The first NFS I played was NFS:U, so I don't really know. Then again NFS:U was technically -not- open world (technically so in that all the maps were contained in one singular environment and shared assets/roads/etc, but there was no actual free-roam or anything).
I never finished NFS:U 2, far too big (and difficult). Most Wanted is fun, the Criterion/Ghost Games ones are okay. The Run I feel is underrated, maybe that's just because I was good at it.
ProStreet and Undercover? Let's not talk about those...
But I was talking specifically about World. I didn't play much of it. The lag was horrendous and the fact that I had to either grind hours for a car part that I couldn't even tell if it was benefiting my car (apparently different parts behaved in different ways ... i.e. working better on cars with low rpm, high rpm, with turbochargers, etc, etc) or buy them ...... yeah. So this whole 'cosmic NOS' thing is something I never experienced. That's why I was asking.
(( I know that in Hot Pursuit's 'reboot' they had weapons, as they did in Rivals. ))
Look at the road-holding on these babies. Clarkson would cream himself. Broscar, your car skin is called Tropical. ; )