Download The Need for Speed: Special Edition

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The Need for Speed: Special Edition

DOS - 1996

Alt names The Need For Speed SE, 极品飞车:特别版, Road & Track presents: The Need For Speed: Special Edition, NFS: Special Edition
Year 1996
Platform DOS
Released in Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, United States (1996)
United States (1997)
Genre Racing / Driving
Theme Automobile, Street Racing
Publisher Electronic Arts Ltd., Electronic Arts, Inc.
Developer EA Seattle, Pioneer Productions
Perspectives 1st-Person, Behind view
Dosbox support Supported on current version (works best on 0.73)
4.54 / 5 - 183 votes

Description of The Need for Speed: Special Edition

If you haven't played The Need for Speed: Special Edition or want to try this racing / driving video game, download it now for free! Published in 1996 by Electronic Arts, Inc., Electronic Arts Ltd., The Need for Speed: Special Edition (aka The Need For Speed SE, 极品飞车:特别版, Road & Track presents: The Need For Speed: Special Edition, NFS: Special Edition) is still a popular automobile title amongst retrogamers, with a whopping 4.5/5 rating.

External links

Comments and reviews

DeathCold 2023-11-19 1 point

To be honest, I never played original two Need for Speed games. Cause my journey with it started with Need for Speed Underground 1 and continued on with games after that. But I played most of the old NFS games these days and they cool to some degree. So I will maybe give this one a shot.

YOU_ROCK_THANK_U 2023-11-16 2 points

the trick is using DOSBOX ECE version... their site is not up anymore, you have to get on Web Archive...
I could not get the RIP version to work... mount ISO, install game (recommended install, no need to copy any files to disk, keep the ISO it's just 200 MB difference)
Play game normally with ISO command: imgmount D .\NFS.ISO -t iso
Dosbox ECE running at 148.000 cycles

Gab_Avant 2023-09-24 2 points

NERD's guide in this thread absolutely works !! Win10 64bits. Thank You!

grumpyzimum 2023-09-23 0 point

NERD's guide in this thread absolutely works, could not have gotten this working without it!

BUZ 2023-04-30 0 point

The Rip version is 1/5 the size of the ISO? What kinda black magic is that? Isn't the Rip just the CD files in folder format? Can anyone explain how that works to me?

Universal G 2023-04-01 1 point

FYI for people trying to install it in Windows 98SE and are having issues. Do this, it worked for me.
Right-click on the Desktop, select Properties, then click on the Settings tab, click the Advanced button, then click the Performance tab and lower the Hardware Acceleration slider by 1-2 notches. After doing this, both the installer and the game worked for me.

Acn15 2023-01-02 5 points

You can use this guide for installation. (Credit to FLAKKA - 2018)
Also you can use any other mounting tools rather than Daemon Tools.

As for video glitch, you can use any Hex editor tools and go to offset 607E6, change value from 00 to 08 and that should fix it (Credit to

Ps. you need to mount the iso each time you want to play the game.
Also you have to launch the game via DBGL everytime too.

Tested on windows 10.

serban gruianu 2022-12-05 1 point

For the Windows version, go to:
And follow the instructions from “Issues fixed” (Running the game on Windows 7, 8 or 10, NFS_WIN.exe version)

Filipe 2022-07-26 1 point

Any reliable fixes for the Windows version? They only seem to work for a while.

Troels 2022-05-10 1 point

I got no sound, and searched everywhere for a solution. Found out you'll need to edit nsf.bat : remove "no sound" and just write AWE and the save the file.
Then use nfssb.bat as the executive file instead of TNFS.exe
In-game options, change audio to 16-bit stereo.

sss 2022-02-01 -1 point

I don’t know how to use it on win10

Moses 2022-01-20 -4 points

Actually it's amazing to have an old dos pc... yeah that's why I don't struggle using dosbox ...

kvakec 2021-06-21 1 point

guys, for dosbox users, it's much easier to work with D-Fend Reloaded ver. of dosbox

MateusAuri 2021-04-03 0 point

I was having some trouble with some "openhandle mouse.fsh FILE ERROR" messages when trying to start it, and then, no sound at all when I got to force it to work.
It seemed to be a problem with the installer, which didn't keep my settings properly for some reason.
If you're having any of these problems I've mentioned, just try reinstalling. That did the trick for me.

Oh, and by the way, you don't need to open the .iso file to be able to mount it in DOSBox. You can simply mount it straight from the file, with this command:


And running the UNIVBE.EXE driver before installing the game will make the video test display properly. Not sure if it helps in any other capacity, though.

