Most Wanted 5-1-0, of which the numerals refer to the police code for street racing, is the second Need for Speed game to be released on the PSP. Just like Need for Speed: Most Wanted, the game is centered around a career mode and Blacklist 15, where you need to work your way up a ranking by beating several racers. There is no storyline however, and the cutscenes have also been removed.
Progress is achieved by completing several events (milestones). There are regular races, but also heat challenges where you need to get the cops off your tail, or break through roadblocks. You can try to outrun the cops, but the levels also contain pursuit breakers; special events that can slow down the chase. The PSP version adds new modes such as Tuner Takedown where you race as a cop and take down the street racers with a limited amount of time. Another one is Double Down, where you need to win races with a full heat meter. Unlike the console versions, you cannot roam freely in the city to search events. Instead, you move from event to event straight away.
There is a large variety in cars and customization, but with a trimmed-down selection in general. Multiplayer games are available for up to four players, through Wi-Fi Ad Hoc or Infrastructure.