Need for Speed: Payback Review – Wants Notes, Needs Change
Gameplay 2
Quality 3
Experience 1
Value 2

Payback is what you’ll want when you return it to the store

Summary 2.0 Good
Gameplay 0
Quality 0
Experience 0
Value 0
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Summary 0.0 Avoid

Need for Speed: Payback Review – Wants Notes, Needs Change

What is it? The next release in the Need for Speed franchise; Payback is story-driven, open world arcade-styled racer that has you play as a few different characters with different skills as they try and take down a shady organisation РReviewed on Xbox One

Verdict: Poor – Payback has very little to offer despite trying to cram so much into one game.


Despite being a huge fan of many of the games in the franchise, it’s been a while since I’ve played a Need for Speed title and Payback is quite frankly a pretty terrible time to see what the chefs at EA have been cooking of late. Payback falls short in a variety of ways as it attempts to serve up a multi-character revenge story baked into an open world racing experience. In a world of Forza Horizons and Fast and Furious films it feels like everything Need for Speed may have inspired has since driven off and left it eating up the dust.

The story elements and characters in the game are tragically bad with atrocious voice acting at times and unbelievably cringe-worthy writing that will make you want to hide under a blanket (If you don’t believe me, go here). The races, general gameplay experiences and large open world don’t make up for it either thanks to badly handling cars that don’t really feel much like cars at times, a progression system with loot boxes and tired open world activities. I just didn’t have any fun playing the game, and whenever I was playing, I felt like I’d much rather be doing something else. Really, the only thing this game has going for it is that it’s quite pretty to look at, but that’s about it.

So while the game isn’t broken (aside from the loot system that is getting adjustments after a bad response) and I’m sure someone out there will find some value while playing it, I certainly haven’t enjoyed my time with the game at all and would much rather spend my time watching the fairly¬†underrated Need for Speed film one more time instead.

A trip down memory lane? We take a look at the highs and lows of the Need for Speed franchise – Click to read now!

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  • ol school gamer

    As a diehard NFS fan since 3DO Track and Field Present : The Need for Speed. I’ve played every NFS up to The Run except prostreets. i must say payback is more like pay-slap-in-the face. NFS is not about 3 different racer’s,the mob,the House. nor has it ever been about drifting through out the game at night in the rain. Need for speed has never been about fast and the furious wannabe . Just once would Ea go back to drawing board with Ea Canada or re-group Black box studio members re-create Hotpursuit 2 with Frostbyte engine . no autolog,no in-game actors, no online services,no open world maps . bring back Original formula . Select car ,select track : circuit ,drag,drift or exotic location race that was it.
    NFS do Not need to be clones of the Crew,Project cars,Forza,Midnight club,Drive club , GT ,Juiced ,Ridge Racer etc…
    It’s Need for Speed by itself .