Yep, EA has announced the Need for Speed series has raced past the 100 million sold mark -- thanks to recent sales of Need for Speed: Shift -- and earned $2.7 billion in life-to-date sales, cementing its status as the best-selling racing brand in gaming. Just because it's sold the most doesn't necessarily mean it's the best franchise in terms of quality, however -- so we cooked up the graph you see above!
There are a couple of things to keep in mind as you follow the red line's progress:
First of all, we didn't include cell phone entries and tried to focus on the main entries in the franchise
The general quality of the series seems to be high, yet starts to dip after the release of Underground 2 in 2004; Shift seems to have brought the series back from the brink of critical mediocrity
EA's focus now is on rebooting the franchise -- the first step was to release a new hardcore sim racer in Need for Speed: Shift. The next move is to release Need for Speed Nitro, an arcade racer for the Wii and DS market, and follow that with Need for Speed World Online, a free-to-play PC racer for the casual audience.