John Mooth 2021-02-23 -2 points

Can work on Windows 10?

John Mooth 2021-02-23 0 point

The RIP Version needs a CD, can you help me? how to run on DosBOX?

Wood 2021-02-21 0 point

And also, the car never moves, I press the accelerate key, and it just revs but doesn't move, that's also annoying

Wood 2021-02-21 -1 point

I did do everything you told to do, although my resolution is still 680*300 (something like that), could someone help me with that ?

jetdogy 2021-02-21 0 point

It runs with window 10 but no sound!

Darklocket 2021-01-10 3 points

The download here, also includes the windows version. Based on that, I am posting here how I got the windows version to work on my windows 10 PC using a Win XP Pro VM. Sharing is caring.

My way of setting up NSF SE windows version in a windows computer for 2020

I have updated it for my windows 10 host setup.

install VMware workstation version 10.0.0 build 1295980 onto windows 10
create an windows XP pro 32-bit with SP2
choose typical
set OS install to I will install later
choose guest OS windows XP pro 32-bit with SP2
store as single virtual disk
customize hardware
assign a CD/DVD letter
NIC using NAT
Usb enabled and use USB 2.0 for compatibility and show all USB input devices
sound auto detect
remove printer
display auto detect and for 3D graphics check “Accelerate 3D graphics

make sure windows installer CD is in tray
power on VM
install windows XP pro 32-bit with SP2
help protect my PC - not right now

Install Vmware Tools via the VM tab of VMware workstation

add share to host to install files via VMware VM tab settings options shared folders always enable and map as network drive then add the share

install MS .net framework 1.1 from dotnetfix
install microsoft application compatibility toolkit 4-1

install the ms app compat NFS SE databases for installation and running the game
to do this quickly with premade database click file open and choose nfs se cd installer from my directory XP vmware setup for windows 10 to install
nfs se cd installer will now show up in custom databases
right click on Need for Speed SE CD Installer under custom databases and select install
you should get that it was successfully installed
repeat this operation for also the premade nfs se loader from from my directory XP vmware setup for windows 10 to install
right click on Need for Speed SE under custom databases and select install
you should get that it was successfully installed
there should now be 2 installed databases under the +installed databases
for more info
(see ms app compat setup notes) or use my directory XP vmware setup for windows 10 to install
credited web link
I saved locally to How to get Need For Speed Special Edition working perfectly in Windows XP_php

enable the wheel via VMware VM removable tab and connect g25 from host to guest
be sure G25 is physically connected to the 2.0 usb ports on pc
if you dont see the wheel in the VMware VM removable tab nor the Win XP game controllers, then physically unplug the USB wheel and replug in. both HOST OS and Guest OS should see it now.
Guest OS should see a logiteh driving force USB

eject via VM explorer the VMware Tools and mount your host CD player with NFS SE cd
choose instalw from the CD
directx already installed
choose install
select auto detect sound
test sound
test video
choose custom install and add all types
total to install should now be 135megs
you can calibrate the g25 wheel, but we need to assign buttons first, so we need the logitech profiler for that
exit the game

run jcu.exe from the NFS SE installed location
hit enter until you see a list of game devices
choose generic forcefeed back wheel
hit enter a bunch of times till it exits

install logitech profiler version win XP lgs440enu
launch logitech profiler
import profile the XP Need for Speed SE.wgp wheel profile
browse to the c:\NFSSE and choose nfs
test buttons on wheel - I assigned paddles to A and Z for shift up and down, plus front buttons to horn and camera view change

if not already, enable the vm removable and connect g25 from host to guest
if you dont see the wheel in the VMware VM removable tab nor the Win XP game controllers, then physically unplug the USB wheel and replug in. both HOST OS and Guest OS should see it now.
Guest OS should see a logiteh driving force USB

create logitech profiler shortcut to desktop
change the icon of the logictech profiler to NFSE
rename shortcut to NFS SE

set video in XP to 1920 x 1080
choose full screen mode in VMware view
choose exclusive mode in VMware view
some times the VMware or the game will kick back to smaller resolution, to fix, redo full screen and exclusive mode

run dxdiag in XP and disable sound acceleration on the sound tab, this stops sound shuddering and allows game to run at normal speed without being cliped.

