This game has a lot of problems.The AI is rather bad, the driving is not always very well calibrated, the level design isn't the best, full online is a bad idea... but this game has a rather special atmosphere. This game made a special place for JDM in all sort. It's clear that a game like Unbound does everything better than NFS 2015, and I regret that NFS15 wasn't better than this. For a reboot, I think the game should have gone further and offered a more original city different from the "average American city" style. Ventura Bay is supposed to look like LA or some sort, but it doesn't really (and I'm quite glad that it doesn't). When I see the map I'm wondering why they didn't try to make something different like a mix between the suburbs of Tokyo and an average Californian city. If this game isn't an homage to the Mid Night Club, it could have been.
I mean look at the city and the game modes. It's pretty typical of Need for Speed to feature racing in the mountains, but this game emphasized drifting and touge.
This driving style is unique to JDM culture and Japan street racing. I don't think it's a bad thing either that the game takes place at night, although I would have loved weather changes and especially that the weather varies between night and dawn, not just by changing location.
In short, I still appreciate the experience offered by this game because it touched on a style that I find little exploited in most of racing games. I think it's not insignificant if this game has a special placein the saga according to the fans. The game certainly missed the mark but it didn't start off on a bad footing.