Need for Speed: Most Wanted
In 2012 a remake of the original Need for Speed: Most Wanted was published by Electronic Arts.In fact, before the 2012 version of Need for Speed there has been already 18 other games based on the same franchise. This racing game is not exactly an arcade racer, but far from a full-blown simulator as well. The main gameplay revolves around different races that are set in an open world enviment, a city called Fairhaven. The city has several different district that provide interesting backdrops for the racing events. Certain races include the police which makes the racing even more hectic. In addition to the real world cars you can drive in Need for Speed, there are several very exotic cars which can be further customized with a variety of options.
Dirt 3 is based on the Colin McRae rally games despite the name has been removed in this third installation. As you can guess from the name already, Dirt 3 is purely rally driving. The single-player main gaming mode is built around racing events and reputation points which enable you to access new vehicles. Dirt 3 off-road racing takes the player three very different continents, from the North American forests to the national parks in Kenya. The game received mostly positive reviews and especially the graphics and handling of the cars were praised by gamers. In addition, the amount of details and variety in cars have been major bonus points for this fast action rally game.
Grid Autosport has been chosen as the best racing game of the year 2014 and rightly so. This impressive racing game puts together everything you might want from a fully featured car game. The gameplay is built around a racing team which includes obviously teammates, a huge range of cars, career mode etc. The main career mode is extensive but the game offers so much more in events such as touring cars, street races, endurance races, prototypes and more. The game has also been praised for the AI that controls the other cars. The computer will defend their driving lines, take chance and once in a while get into a spectacular crash as well. More than 100 routes and 22 unique locations.
Dirt Rally gives the Dirt 3 game a good run since both are laser focused on the rally driving genre. In a similar fashion this game revolves around racing events such as the official FIA World Rallycross. The game features over 40 iconic racing cars racing from historic to modern day vehicles. It is the attention to detail and the physics engine that sets Dirt Rally apart from the competition. You will experience how each car behaves differently, but it is equally important to put thought into the car setup and tuning so that it fits the track and environment best. Lastly, Dirt Rally is compatible with the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles which takes the gameplay onto a whole new level of immersion,
TrackMania 2: Canyon
If you are not a fan of strict racing simulators but prefer a more light-hearted gaming experience, the Trackmania 2: Canyon is an excellent choice. This game goes beyond normal race driving and the focus is on the fun and crazy gameplay. The tracks are generated by the players themselves and feature stunt features like loops, wall rides, ramps to jump from and so on. One of the highlights in TrackMania is the very active community that creates unique tracks for the members to play as well as the multiplayer aspect. More than hundred players can take part in a single race simultaneously.
Driver: San Francisco
Driver: San Francisco is again very different from several more physics-based simulator games featured here. Driver is firmly rooted in a more traditional gameplay storyline where you playing the part of a detective called John Tanner. The story takes part in 1970’s San Francisco and naturally the cars in the game are from that era as well. More than 120 licensed vehicles each with unique handling are sure the pull you into this cinematic car racing game. More than 200 kilometers of road network and iconic locations such are Golden Gate Bridge are to be found in Driver.
Shift 2: Unleashed
Shift 2: Unleashed is another racing game that is strictly limited the driving on tracks but it has a unique trick up it’s sleeve. The addition of a “helmet-cam” in Shift 2 is a totally unique invention and really changes the way you are playing this racing game. The player experience the race as if looking through the eyes of the driver. This means the driver is turning his head, the features of the car can block your view and crashing into other drivers dramatically alter your driving. The game is not quite as realistic as for example the Grid Autosport, but the experience is quite different and better suited for those who prefer more arcade style action.
Burnout: Paradise is an older racing game that was released by Electronics Arts in 2009. The feedback and reviews were overly positive and this game certainly delivers in the arcade racing department. The Burnout world is open-ended sandbox where you can drive with more than 70 unique cars. The gameplay runs around a variety of events that will bring you points towards the Paradise City drivers license. Burnout is all about doing crazy stunts, crashing into things and just enjoying driving around the beautiful environments. A multiplayer mode is available and provides plenty of racing action with sweaty hands.
iRacing is considered by many the most realistic online racing simulator ever made. If World of Warcraft made the MMO type of games popular in the fantasy roleplaying genre, iRacing is the equivalent in motor sports. You will need to have an iRacing membership to play but this gives you access to a bewildering array of realistically modeled cars, tracks and races. Not many racing games have the actual official racing tracks available, but even more few can claim they have laser scanned the tracks for the ultimate accuracy. Because the games is played online, it is also updated continuously to perform better. New features are added every month.
The top 10 best racing games would not be complete without one game that is focused purely on the formula one circuit. This is the official game that includes all the cars, stars and circuits from Formula One World Championship. Developed by Codemasters this racing game is consider one of the best racing games ever made. While the official licensed items certainly bring more feeling to the game, the actual gameplay, graphics etc. are equally good. This is a serious formula one simulator with everything included from small details such as tire wear to big decisions about race strategy. F1 2013 also includes and online multiplayer mode that is enjoyed by a huge community of drivers.