Midnight Club: Los Angeles (Video Game 2008)
- Video Game
You play as a driver, who races his way through illegal street races in an open world Los Angeles.You play as a driver, who races his way through illegal street races in an open world Los Angeles.You play as a driver, who races his way through illegal street races in an open world Los Angeles.
- Dan Houser
- Anthony Litton
- Greg Johnson
- Matthew Metzger
- Martin McCoy III
- Saul Stein
Martin McCoy III
- (as Martin McCoy)
- (as Louis Changchien)
- (as Village Dumetz)
- Jeff The Mechanic
J. D. Williams
Craig muMs Grant
- (as Craig ‘muMs’ Grant)
- Dan Houser
- Anthony Litton
- Greg Johnson
- All cast & crew
- Production, box office & more at IMDbPro
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Featured in Outside Xbox: 7 Times Cars Don’t Work That Way, You Guys (2015)
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- Release date
- October 21, 2008 (United States)
- Country of origin
- United States
- Production companies
- PlayStation Portable
- Playstation 3
- Rockstar Games
- See more company credits at IMDbPro
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The Fast And The Infuriating
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Midnight Club, now in its fourth major release, lands on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, giving us Rockstar San Diego’s first foray into flashy, illegal street racing on current-generation consoles. The series heads to the west coast with Midnight Club Los Angeles, bringing with it a new, realistic representation of southern California’s smoggiest city, which happens to also be Midnight Club‘s biggest location to date. With a more open-world environment, “next-gen” graphics and extensive online integration, has Rockstar given us a reason to renew our membership to the Midnight Club?
We pay our dues to see how Midnight Club Los Angeles finishes the race in our review.
Perfectly Mutated LA: From the dirty, sun-bleached streets of downtown Los Angeles to the sandy beaches of Santa Monica, Rockstar San Diego has almost perfectly captured the visual essence of the city, slightly mutating it into a workable race track. The roads are wider, the traffic more manageable, and everything is self-contained, comfortably rounded off. In-game marketing, like the T-Mobile Sidekick you’ll use to chat with other racers and billboards for iPods and Bulgari, is well implemented and largely inoffensive.
Easy Upgrades: Look, I don’t know from cars. Swaybar? Wuzzat? Fortunately, Midnight Club Los Angeles makes upgrading your ride easy — there’s even an auto upgrade option if you can’t be bothered to peruse your clutch, gearbox or electronics improvements. Cosmetic tweaks won’t affect the speed or performance of your cars or bikes, so go nuts with the extensive decal and paint system.
Cars Feel Great: Tuners, muscle cars, bikes and exotics each have a distinct feel, letting you choose which type of ride best suits your driving style. Vehicle upgrades are surprisingly noticeable, too.
Excellent Online Multiplayer: Hashing it out online with 16 other Midnight Clubbers can get a bit hairy, but capture the flag modes like “Stockpile” and “Keepaway” make for hectic, trash-talking fun. Straight up multiplayer races will keep you coming back after the single-player storyline has run its course.
Thrilling, White Knuckle Racing: There are few races or tournaments easily won in Midnight Club LA, making for heart-pounding, fist-pumping finishes. The “cinematic” camera angle — which we eventually turned off for the “classic” — provides an awesomely kinetic perspective on the action. There are no license tests here, there’s just pure speed. However…
Maddening Difficulty, Ruthless AI: …the game is arguably just too damn hard. Midnight Club titles aren’t known for their simplicity — and who wants to win all the time? — but your competition in Los Angeles is ridiculously good. Always. Tournament races can be especially frustrating, as two wins, followed by a series of crushing defeats at the hands of insanely good CPU drivers, may make you throw the controller. Fortunately, race restarts, which don’t penalize, are quick to load.
Awkward Map Interface: Zooming from bird’s eye to street level view is a fantastic visual trick. While it’s aesthetically pleasing and simple to use for waypoint setting, bringing up a workable map of the city either obscures your view of the road or must be fiddled with to suss out the proper path.
