Roman numerals were dropped for this fourth title in the franchise – Need for Speed: High Stakes — but the same racing experience was intact, with a cool new wrinkle. The ability to race for “pinks” was added, truly making the title live up to its name. In the new mode, if you lost to your opponent, they got your car, turning the pressure up past a boiling point.
Much like real life, the element of punishment for a nasty car crash was a prominent part of High Stakes. If you plowed your supercar into a wall, an in-game currency system — money you earned during your races — would determine whether you had enough to fix it. Upgrades were also available (at a cost) for the first time ever, so you could tune your dream car to try and attain maximum output.
Running from the cops was more difficult in High Stakes, as a police chopper was introduced, along with country-specific police chatter to keep the boys (and girls) in blue aware of your whereabouts on the track. And speaking of cops, two police pursuit modes — Time Trap and Getaway — appeared for the first time.
Release Date: 1999-03
At the time of its release, High Stakes had the most impressive car list of any Need for Speed title. With 25 vehicles available, and each having its own unique damage models, this was one cool game. Also introduced in this title were the first 3D car interiors, which replaced the photos used in earlier games.
BMW M5 E39 (race and pursuit)
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Chevrolet Corvette C5 (race and pursuit)
Ferrari 550 Maranello
HSV SV99 (Series 2) (Australian version only)
Lamborghini Diablo SV
La Niña (race and pursuit)
McLaren F1 GTR
Nissan Skyline GT-R (Japanese version only)
Pontiac Firebird T/A
Porsche 911 Turbo 993
TRACKS / WORLD
With three practice raceways available across the globe in addition to 7 new tracks and 9 tracks from Hot Pursuit, the roster of racing locations in High Stakes was extremely impressive.
Raceway 1, 2, 3