Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered Review

Richard Walker

Cast your mind back a decade and you might think that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit stands out as one of those games that you reckon was great at the time, but perhaps isn't nearly as good as your memories of it suggest. Fire up Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered today, and immediately, you'll remember why this was the best and remains the best Need for Speed game, alongside Need for Speed Underground.

Coming off the back of 2008's Burnout Paradise, developer Criterion ensured that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was unmistakably laced with Burnout's high-octane DNA. Boasting the same brand of spectacular crashes, tight arcade handling, and an unbridled sense of speed that had you clutching the controller as your backside perched ever closer to the edge of your seat, it's a racer that still feels fresh ten years on.

Taking the series' staple cops-and-robbers premise and supercharging it, Hot Pursuit Remastered demonstrates just how evergreen the original game proved to be, placing high-tech gadgets in the hands of rival illegal street racers and the tooled-up police force tasked with shutting them down. Racers and Cops alike have access to spike strips and an EMP charge that can stop opponents in their tracks, while the long arm of the law extends to being able to deploy helicopters and roadblocks to hamper a racer’s route to the finish line, and, by extension, freedom.

A Racer can jam a Cop's signal or turbo boost to get ahead, ensuring a balance of sorts between the two sides. The result is arcade racing nirvana. Not only does Need for Speed Hot Pursuit continue to look jaw-droppingly stunning, but all of the twisted metal, sparks, and American roadside flashing past in a blur looks all the better thanks to co-developer Stellar Entertainment's remaster job. Buffing up the bodywork of Hot Pursuit's garage of desirable saloons, sports cars, and exotic supercars, the visual upgrade serves as ample excuse to revisit a truly exciting racing game, if nothing else.

The game's Speedwall and Autolog features provide a constant stream of competition with friends, too, and it seems odd that it's a feature that hasn't persisted in more recent Need for Speed titles, or indeed other racing games. It seems the humble leaderboard has become the staple, instead. At the time, Hot Pursuit seemed ahead of its time with such sophisticated competitive social features, and, indeed, Autolog and the Speedwall still feel entirely fresh and innovative, mostly because no one else has really had a go at replicating it. More so, the game also adds cross-platform multiplayer support, so you can compare times with players on other formats, broadening the breadth of rivals.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was never a slouch in the visuals department, but Remastered looks outstanding, especially if you have a console that supports the game's 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. Car models have been up-rezzed, shadows and reflections have been enhanced, the game's routes have been fleshed out with more objects and scenery, and the textures and draw distance have been boosted. As remaster jobs go, Criterion and Stellar have done a fantastic job. Couple that with what still holds up as the purest and most unabashedly thrilling Need for Speed game in recent years, and you have a redux that demands to be revisited.

You can read our original 2010 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit review here.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered

There's a reason EA singled out Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit for the remaster treatment – it's still great. Throw in all the DLC, all of the features the original had, and a litany of impressive visual enhancements, and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is most definitely a racer worth returning to. And if it's your first time, well, lucky you.

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It's still impossible to skip 30 Second to Mars on the main menu any quicker, which is a shame. The soundtrack still fits the bill, however, and the growling engine sounds are exactly as they should be. Good.


In 2010, Hot Pursuit looked gorgeous, and ten years later with a nice remastered paint job, it looks even better. That's by today's standards, of course. It moves at a fair old lick, too. A proper stunner.


Criterion at the height of its post-Burnout pomp – Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit nailed the gratification of a perfect drift and the breakneck speed when expending a full tank of nitrous. Throw in the gadgets, and it still rocks.


The finest Need for Speed game with all of its DLC in one place, with sexy visual enhancements, cross-platform multiplayer, and the return of the innovative Autolog. As far as remaster packages go, you can't really baulk at this.


Many of the same achievements from the original mean going through the grind all over again. But then, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is so damn good, I'd happily do all of the things once more.

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