Need for Speed Hot Pursuit originally launched in 2010, but that game is getting new life on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch with Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered. This 2010 classic was considered by some to be the pinnacle of the Need for Speed franchise, as Burnout developers Criterion took charge of the games development.

Criterion is back to hopefully catch magic twice, but when you compare this 2010 arcade racer to those of today, does it hold up? Let’s take a look and find out!

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered Details

Platform(s): PlayStation 4Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on: Xbox One X
Developer(s): Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Racing
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating:  E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered

Welcome back to Seacrest County

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is set in a fictional world modeled after southern California, Washington, and Oregon. In Seacrest County, players have over 160KM of open world to explore. There is no story per se, that would draw you in. However, you play as both road racers and the Seacrest County Police Department. As a result, you unlock new events to enjoy and new cars to take for a spin on the open road.

As you play through the single player adventure, you slowly increase your rank, unlocking new cars and new events to partake in. Everything unlocks at a steady pace, with each event only taking 5-6 minutes to complete. This makes it pretty easy to experience everything Hot Pursuit Remastered has to offer.

Reignite the thrill of the chase and rush of the escape

Gameplay wise, I’d say that Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is somewhere between a full on arcade racer like Burnout Paradise and shares similarities with more sophisticated racing titles like Forza Horizon. While not a full simulation experience, Hot Pursuit is just arcade-y enough to be incredibly accessible to both new and longtime racing fans.

That being said, in a world where bashing and crashing is encouraged, how realistic can you really be? Cars are unlocked at a blistering pace, and you will always have something new to hit the open road with. While the gameplay ultimately has very few flaws, I feel like many of the cars control very much the same, which is a tad bit disappointing. It most definitely makes unlocking cars less exciting than it could be.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered

Still, there is a lot to get excited about. For example, everyone is armed with various gadgets that can help you while you race. My favourite are the spike strips that disable those chasing you down. And, deploying these at the right time is immensely satisfying, especially when done to seal yourself the victory.

For those who played the original but perhaps missed out on the DLC, you’ll be happy to know that almost everything released for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is available in the remastered version. Only a few cars are not available, likely due to licensing issues.

Enhanced visuals with beautiful exotic cars

Overall, the game has received a decent overhaul. While the cars have always been real licensed vehicles, they have never looked sharper than they do now. Cars look phenomenal and when looking at side-by-side comparisons of 2010 models and 2020 models, the difference is outstanding, at least most of the time. I believe this is likely due to improved lighting and weather effects. There were times I looked at the cars while playing and thought they looked just average. Still, those weather and lighting effects, both on the cars and the environment, make cruising around Seacrest County a strikingly beautiful ride, even outside of races.

There have been some additions to the roads as well, although nothing that will alter the racing experience. More road signs, arrows and the like are more prevalent around the world, making it feel a bit more realistic when you are flying past. Unfortunately, it is not all great though. The background environments still leave lots to be desired. This will not make much of a difference when you are cruising past at 200 KMs an hour.

However, when you are taking in the environment on slower drives, the lack of environmental assets is really jarring. At times, you would wonder if you were still stuck in 2010’s version of Hot Pursuit. It is a minor issue, for sure, but one to note none-the-less.

Cross-Platform multiplayer fun

Multiplayer in Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is divided and delivered in two ways. The more passive multiplayer mode that tracks times and records is here, just as it was in 2010, and just as it is in all current racing games. The Autolog feature from the original, which tracks the scores and times of your friends for certain events, is back and just as good as ever. Unfortunately, even if your times from 2010 are still live in the original version of the game, things seem to have been wiped clean for this remaster.

While it might be disappointing to not have your original times to brag about with friends,
everyone starts fresh on a new playing field now. In 2010, there was a massive competitive space for this mode and I’ll even admit having fun with friends battling to have our names at the top of the leaderboard. Hopefully that magic will be caught again today!

Players can also take part in cross platform multiplayer modes, the most impressive and fun being the Most Wanted event. Here, a small group of players attempt to evade another group acting as cops. When you factor in the various gadgets at your disposal, outwitting your opponents is tons of fun. It is easily the most lasting part of Hot Pursuit Remastered!

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is a fun socially competitive game with cross-play support 

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is one of the very best in the franchise. The decision by EA and Criterion to remaster this title with DLC, improved lighting, and cross-play makes it one of the most accessible racing games currently available. Whether you played the 2010 original, or will be diving in for the first time, it is a racing game you won’t want to miss.

+ One of the best Need for Speed titles
+ Improved lighting and weather effects
+ Autolog is still featured
+ Cross-Play

– Some lackluster graphical improvements


Gameplay: 3.5/5
Graphics: 3.75/5
Sound: 4/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5

Overall Rating 3.8/5 (76%)

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Jon Scarr
Jon is the Gaming Editor and is based in Toronto. He is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. You can often find Jon streaming the latest games on his YouTube channel. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Threads @4ScarrsGaming and @4Scarrsgaming on Instagram.