Need for Speed™ Payback 1.0

Take you video game racing ability to the next level with this vibrant and exciting program

  • Vote:
    4.8 (6)
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  • Version:


  • Works under:

    Windows 8 / Windows 10 / Windows 7 / Windows 10

  • Program license:Free (ads)

Need For Speed Payback follows in the tried and true formula of the Need For Speed franchise, opting for a high octane racing experience that foregoes the simulation model of series like Forza in favor of action-heavy thrills. Fans of movie franchises like the Fast and the Furious will feel right at home here. This arcade racer gives you the option to play as one of three characters, each with their own specialization, and climb your way to the top of the city's street racing community. The story itself is endearingly cheesy, drawing from grindhouse racing films for inspiration, but the real heart is in the gameplay itself.

Anyone who's played a Need For Speed game before, and particularly a game in the Need For Speed Underground sub-series, will have little trouble getting used to the game. The expansive collection of cars available to you cover everything from classic American hot rods to peppy Japanese street racers. It's an impressive selection that pulls from a number of major manufacturers, but slavish authenticity isn't the name of the game here. While you can expect most of the cars to control differently, this isn't a simulation where you have control over every aspect of your car's tuning and you can expect them to drive exactly as they would in real life. Instead, fun takes top priority, and even the heaviest cars twist and turn with a somewhat cartoonish weight. Drifting and sharp turns are an expectation to success, as is jousting with the artificial intelligence you'll be competing with. Given how fun it is to barrel your way through a heat of cars, that's a feature and not a bug.

But much of this is par for the course. The artificial intelligence isn't exactly something to write home about, but it doesn't need to be. The thrill of controlling a recreation of a million dollar sports car is tangible, and Electronics Arts has made sure to provide plenty of incentives to keep playing. A progression system has you earning money from races, and you can spend this currency to soup up your existing car or trade it in for a new ride. The give and take can sometimes be frustrating given the high cost for buying a new car and the ability to turn even your starter car into a force to be reckoned with, but there's no lack of missions to help you accrue wealth. The map is admirably massive and diverse. A rating system is assigned to each mission, so you can have a good understanding of how well equipped you are to tackle the challenge. For fans looking for a new iteration of arcade racing game, the controls in this game are very solid, but it feels like an iterative advance on the Need For Speed formula rather than a revolutionary development.


  • Tons of cars available to be unlocked, each with their own customization options
  • Tight handling and varied controls for each vehicle


  • AI is nothing to write home about
  • Mission progression can sometimes be a slow grind

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