Need for Speed Unbound, the coolest street racing game yet

NFS Unbound is the cool kid on the block.

need for speed unbound characters
Electronic Arts

As a fast racing game franchise centered around illicit street racing, Need for Speed games have always been edgy and cool. 

However NFS Unbound is the coldest entry yet and puts a fresh spin on street racing culture, while coated in distinctive cel-shaded graphics reminiscent of Jet Set Radio. Marking a departure from the realism in past games.

Developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts, the 25th instalment of Need For Speed is your typical high adrenaline affair, which sees players dodging cop cars and incoming traffic, as you blitz straight to the finish line.

Unbound blurs the line between racing, hip hop fashion and street culture, with its emphasis on art and graffiti extending to gameplay. For example in graffiti-style smoke that comes off your wheels when you burn rubber.

nfs unbound customization
Electronic Arts

Welcome to Lakeshore City

Unbound's backdrop is the fictional metropolis of Lakeshore City, which takes its inspiration from Chicago, Illinois USA. The lit up city at night looks amazing and is a hypnotic concrete jungle that never sleeps.

It's also a free-roaming open world which showcases the power of DICE's Frostbite Engine on next gen consoles, as you cruise down streets and use this ignited burg as your own personal playground.

The street racer characters are so fresh, so clean

Lakeshore's grittiness blends smoothly with the equally defiant and stylish young street racers who eat sleep and breathe popular auto culture. 

These characters are more than a blank slate and have their own sense of style, backstories,  personality and personalized vehicles, customized to their liking. You will also spot them driving around Lakeshore as you explore the city.

The racers and their street style are a big part of why NFS Unbound feels so fresh, so clean. Their inclusion has breathed life into a franchise which desires to return to its street racing roots.

Unbound characters feel like a throwback to the charismatic EA Sports BIG personalities found in early 2000s joints like NBA Street and Def Jam's hip-hop fighting game.

need for speed unbound fashion
Electronics Arts


Character customization is another huge addition, with players being able to change their custom avatar's head shape, hairstyle, eye and skin colour, among other things.

You can also choose from a selection of voices, as well as tattoos, makeup and jewellery. Win poses are another thing available which are used for bragging rights after crossing the finish line.

Finally, the option to deck out your character in fresh clothes is a fashionista's wet dream, as players can practically change every detail of their outfit from head to toe.

Electronic Arts has collaborated with several popular clothing brands including Puma and Versace, to endure that players look fresh to death while drifting in the dopest automobiles. 

Unbound also offers rich modification options for cars which alter their appearance and performance. This mainstay feature isn't as extensive as the game's character creator, however tuning fans should still be spoilt rotten.

nfs unbound gameplay
Electronic Arts

A$AP Rocky

Not be confused with Travis Scott, the musician joins a line of rappers who have collaborated with video games. In Need for Speed Unbound, the Harlem rapper gets his own game mode called Takeover scene.

In this co-op mode where players work together to take over Lakeshore City, ASAP Rocky assumes the role of a leader. This cameo marks the first video game Rocky has appeared in.

Not only does the rapper star in EA's game, but his unreleased song "Sh*ttin Me," is also featured on the game's soundtrack.

Need for Speed Unbound will release on 2nd December 2022.

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