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For the 2005 Black Box release, see Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) is the 19th title in Electronic Arts' Need for Speed series and was developed by Criterion Games.

The title is a re-imagining of the original Need for Speed: Most Wanted released in 2005, except it is designed from Criterion's perspective of the original title. It runs on a modified version of Criterion's Chameleon game engine[1].


The game takes place within the city of Fairhaven and features an upgraded Autolog 2.0 leaderboard system. Players will be able to compete against each other in both single player and multiplayer playlist events.

Criterion Games' re-imagining of Need for Speed: Most Wanted focuses on gameplay and the player's progression to become the Most Wanted on their Speedwall, although the Blacklist (renamed to "Most Wanted List") returns with ten rivals.[2]. This is a big contrast to the 2005 Most Wanted title, which featured a story.

Unlike Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010), it is no longer possible to play as the police. Drifting plays a less dominant role than before.[3]

Players are awarded Speed Points (SP) upon completing events, performing stunts and beating a friend's Autolog record. Players will need to continue earning Speed Points in order to become the Most Wanted racer. Vehicles are also upgradable with performance modifications.[4]

Autolog 2


Main article: Fairhaven City

Fairhaven City is an open-world environment that is completely open from the beginning.

The city features a plethora of Speed Cameras, Security Gates, and Billboards, which reward players with Speed Points. Billboards feature logos of EA's subsidiaries such as Visceral Games, DICE and BioWare. Smashed Billboards portray a wanted poster with a mugshot of the player that set the largest Jump Distance record through that billboard.

The city features a series of Repair Shops that the player can pass through to repair their vehicle, change paint colour and refill Nitrous all at once.

Players are able to earn vehicles by finding Jack Spots scattered throughout the city.




Co-Driver is a co-op mode that is only available in the Wii U release of Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012). It allows a second player that plays on a Wii U gamepad to utilise a fully interactive map of the title's setting. They can support the first player by adjusting the time and traffic density, distract police vehicles, and manage their performance modifications.

Licence Plate

Most Wanted (2012) gives players the ability to customise the text of the licence plate through either the Driver Details menu in single player or EasyDrive in multiplayer.

They can also unlock alternative licence plate designs in Multiplayer. These designs do not show up on the vehicle the player is driving but will appear as part of the player's profile.



Racer Vehicles

Police Vehicles

Limited Edition

The Limited Edition of Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) became available for pre-order on June 4, 2012 after it was officially announced at EA's E3 press conference.

The Limited Edition features;

  • 2 Incredible Cars - Early access to the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale and Porsche 911 Carrera S.
  • Custom Livery - A stunning satin black custom livery available only through pre-order.
  • 4 Hours Double Speed Points (SP) - Unlock four-hours double SP to rank up and unlock rewards faster.
  • Multiplayer Modifications - Mods for better acceleration or stronger armour.

Pre-ordered copies were avaliable with either the Power Pack, Speed Pack or Strike Pack. Each of these packs is featured with a car that is painted in a exclusive Satin Black livery and upgraded with modifications.

  • Power Pack - Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
    • Mods: Reinforced Chassis and Powershot Nitrous for increased durability.
  • Speed Pack - Caterham Superlight R500
    • Mods: Lightweight Chassis and Track Tyres for improved handling and top speed.
  • Strike Pack - Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series
    • Mods: Powertrain mods and Re-inflating Tyres for improved acceleration and durability.

Downloadable Content

The game features four downloadable content packs that contain additional features ranging from vehicles to a map extension.

PC System Requirements

Component Minimum Specifications Recommended Specifications
Operating System Windows Vista (Service Pack 1) 32-bit Windows 7 64-bit
Processor (AMD) Althon X2 2.7 GHz Quad-core CPU
Processor (Intel) Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz Quad-core CPU
Hard Drive 20GB
Graphics Card (ATi) DirectX 10.1 with 512 MB RAM
(ATi Radeon 3870)
DirectX 11 with 1024 MB RAM
(ATi Radeon 6950)
Graphics Card (Nvidia) DirectX 10.0 with 512 MB RAM
(Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT)
DirectX 11 with 1024 MB RAM
(Nvidia GeForce GTX 560)
Sound Card DirectX Compatable
Keyboard and Mouse
DVD Rom Drive

Patch History

Easter Eggs

A number of easter eggs can be seen in the E3 reveal trailer and the E3 gameplay trailer.

  • A sign can be seen in the E3 reveal trailer advertising loans from a company known as "New Rockport Loans in 1 Minute."
  • The Porsche 911 Carrera S (991) can be seen fitted with a Burnout licence plate. Burnout is Criterion Games' own award winning IP.
  • The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor can be seen fitted with a 11-11-05 licence plate. November 11, 2005 is the European release of the original Need for Speed: Most Wanted for the Nintendo DS.
  • The Dodge Charger SRT-8 Police Interceptor can be seen fitted with a 08-31-94 licence plate. August 31, 1994 is the North American release of The Need for Speed on the 3DO.
  • The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 and the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor can be seen fitted with a 11-15-05 licence plate. November 15, 2005 is the North American release of the original Need for Speed: Most Wanted for PC, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance.
  • The Dodge Challenger SRT-8 can be seen fitted with a 11-17-03 licence plate. November 17, 2003 is the North American release of Need for Speed: Underground for PC, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox.
  • The E3 gameplay trailer featured the driver names; Elizabeth, Harry, Kate, William, and Philip. All of the names relate to members of the British Royal Family and were utilised as the E3 conference coincided with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The E3 Speedwall Walkthrough featured the player name "Seacrest". It is a reference to Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)'s open world location Seacrest County.
  • The Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series seen in Gameplay Trailer #3 can be heard playing Vanesa Tate's remix of the Burnout Series theme song featured in Burnout CRASH!.


  • The BMW M3 GTR GT and Ford GT are the only cars to be included in both Need for Speed: Most Wanted titles.
  • The vehicles in Jack Spots play songs featured in the soundtrack from Burnout CRASH!