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The player's goal in Need for Speed: SHIFT is to take part in the Need for Speed World Tour and become the ultimate champion. As opposed to its predecessors, this doesn't mean racing around an open-world city with pimped cars. Instead the game is more similar to GRID with races taking place on closed city circuits or even famous race tracks like the Circuit de Spa-Franchorchamps.

At the beginning of the game, the player drives a test-round as well as a race. During this tutorial the game evaluates the player's skill and changes the realism settings accordingly ranging from the usual arcade-style controls with many driving aids to an almost realistic simulation-like driving model. Then the main game begins where the player has to successfully earn stars in order to unlock the next tier and ultimately gain access to the World Tour. Stars are earned by getting on the podium at the end of a race as well as by fulfilling certain objectives on the track. These range from simply gaining a specific amount of points in the race to more challenging objectives like driving a clean lap. Points on the other hand are earned by the player through his driving style and are separated into two groups: Precision and Aggression. While the first group honors clean sectors or driving on the race line, aggression-points are earned by hitting other cars or sliding through curves. Once the player has earned enough points (both categories are summed-up at the end of an event, he gains a level and by doing so unlocks new upgrades for his car, get's a big money bonus or receives an invite to a special race event. To keep the player even more motivated, tons of badges are waiting to be earned which are in part also the same as the available achievements/trophies. Again actions like performing 25 overtakes or winning three consecutive races are needed to earn a minor badge. If he keeps his streak up or has earned all the minor badges in one category, he earns additional badges ranging from bronze to epic.

The available events include normal races in various variations, a time attack mode, a car attack in which the player needs to be either five seconds in front of his opponent or get 1st place in order to win and drift events. The car park includes many licensed cars from normal middle to high class vehicles to high-powered racing cars which can all be bought through the money earned by winning races or leveling up. In addition the look of the car can be changed by unlocking new vinyls. Also available are extensive upgrade and tuning options allowing the player to change every detail on his car down to the tire pressure.


Need for Speed: Shift Windows Loading Screen
Need for Speed: Shift Windows Changing the look of my car.
Need for Speed: Shift Windows Full speed ahead says the green racing line.
Need for Speed: Shift Windows Front view

Promo Images

Need for Speed: Shift Screenshot
Need for Speed: Shift Magazine Advertisement
Need for Speed: Shift Screenshot
Need for Speed: Shift Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "NFS:S" -- Common abbreviation

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User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Critic Reviews

Gameswelt Windows Sep 15, 2009 87 out of 100 87
Gameswelt Xbox 360 Sep 15, 2009 87 out of 100 87
Gamona PlayStation 3 Sep 15, 2009 86 out of 100 86
Gamona Windows Sep 15, 2009 86 out of 100 86
Worth Playing PlayStation 3 Sep 27, 2009 8.5 out of 10 85
GBase - The Gamer's Base Xbox 360 Sep 26, 2009 8.5 out of 10 85 Xbox 360 Sep 20, 2009 82 out of 100 82 Xbox 360 Oct 21, 2009 75 out of 100 75
Gamestyle Xbox 360 Sep 22, 2009 7 out of 10 70
Giant Bomb Xbox 360 Sep 15, 2009 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60


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1001 Video Games

Need for Speed: Shift appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


  • 4Players
    • 2009 – #3 Best Racing Game of the Year
  • Cheat Code Central
    • 2009 - Best Racing Game (Cody Awards)
  • GameStar Magazine
    • February 5, 2009 - received the trophy "Best PC Sports/Racing Game in 2009" (Readers' vote)("GameStar/GamePro Leserpreis 2009" event)
  • Gamespy
    • 2009 - received The Dramamine Award (Game of the Year Awards)
  • IGN
    • 2009 - Best PS3 Racing Game (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best PS3 Racing Game (Readers' Choice)
Information also contributed by Patrick Bregger

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Contributed to by Sicarius (61574)