Fans of the Need for Speed series would have to wait until 1997 for the next game and by then, things had changed slightly. The new game was simply called Need for Speed II, with “Road and Track” being dropped. That wasn’t the only change — gone were the police chases and simulation-style handling of the first game, replaced with more accessible, arcade-style gameplay.
A feature of Need for Speed II that made it ahead of its time was interactive music which reacted to how the player was driving. If you crashed, for example, you’d hear different music than if you were leading the pack.
One thing that remained the same was the ability to enter cheat codes to get special cars otherwise not available in the game. These unlockable vehicles included a school bus, a Volkswagen Beetle, and an old Wild West-style wagon.
That same year, a Special Edition of Need for Speed II was released for the PC, adding support for 3D accelerator cards, as well as one new track, four new cars, and three additional hidden vehicles.
Release Date: 1997-03
Need for Speed II ratcheted up the caliber of its vehicles, moving focus to supercars. They included the McLaren F1 (which at the time was the fastest car on the planet), the Isdera Commendatore 112i, and the Italdesign Cala (a concept car designed for Lamborghini that never made it into production).
Ferrari 355 F1 (only in Special Edition)
Ford Mustang Mach III (only in Special Edition)
Isdera Commendatore 112i
Italdesign Nazca C2 (only in Special Edition)
Lotus Elise GT1
Lotus Esprit V8
TRACKS / WORLD
With a fun and creative assortment of different racing locations ranging from a movie studio to a quiet country road, the tracks in Need for Speed II were pure joy to drive.