Home Features Ranking the truly awful Street League intros of Need For Speed Payback

Ranking the truly awful Street League intros of Need For Speed Payback

5 min read

Let’s get this out of the way: Need For Speed Payback’s story is pants. Clown pants, size XXXXXXL in the cheese department. The Fast & Furious movies may be the ultimate fantasy of anyone who ever painted go-faster stripes on their VW Golf, but while plenty of other games and films may have been inspired by the antics of Vin Diesel and his extended family, Need For Speed Payback operates in a manner that feels like the entire game was dipped in a fondue pot of melted Fast 8 Blu-Rays.

It’s a game built around the most cringe-worthy of dialogue, quotes so shockingly cheesy that your eyeballs are in danger of rolling out of your head with enough force to puncture your skull. Nowhere else in the game is that fact more apparent than in the Street Leagues. You’re racing around the city of Silver Rock to gain allies, leaders of gangs who each operate according to a certain discipline and spout out lines that read like bad fan fiction.

So here they are. The crème de la crème of intros that deserve to be ridden off of a cliff and never seen again as we start this list with the not so bad and work our way down (way waaaay down) to the worst:

Riot Club

NFS Payback street league (3)

When you race in Silver Rock, every quarter mile is a battle. From burnout to finish, we put it all on the line. I am Big Sister, and this…is Riot Club.

I’m not going to rate Big Sister too cruelly here. She’s actually a fun character, she only paraphases one line from the Fast ‘n the Furious and drag racing is actually kind of rad.

Free Ember Militia

NFS Payback street league (5)

They say it’s a man’s world. I say shove it. Survive a day in the desert with us if you think you’re so tough. We are…the Free Ember Militia.

In shocking news, it appears that women are capable of driving and being good at it. I can’t wait to tell my mom this when she drops me off at gym again.

The Silver Six

NFS Payback street league (4)

We were six warring leagues, exiled from the city by The House. But out here, we found our common cause. We are the Silver Six…And one day, you WILL hear about us.

Breaking news now, as six guys in six cars that cost the sum total of an entire BitCoin are upset about not being able to illegally race on crowded city streets and prove just how cool their four-wheeled compensations are.

League 73

NFS Payback street league (9)

Miles outside the city, it’s just sky as far as the eye can see. League 73: Freedom happens at a hundred miles an hour and ten feet in the air.

If these guys could achieve lift-off and an escape velocity that would carry them into orbit then that would be a crowdfunding drive worth supporting.

Hazard Company

NFS Payback street league (8)

Hicks to the core, but I can GAR-UN-TEE we live better than you. Cash in our hands, dirt in our toes and nothin’ but the sky in front of us. We are…Hazard Company.

Hmmm, I’d bet that you’re glad that you got to marry your prettiest sister and that you have a cupboard full of shotguns next to your Larry The Cable Guy DVDs.

Graveyard Shift

NFS Payback street league (1)

When you fly down the highway at a hundred miles an hour, every decision is life and death. I am La Catrina, and this…is the Graveyard Shift.

Honestly, if you’re looking to race against death then you might see if you can outrun an army of Ford Hilux bakkies after you tell a Bloemfontein crowd that Steve Hofmeyer sucks.

Noise Bomb

NFS Payback street league (6)

We exist in curves and motion. We skirt the knife’s edge between life and death, traction and freefall. I am Aki Kimura, the Drft King. Welcome to Noise Bomb.

Did you ever run across that pretentious wanker who studied art at your university, and harped on about how he was going to use the core ideals of Dadaism to reinvent the world? That’s Noise Bomb in a nutshell.

The One Percent Club

NFS Payback street league (7)

We’re on in three, two one…Ladies and gentlemen, you know her, you love her, it’s Natalia Nova! Joining her, as always, the best of the best: The One Percent Club!

When I’m president, the rich fatcats who ruined our economy will be sent to an island where they’ll be hunted for sport, for a change. Also, that’s a lie. Death Island is actually a peninsula.

Diamond Block

NFS Diamond Block

You struggle through life while we toy with it. Nothing is ever exciting enough, dangerous enough…Worthy enough for us. We are…Diamond Block. Never heard of us? Well you must not be a millionaire then.

Everyone knows that one guy, that one dude who happens to have some cash in the bank and can’t resist showing off it off with fancy new purchases. Everyone also refers to guy as a wanker of the highest magnitude, when he’s not around because flaunting your wealth is a behaviour usually reserved for the douchiest of bros.

Shift Lock

NFS Payback street league (2)

Where will you be when the revolution comes? We are the last stand against corporate tyranny We are the drifting freedom fighters of the Misinformation Age. We are…Shift Lock.

Imagine, standing in front of a mirror and saying that monologue. If you do that, then here’s a headband to wear while you practise your Naruto ninja-running when mom’s not at home.

You know what the funny thing is? As atrocious as that dialogue may be…I kind of like it. In the years to come, I have a feeling that Need For Speed Payback’s story will emerge as the The Room of video game narratives, a tale so monumentally derivative and uninspired that it somehow manages to inspire developers for years to come as the blueprint for how not to create a tale that fans will endlessly mock.

Oh hi car.

Shift lock (2)

Last Updated: November 15, 2017


  1. is it just me, or does almost all of the front wheels of the cars look like they are somewhat tilted from bottom to top?


    • Allykhat

      November 15, 2017 at 13:06

      It’s called Camber 🙂 A lot of tuners and drifters change the Camber angles of their wheels to impact the way the car performs in corners.


      • Mielies the Magnificent

        November 15, 2017 at 13:16

        Its to counter balance the angle of the dangle (or apparent lack thereof)


      • Captain JJ

        November 17, 2017 at 07:44

        or just for that phat stance


    • The D

      November 15, 2017 at 13:08

      It’s not just you! All cars in NFS Payback feature a cambling of some sort.


  2. Admiral Chief

    November 15, 2017 at 13:47

    They even have PAY in the title now


  3. Dresden

    November 15, 2017 at 14:03

    Cringy league intros aside, I think it’s pretty cool that they feature Aki Kimura (drift king from Pro Street) in this game and the organisation Noise Bomb.
    Still won’t get this game, but I do appreciate easter eggs and/or some form of continuation in games.


    • Magoo

      November 15, 2017 at 14:55

      WOT? Nice. Pro Street was my favourite NFS. And that Aki was a pain in the ass to beat.
      > 240sx forever best drift car.


      • Dresden

        November 16, 2017 at 07:08

        Was probably my favourite as well 😀
        240 sx was the by far the best starting car ever (never traded mine in I think)!
        Also I can’t remember too much about Aki, but from what I can remember he was quite difficult and I loved that RX-7 .


        • Magoo

          November 16, 2017 at 07:33

          I have to play this again.


  4. Nick de Bruyne

    November 15, 2017 at 14:56

    If you want to make these the best, read them in the voice of Chris Klein’s “Nash” from the Street Fighter Legend of Chun-Li movie.



  5. Tbone187

    November 16, 2017 at 09:06

    Trying to pull a ”Dirt” type of thing it appears.


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