The game entails tuning cars for street races, resuming the Need for Speed: Underground storyline. Need for Speed: Underground 2 provides several new features, such as a broader customization, new methods of selecting races, the "explore" mode in a large city known as "Bayview". The City Center was based in Philadelphia, Beacon Hill was based on Beverly Hills, Coal Harbor was based in Camden, New Jersey, and the Stadium area was based on Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Brooke Burke is the voice of Rachel Teller, the person who guides the player throughout the game. The game's storyline is presented in a comic book strip.