Need for Speed™ SHIFT is an award-winning authentic racing game that combines the true driver’s experience with real-world physics, pixel-perfect car models, and a wide range of authentic race tracks. Need for Speed SHIFT takes players in a different direction to create a simulation experience that replicates the true feeling of driving...
User reviews:
Very Positive (23 reviews) - 82% of the 23 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (775 reviews) - 74% of the 775 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 15, 2009

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About This Game

Need for Speed™ SHIFT is an award-winning authentic racing game that combines the true driver’s experience with real-world physics, pixel-perfect car models, and a wide range of authentic race tracks. Need for Speed SHIFT takes players in a different direction to create a simulation experience that replicates the true feeling of driving high-end performance cars.

Players are thrust into the loud, visceral, intense, athletic experience of racing a car on the edge of control from the driver’s perspective through the combination of perception based G-forces, the hyper reality of the cockpit view, and the brutal experience of a first person crash dynamic. Need for Speed SHIFT features an accurate, accessible physics-based driving model that allows you to feel every impact, every change of track surface and every last bit of grip as you push yourself to the edge.

  • True Driver's Experience - A variety of visual cues delivers the true driver’s experience including a three-dimensional HUD that mimics driver head movement, inertia and G-forces. The depth of field also adjusts based on the speed of the car; so when the car is traveling at high speeds the perspective will shift to the distance putting the car/cockpit out of focus.
  • Driver Profile - What kind of driver are you? Driver profile tracks the player’s evolution as a race driver from event to event. This system is made up of a driver’s personality on the track, their success rate and any profile points and badges accrued all of which work together to create a tailor-made career and game play experience. Driver profile is pervasive throughout all modes: career and online.
  • Dynamic Crash Effect - When the player hits a static object or opponent car, the player will feel like they are 'taking damage'. A combination of visual and audio effects will leave the player disoriented and briefly disrupt the race.
  • Total Customization - Need for Speed SHIFT features a comprehensive customization option that lets the player tailor every aspect of the cars performance and styling. Go under the hood to upgrade and tune your vehicle to increase its performance. The visual customization system allows players to personalize both the exterior and trick out the interior to reflect their individual style and preferences.
  • Photo-Realistic Cars and Tracks - Nearly 70 licensed cars are available including the Pagani Zonda F, Audi RS4, and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. There is also over 15 real-world locations like Willow Springs and Laguna Seca as well as fictional circuits like downtown London and Tokyo.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP (Service Pack 3) / Windows Vista (Service Pack 2) / Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.6GHz Intel Core2 or faster/AMD X2 3800+ or faster
    • Memory: (Windows XP) 1 GB RAM; (Windows Vista/Windows 7) 1.5 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Video Card, with support for Pixel Shader 3.0*
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • Controller Support: USB Steering Wheel/Dual Analog Gamepad
    • Online Multiplayer: 512 Kbps or faster; 2-8 players
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (23 reviews)
Mostly Positive (775 reviews)
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316 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
70 of 86 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
52.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2014
An excellent balancing act between arcade racing and simulated driving, with shudderingly fast cars. I'm addicted to it!
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31 of 36 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 9, 2015
A good balance between a racing sim and arcade. Need for Speed Shift is all about racing on a racetrack, and fighting through the pack to place in the Top 3. There is also drift mode, where you score the most combined points in three rounds to win. The driving physics are decent, not too bad, but not great either. There are a good selection of cars that you can own (although it sucks that you can only buy 1 unit of each car) and a range of real world tracks (Nurburgring, Spa, Silverstone, etc.). Those make a pretty good legal racing game.

The annoying thing is cheap AI in car battle mode, especially in Autopolis GP. They can just tackle a tight hairpin (turn 4) at 100+ km/h without understeering... Also, there are some unfair car battle matchups, when 1 car is a lot faster than the other (Audi R8 vs Aston Martin V8 Vantage for example) and no matter how good your driving is, you'll still lose in the slower car (unless you play dirty).

Overall, it is still a good racing game to play if you are looking for a mixture of simulation and arcadey style of racing.
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70 of 102 people (69%) found this review helpful
29 people found this review funny
30.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 17, 2014
daily reminder that matte black paint and bronze rims will make your car ♥♥♥♥♥♥ter no matter what
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38 of 51 people (75%) found this review helpful
175.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 9, 2014
Awesome graphics and visuals, detailed 3D cockpits, a bunch of cars and amazing car and engine sounds.
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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
59.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
+Cockpit view
+AI Drivers
+Racing styles
+Cars selection and customization

-Career without Story

PS: Perfect mix between arcade and simulation game.
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33 of 50 people (66%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2014
This isn't really necessarily a review, but more of a comment between Shift 1 and Shift 2.

