Need for Speed: High Stakes

aka: NFS 4, Need for Speed 4, Need for Speed: Brennender Asphalt, Need for Speed: Conduite en état de liberté, Need for Speed: Road Challenge, Over Drivin' IV
Moby ID: 979
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Just like its predecessors Need for Speed: High Stakes is an action racing game with a wide selection of exotic sports cars and many different types of tracks. The trademark Hot Pursuit mode game mode from the first game in the series is still present, where players race opponents on tracks filled with regular traffic and police cars that chase the racers. The classic pursuit mode is extended with two additional modes: Getaway and Time Trap. In Getaway the player needs to shake off the police in a set amount of time, or playing as the police trap a speeder before time runs out. In Time Trap an entire race needs to be completed before time runs out, or as the police all speeders need to be arrested. There are minor differences between the two platforms for this game mode, regarding spike strips, road blocks, and back-up. The latter for instance is unique to the PlayStation version. The Pursuit mode is available in multiplayer as well and players can take different sides or race together.

It is the first game in the series to introduce a Career mode with a set of challenges. Beating these is rewarded with trophies for unlocks, and money to spend on new cars, repairs and upgrades. In the PlayStation version the Career mode is split up into two different sets of challenges: Tournament (required races) and Special Event (optional races). High Stakes in the title refers to races where players bet their cars. In the PC version these are a part of the Career mode when the player owns more than two cars. In the PlayStation version two players can insert their memory cards and race against each other. The winner immediately receives the opponent's car and it is deleted from the loser's memory card right away.

In addition to the new game modes it is also the first game in the series to have a detailed physics models. Damage now affects both the appearance and the performance of the car for the first time.


  • Need for Speed: הדרך לניצחון - Hebrew spelling
  • 极品飞车:孤注一掷 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

209 People (185 developers, 24 thanks) · View all

Tools and Libraries
French Localization/Localization Manager
Translation (France)
Language Testing (France)
Quality Control (France)
French Voices
German Localization (Lead Localization)
German Localization (Translators)
Language Testing (Germany)
[ full credits ]



Average score: 86% (based on 38 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 79 ratings with 4 reviews)

What NFS3: Hot Pursuit should have been

The Good
Career mode, ability to upgrade cars, more tracks (total of nineteen this time), more cars, more hot pursuit, damage model, multiple weather conditions, high-stakes mode (race for ownership of the cars)...

The Bad
Circuit tracks only, night and snow driving too hard, upgrades too simple (just none, level 1, 2, and 3), driving model leaves a lot to be desired, damage model too relaxed (damage doesn't have that much effect on your handling), not enough low-end cars (only 2)

The Bottom Line
NFS: High Stakes has plenty of cars, plenty of tracks, plenty of racing modes, and a full racing career mode. It just needs more detailed upgrades, a more realistic driving model, some non-racing missions (like Gran Tourismo's "driving licenses or Porsche Unleashed's Factory Driver), and some non-circuit tracks to be a true classic. It's nearly perfect as is, and highly recommended for any driving/racing fans.

Windows · by Kasey Chang (4599) · 2000

EXCELLENT!!! Best in the series!

The Good
More cars, more tracks, more of everythng! This is the first NFS to feature transparent car windows, and it has better graphics. Even the Hot Pursuit mode is improved. Even though damage only shapes your car and cracks glass, it is still realistic. Wheels come loose, your car makes popping noises through tailpipes (Missing in NFSPU.), your car not being able to steer well, even landing from jumps can damage your suspension, and when you turn hard in a direction, your suspension will screech on the road... Or you can turn damage off. The techno music is very good, and will help keep you going. The tracks are very good, ranging from a German countryside (Landstrasse) to a Canadian forest reserve (Kindiak Park). Now about the Hot Pursuit mode, you have three ways to play it, such as Classic, Getaway, and Time Trap (I reccomend it!). You can tell that I love to track down speeders in a desert in my specially tuned Chevy Camaro Police Vehicle, or patrolling the German countryside in my Porsche 911 Turbo German Police Vehicle. Oh yes, your Police car paint job and siren varies in every country. Heck, you might even see some Park Rangers in some snow and Canadian tracks! It's that good, There's a carrier mode, which takes you through some circuits, 3 types: Tournament, Knockout, and High Stakes. I'll tell you about High Stakes, it's where you are put against an opponent in a race, and if you win, you'll win your enemy's car (And a trophy.). If you lose, it's the opposite. There's the usual arcade mode and multiplayer mode. Let's go into the bad parts...

The Bad
I am a little dissapointed that the music from NFS3 wasn't carried into High Stakes. Ah well... How do you call a wingman, and your spike strips almost always fails. Some of the later tracks are hard. I think that the cops should be faster, and more aggresive. I'm surprised that the tracks from NFS3 has been impported into High Stakes (Not a real bad thing.). The car's textures could've been a little sharper, but that's okay. I don't like people who makes those super hi-poly cars for the game... That's just about it...

The Bottom Line
This is the best NFS game I have, and this is one of the greatest racing games there is. There's plenty of challenge for everyone, so GET THIS GAME!!! Only losers say this game sucks. I say that this game is great! It'll keep you entertained while EA fixes its mistakes. Thank you and have a nice day!

Windows · by Andrew Taylor (7) · 2003

The premier road racing game on the market today!

The Good
If you like beautiful cars, fine driving machines, NFS: High Stakes will pretty much drive you nuts. Two dozens beautiful top-of-the-line cars and a bunch of great circuits to race them on - what's better than that?

The graphics in NFS are impressive and functional, but what sets this game apart is the racing. Arcade games offer both racing and hot pursuit (from both perspectives) fun, but the game's racuit circuits - which unlock more tracks - are the heart and soul of this game. You'll be racing cars on fabulously detailed tracks until 3 AM in a variety of race modes.

Car handling is highly realistic (take it from me: Start with a slower car) and enemy AI is outstanding. No other road racing game touches it.

The Bad
The menus aren't very intuititive and can be confusing; you can play the game for months and still not remember how to get to some features. In-game, it's pretty much perfect.

The Bottom Line
If you like racing games, you should have NFS: High Stakes.

Windows · by Rick Jones (96) · 2001

[ View all 4 player reviews ]



Depending on which country you are racing in, Police car have different paintings - and even different sirens.

Taco Den

If you go behind the Taco Den on the Redrock Ridge track, you'll hear people burping inside.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 2000 (Issue #188) – Racing Game of the Year

Information also contributed by Erik Niklas


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

PlayStation added by Brolin Empey.

Additional contributors: Cochonou, Rebound Boy, Zovni, Exodia85, formercontrib, Crawly, CaesarZX, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance.

Game added March 6, 2000. Last modified February 25, 2024.