PS4 Need For Speed Rivals

Last updated date: August 5, 2019

DWYM Score
8.2

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We looked at the top 1 Car Racing Games and dug through the reviews from 36 of the most popular review sites including Game Rant, GameSpot, Kotaku, Euro Gamer, Games Radar, Push Square, Tom's Guide, Pocket-lint, Destructoid, Polygon, Game Informer, Tech Spot, Digital Trends, Giant Bomb, Game Revolution, Hardcore Gamer, Dual Shockers, CGM, Shacknews, Thunderbolt Games, Digital Spy, Gaming Age, ZTGD, First Post, Gaming Illustrated, Game Critics, Punk and Lizard, Arcade Sushi, Got Game, Geekometry, Movies Games And Tech, Thumped, Optics Gamer, Next Gen Base, The Escapist Magazine and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Car Racing Game you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 239 expert reviews, the PS4 PS4 Need For Speed Rivals placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 5, 2019:
Checkout The Best Car Racing Game for a detailed review of all the top car racing games.

Expert Summarized Score
8.0
36 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
2,217 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
It has some of the best car chases around, and they’ve never looked so chaotically beautiful as they do on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
- IGN
November 20, 2013 | Full review
The racer and police paths are pleasantly asymmetrical, since cops needn’t worry about accumulating Speed Points, merely patrolling for speeding drivers or engaging in group pursuits.
- Game Rant
The other element that makes Rivals particularly exciting is the irresistible risk-versus-reward mechanic you're constantly faced with as a racer.
- GameSpot
November 15, 2013 | Full review
The best thing about Rivals is how its various elements can interlock with each other, creating a crazy minute-by-minute escalation of tension.
- Kotaku
When it comes together, it's fantastic - you can see a gaggle of player-controlled cops working together to bring a high level racer down, or a random encounter can send you on a county-wide chase as balletic and chaotic as only multiplayer can be.
- Euro Gamer
November 18, 2013 | Full review
Redview is replete with both AI and real-life rivals
- Games Radar
November 15, 2013 | Full review
The way that the weather and lighting changes all adds to the appeal of the non-stop action that we alluded to a little earlier.
- Push Square
December 9, 2013 | Full review
"Need for Speed: Rivals" uses arcade-style gameplay within an open-world environment. Players earn Speedpoints for completing challenges and pulling stunts, such as jumps and death-defying near-misses with other cars.
- Tom's Guide
November 25, 2013 | Full review
There are no boring cutscenes that try to help you justify anything, and certainly no backstory about how you are only racing to save your family being held by some Ray Liotta looking character. It's all about the fun.
- Pocket-lint
November 29, 2013 | Full review
Need for Speed: Rivals is a blast. Literally. Plowing into cops to watch them explode off the side of the road as you zip by is never not fun.
- Destructoid
November 17, 2013 | Full review
Need for Speed Rivals' has a brilliant, forward-thinking approach to online play. Any time you start the game while online, you're automatically put into a server with up to five other players.
- Polygon
November 18, 2013 | Full review
Drop dead gorgeous. Racing at breakneck speeds with a storm of leaves zipping past your car and police lights blurring on the road is a welcome visual overload
- Game Informer
November 19, 2013 | Full review
Some of the slickest controls this side of a Burnout game
- Tech Spot
Regardless of the side you are on, the race mechanics are smooth and easy to use. They lean toward arcade-style play rather than simulation, so it’s easy to pull off ridiculous drifts and hit corners at 90 mph, giving realistic physics the bird as you fly by.
- Digital Trends
November 20, 2013 | Full review
Rivals feels like it's on the cusp of greatness. The pieces are all there--the handling is exciting, the soundtrack is solid, and the systems that surround the multiplayer help build meaningful battles between racer and cop.
- Giant Bomb
November 24, 2013 | Full review
In the end, the temptation was too great and I learned to love patrolling the map as a police officer. It’s more fun to play as a cop if you’re going to hunt down every speed camera or explore leisurely since you can take your time and only pursue the racers you really want to bring down.
- Game Revolution
December 4, 2013 | Full review
The Speedlist is an interesting new mechanic that makes knowing objectives simpler than ever before.
- Hardcore Gamer
November 16, 2013 | Full review
Being a cop is by far the most fun I’ve had playing a racing a game. Your one job is simply just to bust other Racers. By bust, I mean crashing your justice dispensing vehicle right into other cars.
- Dual Shockers
While All Drive is a fluid and impressive system, Rivals has a player limit of only 6 people and a game space that is best described by words like giant, colossal, immense, mammoth, gargantuan, and also stunningly beautiful.
- CGM
November 26, 2013 | Full review
Need for Speed Rivals is a unique, satisfying experience that's a sheer joy to play. It may not be able to scratch the itch that a more traditional racing fan may be looking for, but it sets the bar for what online-connected worlds should be about.
- Shacknews
