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The Need for Speed
Box artwork for The Need for Speed.
Developer(s)Pioneer Productions, EA Canada, EA Seattle
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts, Electronic Arts Victor
Release date(s)
3DO Interactive Multiplayer icon.png 3DO Interactive Multiplayer
MS-DOS icon.png MS-DOS
PlayStation icon.png PlayStation
Skyline Memorial
Sega Saturn icon.png Sega Saturn
Windows icon.png Windows
Special Edition
Genre(s)Semi-Realistic Racing
System(s)3DO Interactive Multiplayer, MS-DOS, Windows, PlayStation, Sega Saturn
ModesSingle player, Multiplayer
ELSPA: ELSPA rating Ages 3+
ESRB: ESRB E.png Everyone
ESRB: ESRB KA.png Kids to Adults
Followed byNeed for Speed II
SeriesNeed for Speed
TwitchThe Need for Speed Channel
This is the first game in the Need for Speed series. For other games in the series see the Need for Speed category.

Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed (also known as The Need for Speed), released in Japan as Road & Track Presents: Over Drivin' (also known as Over Drivin') for the 3DO version, released as Road & Track Presents: Over Drivin' DX (also known as Over Drivin' DX) for the PlayStation version, and released as Nissan Presents: Over Drivin' GT-R (also known as Over Drivin' GT-R) for the Sega Saturn version, is the first game in the Need for Speed series and is the first Need for Speed game from the Classic Era. 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. The game also contained precise vehicle data with spoken commentary, several "magazine style" images of each cars interior and exterior, and even short video clips highlighting the vehicles set to music. There is also a Special Edition of the game for Windows and a Skyline Memorial version of Over Drivin' for the PlayStation.


Original Need for Speed Intro 2/3 (0:34)
One of three introduction clips for The Need for Speed.

The Need for Speed follows a realistic premise. Each car has a different style of handling, performance, sounds, and braking. The realistic gameplay was found to be simple for new players to pick up and play without much frustration at the start of play. Plus each car could be driven in cockpit view. There are four different types of races in the game. Police and traffic only appear in Head to Head mode.

  • Head to Head - A duel between two racers on a Point A to Point B track.
  • Single Race - The player competes with up to seven opponents in either circuit or sprint tracks. In this mode players can select the number of opponents, laps etc.
  • Time Trial - The player must beat a set time record on a track to win.
  • Tournament - The player has to collect as many points as possible to succeed in a series of tracks. The player earns more points the higher he/she's position.

No car in the game can go off-road as the game uses blocking volume to keep players on the track. This also prevents players from cheating by taking shortcuts in events. Racers can be arrested by police on open road tracks. If a racer gets caught he gets a ticket. When a racer receives three tickets (two tickets in the Sega Saturn version) they are arrested.

Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed: Special Edition[edit]

In 1996, Road and Track Presents: The Need for Speed: Special Edition (also known as The Need for Speed: Special Edition and The Need for Speed SE), was only released on PC CD-ROM, containing DOS and Windows 95 versions. The Windows 95 version supports DirectX 2 and IPX networking, and includes two new tracks: "Transtropolis" and "Burnt Sienna" and various enhancements in the game engine. The Need for Speed: Special Edition is the last game in the Need for Speed series to support DOS, as subsequent releases for the PC only run on Microsoft Windows 95 or above. However, it can still be run under Windows XP using DOSbox (x86 DOS emulator).

Over Drivin': Skyline Memorial[edit]

Over Drivin': Skyline Memorial featured only Nissan Skylines from the original Over Drivin' and was released exclusively in Japan for the PlayStation.

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