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.