Where Am I Going? What’s That Thing I’m About To Crash Into? It’s often difficult to determine what’s in your car’s direct path. Is that a ramp? A train car? Nevermind, I just crashed into it at 90 miles per hour. Sometimes there’s just too much visual noise on-screen, resulting in horrible, placement-killing crashes, something that never, ever affects your AI competition. Further adding to the frustration is the often obscured visual marker that tells you where you’re going next. With no time to look at the mini-map, a single blown turn can take you from first to worst.
Rockstar’s kinder, gentler, street-level criminal series may be short on plot and light on the number of cars included, but it’s nothing if not a solid, arcade-style driving game. Its production values ooze style while managing to provide a solid iteration on an aging series. Midnight Club Los Angeles is not for the easily frustrated, though, as the game’s intense difficulty can’t be overlooked. Should you have some open space on your pre-holiday gaming calendar, it’s worth looking into, but only if you don’t mind a Ninja Gaiden caliber challenge.
Midnight Club Los Angeles was developed by Rockstar San Deigo and published by Rockstar Games, released on Oct. 21 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Retails for $59.99 USD. Played single player mode to completion and tested all online multiplayer modes on Xbox 360.
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Top 5 Need For Speed games (and Top 5 Midnight Club games) by Metacritic
Which movie to watch?
Day of the week:
Five of the best entries in EA’s long running Need For Speed series, as well as five of the best entries in the neon-drenched Midnight Club franchise.
There may have been a lot of terrible racing games released for consoles in the last 20+ years, but there have been just as many incredible ones – be it Great touring series or Forza Horizon games, but few have been as competitive as Midnight Club and Need for Speed . Midnight Club may not be in Rockstar’s best game competition, but it was a big influence on the racing games that came along, much like Need for Speed did.
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But not one of these series hid the fact that with each other affected them so much, whether it was a thirst for speed , being under the influence of Midnight Club’s Open Worlds or Superior Club Accepting the Speed thirst for deep customization skills. While Need for Speed may lack Midnight Club’s consistency in quality since EA turned the series into an annual event at some point, the series arguably still has better games than Rockstar’s only racing franchise.
10Midnight Club Street Racing (2000) – 78
Midnight Club Street Racing, brought arcade racing to the Sony PlayStation as it first combined exploration and racing, introducing not only one open world, but two. London and New York were rendered quite well, especially for the time.
However, since the races were based on getting from checkpoint to checkpoint as quickly as possible, it was more fun than driving on a single track. On top of that, the AI opponents have never had more personality in a racing game, as the racers taunted the players throughout the races, and each boss was too nasty, though equally hilarious in their banter.
9Midnight Club: Los Angeles (2008) – 82
Midnight Club: Los Angeles marks the biggest deviation the series has ever seen, as instead of several different open worlds based on major cities with worldwide, Angels is based in only one city. Coincidentally, this won’t be the first time Rockstar Games has used the urban environment on the west coast as they have used it in their Grand Theft Auto series.
Angels was also the first game in the series to feature storytelling and was fairly solid in its gameplay compared to the arcade style of its predecessors. In fact, Midnight Club: Los Angeles is a completely different game and probably shouldn’t have the MC title. However, critics still liked its sleek sheen, but generally accepted that it didn’t hit as hard as previous games.
8Need for Speed: Dungeon 2 (2004) – 82
Just a year after Metro opened, Metro 2 made the game even bigger by creating their own fictional open-world city, Bayview, which was founded, among other places in Beverly Hills, New Jersey and Las Vegas. This aspect of the game was a big improvement over the first one. Metro , which had extremely limited and narrow street routes.
The game also had some exciting new game modes, but Dungeon 2 Ultimately, things don’t fare as well as its predecessor due to a lack of innovation in terms of control and presentation.
