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In the third major installment of Electronic Arts' Arcade racing series, there are several modes of play available. You have the standard race, with one big difference - now there are traffic cops out to ticket you for your excessive speed. Alternatively, you can take your turn with the radar gun and attempt to pull over speeding computer or human racers.

Returning to the flavour of the original Need for Speed, this adds a new Pursuit mode, where you must out run the cops through fast, open area tracks, while also out-lasting the rest of the pack. Another new mode is knockout, where you race through all the tracks, and whoever is last after each race is knocked out. The winner is, of course, the one that lasts the distance. Almost every course in the game has one or more shortcuts.

The cars include Ferrari 550 Maranello, Ferrari 355 F1 Spider, Italdesign Scighera, Lamborghini Diablo SV, Lamborghini Countach, Jaguar XJR-15, Jaguar XK8, Aston Martin DB7, '98 Corvette C5, Mercedes SL600 and the Mercedes CLK GTR.


Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit Windows Why can't I shake this pig?
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit Windows Title/Loading Screen
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit Windows Car Showcase: There's a slide show for every model, this is the most exotic of them all: the Italdesign Scighera
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit Windows Hometown: Woohoo! Look what happened when I rammed my Lamborghini Countach into that cop car!

Promo Images

Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit Magazine Advertisement
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit Magazine Advertisement
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit Other

Alternate Titles

  • "极品飞车III: 闪电追踪" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Over Drivin' III: Hot Pursuit" -- Japanese title
  • "NFS 3" -- Informal title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The cops are back!! And they brought the fun with them!! Zovni (10627) unrated
In a word... stunning. Steve Hall (348) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
This raises racing to a new echelon of excitement. Trixter (9115) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

Critic Reviews

Computer Games Magazine Oct 05, 1998 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Sep 07, 1998 90 out of 100 90
FiringSquad Jan 29, 1999 90 out of 100 90
GameSpot Oct 16, 1998 8.9 out of 10 89
Game Over Online Sep 11, 1998 87 out of 100 87
Gamesmania.de 1998 85 out of 100 85
Power Play Oct, 1998 83 out of 100 83
Gry OnLine Feb 28, 2001 8 out of 10 80
PC Joker Oct, 1998 74 out of 100 74
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Dec, 1998 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60


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Perhaps because Ferrari & Mercedes were concerned about their image, EA wasn't allowed to use their cars in the Hot Pursuit mode. However, there exists a patch/hack on the Internet that changes this and let's you escape the cops in all the Ferrari & Mercedes models.


The tool to create the cars in the game are actually included on the CD. This lead to a huge number of fan-created add-on cars, some with impossible performance levels. Four new cars, made by Electronic Arts, could be downloaded from the official website. These cars are: the Jaguar XKR, the Lister Storm, the Spectre R42 and the Ferrari 456M GT.


  • The Atlantica track has its own Electronic Arts office. If the cops follow in the proximity of that office you will, for example, hear them say: " Unit 15 in pursuit of a yellow Diablo near the EA building, he's doing more than 120!"
  • In the credits section of the options menu you can view a (phony) driver's license with picture and personal info for each of the developers. There are also some 360 degree panorama shots showing several groups of developers.


When you turn on the Best Line option in the driving assist menu, two lines of traffic cones appear, indicating the optimal driving path. During a race the game will not only keep track of the percentage of time you spend between those two lines, but also the number of traffic cones hit.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 1999 (Issue #177) – Best Driving Game of the Year
Information also contributed by Roedie

Related Web Sites

  • Game Audio Player (Game Audio Player can rip the music out of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, as well as many other CD-based games where the music data is compressed and stored on the CD.)
  • NFS3 Strategy Guide (The ONLY Strategy Guide for NFS3 out there, covers cars, shortcuts on each track, and more!)
  • Wikipedia: Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit (Information about Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit at Wikipedia)
Aquaman (57) added Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit (Windows) on Dec 31, 1999
Other platforms contributed by Kartanym (12706)