Sometimes people can do bad burns but know it, ie. he might have some sort of emulation running while testing the CDs, and when you try it on another reader/computer it doesn't work. Need For Speed : Underground... SafeDisc 2.9... did he burn it with correct settings and if so, what software did he use?
Oh... and it might help having Alcohol 120%'s "Ignore Media Type" option or CloneCD's "Hide CDR Media" option running if you are playing from that burner or else the copys won't work.
Safedisc 2.41+ games have an ATIP check introduced in them so unless you have an ATIP hiding option enabled for playing from a burner, they won't run.