If you've got that need, that need for Need For Speed, you might be out of luck. EA are pulling several older games in their racing series from sale, and plan to shut down online services and end multiplayer for them too. These include NFS The Run and NFS Shift 2: Unleashed - games certainly more interesting than dross like 2017's NFS Payback. They're supposed to be gone from sale already but I still see 'em, so get in now if you hanker for momentum.
EA announced yesterday, on May 31st, that starting May 31st they would remove NFS Carbon, NFS Undercover, NFS Shift, NFS Shift 2: Unleashed, and NFS The Run from sale on digital storefronts. I still see most of them on Steam, minus Carbon and The Run which were never sold there in the first place, so you can still grab 'em if you've been meaning to. They're not on Origin anymore, though. Annoyingly, EA announced the delistings right at the end of a NFS sale. Would've been nice to know that sooner.
EA plan to end online support for these games on August 31st, leaving them only playable offline.
"Decisions to retire games are never made easy, but we are now shifting gears to focus on the future of Need for Speed," they said. "The development teams and operational staff have put a lot of time and passion into the development, creation, release and upkeep of the game over the years, and we love to see you play. But the number of players has come to a point where it's no longer feasible to continue the work behind the scenes required to keep Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed and Need for Speed The Run up and running."
While I don't imagine a huge amount of active work was going into keeping these old games running, new problems can still crop up. After Ubisoft unexpectedly ended online support for games including Rainbow Six Vegas 2 earlier this year, they told us that after a critical update to their online services management platform made some of their older games just too wonky.
The nice thing for EA to do would be to offer players tools or support to host unofficial replacements. Ubisoft have done that with some games, though not many. I know the server-bypassing GameRanger supports the original NFS Shift (which also has LAN support), so you should still be able to play that, but not any of these others. The bad future where servers are wholly out the hands of players.
EA gave the tiniest of peeks at a new NFS game last E3, just some shiny cars. Their big summer showcase will be in July this year, though I don't know if we'll see this new racing game given that EA have delayed it so developers Criteron can chip in on the next Battlefield.