This was when Need for Speed started out as a franchise that revolved around driving exotics in scenic locations. The Need for Speed (1994)
Main article: The Need for Speed
The original Need for Speed was released for 3DO in 1994 with versions released for the PC (DOS) (1995), PlayStation and Saturn (1996) following shortly afterwards. The Need for Speed and its Special Edition were the only games in the series to support DOS. Subsequent releases for the PC run only within Windows. The first installment of the NFS was one of only two serious attempts by the series to provide a realistic simulation of car handling and physics without arcade elements (the other being Porsche Unleashed). 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 car interior and exterior and even short video-clips highlighting the vehicles set to music. Most cars and tracks are available at the beginning of the game, and the objective is to unlock the remaining locked content by winning tournaments. The first version featured chases by police cars, which remained a popular theme throughout the series - the so-called Hot Pursuit editions (Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed: High Stakes, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Need for Speed: Carbon, Need for Speed: Undercover, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)) and have sold better in the marketplace than intervening versions. The initial version also featured an obnoxious opponent who taunted the player if the computer won the race or the player is arrested (if the player is ticketed several times). Another version of the game, called The Need for Speed: Special Edition, is based on the 1995 PC release of the game, and was released only for PC CD-ROM in 1996. It featured support for DirectX 2 and TCP/IP networking, two new tracks, time of day variations for most tracks (morning, midday and evening), and various enhancements in the game engine. Need for Speed II (1997)
Main article: Need for Speed II
Need for Speed II featured some of the rarest and most exotic vehicles ever available, including the Ford Indigo concept vehicle, and features country-themed tracks from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The PlayStation port of NFS II was the first PlayStation game to take advantage of not only the NeGcon controller, but both the Dual Analog and the DualShock controllers as well. A new racing mode was also introduced in NFS II dubbed Knockout, where the last racers to finish laps will be eliminated until the only leading racer remains, and wins. Foregoing the realism of the first Need for Speed, NFS II provided a more arcade-like gameplay style, while maintaining the intricately designed levels.[verification needed] In addition, track design was more open-ended; players could now "drive" off the asphalt, and even cut across fields to take advantage of shortcuts. The special edition of NFS II, Need for Speed II: Special Edition includes one extra track, extra cars, and support for Glide, the then-burgeoning 3D graphics standard used in 3dfx's Voodoo and Voodoo2 graphics cards. Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit (1998)
Main article: Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit added Hot Pursuit mode, in which the player either attempted to outrun the police or be the cop, arresting speeders. NFS III took advantage of the multimedia capabilities of the CD-ROM by featuring audio commentary, picture slideshows and music videos. This game also is the first in the series to allow the downloading of additional cars from the official website. As a result, modding communities have sprung up to create more vehicles which would otherwise be unavailable to the game. The PC version is also the...