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For other games in the Hot Pursuit subseries, see - Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is the sixth title in the Need for Speed series and a sequel to Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, which also has a large focus on pursuits.

EA Black Box developed the PlayStation 2 release of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 whilst EA Seattle developed the PC, Xbox, and GameCube releases. The PlayStation 2 release offers significantly more game features compared to other releases.

It first released on October 1, 2002 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube with an October 21, 2002 release for PC. In France, the game is titled as Need for Speed: Poursuite Infernale 2.

A reboot to both the original Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 was made by Criterion Games titled Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010).


Consisting of arcade-style races and police pursuits, players drive against other racers or try to avoid the police in pursuits.


Police tactics include roadblocks, use of spike strips, and a helicopter that can drop spike strips and fire missiles, with the PlayStation 2 release giving the helicopter the capability to drop explosive barrels onto racers.

Players can be busted after being caught three times in EA Black Box's release, although being caught one single time in EA Seattle's release leads to being busted.

Career Event Trees

Events in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 are sorted into two distinct Event Trees that include various types of competitions, in which players can participate to earn points, and unlock vehicles or courses.

Hot Pursuit

In the Hot Pursuit event tree, also named Ultimate Racer in the PlayStation 2 release, players compete in a series of events whilst being chased by the police force, also having the opportunity to play as a cop.


In the Championship event tree, players compete in a series of events in which pursuits don’t take place.

Single Race

Main article: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2/Single Race
  • Challenge - Races that have been customised by the player.
  • Be The Cop (You're the Cop in the PlayStation 2 release) - Players take the role of police officers and bust racers. Players can also call for a set amount of backup, roadblocks, and helicopter. Pursuit vehicles also has a boost feature in the PlayStation 2 release.
  • Quick Race - Players will be instantly spawned to a randomly created race.
  • Multiplayer - The PC release allows for online multiplayer, whilst console releases offer split-screen.

Race Modes

All-Out Police Pursuit
  • Circuit - Racers compete against each other with the first racer completing the set number of laps first being declared the winner.
  • Knockout - A series of various races with the racer that finishes in last position being eliminated.
  • Lap Knockout - A circuit race variation in which the racer that finishes in last position each lap is eliminated.
  • Point to Point - Racers compete with each other along a set route from one point to another.
  • Time Trial - The player needs to beat a set time record along a certain course.
  • Tournament - A series of races in which players will receive points depending on their finishing position in each race. The racer with the highest score is declared the winner of the tournament.

During pursuits, a pursuit indicator is shown with a horizontal bar count down timer, which disappears if the police call off a pursuit, and a series of stars indicating the police response level for a pursuit.

Car List


Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 car list consists of various European sports and supercars, alongside some American cars, and a pair of Australian cars. Bonus NFS Editions, as well as police variants of some vehicles, are also featured.


Courses are located in differing environments based on North American, Polynesian, and Mediterranean themes.

Each environment features one Sprint course and two Circuit courses, and event parameters can be altered before a race such as laps, with an additional weather option in the PlayStation 2 release.

  • Alpine
  • Mediterranean
  • Tropical
  • Woodland
  • Desert (PlayStation 2)


Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is the first game in the series to make extensive use of licenced music. All vocal songs are featured alongside instrumental remixes, which can be heard during pursuits.

In the PlayStation 2 and Xbox releases, players can choose songs for a playlist in EA Trax.

Special Releases

Need for Speed (Arcade)

NFSArcade Boxart.jpg

EA Seattle's release of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 was reformatted into an arcade title by Global VR and released as Need for Speed in 2003.

Need for Speed: GT

NFSGT Boxart.jpg
Main article: Need for Speed: GT

An updated release of Global VR's Need for Speed (Arcade) was made available in 2004 and titled Need for Speed: GT.

Title Differences

The PlayStation 2 release was developed by Black Box Games. As EA Seattle developed the PC rendition, they came up with differing graphic engines, and Electronic Arts tasked its Seattle studio with Xbox and GameCube ports of their game, giving more room for late additions to Black Box's PlayStation 2 rendition, such as new courses[1].


  • It is the first game in the series to be released on the sixth console generation.
  • With the exception of the last two Ultimate Racer and Championship events of the PlayStation 2 release, it is the first game in the series to not include a cockpit camera.

Box Art



  1. Article: (2002) Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. Available at: