I wanted to do this for a couple of reasons: To learn more about 3D coding, to play NFS1 again (the original won't run on modern Windows), and as to see if its possible to replicate (a small amount!) of a groundbreaking 14 year old game.
While working on NFS, I learnt a lot of XNA tricks and really came to appreciate the skill of the original programmers. These days computers have so much space and power, programmers can get away with being lazy. Back in 1995 things were very different...
A single example - the type of track boundary and where the boundary is located is all packed into a single byte.
You can race around every track, with basic vehicle and engine physics, collision detection and sound. There is no collision detection for traffic in this version. "