make sure NSE SE CD is in tray and mounted for VMware to the guest OS
Launch NFS SE from within logitech profiler
watch intro and smile with delight

set wheel buttons and controls in game via options
controller setup
set steering to joystick
set acceleration to joystick
set shifting to keyboard AZ
set horn to keyboard H
not worried about the rest but keyboard

if have saved game and video from previous NFS SE playing
copy config.dat file to NFSSE\gamedata\config
copy replays to gamedata\replay
for rebuild, copy the windows xp vdi and vmdk to a new pc and install the VMware workstation

i didnt need to do this
install NFS SE (needed to copy installer local to virtual machine first?)
use 800 x 600 for screen resolution 16bit colors. using the list mode in advance to change resolution seems to want to always go higher in resolution and mess up the game when rebooting

sahani 2020-10-06 2 points

one of the best pc game ever 90 kids era

vrekman 2020-08-24 2 points

Very good comments. I'll add one for the controllers:
Steering with the keyboard is very slow. Use an analogue controller for both steering and throttle/brake. Using analogue controls may lead to better times too.
I assume that you have and xbox controller or something similar, with analogue stick and analogue triggers (I have a logitech F310). I also assume that you use dosbox svn r4356 or later. Also joystick in dosbox conf file should be "auto" --it is by default.

After installation of the game on the dosbox command prompt in the installed game folder,
use jcu.exe and select "generic 4 button joystick" map the buttons as you like, or change them around, press F1 for help on this topic, although default mapping is ok. On the axis configuration page, select only axis X and Y (put "No" to the other 2 axes). Save configuration of jcu.exe and run game. Calibrate the 2 axes in control options (move around the left analogue until the circle stops jerking). Make sure you select analogue steering and throttle/braking (joystick left/right - joystick up/down) from the same menu. Run a test and make sure that pressing the up and down on the left stick accelerates and stops successfully.


press Ctrl+F1 and enter keymapper. Click Y- axis button on the first box and then "add" button. Press the right trigger on your controller. Click Y+ axis button on the first box and then "add" button. Press the left trigger on your controller. You can also assign 'a' and 'z' keys to the bumper buttons for gear change using the same method, but that's personal preference. Click save and exit.
Now you have somehow "modern" controls for this very old game.
I hope I helped

Dinscer 2020-08-15 0 point

To Ali Amir,you can't download it on Mac,You need Dosbox to run this game

pissblast 2020-05-06 0 point

one of the first games i bought for the ps1 , great soundtrack but the game is shockingly bad , like tring to steer a brick , perhaps the DOS version is different ?

Dosdosdosdosdosdosdosdosdosdosdosdos 2020-03-30 0 point

Woud it come on the dos box so i can play it right here on the browser :P ?

HELP! 2020-03-20 2 points

Can you run this on winXP? Please tell me soon.

Nerd 2019-10-05 26 points

This is the only way to get the best version of The Need for Speed, thanks a lot MyAbandonware!

How to play the game on Windows 10, with a desktop shortcut and the manual.

1. Create the folder NFSSE in Windows (C:)

2. Download the ISO version of the game in the bottom of this page. Go to the download folder and transfer the game to the NFSSE folder you created, it will extract it. Go to the NFSSE folder and double-click on the game, it will mount it.

3. Download UniVBE here : . Extract it to the NFSSE folder.

4. Download DosBox and install it.

5. Hit the Windows key and find the DosBox folder, open it and launch DosBox Options. Hit Ctrl+F and search "autoexec". You see this :

# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here."

Add the following lines and it must be looking like :

# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.

mount c c:\NFSSE
mount d f:\ -t cdrom"

Close DosBox Options and save the changes.

6. Launch DosBox. Type "D:", hit enter. Type "INSTALLD.EXE", hit enter.

7. Click on Install. Choose automatic for the sound card, click on Done. Click on Done again, a weird video bug might appear but don't worry. Choose "Custom Install" and choose all options to reduce load time in-game, click on "Done". The game is installed but "Play" doesn't work, don't click on it. Click on "Exit", hit any key, type "exit" and hit enter.

8. Open DosBox Options again. Hit Ctrl+F and search "machine=" . You see this :


Change "svga_s3" by "svga_et4000" . It solves the video problem.

9. Hit Ctrl+F and search "autoexec". Add the following lines, it must looks like this now :

# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.

mount c c:\NFSSE
mount d f:\ -t cdrom

10. Go to Programs in Windows (C:) and find the folder DosBox, open it, find DosBox and send a shortcut to your desktop using right-click. Then right-click on the shortcut to change the logo. You can find the logo in the NFSSE folder.

11. The Need for Speed - Special Edition manual is not available. However, thanks to MyAbandonware, the manual for the original The Need for Speed is available here : .

12. You can now enjoy The Need for Speed as if you had downloaded it from GOG!

sally 2019-08-20 0 point

It has been a while since I have run NFSSE this way but try running it by mounting the whole .iso to a virtual dvd drive.

