Racing games have never not been my shit. Whether it’s the simulation stylings of the Gran Turismo series, the manic chaos of Mario Kart, or the intensity of F1 2020, I’m generally always down to redline a cool-ass car for a lap or two. Back in the day, the folks at Criterion Games were some of my favorite developers due to their work on the arcade racing series, Burnout. When Criterion developed Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit originally released in 2010, I instantly fell in love with its take on the long-running franchise, and I’m happy to report that over a decade later the game is still a blast.
The gameplay of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is remarkably simple. It takes place in a world where cops are specially suited for engaging in high-speed pursuits with tricked out race cars. You’re provided with a map with various missions and can choose between playing as a racer or a cop. As a racer, you get into races, time trials, and try to evade getting taken down by the cops. As a cop, you mostly spend your time using roadblocks, spike strips, and slick maneuvering to take down the racers.
While the game isn’t simulation based, the driving still feels weighty. You have to be smart about braking, drifting, and using slipstreams to overtake your opponent. While there is a level of skill required, it’s a game very much focused on making the driving feel as cool as the cars look. There’s a sincere thrill when you get a handle on the mechanics and begin to drift past your opponents or effectively takedown a racer.
This was one of my favorite games while I was in college due to its pick up and play nature, and it’s something I appreciate even more now. This is a game that I can both sit down and sink a couple hours into or simply pick up and get a race or two in before I go about my day. I feel like it’s always smart to keep a solid pick up and play game in the rotation, and lately Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit has been that for me.
As it’s a remaster of a 10 year old game, graphically this thing isn’t going to blow your mind. That said, it still looks pretty damn good considering its age and I very rarely feel like I’m playing a straight up Xbox 360 game.
Overall, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is a great upgrade of an already solid racing game. Best of all, it’s currently 50 percent off as part of the Steam summer sale. If you’ve been looking for a fun game that won’t break the bank or become too much of a time sink, look no further.