7Need for Speed - Most Wanted (2005) – 83
By this point in the timeline of the open world series Need for Speed the games have become fully annual as they have been a huge success and the quality has remained the same. But, Most Wanted has brought a lot of exciting improvements, borrowed from the old games in the series, and introduced modes that have never been seen before.
Most Wanted was set in daylight, it was a fully fleshed out story, and the series saw the return of police chases. When the players were being chased by the cops, they had to hide in dark places to escape, and it fit into the Need for Speed world perfectly. But above all, the car’s handling has finally been refined, something critics and fans have been craving for years.
6Midnight Club III: DUB Edition (2005) – 84;
This was a big jump in authenticity between Midnight Club II and Midnight Club III: DUB Edition . All vehicle models in the second game were based on real cars, but since Rockstar was not allowed to name them after real brands, they all had fictitious names.
However, in DUB Edition , all cars were now service cars. On top of that, it was also the first time the series allowed players to customize their cars, and while it was clearly taking cues from its rival Need for Speed , the tuning in DUB Edition was much deeper.
5Need for Speed Underground (2003) – 85
With the release of Need for Speed Underground , it was the first time EA used the series to take advantage of the huge street racing trend sparked by The Fast and Furious . The publisher abandoned the supercars that the series featured so many games on and switched to imports from Japan.
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Subway has paid great attention to vehicle customization, which seems to have become a staple of every racing game released in Underground wake up. The game was very stylish, and while it wasn’t an open world, a lot of effort went into making the layouts look shiny. Interestingly, Metro continued to inspire Fast & Furious games.
4Need for Speed: High Stakes (1999) – 86
Being such an early game in the series, High Stakes was basically the blueprint for what would eventually become the Metro series. High Stakes is one of the best racing games on the original PlayStation as it has certain light RPG elements where players decide whether to spend their credits on buying a new car or tweaking their current car. There are even pink races which were a game element that was used in street racing. Juice based its entire concept on.
3Midnight Club II (2003) – 86
Featuring Midnight Club 2 , the series continues to feature international cities as the game takes place not only in Los Angeles but also in Paris and Tokyo. The series went full steam ahead with arcade racing as players could even drive up to the Louvre Pyramid and jump over the building and there are so many other hidden fun details about the three cities as the racing puts a lot of emphasis on finding shortcuts.
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The game also features 3D animated characters, as the first game’s bosses were little more than text boxes. There was so much depth in the cities, more cars to choose from, and even motorcycles appeared in the game. But best of all, while it’s quite a gaming feat, if players complete the game 100%, they unlock the SLF450F, which was essentially an unlicensed version of the Batmobile.
twoMidnight Club III: DUB Edition Remix (2006) – 87
Ultimately an expanded version of DUB Edition , which appeared a year earlier, DUB Edition Remix contains much more content than any other extended edition of games of this generation. Not only have 26 licensed music tracks been added to the game, bringing the total to 124, and 24 new vehicles, but also the new city of Tokyo, which is a vastly upgraded version of what can be found in Midnight Club II.
At Midnight Club, the series was not only about racing but also aesthetic, and with four cities, all vehicles and a musical mix of hip-hop, rock and dance, The Remix is an unforgettable Midnight Club experience.
1Need for Speed - Hot Pursuit Series – 88/89
There were three games in total in the tournament. Hot Pursuit series first in 1998, Hot Pursuit 2 in 2002, and a remake of the original in 2010 that was recently remastered. The first two games have an average score of 88 on Metacritic, and the remake even has an 89, which means they outperformed all imported street races.
The Hot Pursuit series may have inspired the bad-that’s good Need for Speed movie, but the games are unabashedly entertaining as they’re not so much about beating other racers as they are about dodging police on extremely long tracks. The 2010 remake is the jewel in the crown Need for Speed series.
Top 8 Need For Speed games (and top 6 Midnight Club games) by Metacritic
Which movie to watch?
Day of the week:
Need for Speed and Midnight Club are iconic racing game franchises that have several fantastic games in their history that have scored highly on Metacritic.
