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Need for Speed II
Box artwork for Need for Speed II.
Developer(s)EA Seattle, EA Canada
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts, Electronic Arts Victor
Release date(s)
Windows icon.png
Special Edition
PlayStation icon.png
Flag of the European Union.svg May, 1997
Greatest Hits
Genre(s)Arcade Racing
System(s)Windows, PlayStation
Mode(s)Single player, Multiplayer
ESRB: ESRB E.png Everyone
ESRB: ESRB KA.png Kids to Adults
Preceded byThe Need for Speed
Followed byNeed for Speed III: Hot Pursuit
SeriesNeed for Speed
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchNeed for Speed II Channel
YouTube GamingNeed for Speed II Channel

Need for Speed II, released in Japan as Over Drivin' II, is the second game in the Need for Speed series and follows The Need for Speed. It significantly changes from the emphasis of realism in The Need for Speed to arcade-like gameplay, though it also introduces car tuning. As does its predecessor, Need for Speed II features several exotic cars, and includes tracks set in various parts of world. The game also opted to remove police pursuits introduced in the The Need for Speed. There is also a Special Edition for Windows and a Greatest Hits version for the PlayStation.


Need for Speed 2 Intro HQ (2:00)
Need for Speed II introduction sequence.

Need for Speed II can be played in either Single player or Multiplayer mode. The following race types can be played:

  • Knockout - Knockout races are available once the player has completed a tournament. In this mode the player that is in last position after every lap will be eliminated. This goes on until there is only one player left.
  • Single Race - Normal circuit races with a set number of laps.
  • Tournament - A series of races that involves every track in the game, in which players with the most points wins the tournament. The better your position, the more points you earn.

Each of these race types can be customized. Customization of tracks includes physics (Arcade, Simulation, or Wild (SE only)), catch-up mode, driving direction, opponents (Class, skill level, and how many (up to 7)), and a mirrored option of the selected tracks. One thing that is unique about this game is the music, which is directly adapted to the gaming situation.

Need for Speed II: Special Edition[edit]

Need for Speed II: Special Edition, informally called Need for Speed II SE, added seven new cars, one new track, 3dfx Glide support, and a new driving style (Wild). Besides smoothing out the in-game textures, the 3dfx version of the game also features additional visual effects not found in the software version, such as car reflections, weather, fog, shading, improved skybox rendering, and transparent in-game menu overlay featuring a rotating view around the player's car. These visual enhancements are standard in both the software and the hardware accelerated versions of Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed: High Stakes, Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed, and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.

Need for Speed II (Greatest Hits)[edit]

The Greatest Hits version has a green band on the side of the package instead of a black band. Greatest Hits is just a distinction showing that a game has met certain sales criteria within two years of its release for the PlayStation game consoles.

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