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Need for Speed is one of the best and well-embraced racing games of all time. It gives you that adrenaline rush of how it is to be in front of a wheel, driving at a high speed while dodging other cars along the way. Coming from a very successful line, this PSP version falls quite short when compared to its console counterpart but still remains to be relatively better when compared with other portable racing games.

The PSP version still has that arcade feel to it, but minus the customization part this time. The only thing you could alter or change in your car is its color. Thus, all you have to do is just race, beat your competitors, and eventually try to win the race. Maybe they took into consideration the fact that most PSP players just focus on actually playing the game rather than making all those adjustments.

Without all those adjustments or upgrades available for your car, what is there to look forward to after each race then? Luckily, you get to drive different cars; a selection so wide, there are just enough cars to choose from to suit different types of players. But don’t get too keyed up just yet. You just can’t choose which car to drive from at the start. You still have to earn them by unlocking each one whenever you finish a race or when you beat other players in a game.

The game also loses the ability for the player to manually change gears. Instead, cars are set to automatic, taking away the thrill of how it is to actually change gears. Some may think it’s cool but many are of the opinion that it’s a total bust since you are just left with simply stepping on the gas and waiting until it actually climbs up speed. Since it automatically changes gear, it frequently fails to do so and you just notice that the car you’re driving is running low on revs.

The graphics aren’t that bad. There are some places indicating well-thought of locations; others are just downright dull and simply boring. In addition, when you make your way to the city, it doesn’t feel and look as though it is a city. For example, there aren’t much people you could see. And if you could spot a couple, they look kind of weird and just seem to just blend in the crowd instead of popping out.

Its audio however rivals those of its counterparts. Sound effects are placed just right and quite accurately at that. The screeching of the wheels, the changing of the gears, as well as the crashes, all of them sound pretty close to the real thing. The soundtrack of the game is also a good one. It offers you a wide variety of music unlike other racing games that only offer a couple at most, which can get pretty annoying with its repetitious playing.

The PSP version might not be the best among the Need for Speed games; but at least in this game you get to live the experience of driving the best cars in the world, in places you’ve never been to before.