November 15, 2013 | Full review
Being pursued by a human cop is much more exhilarating than competing against the AI, and it also smartly transitions between events as players come together.
- Thunderbolt Games
January 10, 2014 | Full review
With every passing chapter a new set of playlists and challenges are introduced, giving players clear objectives to complete while exploring the fictional location of Redview County.
- Digital Spy
August 5, 2019 | Full review
This is also the first racing game to use the Frostbite 3 engine, which I think means it specializes in a lot of visual effects since Rivals is coated in a layer of particles and filters to color each of its environments in a fitting way.
- Gaming Age
December 15, 2013 | Full review
Need for Speed: Rivals is one of the most impressive launch games for PS4. It is very pretty visually, and it has enough content to keep players busy for quite some time.
- ZTGD
November 22, 2013 | Full review
The cars sound as awesome as they should, especially when you start upgrading it. Crashing produces great cringe-inducing effects of metal bending and glass shattering. The music is also amazing.
- First Post
November 29, 2013 | Full review
Almost every car in Rivals sounds unique. The way they shift gears and rev up the engine changes from car to car.
- Gaming Illustrated
November 29, 2013 | Full review
Narrowly escaping a pursuing squad of police cars and power drifting into the safety of my hideout with hundreds of sounds of speed points under my belt.
- Game Critics
December 19, 2013 | Full review
Rivals keeps the adrenaline pumping. Just as you finish one race, you can challenge another racer with the click of your left finger and the action continues. The races are constant and fast.
- Punk and Lizard
December 3, 2013 | Full review
On next-gen consoles, Rivals looks stunningly impressive. While it doesn't quite match the highs of something like Forza 5, the car modeling, lighting and reflections all appear sharper and more detailed than the current generation counterparts.
- Arcade Sushi
November 26, 2013 | Full review
The cool thing is that the game allows other players to essentially invade your single player experience, as you can race them or chase them at the same time.
- Got Game
November 28, 2013 | Full review
Gameplay is like a straight-forward racer. There are two story lines that the gamer can follow, and easily jump between, Cop and Racer.
- Geekometry
February 7, 2015 | Full review
As one of, what became, few launch titles for the PS4 Rivals is certainly good looking. Small things like leaves sweeping across the road add a lot to the overall visuals.
- Movies Games And Tech
December 18, 2013 | Full review
What’s the point in this long, rambling intro? Well, youthful me would have fucking LOVED Need for Speed Rivals. Your finger never leaves the throttle, to get round a corner you give the slightest of touches to the brake and your car happily slips into an easily controllable drift.
- Thumped
August 5, 2019 | Full review
We like the creativity in cop chases for this game. You’ll find yourself trying to lose the cops while speeding through a forest a night.
- Optics Gamer
March 3, 2017 | Full review
Niggles aside, Need for Speed: Rivals is a fantastic game. It looks sensational, and sounds as ridiculous as it looks.
- Next Gen Base
December 9, 2013 | Full review
Rivals utilizes the next-gen capabilities brilliantly. The graphics are simply stunning. From the scenery along the road to the highlight reel whenever you unlock a new car, you'll constantly be amazed at how gorgeous things are in this game.
- The Escapist Magazine
November 15, 2013 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The online experiences may be underwhelming or downright frustrating for some, but that’s not enough to overshadow the strong precedent Ghost Games has set for the next generation of online racers.
- Game Rant
Inexplicably dropped sessions are a major pain in the ass with Rivals. Sure, host migration happens quickly enough when a connection is lost.
- Kotaku
Impact damage is dealt haphazardly
- Games Radar
November 15, 2013 | Full review
This is a game that’s designed to be played while you’re connected to the ‘net. There’s no separate multiplayer progression – or even an introductory menu screen for that matter – as the single player campaign and competitive suite are one in the same
- Push Square
December 9, 2013 | Full review
No option for isolated races
- Tom's Guide
November 25, 2013 | Full review
Not for accurate racing simulator fans
- Pocket-lint
November 29, 2013 | Full review
The mini-map is pathetically small, poorly placed, and barely usable.
- Destructoid
November 17, 2013 | Full review
Impact damage is dealt haphazardly
- Tech Spot
The thing about NFS:R is that there really isn’t that much to do, and the world isn’t that big. The missions grow old fairly quickly, leaving you with little to do but to wander the county and mess with people.
- Digital Trends
November 20, 2013 | Full review
It’s just a shame the game has to say you failed a pursuit every time, even if you didn’t come in contact with the other car.
- Game Revolution
December 4, 2013 | Full review
Sadly, after expending a lot of time and money EA still failed to recapture the thing that made Hot Pursuit so great; playing cops and robbers with other people.
- CGM
November 26, 2013 | Full review
Need for Speed: Rivals is nothing if not ridiculously dumb fun, but that just makes its multiplayer failings all the more disappointing.
