Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed is a 1994 racing video game, released on the 3DO and ported to MS-DOS, Windows, PlayStation and Sega Saturn. It is the first installment released in the Need for Speed series. The premise of the game involves racing in sport cars, including several exotic models and Japanese imports.
The game was noted for its realism and audio and video commentaries. Electronic Arts collaborated with automotive magazine Road & Track to match vehicle behavior, including the mimicking of the sounds made by the vehicles' gear control levers. The game also contained precise vehicle data with spoken commentary, several "magazine-style" images of each car interior and exterior and short video clips highlighting the vehicles set to music.
The Need For Speed was later released in Japan as Over Drivin', with two versions with Nissan as the sponsor and the lineup of cars changed to popular Nissan models. The PS1 version was released as Over Drivin' Skyline Memorial whilst the Saturn version was released as Over Drivin' GT-R.
In 1996, an edition of The Need for Speed, The Need for Speed: Special Edition, was released only on PC CD-ROM, containing MS-DOS and Windows 95 versions. It includes two new tracks ("Transtropolis" and "Burnt Sienna") and various enhancements to the game engine. The Windows 95 version supports DirectX 2 and IPX networking.
The Need for Speed: Special Edition is the last game in the Need for Speed series to support MS-DOS, as subsequent releases for the PC only support Windows 9x. A DOS-compatible emulator (like DOSBox) is required for systems that do not natively support it to run the DOS version of The Need for Speed: Special Edition.