JOHNNY 2019-04-10 -4 points

Hi may I know if this game is working to windows 10 64bit amd ryzen

general waste 2019-01-14 -2 points

for those complaining about dos box not working. get an old laptop from ebay. smtg like 100-200 mhz processor and 32mb ram. play dos games like a baus

Ali Amir 2018-11-28 -2 points

How do you launch it on Mac? I downloaded the game from ISO version already but I can't launch the game!

cheese 2018-11-01 1 point

thanks so much flakka and thanks to the person who made that youtube video, now I can play NFS :-)

Flakka 2018-10-21 2 points

Man I remember playing this game when I was 5 on a DOS machine..good times.

For those having issues, I used this method to run and install it:

Download the ISO, get Daemon Tools, and DBGL (DosBox Game Launcher, trust me it works better than DosBox alone. It actually works for me whereas if I do DosBox with a different install it won't cooperate and not start at all) I haven't got the videos working, but the game overall works just fine.

Have fun!

Abe 2018-10-17 1 point

When using ISO in DosBox following commands might work.
imgmount d NFS.ISO -t cdrom

cheese 2018-10-06 0 point

None of these work for me. ISO and rip. Dos and Windows. Like another poster said, I installed the DOS version, and I go to run it but gives the dos4gw thingy. I didn't copy the ISO to a CD first, I just used winrar to extract it. Should I have put it on a CD/DVD first instead? Sorry if this is a stupid question.

Gibus Sniper 2018-09-05 0 point

@Giovanni mount your CD/ISO like this:
mount d e:\ -t cdrom
If that doesn't work make sure your NFS ISO is mounted or it will think your running a bootleg game!

Flemmong 2018-05-17 0 point

How many hours I have used back in the 90's on this one!
Soo great to play again!

Giovanni 2018-03-31 -1 point

Hi! Great game, however I think there's a problem: I've downloaded the ISO, the I installed successfully the game. After the end of installation it says to use the command nfs in order to start the game and it works actually. However, as soon as I close DosBox and try to execute nfs it doesn't start, indeed it is stuck at "DOS/4GW Protected Mode Run-time Version 1.97" etc.
Is it a problem of the game or I made something wrong with the installation?

Android78 2018-02-07 1 point

I'm new to the dosbox thing. I've managed to download a few games and do the drag and drop thing. However, I'm desperate to play nfsse. Not sure how to get it to run as a message saying :
Using joystick USB Gamepad with 2 axes, 10 buttons and 0 hat(s)
MAPPER: Loading mapper settings from C:\Users\HPOwner\AppData\Local\DOSBox\
DOSBox switched to max cycles, because of the setting: cycles=auto. If the game runs too fast try a fixed cycles amount in DOSBox's options.
CPU speed: fixed 3300 cycles.
CPU speed: fixed 3630 cycles.

Similar message comes up even without a joybpad plugged in. Any advice would be much appreciated.

A.MANAN 2017-11-28 0 point

Its really a best game for pc ,with best graphics .I enjoyed it very much

ssr 2017-03-22 0 point

It works for me on Mac with boxer. The rip version of SE didn't work when the standard edition did. But with iso the import feature of boxer takes you through the instalation process, and after the installation is complete the game works flawlessly. So i suggest all of you who can't get it to work, try playing around with iso. Thank you! :)

curry 2016-11-10 0 point

Stephen curry the fastest player

Troels 2016-08-21 1 point

Can't get this one to work :(

Asad17 2016-08-05 -4 points

In case an old DOS game isn't working on your modern PC, see the "How To Play" section for instructions! Hope you are happy now! :)

gts250gamer101 2016-07-04 0 point

love this game... retro is great!!!
i wish i could run it on my windows 8.1 laptop, tho...

OZAN 2016-03-25 -2 points


santiago durez 2016-03-24 -1 point

yo quiero un juego viejo para que tenga sentido

OZAN 2016-03-11 1 point


PLO 2016-03-11 0 point

i have this game in my old pc collection, I played it a fair amount back in the day and used to think the graphics were pretty good and enjoyed the feeling of driving really fast but now the graphics just seem yukki and dated(because i'am spoiled) it's funny how you can really enjoy a game during a certain time frame and then years later not really be able to get into it like you used to be able to.
also really loved NFS3 on the old PSX console but again I am just too spoiled
by games with better graphics and games that give you more freedom like the
grand theft auto series, but back in the day both games were really good games.

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DOS Version

DownloadRIP Version English version 64 MB DownloadISO Version English version 366 MB

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