Need For Speed III Modern Patch v1.6.1 [2016/10/28] (HD + Widescreen + Portable)

“Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit” is the first 3D game of my life. When I've seen the game first time, I was extremely amazed because I'd never seen 3D games before. It was in 2000. I can't count hours which I've spent in the Split Screen mode with my cousin. And the music... it's so awesome, so I'd recorded it on an audio cassette, and listened it hundreds of times.

And now, years later, I had tried to play this game. But the game refused to run on modern hardware. So, I had tried to investigate how to fix it. I had a little carried away by this. As the result I've created an impressive patch. 25000+ lines of assembly code, 150+ days of reverse-engineering and coding, 40 sheets of A4 paper were covered with writing during development, a huge list of changes...

Hometown in widescreen resolution

Key Features

  • Full widescreen and HD resolutions support. You can easily use resolutions like 1920×1200. Now the game supports all aspect ratios from the 5:4 to 16:9, inclusive 4:3 and 16:10. HUD will be adopted automatically for every aspect ratio.
  • Improved graphics. No more cars with non-rotating wheels, better textures and models for other's cars (original game reduces size of textures even on maximum graphics settings), better graphics in the rear view, etc.
  • New graphics settings: Rear View Detail (High/Medium/Low), Rear View Camera From (In Car Camera/Active Camera, it decreases the blind spot), Fog (On/Off, like in the NFS4), Wide View Angle setting (useful for the widescreen resolutions).
  • Fog effect and light beams support in DirectX 6/7 (they were exclusive effects for the 3dfx Voodoo).
  • Portability. All system settings are loaded from the ini file. No more registry!
  • Compatibility. Most problems with modern Windows were fixed. Full support of multi-core processors. Original game can work properly only on one core. This change dramatically improves performance of the nGlide and the dgVoodoo.
  • Alt+Tab support. You can safely minimize the game when nGlide or dgVoodoo driver is used.
  • Built-in screenshoter. Just press Print Screen key, and a screenshot will be saved into the screenshots subdirectory in the JPG/PNG/BMP format.
  • Improved keyboard support in the menu. Now it is much more consistent. You can also use the Tab and Shift+Tab to switch between elements.
  • Better modding abilities. The game doesn't crash when high-poly cars are used. Also it possible to use huge textures up to 2048×2048 (original limit was 256×256).
  • Optimizations. 10 times faster gameplay loading on modern systems. To skip loading animation just press any key.
  • Bugfixes. More than 200 changes at all!


Before and after: cars have better textures, side mirrors don't disappear

How to install

  1. Copy FEDATA and GAMEDATA directories from the NFS3 CD to a new empty directory.
  2. Extract contents of the nfs3_modern_patch.7z (1.6MB) into that directory with replacement of files.
  3. Done!

Join our Telegram group chat!

Join this Telegram group chat. You also can find other NFS3 fans for network multiplayer games.

If you are a server, ports 1030 and 9803 have to be accessible from the network, so you have to add the appropriate permit rule in your firewall for the nfs3.exe and configure a port forwarding properly. If you're a client, port forwarding isn't required.


Donated: $270.
Status: suspended.

Planned features:

  • [Done] Sharp fonts and other elements in menus on D3D renderers, just like when Glide renderers are used.
  • [Done] The problem with visible black polygons (e.g. near the Old Church) on the DX7 renderer will be solved.
  • [Done] Movies support for the DX8 renderer.
  • [Done] 32bpp rendering for movies. Menu will also work in 32bpp video mode and it will look better. Now it works in 16bpp.
  • Simple windowed mode for the DX6/DX7/DX8 renderers. It will be possible to enable it using ini file.
  • Investigation about how to add an ability to restore minimized game when it works in fullscreen mode.
  • Separate “Frame Size” and “Frame Cropping” graphics settings instead of the current combined one.
  • Rewriting of the code which uses the mouse cursor in the exclusive mode. The game will use the default system behavior of the mouse cursor. It will solve many small problems with the mouse cursor in this game. For example, your cursor will be able to leave the window of the game (when it works in a window) without pressing any keys. Also it will solve problems with mouse lagging on some computers.
  • Solving of the problems with loading of ghost and replay files from other players (when the other player has a little bit different set of cars in his game).
  • An optional ability to change structure of the game directories using the ini file. It may be useful for modding. It will be more flexible than the from the original versions. For example, you will be able to move all save files to some separate directory (e.g. "savedata").
  • An optional ability to load a thrash driver from the root directory, as it was in the original version of the game.

These features are planned for the v1.6.1, v1.6.2 and v1.6.3. A beta version is here.

  1. #651
    VEG Author

    21:9 is too wide for this game.

  2. #652
    Arne Weise

    Just wanted to say thank you for this and also thank you for being so active here and helping people out :) Good karma!

  3. #653

    Does this work on Windows 11 23H2? I can get to the main menu just fine but the game crashes when I start a race. Game works fine before applying this modern patch but then I'm missing out on all the goodness this modern patch does.

  4. #654

    So I copied the game files over to my laptop with Windows 11 23H2 on it and the games starts a race just fine. Not sure why it won't start a race on my desktop. Just shows a black box on my desktop. I created a memory dump and used WinDbg to analyze it. It's reporting the information below. Any ideas? Anything else I could try?

    SYMBOL_NAME: wow64cpu!CpupSyscallStub+13
    MODULE_NAME: wow64cpu
    IMAGE_NAME: wow64cpu.dll
    STACK_COMMAND: dt ntdll!LdrpLastDllInitializer BaseDllName ; dt ntdll!LdrpFailureData ; ~0s; .ecxr ; kb
    FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: BREAKPOINT_80000003_wow64cpu.dll!CpupSyscallStub
    OS_VERSION: 10.0.22621.1
    BUILDLAB_STR: ni_release
    OSNAME: Windows 10
    IMAGE_VERSION: 10.0.22621.2506
    FAILURE_ID_HASH: {289a12fb-10fd-bb5b-3edc-4567046643a5}

  5. #655

    The issue on my desktop PC seems to be related to nGlide. The game works with DX8 and Softtri. Not sure how to get nGlide working though.

  6. #656

    Found this note on PCGamingWiki...

    When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later.

    When running nfs3.exe as administrator on my desktop PC, nglide works. Strange that I don't need to do this on my laptop.

  7. #657

    Hi, VEG. Really appreciate your work. I want to run this game on authentic hardware and keep the original look, plus my graphics card doesn't support nGlide, what files do I need to copy only to add the DX7 mode and nothing else?

  8. #658
    VEG Author

    Just install the patch normally and change nglide to dx7 in the nfs3.ini.

  9. #659


  10. #660
    VEG Author

    whtian, what editions of the game are you trying to patch? The patch supports EU and US editions of the game only. I am aware that there was a Japanese edition of the game that is not compatible with the patch. Was there a Chinese edition of the game too? If it's the case, it might be not compatible with the patch the same way as the Japanese edition.

    Also, please use English. I can't read Chinese without Google Translate.

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