Need for Speed Payback

Need for Speed Payback is a racing video game developed by Ghost Games and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the twenty-third installment in the Need for Speed series. The game was revealed with a trailer released on June 2, 2017 and released worldwide on November 10, 2017,[1] to mixed reviews from critics. The game was followed up by Need for Speed Heat, which was developer Ghost Games' last Need for Speed title as lead developer.

Need for Speed Payback
Need for Speed Payback standard edition cover art.jpg
Cover art featuring a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R V·Spec, BMW M5 and Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe 265 V8 escaping from the police.
Developer(s)Ghost Games[a]
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Director(s)William Ho
  • Jeremy Chubb
  • Patrick Honnoraty
  • Johan Peitz
  • John Wikberg
Designer(s)Riley Cooper
Artist(s)Abdul Khaliq
  • Daniel Roy
  • Zack Betka
  • Ben Blumenthal
  • Mikael Hedberg
Composer(s)Joseph Trapanese
SeriesNeed for Speed
EngineFrostbite 3
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
ReleaseNovember 10, 2017
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer


Need for Speed Payback is a racing game set in an open world environment of Fortune Valley; a fictional version of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is focused on "action driving" and has three playable characters (each with different sets of skills) working together to pull off action movie-like sequences. In contrast with the previous game, it also features a 24-hour day-night cycle.[2] Unlike the 2015 Need for Speed reboot, Payback includes an offline single-player mode.[3]

Payback features a total of 74 vehicles with downloadable contents. Toyota, Scion and Ferrari are not involved in the game due to licensing issues. However, the Subaru BRZ appears in the game.[4] Aston Martin, Audi, Buick, Jaguar, Koenigsegg, Land Rover, Mercury, Pagani, and Plymouth make their return after their absence from the 2015 installment, while Alfa Romeo, Infiniti, Mini and Pontiac were added via downloadable content.


Tyler "Ty" Morgan (Jack Derges), Sean "Mac" McAlister (David Ajala), Jessica "Jess" Miller (Jessica Madsen) and mechanic Ravindra "Rav" Chaudhry (Ramon Tikaram) are part of a crew in Silver Rock, Fortune Valley. Fixer Lina Navarro (Dominique Tipper) tasks them with stealing a precious Koenigsegg Regera belonging to Marcus "The Gambler" Weir. However, as Tyler arrives at the drop point, he finds Rav knocked out. Lina appears, revealing that she set up Tyler and his crew to take the fall for the stolen car and she drives away, leaving them at the mercy of the oncoming police force. Upon learning that Lina betrayed both of them, Weir protects Tyler from being arrested, planning their revenge.

Six months later, Tyler spots Lina threatening Weir to hand over the casino to The House, a cartel who controls Fortune Valley's underworld. Frustrated at the lack of progress, he decides to take matters into his own hands. Contacting The House as a racer, he enters a race and wins it, despite Lina having rigged the race for profit. Weir proposes Tyler a way to take down The House and Lina along with it. Tyler is to enter and win "The Outlaw's Rush", a massive street racing event that has the nation's top racers participating, which The House plans to rig for their own ends. Tyler reassembles his old crew and they successfully defeat all rivaling racing leagues and are thus allowed to enter "The Outlaw's Rush". Simultaneously, Jess infiltrates the House and learns of their plans to take over the entire city.

At "The Outlaw's Rush", Tyler manages to win both the street and the offroad event with the help of all the race crews they allied with during the game, and in the end, defeats Navarro herself. Thus, Navarro and "The Collector" are defeated and the House's hold over Silver Rock is broken.

In a post-credits scene, Mr. Kobashi, a customer whom Jess had driven, calls Weir and tells him his gamble worked, and that "The Collector" is finished. He welcomes Weir to Arkwright, the true power behind the House.


In January 2016, Ghost Games began development on the next Need for Speed game to be released in 2017.[5] Electronic Arts later confirmed in their January 2017 earnings call that the next game in the franchise was in development and set to be launched during EA's fiscal year 2018 (Comprising from April 2017 to March 2018).[6]


Need for Speed Payback received "mixed or average" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[8][9][7]

Luke Reilly of IGN praised Electronic Arts for repairing the problems of the game's predecessor, Need for Speed, but criticized its "scripted" story, lack of police chases during free roam, scripted police chases, loot box-like mechanisms during customization, poor car handling, unrealistic car damage and several other issues.[13] PC World criticized the game for being full of microtransactions, the severely limited customizability of cars, gameplay mechanics, a lack of cockpit view and several more issues, and compared it harshly to the Forza Horizon series.[15]

According to The NPD Group, Payback was the eighth best-selling title in the United States in November 2017.[16]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2017 Game Critics Awards Best Racing Game Nominated [17]
Gamescom 2017 Best Racing Game Nominated [18]
2018 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards Song Collection Nominated [19]



  1. ^ Additional work done by Lucid Games.


  1. ^ McCormick, Rich (June 2, 2017). "EA's new Need for Speed: Payback looks very fast and fairly furious". The Verge. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Reilly, Luke (June 2, 2017). "Need For Speed Payback Looks Faster, More Furious". IGN. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  3. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (May 10, 2017). "The New Need for Speed Lets You Play Single-Player Offline". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  4. ^ "Toyota's absence from the game was confirmed on Reddit".
  5. ^ "New Need For Speed Officially Announced With First Trailer And Screens". GameSpot. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  6. ^ EA Confirms New Need for Speed Will Be Out in Next Fiscal Year - IGN, retrieved 2021-02-10
  7. ^ a b "Need for Speed Payback for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Need for Speed Payback for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Need for Speed Payback for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  10. ^ Carsillo, Ray (November 7, 2017). "Need for Speed Payback review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM Media, LLC. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  11. ^ Wakeling, Richard (November 6, 2017). "Need for Speed Payback Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  12. ^ Loveridge, Sam (November 7, 2017). "Need for Speed Payback review: "Silly, over the top and a little bit self-indulgent, but in a fantastic action movie way."". GamesRadar. Future plc. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Reilly, Luke (November 6, 2017). "Need for Speed Payback Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  14. ^ Good, Owen S. (November 11, 2017). "Need for Speed Payback review". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  15. ^ Dingman, Hayden (November 10, 2017). "Need for Speed: Payback review: Pouring loot boxes on a tire fire". PC World. International Data Group. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  16. ^ Makuch, Eddie (December 14, 2017). "Top 20 Best-Selling Games In The US For November 2017". GameSpot. CBS Interactive.
  17. ^ "Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2017 (2017 Nominees)". Game Critics Awards. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  18. ^ Khan, Zubi (August 21, 2017). "Gamescom 2017 Award Nominees". CGM. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  19. ^ "Nominee List for 2017". Archived from the original on 2018-02-15. Retrieved 2018-02-19.

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