- Thunderbolt Games
January 10, 2014 | Full review
Also, with a mini-map that can be difficult to read and a GPS system that takes time to navigate, plotting a route to a safehouse during pursuits can be very challenging.
- Digital Spy
August 5, 2019 | Full review
I also noticed a few quirks that seem to have gone completely unexplained, where for instance the game will randomly pan the camera around your car as you’re still driving, not entirely sure what it wants to be showing you except probably the wonder of how far automotive geometry has come in games.
- Gaming Age
December 15, 2013 | Full review
There are some drawbacks to its design, but nothing that will derail the fun.
- ZTGD
November 22, 2013 | Full review
We had one gripe with the game, and with time, even that went away. When you start it up, you are forced to go through a lengthy tutorial and learn playing both a racer as well as a cop.
- First Post
November 29, 2013 | Full review
Besides the lack of a truly open world, technical and performance issues hamper gameplay. Finding a session to join can take time, and with the longer-than-desired load times, waiting to get started takes a few seconds too long.
- Game Critics
December 19, 2013 | Full review
Though the game lacks major depth
- Got Game
November 28, 2013 | Full review
It can feel like you are essentially on a single player game with the occasional annoying host migration sessions and lag.
- Movies Games And Tech
December 18, 2013 | Full review
This isn’t a game for purists. It’s a cheap racing thrill that is unashamedly unrealistic.
- Thumped
August 5, 2019 | Full review
Although there was creativity in the chase scenarios, we don’t think there was enough variety in situations to keep some people entertained.
- Optics Gamer
March 3, 2017 | Full review
The game is let down slightly by its clunky handling of online disconnects and a couple of strange frame rate juddering problems, but don’t let this deter you.
- Next Gen Base
December 9, 2013 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Welcome to Redview County, where a street-racing rivalry between cops and racers never stops as both sides compete in an all-out war featuring the fastest cars, mods and technology in a gritty open road environment. Play as either a cop or racer, where each side of the law has its own set of high stakes challenges, rewards and consequences. Risk everything in the ultimate high stakes rivalry. KEY FEATURES Cops vs. Racers – Racers are lone wolves out for their own glory; driving agile cars built for high speed racing and epic chases. Cops work in teams to hunt down and bust racers using the full power of the police force. Intense racing moments are made even more thrilling with access to upgradeable pursuit technology customized to each side. High Stakes Rivalry – Watch the stakes grow through a new scoring system that lets racers risk their speed points to shoot for higher multipliers and greater rewards, or bank their speed points safely when they return to a hideout. The more risk you take on, the faster you can progress, but get busted by the cops and they take your speed points as a reward. AllDrive — This revolutionary new feature lets you seamlessly join a world where your friends are already racing and chasing. Single-player and multiplayer are no longer isolated game modes. There are no lobbies, no waiting; everything is seamless. Your Car, Your Identity — Power up your car with the latest upgrades in pursuit technology and personalize your bodywork with fresh paintjobs, liveries, custom license plates, rims, and decals to show off your car to the world. With millions of potential combinations, you can save different configurations and keep a variety of car packages on alert to leave your mark no matter the situation. NFS Network — NFS Network will be the hub for continuing your racing and chasing with access to stats, leaderboards and content uploads direct from the game. Breakdown what’s happening in your friends’ worlds in real time to see how AllDrive has shaped who owns what in their world. Also in the Network, engage with Need for Speed Rivals from the web, tablet, or mobile in Overwatch, a mini-game that connects you with the console/PC game by letting you help or hinder your friends to earn points towards exclusive paintjobs. Keep a watch on all the other players in your world using a real-time map that locates the cops before you start a race, or quickly find out which hideout is closest for you or your friend to bank Speed Points. Drop police road blocks and helicopters, or alert friends of inbound cops.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Xbox Studio Games Forza Horizon 4
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 37
2. PS4 Need For Speed Rivals
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 36
3. PS4 Gran Turismo Sport
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 25
4. XBOX ONE DiRT Rally 2.0
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 29
5. PS4 WRC 7
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 12
6. PS4 Project Cars
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 9
7. PS4 Mudrunner – American Wilds
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 9
8. PS4 Need for Speed Payback
Overall Score: 7.1
Expert Reviews: 20
9. PS4 Dangerous Driving
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 21
10. PS4 Super Street: The Game
Overall Score: 5.6
Expert Reviews: 5

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