There may have been a lot of terrible racing games released for consoles in the last 20+ years, but there have been just as many incredible ones – be it Grand Touring series or Forza Horizon games, but few were as competitive as Midnight Club and Need for Speed . The Midnight Club may not claim to be Rockstar’s best game, but it has been a big influence on subsequent racing games, just like Need for Speed did.
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But none of these series have hidden the fact that they influence each other so much, be it Need for Speed being inspired by Midnight Club open worlds or Midnight Club taking cues from Need for Speed deep customization skills . While Need for Speed may lack The Midnight Club consistency in quality – EA turned the series into an annual event at some point – the series arguably still has better games than Rockstar’s only racing franchise.
Updated by Kevin Pantoya on September 29, 2021: With franchises as well established as Midnight Club and Need for Speed . this means that it is important to look deeper than usual, to see which edition is actually the best. Finding the best Need for Speed game can be tricky as there are so many of them, while Midnight Club only has a handful of games that have been critically acclaimed. These racing games have spanned several generations of consoles, but they are still often overlooked when discussing the biggest successes on each platform. Metacritic is generally the best place to check and find consensus on the best games for each franchise.
14Need for Speed: Metro 2 (2004) – 82
Just a year after the groundbreaking of Metro, Metro 2 made the game even bigger by creating its own fictional open-world city, Bayview, which was founded, among others, in Beverly Hills, New Jersey and Las Vegas. This aspect of the game was a big improvement over the first Underground which had extremely limited and cramped street tracks.
The game also had some exciting new game modes, but Metro 2 ended up not being as good as its predecessor due to lack of innovation in terms of handling and presentation.
13Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) – 83
At this point in the chronology of the open world series Need for Speed , the games had become fully annual, as they were hugely successful and the quality remained the same. But Most Wanted has brought a lot of exciting improvements, borrowed from older games in the series, and introduced new modes that weren’t there before.
Most Wanted was set in daylight, the story was fully revealed, and the series saw the return of police chases. When the players were chased by the police, they had to hide in dark places to escape, and it matched Need for Speed world perfectly. But most importantly, the car’s handling has finally been brought to perfection, which critics and fans have been waiting for years. It was much better than some of the later releases which received lackluster reviews.
12Midnight Club: Street Racing (2000) – 78
Midnight Club: Street Racing brought arcade racing to the Sony PlayStation as the first to combine exploration and racing, featuring not one open world, but two. London and New York were drawn quite well, especially for that time.
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However, since racing was based on getting from checkpoint to checkpoint as fast as possible, it was more fun than driving down a single track. On top of that, the computer opponents have never been more individual in a racing game as they taunted the players throughout the races and every boss was so obnoxious, though just as hilarious in their jokes.
11 Need for Speed: Subway (2003) – 85
With the release of Need for Speed: Dungeon , this was the first time EA used the series to take advantage of the huge interest in street racing generated by The Fast and the Furious . The publisher ditched the supercars that the series focused on in many games and switched them to imports from Japan.
Underground paid great attention to vehicle customization, which has become a staple of almost every racing game released in Underground wake-up call. The game was very stylish, and although it was not an open world, a lot of effort was put into making the tracks look brilliant. Interestingly enough, Underground continued to inspire the Fast and Furious games.
10Midnight Club: LA Remix (2008) – 79
In 2008, the well-received Midnight Club: LA received a PlayStation Portable version. In many cases, iterations for different platforms are not separated, but it was actually some other game.
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Only a smaller part of Los Angeles was available to explore in Midnight Club: LA Remix for PSP. They also made sure to add Tokyo as a second playable city, which allowed it to really feel different from the main console version, while still being something exciting and fun in its own right.
9Need For Speed: Most Wanted U (2013) – 86
In many ways, some fans forget this. Need for Speed is still a game franchise. It’s undeniable that the heyday of the series has come and gone, but some of these later titles have been well received, with the most recent scoring over 85 coming out in 2013.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted It originally appeared in 2012 for several systems, but in 2013 it was released on the Nintendo Wii U. This part was made unique by the use of the Wii U controller, including co-op mode and even Off-TV support play. Add Nintendo’s secret cars for Mario, Peach and Yoshi and you’re the winner.
