When it comes down to high profile racing games from the early 00’s it’s almost impossible to have a conversation about that topic without discussing Need For Speed: Underground from 2003. Need For Speed: Underground was developed by EA Black Box and published by EA Games and was released for multiple systems including PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox and was considered to be one of the best racing video games of ’03. Need For Speed: Underground has a variety of offline game modes including Drifting, Circuit, Knockout, Sprint along with Drag Racing which added to its overall replay value. The car customization mechanic was also something that was praised by many fans and critics as well. While Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 from ’02 was praised by critics NFS: Underground had more game modes opposed to players simply trying to evade the police which made for a worthy successor. However, despite how popular Need For Speed: Underground became many would argue that its sequel NFS: Underground 2 was the best entry in the series as it pertains to the 00’s. Need For Speed: Underground was one of the few high profile racing games that stood out within the 00’s decade along with the likes of Race Driver: Grid, Project Gotham and Forza Motorsport all can with Midnight Club II & III.
The visuals for Need For Speed: Underground looked good for its time and the gameplay seemed balanced especially since a player’s performance depended on how they customized their cars prior to races. Even though, Need For Speed: Underground came out in ’03 some might argue that the game deserved to be remastered between the late 00’s-early 10’s time period for either the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360; seeing how popular the series had become especially during the mid 00’s onwards. Need For Speed: Underground was not quite as popular as NFS: Most Wanted from ’05 but then again it was the first installment within the series to include a storyline within its Career Mode which was groundbreaking at the time. There were stages in the game that looked very impressive considering the fact that they mirrored real-life cities such as: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in terms of looks. Need For Speed: Underground was a memorable racing classic from the 00’s; despite not being the most popular game within the series it was still highly successful reaching at least 7 million in sales by ’04.