You do not get to define what is a "true" NFS game, because it's an oxymoron, it doesn't exist. It comes down entirely to personal preference and subjectivity, it is not something that can be discussed objectively, nor can you provide any empirical evidence that would conclusively make your statements correct and others' wrong. You want to talk about progression-based NFS games? Talk about them, but you are not given the right to dictate the discussion in a thread with such an obviously misleading title.
Oh and three things buddy, first off stop using and capitalizing the word progression, progression implies progress and progress in a game like NFS isn't really something that you can judge on a gameplay level, you can really only progress by winning races as that's the whole point of the freaking series. So stop and think for a second before you try and enforce your blatantly wrong opinion on what progression-based gameplay means, as it can mean pretty much anything that allows the player to move or progress from one unspecified area of gameplay to another.
Secondly, stop leaving massive spaces between your posts, you leave exactly one freakin' space between paragraphs, doing otherwise makes your posts hard to read and lessens your credibility. Seriously, just stop it. Oh and lastly? Stop using BB code in your posts, it's annoying as all hell and no-one, not even Android knows what you're talking about.