The Need for Speed franchise has seen better days, but a proper Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2 could put the franchise back on the map.

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The Need for Speed franchise is one of EA"s longest-running and most popular video game franchises to date. The series has taken various forms in its 27 years of history, transitioning back and forth between arcade to simulation and sometimes a hybrid of the two. Like any long-running series, Need for Speed has had its share of ups and downs in the past and continues to do.

The latest entry in the franchise, Need for Speed Heat, was highly reminiscent of the 2004"s Need for Speed Underground with its neon-soaked city streets and extensive customization options. While this seemingly put the franchise in a much better state than it was at the time Need for Speed Payback was released, it still wasn"t enough to reach the heights of Need for Speed Most Wanted (2005), not to be confused with the reboot of sorts that released in 2012.

RELATED: Classic Need for Speed Games Are Being Suddenly Delisted

The Need for a Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2

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The original Need for Speed Most Wanted was the best-selling game in the franchise in 2015, and that hasn"t likely changed much. Most Wanted was incredibly bold for its time, boasting cutting-edge visuals, intense cop chases, and an overall personality and charm that subsequent entries lacked.

Unfortunately, the future of the franchise seems to be in the air. The company recently announced its plan to delay the next Need for Speed game so that Criterion Games can help with the development of Battlefield 6. What this means is that the next game gets some extra time, and that"s always good for a game. No one knows what this Need for Speed entry is, but it"s seems to be obvious what it should be.

At a time like this, a Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2 would do wonders for EA and the franchise"s legacy. The nostalgia factor would alone be enough to sell millions of copies if EA manages to capture the essence of the first game. The 2015"s Need for Speed and Need for Speed Heat proves how gorgeous modern Need for Speed games can look, and a Most Wanted 2 would certainly be a much-needed eye candy if it drops on the next-gen consoles.

The original Need for Speed Most Wanted was special because of its accessible nature. Having a decent storyline with a bunch of characters brimming with personalities made MW more than just a racing game. EA needs to bring back those memorable characters, including the enigmatic cop Nathan Cross to make Need for Speed games more intriguing to long-time series fans, as well as fans of narrative-driven games.

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Long-running franchises tend to lose their identity over time, and Need for Speed is no different. However, EA needs to understand what separates Need for Speed from other racing games. Need for Speed Most Wanted is the pinnacle of the Need for Speed experience with an intense cop/racer storyline and casual street racing, and the next Need for Speed needs to be exactly that. The best way to do this is by making a Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2 that wouldn"t just be a spiritual successor but a true sequel 16 years in the making.

A new Need for Speed game is in development.

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MORE: Delisted Need for Speed Games That Deserve a Second Chance

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