I honestly prefer this other than Shift 2 probably because they don't try so hard to be a racing simulator. This game is a mixture of a racing arcade/simulator. Shift 2's racing and flow was just not up to par with this. The racing in this game it actually FEELS really good. The cars look beautiful. The cockpit even more beautiful. If you're not satisfied with a car or part you've just bought you can just SELL it and get every single cent you've put in that car. UNLIKE Shift 2. Oh yeah, that reminds me too, money in this game isn't hard to get. You can get a nice amount each race if you know what you're doing. They even give you cash for custom/free races that you setup yourself. And the fact that you can get a 100% refund for your fully customized car feels good. I don't have to worry about wasting my time putting blood and sweat into a car that I probably can't use 60% of the time due to tiers and specialized events. The engines, transmission, skidding etc all sound amazing in this game.

The customization is pretty in-depth giving you the option to go up a tier if you have all of your tiers vehicle enhancements. Which is AMAZING because you get to bring your favorite vehicle to more races. What saddens me is that the game doesn't have any night races or courses. Well, at least from what I've seen. This game also encourages ramming and playing clean. You get points which gives you bonus money and experience for playing either aggressive or clean. Yeah, pretty ♥♥♥♥ing ironic mainly because in Shift 2 they try to act like the game also encourages ramming with their spectacular Shift 2 announcement trailer. (No really. I really loved Shift 2's trailer. It was amazing.) But really you couldn't do none of that ramming ♥♥♥♥ in Shift 2 without crashing your ♥♥♥ into a guard rail. I'm not a Shift 2 hater at all. I actually do like it and think Slightly Mad Studios did a good job with it. Especially with the head-cam which I wish this game had, but it's just that this game is better in many other aspects and ways than Shift 2. I also like the in-game trailers showing off each type of race event in this game. The music in this game is good ♥♥♥♥ too.

The AI in this game aren't really that hard to handle. I haven't really tried max difficulty to know though. Also the replay camera in this game is INCREDIBLE. It really gets you into the spot when you see yourself in a TV like position racing across the screen. I think this game has the best replay camera for any racing game I've seen.....Well, maybe not better than Assetto Corsa's replay camera. I think it's because the sense of speed on camera is set perfectly to make you feel like you're actually watching someone race. But yeah, overall. The game is totally worth it. You won't regret it. Also, don't think I was talking down Shift 2. I just think this game is just superior to its sequel in many ways.
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32 of 51 people (63%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Physics is very questionable. The cars bounce like low riders for no particular reason. The steering is also very twitchy. I have gone through all the adjustments to try and fix this but it just can't be dialed in quite as good as Codemaster games.

You can say that the AI cheats. Cheating is when you don't play by the rules for the purpose of winning. That is what I noticed. You have to follow a very specific driving line in order for you to make it through a corner. The tighter and faster you go, obviously you would understeer and slam into the wall. Well the AI does not do that. The AI will also swerve left and right while making a tight turn to block you from passing. Then there is the collision system. The AI can slam into you and you are then taken off the road and it would take you quite a while to get back on the road. You would have lost several seconds and would probably cost you the race. Now if you decide to pit the AI cars, it won't have any effect on them. They will not slow down. In fact they would retain the same speed and jump back on track half a second later. It is such bull crap.

I'm not really that bitter since the game only cost me what a nice sandwich would.

If you want realism, stick with Codemaster racing games. This is a minimally decent attempt at simulation. But the Need For Speed series should just stick to arcade style racing.
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21 of 32 people (66%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 27, 2015
A Need for Speed game set on circuits rather than streets.

Need for Speed: Shift is a somewhat okay racing game, aimed mostly at the people who prefer sitting back with a controller just driving some fast cars around fast tracks with all assists turned on. I can imagine it does a pretty good job at that.

But if you jump into it expecting something more, you are in for a big disappointment. I would not even go as far as calling it a mix of an arcade and a simulator, simply because it is a pure arcade which stays true to the Need for Speed name. The game revolves around ramming into each other, the AI is bad and so are the physics, the controls are poor all the way from the menu to the game itself and the unnecessary blurry speed effects and the deep voice-over about how you are a 'totally cool driver now' do not really save this title - only make it feel more cringeworthy.

