I bought this game for around 5 bucks and after finishing it I'm not completely, but very disappointed so I give this game a thumb down. Main reason for this: This game has NO replayability and you probably won't even bother to finish it. Reasons see below:
First of all: The races and missions are always depending on luck, I guess. Some races / missions are ridiculously easy, some are nearly unbeatable. Sometimes you flee from the police and you're completing the mission in under a minute and the next day you're failing at a similar mission after ten tries. Especially the high way battles (where you have to stay ahead for x seconds or lead at least for x meters) are unfair beyond belief. Sometimes I thought a race against light itself would be easier.
Mission vary from 'Sprint', 'Curcuits', 'Getaways', 'Cop takeouts', 'Causing costs to state' (boring as hell, since you only gain XP, and no money at all) and some missions, where you always have to get away or take out some other drivers.
The "Speed braker" adds a great deal of fun to it. Which brings me to the fact that, when you hit the wall, you will ALWAYS end up being either stuck exactly when not more than 90° to the wall or completely reserved when you try to accelerate / manouver your way out. It After so many hours and races it happened constantly, so I'm sure the makers thought: "Well, the game is already unfair hard, what else can we do to frustrate a gamer? How about your car gets stuck or completely reserved after hitting a wall in a tiny bend?"
And of course, like in every single racing game: ALL other racers are in one place. Meaning when you're at 1st place and you make just a tiny mistake ALL other racers will overtake you and you're last. And believe me, the other racers in the later races are getting REALLY hard and unfair, like hitting your tail and stuff. And guess what? You always have to be 1st, or you won't get any reward. Why didn't they thought of a 2nd or 3rd place, with at least a part of the money to show some appreciation of the time I spent on that race?
I also missed an "Test drive car" - option before purchasing a car. Wasting a fortune for the Bugatti Veyron (which accelerates like a rocket and steeres harder than a tank with a house on top of it (in which lives a blue whale (who ate ten tons of bricks for breakfast))) is kinda disappointing. Oh and don't expect ANY reward for finishing the game, like all cars, bling bling money, a special car, gimmick, anything else etc - you're not getting anything, except closing credits.
The tuning system is easy to use and minimalistic, except where you can buy a paint job. Worst. Interface. Ever, if you use a controller. I even had to use keyboard plus controller to do a paint job. Well done, makers, really.
The game gets harder and harder, but not in a challenging, but an ultra-unfair way which will drive you effin insane (no pun intended). I played half of the game with the first Muscle Car I got via a Pink Slip, until I could afford an Audi Quattro TT. This went good for a while. After I bought the Zonda from Tier 1 I had absolutely NO chance in a race, because I hadn't enough money to buy also both Power and Handling - "Ultimate" packs for my car, which all of the other cars obviously had. Frustrating, because I had to go back to my already maxed out Audi and finish a dozen races under my current league until I could afford the upgrades.
I also tried to cheat because I nearly smashed my controller through my LCD into the wall. Cheats are absolutely, f-word ridiculous. There is a cheat for 10.000 credits. Nice, eh, typing it in a thousand times and go shopping big time, eh? Nope. It's, like all cheats, a disposable cheat, meaning you only can use it ONCE. Like the game itself. Disposable. So in a game where cars cost about 300.000 credits and not to mention tuning and upgrade packages where you could buy a whole city, 10.000 credits as a disposable cheat ain't just quite cutting the deal. Where they drunk when they made those game plus cheats? No, they were obviously thinking about letting another good franchise going down the drain big time.
Oh, and by the way. How can you tell you're playing NFS? After you've reached your maximum speed of ~350km/h, you're gonna be overtaken. By a flying police jeep of two-and-a-half tons. And all other enemies. Speed's just a number, after all, eh?
So the longtime-fun is found somewhere else, this game has absolutely no value left after a few races or about maybe ten hours. I now own the Zonda with all upgrades and the races got too hard. Just a single minor mistake or getting hit by another driver (who drive like they're in effin Carmageddon) and you can restart all over. I mean, I'm not a pro gamer, either I'm bad at it, I just want a racing game to be fun, race now and then a few circuits, have fun. And not be frustrated more and more AFTER I have the best equipment in the game and finished it already.
Further you get stuck later in the game. I finished the game. Now own the Paganini Zonda, a Lamborghini Gallardo, an Audi Quattro TT, a Porsche GT2 and a few pink slips from other cars (which can't be sold, just be removed. Sense, please?). The latter missions will earn you 25.000 to 35.000 Credits and you will spent it all on cars,upgrades, paint jobs and aftermarket (Spoilers etc). But then, after maybe four, five fully upgraded cars there's no races left (only old ones, which will earn you peanuts of 2.000 Credits each or so), but there are still so many cars and upgrades left to try and buy.
So when all the missions and races are won, you're gonna be stuck with your 5 good, maxed out cars. And you will have to start a new game to drive all the other cars. Where are the times, when finishing a racing game unlocked the complete car list? I'm not willing to start five new games just to see, drive and have all cars in the game.
Here are also some other thoughts:
Menues: The menu is well sorted, tidied up and everything is easy to use, even with a controller. Great!
Intros: Couldn't care less about these annoying things and they are not skipable. Cutscenes are skipable, after you've played the mission once.
Graphics: Graphics are not important in a game. NFS:U is acceptable, there are games with better and worse graphics. For me (I own an older pc) they were just fine and, like said, of no importance.
Story: I couldn't care less about a story in a racing game. I mean, what's the big deal? Car, this is player, player, this is your car. Take the controller, hit the buttons, wipe the floor with your enemies and have fun. Early in the game I muted the volume of "Voice" in the menu to 0, because in one mission I had to chase someone and every two seconds a voice said "Catch on" or "Go faster!", like this wasn't the thing I was doing. Good thing after muting: All cut scenes were muted. So I didn't know what the story was all about but from what I saw the story was more boring, mediocre, filled with not B- but C- and D-movie actors.
Overall: For a small price like 5 bucks it's a great, action packed game to play now and then which will serve a few hours of fun until you experience the things I mentioned in my review.