Review – Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered

Back in 2010, the quasi-defunct Criterion Games gained control over the Need for Speed franchise, injecting a bit of their beloved Burnout franchise into the mix. I honestly consider Hot Pursuit to be last truly great Need for Speed game, before the series faded away in the background, up until it became relevant once again after the release of the surprisingly great NFS Heat. With Hot Pursuit Remastered, we are back to simpler, more critically acclaimed times, a great way to remind ourselves why we used to love the NFS franchise so much. 

The paperwork must have been a nightmare.

In Hot Pursuit, you can play as either racers or cops in dozens of events spread across the world map. As you complete events for both teams, you gain experience which levels you up and allows you to unlock more events and cars, as to be expected. Playing as both sides is a total blast and I found myself switching between the two often. Each side also has their own gadgets which you can use at key moments in an event to turn the tides in an instant if used properly. 

If you played the original release over the past ten years, you know exactly what to expect. Not much has changed here, with the game remaining pretty much intact. The game still handles the same, the progression system is exactly the same, and for the most part, it also looks the same. All previously released downloadable content is featured in the package. All in all, it’s basically the same game, and that’s a good thing, even if I did expect the addition of something new in terms of content to make the package stand out a bit more. 

Car handling and controls are very much as they were back in 2010. This isn’t a racing simulator and leans as far away as it possibly can from that. This is very much an arcade racer, where the laws of physics are just an afterthought at best. Drifting around corners at 200+ MPH on a road with cops driving the $2.1 Million Koinensegg Agera trying to bash you off the road… tt’s absurd and doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it also doesn’t matter. This is some of the most fun you can have with an arcade racer. It doesn’t take itself seriously, there’s no story to detract from the experience. Just pick an event, a car, and go. 

He’ll be fine… probably.

As a racer, you will be competing with other rivals for the coveted first place, all while avoiding cops, to get a gold medal. It’s a basic premise, but adds a layer of excitement to the mix when gadgets get introduced. Cops will lay spike traps if they get in front of you, and will request car blockades up head. Racers also get access to a small but impactful EMP discharge that will temporarily disable opponents later on. You only get a handful of these per event, so use them wisely. As a cop, you will switch sides, with the main goal being taking down racers. Doing it as fast as possible will get you a better medal. This is Hot Pursuit at its absolute best. 

Visually, you are looking at something very similar to what was released in 2010, just with higher resolution models and an improved framerate. It runs at a buttery smooth 60fps at all times. The graphical improvements are nothing significant, but thankfully the game was already very pretty for a title of its time. The increased frame rate is much appreciated, on the other hand. Sound design is also pretty much the same with the exact same engine noises and soundtrack to blast around to in a hot pursuit. 

For a 2010 game… it doesn’t look too bad.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered does the bare minimum a remastered should do (yet some don’t). There are small but subtle visual improvements in here and the performance is excellent. It’s a blast of a game due to how well it still holds up, as the remaster itself didn’t bring new elements to the table. It’s a touch disappointing not much has been done to this game, but at the same time, it still remains near the top of my favourite Need for Speed games. 


Graphics: 7.0

The visuals have aged remarkably well but a little more work could have been done to make it look better than just a beautiful 2010 title.

Gameplay: 8.0

Hot Pursuit is just pure racing goodness all the way down to it’s arcadey controls and lack of distractions from driving.

Sound: 8.0

Great sounding cars with a solid soundtrack, as to be expected from a Need for Speed game.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Hot Pursuit is still a ton of fun ten years after its original release. It’s fun due to how great the title holds up, as the remaster itself didn’t bring new elements to the table.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is available now on PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered was provided by the publisher.