The Need for Speed (1995)

Home Forums Game Suggestions The Need for Speed (1995)

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  • Martli

    This year is apparently the 30 year anniversary (probably a lot of those this year right?) of the Need for Speed franchise, which has spawned over 20 titles and sold over 150 million copies.

    The game that started it all was The Need for Speed (the ‘the’ being dropped for the second installment, predictably named Need for Speed II).

    Originally released in 1994 on the 3DO, it was subsequently released for DOS in 1995, and windows in 1996.

    I first encountered the windows version of this game (The ‘Special Edition’) probably in 1998, as it was alongside its sequel at a friend’s house. I promptly asked my parents to buy me a copy and the rest was history.

    The Need for Speed Formula has evolved over time, but at its core is fast cars driven illegally. You basically engage in illegal street races, aiming to avoid both the police and on-coming traffic. The Need for Speed has head-to-head, single race, and tournament modes. A range of powerful cars are available, including a cars I’d never even heard of before like the mighty Lamborghini Diablo. I grew up in a place where everyone’s dad drove either a Holden (think Opal, Vauxhall, or Chevrolet) or a Ford so these cars were pretty exotic to a young me.

    As the first iteration of the franchise the formula is basic, but effective. There’s enough variety to keep you entertained here. I would say that the newer titles added a lot more and largely rendered this version obsolete, but as a first version this game is remarkably complete (plus it’s the only DOS title in the series!).

    The cars themselves were designed to be realistic with EA working with Road and Track magazine to accurately mimic individual car behaviour and sounds. This was accompanied by real photos and video footage.

    One thing that is remarkable about the series is its popularity on both PC and consoles. The need for speed was released on both the PS1 and Sega Saturn, and subsequent versions were also multi platform releases.

    Probably my favourite title of the series was Need for Speed III hot pursuit which represented a fairly significant overhaul of the police chase element. However, as a windows game, it is strictly forbidden on these forums! I lost interest in this franchise with 2003’s Need for Speed Underground which I owned on Playstation 2, but went in a direction that didn’t gel with my interests.

    I never actually realised that the need for speed was a DOS game until much later in life! Another one of those DOS games that was rereleased for Windows. Given the significance of this game in kicking off such a major franchise I think it would be a great candidate for DOS game club.


    Love the original NFS games.

    Also started with NFS:SE.

    The newer NFS lose the ‘exotic supercar’ core that I loved.

    It was put on the recent ‘racing game’ poll and just missed out vs Wacky Wheels. ( )

    So I’m sure we’ll hit it up soon!


    Great to see its on the radar!


    I love me some Wacky Wheels but it’s kind of hard to believe it beat out NFS 😀 I see the proof tho!


    I’ll discuss The Need for Speed happily.

    I played that game quite extensively back in the day. That and NFS2 (which is Windows only). After that I abandoned the series. It felt like too much grind.

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Home Forums Game Suggestions The Need for Speed (1995)