Need for Speed (abbreviation: NFS) is a multiplatform racing video game series with the first game The Need for Speed being released on August 31, 1994.
On October 21, 2009, Electronic Arts announced the franchise had sold over 100 million units, making Need for Speed the most commercially successful racing game series at the time, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted being the best selling game in the series with 16 million copies sold.
Some entries in the Need for Speed series were sold through retail as boxed products with a unique edition alongside its regular boxed counterpart or re-released as a boxed unique special edition that included additional content.
Many games in the Need for Speed series are localised for multiple languages, but some unique localisations are re-releases that include altered content for promotional purposes in the region, are released only for a specific region, or have been edited into a region specific product.
Need for Speed: Top Speed was released on October 1, 2002 as part of America Online's online-only AOL Games' First Play programming initiative. It was used to promote both MacGillivray Freeman's 2002 IMAX film; Top Speed, and the all-new Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
"The Need for Speed" is a quote by Peter "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun, a 1986 action drama film directed by Tony Scott about United States Naval Officers training at the U.S. Navy's Fighter Weapons School. It stars Tom Cruise as Peter "Maverick" Mitchell, and Anthony Edwards as Nick "Goose" Bradshaw, whom share a line of dialogue prior to a training exercise; "I feel the need... the need for speed!"
Early entries in the V-Rally series are often mistaken for being part of the Need for Speed series. They were developed and published by Infogrames, however, Electronic Arts bought the publishing rights to the series for North America and associated it with their Need for Speed brand to make up for the lacking interest for rallying at the time within the United States:
V-Rally, published in Europe by Infogrames for the PlayStation in July 1997 as V-Rally: Championship Edition, was published in North America by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation on November 4, 1997 as Need for Speed: V-Rally.
V-Rally 2, published in Europe by Infogrames for the PlayStation on June 30, 1999 as V-Rally Championship Edition 2, was published in North America by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation on November 16, 1999 as Need for Speed: V-Rally 2, and later published in North America by Infogrames for the Dreamcast on October 18, 2000 as Test Drive V-Rally.