Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed is a racing video game developed by Pioneer Productions, a team within EA Canada, and published by Electronic Arts.

It was the first official game in the long-running Need for Speed series.

It was released in 1994 for the Panasonic 3DO, in 1995 for Microsoft DOS, and finally in 1996 for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn.


The gameplay of Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed follows a realistic premise. Road & Track magazine has provided EA with real data about the cars featured in the final game.

Each car has a different style of handling, performance, sounds, and braking. The realistic gameplay is found to be simple for new players to pick up and play without much frustration at the start of play. Plus, each car can be driven in cockpit view.

The 3DO release features full motion video sequences with a driver named X-Man, played by the late Brenan Baird, where he will judge the player's driving depending on their performance during an event.

Game Modes

There are four different types of races in the game. Police and traffic only appear in Head To Head mode. The 3DO release only includes Head To Head and Time Trial.

  • Head To Head - A duel between two racers in a Point A to Point B track. This is the only mode that features traffic cars and cops (when open road course is selected).
  • Single Race - Players compete with up to seven opponents on either circuit or sprint tracks. In this mode players can select the number of opponents, laps, etc.
  • Time Trial - Players must beat a set time record in a track to win.
  • Tournament - The player has to collect as many points as possible to succeed in a series of tracks. The player earns higher points by finishing closer to the pole position at the end of a race.

No car in the title can drive off-road as the title uses blocking volumes to keep players on the track. This also prevents players from cheating by taking shortcuts in events.

Racers can be arrested by police on open road tracks. If a racer gets caught, then they'll receive a ticket. When a racer receives three tickets (two tickets in the Sega Saturn release), they are arrested.

Racers can also be totaled in the 3DO release. The player has three or four cars depending on their ability to drive, and once all cars have been totaled, the race ends.


Cars included in Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed are divided into three classes with each representing different performance brackets such as speed and handling. It is impossible to modify the cars in any way.

Players can also access a Showcase Mode for each car. There it is possible to check general, historical, mechanical, and performance information as well as a slideshow and short presentation video regarding the vehicle. The information screens are all commented by an announcer.

Image Stats
Class C
Horsepower: 270 BHP
0-60 mph: 5.8 sec.
Top Speed: 168 mph
Lateral Accel: 0.87g
TNFS CorvetteZR1 3DO
Horsepower: 405 BHP
0-60 mph: 5.2 sec.
Top Speed: 178 mph
Lateral Accel: 0.91g
TNFS DodgeViper 3DO
Horsepower: 400 BHP
0-60 mph: 4.8 sec.
Top Speed: 160 mph
Lateral Accel: 0.96g
TNFS Ferrari512TR 3DO
Class A
Horsepower: 421 BHP
0-60 mph: 4.7 sec.
Top Speed: est 192 mph
Lateral Accel: 0.94g
TNFS LamborghiniDiablo 3DO
Horsepower: 492 BHP
0-60 mph: 4.7 sec.
Top Speed: est 202 mph
Lateral Accel: 0.87g
Class C
Horsepower: 255 BHP
0-60 mph: 5.5 sec.
Top Speed: est 158 mph
Lateral Accel: 0.94g
TNFS Porsche911 3DO
Horsepower: 270 BHP
0-60 mph: 5.2 sec.
Top Speed: est 168 mph
Lateral Accel: 0.91g
TNFS ToyotaSupra 3DO
Horsepower: 320 BHP
0-60 mph: 5.0 sec.
Top Speed: est 155 mph
Lateral Accel: 0.98g
TNFS Warrior PTO E2
Win the tournament event
Horsepower: 835 BHP
0-60 mph: 3.2 sec.
Top Speed: est 269 mph
Lateral Accel: 2.4g

Traffic Cars

Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed features licenced traffic vehicles.


  • City
  • Coastal
  • Alpine
  • Rusty Springs Raceway
  • Autumn Valley Speedway
  • Vertigo Ridge
  • Lost Vegas (Bonus)
  • Burnt Sienna (SE Release)
  • Transtropolis (SE Release)


System Requirements


Sound Dolby Surround
Input Devices Controller Pad, FlightStick Pro
Players 1


Minimum Requirements
OS DOS 5.0
sCPU Intel 80486DX2 @ 66 Mhz
Drive 2X CD-ROM
Video Modes SuperVGA, VESA, VGA
Sound Devices Ensoniq Soundscape, Gravis Ultrasound / ACE, Gravis Ultrasound MAX, Microsoft Sound System, Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster 16, Sound Blaster AWE32, Sound Blaster Pro
Input Joystick (Analog), Keyboard, Mouse, Steering/Driving Wheel
Online Modem, Null-modem cable

Special Releases

Need for Speed: Special Edition

A Special Edition of Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed was released in 1996 which included additional content missing from the original PC release.

Road & Track Presents: Over Drivin' DX

A localised release of Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed in 1996 was made available for PlayStation in Japan, and features all of the same content as the original release but with a Japanese language option.

Nissan Presents: Over Drivin' GT-R

A localised release of Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed in 1996 was made available for Sega Saturn in Japan, and features only Nissan cars.

Nissan Presents: Over Drivin' Skyline Memorial

A localised re-release of Over Drivin' DX in 1997 was made available for PlayStation in Japan following the Sega Saturn release, and features only Nissan Skyline models.


Box Art

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