Photo source: Electronic Arts.
“Three, six, nine, damn your fine; Move it till you sock it to me one more time; Get low, get low, get low, get low; To the window, to the wall.” Even if you don’t like American rap, it’s impossible not to feel at least a hint of nostalgia for the song quoted here Get low Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, if you played the iconic Need for Speed: Underground, in the main menu of which he played.
On Friday, this iconic seventh installment of the company’s “racing game” series Electronic Arts she turned 20. Although it may seem ugly and clumsy today, it made a huge impression two decades ago.
It plays like Fast and Furious
Beautiful – for those times – graphics, approximately 100 illegal street races taking place at night, with a storyline (for the first time in the series)several dozen cars that could be tuned, the already mentioned soundtrack, which intensified the atmosphere of law-breaking competitions, as well as a good, arcade driving model, which was spiced up by the frequent use of nitro – all this created an excellent mix. You could even get the impression that you were participating in an unreleased part of a film from a then-new series The Fast and the Furious…
Perhaps that’s why the game sold so well. Less than a year after its premiere spread out in the number of 7 million copies, however until 2015 – in as many as 15 million copies (on all platforms i.e. PC, PS2, Xbox, GBA and GCN).
Very good ratings
Although with this installment the Need for Speed series moved quite far from its roots – racing sports cars in exotic corners of the world – fans of virtual “four wheels” were delighted.-
- Suffice it to say that only the version of the game released on Game Boy Advance has an average reviewer’s average below 80/100 on Metacritic.com.
- For the rest – PC, PS2, Xbox and GameCube – it ranges from 82 to 85.
- The situation is similar with the average player ratings aggregated by this website: they are lower than 8/10 only for the GBA and GC versions of the game.
So it’s no surprise that fans remember it NfS: Underground with great sentiment, at the same time EA is very surprised that it “forgot” about the birthday of this production. What is not surprising is the fact that it was placed 11th in our ranking the best racing and rally games, prepared by Darek “DM” Matusiak based on the opinions of the editorial staff and readers of GRYOnline.pl.
- Need for Speed: Underground in the TOP 100 best racing and rally games
For the author of our review Need for Speed Underground was quite a breakthrough:
I was afraid that Need for Speed: Underground will be another boring arcade game, with one evening of fun at most. Right after I sat in front of the monitor behind the wheel of my first car, my fears were dispelled. Of course, there are things that are worth improving (perhaps in the next edition), such as the sound of the engines, a slightly greater variety of available “upgrades” or the introduction of a view from behind the wheel. Another disadvantage is the lack of any damage system that would give the game some realism, but since it is an arcade game by definition, the lack of damage can be tolerated. Currently, there is no such a dynamic and addictive arcade car game on the market. Beautiful graphics combined with great playability create a product that should be in every gamer’s collection. For me, this is a kind of breakthrough that will change this genre forever, raising the bar extremely high…
- Need for Speed: Underground – game review
Is it possible to play today?
Is it possible to play today? NfS: Underground? Yes – a used version of the game can be purchased both on Polish and foreign auction sites. The price ranges from several dozen to over PLN 100 (there are also sales offers for several thousand…).
In digital distribution NfS:U is of course unavailable. Licenses for cars and music that were once purchased by Electronic Arts expired long ago.
Share your memories
I encourage you to share your impressions and memories about Need for Speed: Underground on our forum. You can do it under this message or in a separate thread (below), which was founded by Asia. Selected comments will later be incorporated into this text (we already have some!).
At the time it was something… the first tuning game of its kind, especially right after the movie The Fast and the Furious. Back then, everyone wanted to tweak their Civic or Nissan. Everyone wanted to be like Vin Diesel or Paul Walker, and since it was the first game of this type – I have the impression that most people remember it very well. Adding a great soundtrack to the atmosphere ensured full enjoyment of the game.
After many years of seeing tuning in every game, one returns with nostalgia to the progenitors of this style.
It so happened that I had the opportunity to play first Underground 2 (which I have always adored), only later did I get my hands on the first part. This is probably why the first one didn’t give me such a “wow effect” – somewhere I missed the open world, the ability to drive around the city and admire it. And for its time, it was impressive. Nevertheless, I have fond memories of the time I spent playing the game, it was a really successful production that I returned to many times. The soundtrack is finger-licking, with songs like Element Eighty – Broken PromisesStatic TheOnlyStory of the Year – The Hero Will DrownAndy Hunter – The Wonders of YouLostprophets – Ride or Fuel – Quarter They were on my Winamp playlist for a long time.-