The Need for Speed

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The Need for Speed Box Art
The Need for Speed Splash Screen

The Need for Speed (Full title: Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed) is a 1994 racing computer and video game, developed by Electronic Arts Canada and published by Electronic Arts. It is the first in the Need for Speed series, which would span more than 17 titles to date. The premise of the game involves racing in sport cars, including several exotic models and Japanese imports. The game noted for its attempts in realism, and audio and video commentaries. Electronic Arts teamed up with automotive magazine Road & Track to match vehicle behaviour, including the mimicking of the sounds made by the vehicles' gear control levers.


Release Details

Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: 3DO, DOS, PlayStation, Saturn, Windows
Release Date: 1994 (3DO), 1995 (DOS), 1996 (PS, Saturn, Win)
Rating: ESRB K-A

Special Edition

Released in 1996, a little known edition of The Need for Speed, Special Edition, is sometimes considered the lost episode of Need for Speed, though it wasn't significantly different from the 1995 PC release.

Available only on PC CD-ROM, it contained both a DOS and Windows 95 versions. The Windows 95 version supported DirectX 2 and TCP/IP networking, included 2 bonus tracks and various enhancements in the game engine. This was the last game in the series to support DOS as subsequent releases for the PC only run on Microsoft Windows 95 or above.

Game Modes

Four game modes are offered, two of which can be played 'online' via modem connection. Network play over LAN or Internet is not a direct option.

Head To Head

Race against a single opponent - either AI or a human competitor over a modem connection. Avoid heavy traffic and cops in a race to the finish line.

Single Race

Race against 7 opponents all driving a specific car, or 'The Pack', consisting of 7 random AI cars. Modem play is available. Cops and traffic are nowhere to be seen.

Time Trial

Just you, the track and the clock. No AI or human opponents, no cops and no traffic.


A tournament is essentially a set single race within a given car class. Each track can host a tournament for one specific car class only. Racing is against 7 computer-controlled cars randomly selected from the same class as your own. Modem play vs a human opponent is not available in Tournament mode.

Tournament mode is used to unlock the bonus 'Lost Vegas' track.


Cars included in The Need for Speed are divided into three classes, each representing model within specific performance brackets, such as speed and handling. Cars featured in the game include the following:

Class A

Class B

Class C

The Need for Speed also features a fictional bonus car named the "Warrior PTO E/2" that can only be accessed by entering a cheat code. The car possesses unrealistically high speed and acceleration, sensitive handling, and also produces an unusual horn sound.


The Need for Speed includes seven tracks, one of which (Lost Vegas) is initially locked and must be unlocked by playing through the game. Tracks are in two distinct styles; Road courses are point-to-point affairs divided up rally-style into three separate stages, while Tracks are traditional circuit courses where racing consists of a number of laps.



The Need for Speed Special Edition featured two additional Track courses:

Related Pages

The Need for Speed Cheats

External Links

The Need for Speed Intro Movie

Related pages

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