Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed is a racing video game developed by EA Canada and published by Electronic Arts, initially released on the 3DO in 1994, and ported to MS-DOS in 1995. Another version of the game, The Need for Speed: Special Edition, was released in 1996 for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation and Sega Saturn platforms. The original 3DO version offers eight sport cars, including several exotic models and Japanese imports, and tasks the player with racing in three realistic point-to-point tracks either with or without a computer opponent. Subsequent ports of the game normally include an additional ninth car and have more tracks, including closed circuits. Checkpoints, traffic vehicles, and police pursuits commonly appear in the races.
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 a commercial success. Video game publications praised the incorporation of realism into the gameplay and graphics, as well as the inclusion of full motion videos. It is the first installment released in the Need for Speed series, which has influenced several racing games.