8Midnight Club: LA (2008) – 82
Midnight Club: LA marks the biggest departure the series has ever seen, as instead of several different open worlds based on major cities from around the world , Angels is based in only one location. Coincidentally, this is not the first time Rockstar Games has used the West Coast setting, having already used it in their games. Grand theft auto row.
Angels was also the first storytelling game in the series, and its gameplay was fairly based on the arcade style of its predecessors. In fact, Midnight Club: LA is a completely different game, and it probably shouldn’t have the title MC . However, critics still liked its sleek sheen, but generally agreed that it wasn’t as strong as previous games.
7Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit (1998) – 86
To Need for Speed The franchise debuted in 1994 and the original game was fairly well received. The sequel received even better reviews before the series really hit the mark with a third entry. Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit . It changed just about everything fans knew about games for the better.
This version adds the Hot Pursuit mode, which will remain the main mode in most games in the future. With him, the typical races were interrupted by police officers who chased the players speeding through the streets. The reviews for this game were brilliant and it was a great way to make a difference and not be too much like a Grand Tourism.
6Midnight Club III: DUB Edition (2005) – 84
This was a big jump in validity between Midnight Club 2 and Midnight Club III: DUB Edition . All vehicle models in the second game were based on real cars, but since Rockstar did not have the rights to name them after real brands, they all had fictitious names.
However, in OAK edition , all cars were now service cars. On top of that, it was also the first time the series allowed players to customize their vehicles, and while the game clearly took a cue from its rival, Need for Speed , the tuning in OAK Edition was much deeper.
5 Need for Speed: High Stakes (1999) – 86
Being such an early game in the series, High Stakes was basically the blueprint for what would eventually become Underground series. High Stakes is one of the best racing games on the original PlayStation as it has certain light RPG elements where players decide whether to use their credits to buy a new car or customize an existing one.
There are even pink races that were a game element, as opposed to street racing. Juice based its entire concept on the one that became quite popular in the The Fast and the Furious movies.
4Midnight Club 2 (2003) – 86
Featuring Midnight Club 2 , the series continues to feature international cities as the game takes place not only in Los Angeles but also in Paris and Tokyo. The series went full steam ahead with arcade racing as players could even drive up to the Louvre Pyramid and jump over the building, and there are so many other hidden fun details about the three cities as racing focuses on finding shortcuts.
The game also features 3D animated characters, since in the first game the bosses were nothing more than text fields. The cities had so much depth, so many vehicles to choose from, and the game even featured motorbikes. But best of all, while it’s quite a gaming feat, if players complete 100% Midnight Club 2 , then they unlock the SLF450F, which was essentially an unlicensed version of the Batmobile.
3Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) – 89
2010 was marked by Need for Speed The franchise traces back to the aforementioned Hot Pursuit gimmick that made it so successful in the past. Seen as a reboot of sorts, this version appeared on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and many other platforms, having a similar setting and premise, but with updated graphics and gameplay elements of the time.
With fantastic tracks in Pacific Northwest based areas and the added ability to play as one of the cops chasing the racers, it made this racing game explosive. Hot Pursuit was met with wide acclaim in almost every aspect and an updated Hot Pursuit version was released a few years later.
TwoMidnight Club III: DUB Edition Remix (2006) – 87
Ultimately an expanded version of DUB Edition that came a year earlier, DUB Edition Remix has far more content than any other extended release of this generation. Not only have 26 licensed music tracks been added to the game, bringing the total to 124, and 24 new vehicles, but the new city of Tokyo, which is a heavily updated version of the city found in Midnight Club 2.
To Midnight Club The series was not only about racing, but also about aesthetics, and given four cities, all cars and a musical mixture of hip-hop, rock and dance, The remix is the ultimate Midnight Club experience.