The career system of this entry consists of two modes: "Tournament", straightforward series of races with certain cars; and "Special Event", similar to Tournament, but with various conditions such as with night driving or with a fully upgraded car. Completing races earns the player credits which are used to buy new cars for new events and to upgrade old cars to make events a little easier. Completing races also unlocks the tracks for single race purposes, and completing Tournament events unlocks the Special Event events. Beating all events of Tournament or Special Events will unlock one of two secret cars to purchase; the player also gets a free sample at the same time.
The PC version is somewhat different, starting with having everything under a clear "Career Mode". All events are split into "tiers", a selection of 1 to 5 individual competitions. Usually, one of those competitions is a "High Stakes" race, where the player bets their current car.
In High Stakes, two racers bet their cars on a duel; the winner of the race keeps their car and gains the loser's. The player or players must own more than one car to participate in a High Stakes race.
In addition to the "Classic" mode, which plays similarly to the previous Hot Pursuit, High Stakes introduces "Getaway" and "Time Trap" modes. In Getaway, the speeder must evade the police or the police must catch the speeder within the time limit. If the speeder has not been arrested when time is up, the player has the option to quit to the Race Results menu or to continue play for as long as possible. In Time Trap, the speeder must complete a race or the police must arrest all racers (ten in the PS version) within the time limit. The police can set up spike strips and road blocks, and even call for backup. (Taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Need_for_Speed:_High_Stakes)