Need for Speed has been entertaining us for almost 30 years now. By this time, we should've had a new entry to the series, but unfortunately, that has been delayed until 2022. So, we're looking back upon the best games in the series and today it's the turn of the missions.
The final mission is always the freshest in your memory when looking back at a game. With that in mind, here are the five best finales in the NFS franchise. Even if the game wasn't good, these are the endings that we enjoyed the most.
#5 - Caleb - Underground 2
Need for Speed: Underground 2 is a classic of the NFS series, so seeing it on here shouldn't come as a surprise. The final boss battle against Caleb is not the best race in the game, but it's a fun one nonetheless. The comic book-style intro fits the setting perfectly, and Caleb is angry.
You then race around Olympic City for around eleven minutes, taking in all the sights of the city you've become so accustomed to. Once you win, you get the outro we all remember from Underground 2!
#4 - Darius - Carbon
Like a lot of the antagonists in the NFS series, Darius is a guy you love to hate. So, finally getting the best of him at the end of Carbon is extremely satisfying. We've spoke before about Carbon didn't have the best boss battles, but this is an exception to the rule.
After grafting for dozens of hours and liberating three districts of Palmont City, this final battle serves as a good conclusion to a solid game. It's the typical race and canyon battle that you need to beat to come out on top, but it's the cutscene after that makes this exchange great.
The look on Darius' face as he realises he's a nobody now is priceless. The Stacked Deck are defeated, and with it, Palmont is yours to do as you wish.
#3 - Breaking the Law - Heat
We won't go into plot details just in case you haven't played this one yet. Heat may not be the best NFS game, but it does have one of the more impressive final missions. You start with a quick race to attract the attention of the cops to an illegal car shipment location.
Once the police have seized the cars, incredibly, the BMW M3 from Most Wanted flies out of the lot and tries to escape. You then have to chase after and total it, no mean feat. After this, we get a cutscene, and a twist we didn't see coming.
Heat ends on a high note, and that gives us a lot of hope for what's to come next year.
#2 - Stage 9 - The Run
A great mission does not make a great game and this is proved by The Run's final race. Stage 9 sees you complete the final leg of your journey from the west to the east coast of the U.S.A. Sam says she'll meet you in Manhattan after the race and that's all the motivation you need.
You start in the winding hills of the Northeast, with the autumnal leaves falling all around you. You need to overtake ten cars before the final, which is far from easy on these slippery country roads. Each part of this mission has unique surroundings, gradually getting more and more urban until you're in the heart of NYC.
If every race was like this and there were more of them, The Run could've been a great NFS game. Sadly though, outside of the first and final missions, there wasn't much to write home about.
#1 - Blacklist #1 & Final chase - Most Wanted (2005)
We've waxed lyrical about how good Need for Speed: Most Wanted was and we'd love to see it remastered one day. At its core, Most Wanted is a tale of revenge and you achieve your redemption in the game's final missions. After climbing the Blacklist throughout the game, you're now in a position to challenge Razor for your old car.
The top member of the Blacklist unsurprisingly puts up a great fight and you have to best him in a five-part dual to ascend to the top. It's a great challenge and when the cutscene plays after, you have won and the game is over, right?
Not quite. After a shocking twist of fate, it turns out your accomplice Mia is actually an undercover cop. Razor is detained, but Mia lets you go before Cross shows up. The player then has to evade a top-level police chase to earn his freedom.
There is nothing like the level of adrenaline you feel when you're being chased by the police in NFS Most Wanted and this is when they're at their strongest. Most Wanted is our favourite ever NFS top spot in our finale list has to go to it as well.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Need for Speed page.