Now, I am not trying to make it look as bad as possible. The game is all good as an arcade, is nice to look at, there is a lot of cars to pick from and you can even customise them to a certain degree. And obviously, I would be stupid to expect realism from a Need for Speed title. I just do not think it deserves to be promoted as a simulation experience - and it is, as of now, being promoted as a simulation experience.
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35 of 59 people (59%) found this review helpful
78 people found this review funny
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2015
Pros :
-Nice graphics
-Cars are detailed af
-Tons of car choice
-British guy in tutioral and later
-Tries to be a a real racing game but with finally a good handling and succeds

Cons :
-NFS never should have been a real racing game
-NPCs are ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
-♥♥♥♥♥♥ line
-If you alt tab or something puts the game down there, the whole game closes itself

This game is an actual lie, I have a brand new BMW and can't get a girlfriend -1/10
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Recently Posted
Dot Matrix
118.7 hrs
Posted: October 20
To describe this game in one word is that it is TERRIBLE.
And I say this with pain in my heart because this game has a lot going for it but let me explain.
The graphics are awesome and it has nice tracks and cars with cockpits, but it destroys all of this with all kinds of blurring effects and worst of all the collision blur, which causes your vision to impair for 10 seconds by even the slightest contact.
Another problem this game has is that it's unplayable with gamepads, there simply aren't good settings to make steering with a gamepad not feel like your a corddancer who's walking on high heels.
Then there are the AI cars which are very aggressive, personally I don't like that, certainly not with the aforementioned collision blur.
The last straw are the menu's which are awfull to wade through with a gamepad, though they're somewhat passeble by controlling it with a mouse.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lady and the Trump
17.8 hrs
Posted: October 14
Best in-car camera I've ever seen in a racing game. A wide FoV, camera appropriately reacts to inertial forces. You can really feel the weight of the car shift around and better predict corners. The 'black and white blurry' and 'shaky cam' effects also prove to be less of a gimmick and more of an added layer of gameplay depth, really punishing you for being too rough with the car by taking away your ability to see clearly as you're trying to recover from collisions.

Handling model is okay until you try to tweak anything, at which point handling turns to mud; you either have to keep default settings or be prepared to spend a lot of time trying to find a very specific, different combination of car tuning settings that works. It kind of feels as if the assists silently turn themselves back on when you try to tune. They could have done more to differentiate the feel of different cars, too. Still, if you're prepared to ♥♥♥♥ around long enough, you can turn your AWD Lambo in to a hovercraft that spends 90% of every race sideways and still wins.

Track selection is also decent, if a little padded and the soundtrack is inoffensive enough.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
42.0 hrs
Posted: September 25
Almost every car when driving 180+ kph is jumping on the track. Weird. Maybe the problem is in the car setup, but i've never solved it. Graphics are not as good as could be for 2009 game. Otherwise good racing game.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
soc hexum
1.4 hrs
Posted: September 24
Mordern hardware has rendered this game unplayble for me due to the known issue of major stuttering during collisions. Especially bad in a racing game like this in which slamming into other cars and running them off the road is not only neccesary to win some races, but is also rewarded with xp and money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
128.1 hrs
Posted: September 19
Recommended for nostalgia (I 100%ed it on 360) and those intense racing moments that do occur, such as a tier 4/works converted race on a tight track, nose to tail at 170mph and you pull off a classy overtake when you know one tiny error could cost you the race! The tension can feel real. Or, coming round a long bend to suddenly find a car on it's roof, parked on your raceline!

Pros: Decent graphics, excellent feel, nice progression sytem, variety of events (races/drift/time & lap eliminators/hot laps), different cars feel different (see cons), those 'racing moments', ideal for someone who's just bought a wheel or someone coming from an arcade racing background who wants to move towards sim racing (also see cons).

Cons: Although the cars do feel different, it's more of a difference in speed and reaction time (say a tier 3/4 car vs a tier 1/2) than noticeable difs in handling, the track setting makes it feel more simlike, but in terms of handling it's far more arcadey, damage model seems purely cosmetic even at Full setting, perfect launch doesn't seem to have any effect and completely ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ AI (sorry, but there's no other word for an AI who violently lurches into you with no reason, especially after giving you racing room immediately before! It gives the effect of decent AI at times, but they are definately on a pre-programmed path in reality and (insert Deity of choice) help you if you're in their way!!

My advice - don't rush, complete each tier and use the invitational events to try new (better) cars.
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1.2 hrs
Posted: September 18
The sounds are good, burning rubber, turning, and impacts.
This game sadly, just like project cars, has very little music, sometime almost none.
Little voice work, it's a racing game.
It looks good, its not awkward so you wont see block buildings.
The cars look nice, sadly I haven't seen any older ones, They look as if you driving a photograph made into 3D.
But the people look like PS2 people, they could use some work, by that I mean a lot of work.
This play more like an arcade racing game at times so it is much nicer to play and a good game to ease you self into more realistic racers, I should have played this before Project Cars.
I like this a bit more than project Cars. 7/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
10.6 hrs
Posted: September 12
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.7 hrs
Posted: September 10
Utter, complete and total ♥♥♥♥. This game has the by far most incompetently designed user interface, I ever saw.
You can't adjust steering while pausing a race, you can't interrupt or cancel a race. No way out, other than a hard reset.
I don't understand which kind of completely brainless morons design this kind of an user interface.
Helpful? Yes No Funny