Available platforms:Wii U
Genre:Racing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Grisham has been writing for GamesRadar since 2006, back when the site was a bulletin board on Prodigy. These days, he’s busy hosting the Press Row Podcast every week and waiting patiently for Valve to make Portal 3. That’s coming soon, right?
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