What are some of your favorite racing games?

CParsons

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Dec 9, 2019
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I'm looking to take on some new racing games this year (been a while since I really dug into them) and was curious as to what others are playing and enjoying so that I may add them to my list. What are some of your favorite racing games?
 
Jan 1, 2020
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Mario Kart 64 - The first racing game I ever really got into. I still remember how awesome and rewarding it was to complete all the Cups with Gold and how it unlocked the reverse mode for all of them.

Test Drive Unlimited - Not the greatest graphics or the greatest driving mechanics, but something about being able to explore an entire island and get all these different cars just drew me in.

Forza Horizon (All) - Basically, Test Drive Unlimited's idea but taken to the extreme and made so much better.

NASCAR Dirt to Daytona - There was a game I loved more when I was younger. I loved starting with racing on the dirt and working my way up to competing in the NASCAR competition.
 
Dec 19, 2019
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Lately a lot of Horizon Chase Turbo, but Forza Horizon is forever amazing to me. I also put in time in Trackmania because it's not a race, just going through a track as fast as you can.
 
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Rogue Leader

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Dec 10, 2019
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It really depends what you're looking for.

For example I'm into Assetto Corsa Competizione right now. But its about as hardcore as you can get Sim wise. It has some of the best AI I've seen in a game ever, they are aggressive, they lap consistently etc. It also has the best and most realistic driving model I've experienced. But just... be prepared to lose, because its not like other games where you can find a way to win every race. You won't, you literally can't. Its brutally realistic, which is why I love it, but it could be an easy turnoff for most. Also if you don't have a wheel/pedals don't bother. The original Assetto Corsa has an excellent driving model as well but is less hardcore.

If your needs are a bit less hardcore, I really enjoyed the DIRT series. Dirt Rally 2.0 is the latest entry and the feeling of getting yourself around a stage, sliding and skidding, man its thrilling.

The newest GRID game as well takes that same magic to the race track. It disguises itself as a sim but its not very realistic in terms of the modeling (compared to iRacing, Assetto Corsa, etc) or AI (which tends towards violence), but its enjoyable in a visceral way.

I also had a ton of fun playing Team Sonic Racing on my Switch this year. Its a fun little combat karting game, lots of cool tracks and events, cheesy story, etc.
 
Dec 19, 2019
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While not really a racing game, my all time favorite "driving" game was a Playstation 1 game called World's Scariest Police Chases. I haven't played that in years but I still remember it from when I was a little guy.
 
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spvtnik1

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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I just reinstalled Need For Speed Shift 2: Unleashed. It's a fine game (any racing game that includes Nürburgring is a winner in my book) but the Steam version apparently doesn't throw out frames as quickly as the Origin version.

Dirt Rally is also great but it's gotten me tempted to go back to Dirt 3 for a more 'whole' experience.
 

Rogue Leader

Moderator
Dec 10, 2019
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I just reinstalled Need For Speed Shift 2: Unleashed. It's a fine game (any racing game that includes Nürburgring is a winner in my book) but the Steam version apparently doesn't throw out frames as quickly as the Origin version.

Dirt Rally is also great but it's gotten me tempted to go back to Dirt 3 for a more 'whole' experience.
I wanted to like that game so bad, but the driving model was just frustrating, it almost felt like there was a tiny lag between input and the car reacting. I had read of others complaining about it as well. At least it gave SMS a good start, PCars and PCars 2 are excellent.
 
Dec 9, 2019
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Forza Horizon 3 and 4 are probably my favorite racing games now. The only thing missing is a VR mode, which makes games like Dirt Rally really special. If you look for some good destruction, Wreckfest is an easy recommendation too, the spiritual successor to the early Flatout games.

Classic shoutout goes to Stunts (by Don Mattrick of all people), the racing game I probably played most. Having a track editor helped that a lot.
 
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Zoid

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Jan 13, 2020
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For current games, I'll join in the chorus saying Forza Horizon 4. The Horizon games are essentially a car enthusiast's wish-fulfillment fantasy put to screen, and performs an impressive balancing act on the line between simulation and arcade racing. If you go full-arcade then I think it has to be Mario Kart, doesn't it? I can't think of a game that I've had a better time playing socially.

From years past, the racing games that have stood out to me have been:

PGR4 - I still enjoy returning to this one. It was (still is) visually stunning, had an oddball list of cars, felt good to drive, and had a fairly enjoyable progression system. It was also a ton of fun to play in local co-op.

Forza Motorsport 2 and 3 - For me, these were the highlight of the Forza Motorsport series, which I think has lost its way now that younger brother Horizon has become more popular. Forza 2 and 3 were VAST games and I think they were the best mass-market sims at the time. Forza 2 also introduced Forza's great painting system (which has inexplicably gotten worse since then in some cases).

DiRT 3 - Others have mentioned this one, but I'll put in another good word. Play DiRT Rally if you want hardcore realism (and have a wheel), but play DiRT 3 if you want a less punishing and more feature-complete rally game that feels great to play.

NFS: Most Wanted - It had customization, it had an open world in which I only ever drove the highway ring, and it had EA Trax. What more do you need?

NFS: Hot Pursuit 2 - Cops, huge tracks, old school EA Trax. My friends and I played the snot out of this game. Have you gone back and played it again recently? It's way harder than I remember.

NFS: Porsche Unleashed - This might be my nostalgia glasses coming out, but I spent hours with this game. It felt great to drive and had a cool career mode. It will always sit in my personal racing game pantheon.
 
Dec 9, 2019
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NFS: Porsche Unleashed - This might be my nostalgia glasses coming out, but I spent hours with this game. It felt great to drive and had a cool career mode. It will always sit in my personal racing game pantheon.
Oh man, both me and my brother LOVED Porsche Unleashed. Such a unique entry in the series.
 
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Zoid

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Jan 13, 2020
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Oh man, both me and my brother LOVED Porsche Unleashed. Such a unique entry in the series.
Yes! So glad that someone else appreciates it! I loved all the videos about the history of Porsche, the tracks were cool, and I also loved that you could buy used cars that had their own pre-painted liveries and varying amounts of damage.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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While it was not that of a great racing game. I had a lot of fun playing Test Drive Unlimited 2. When the servers worked, it was extremely fun to get together with some friends and to cruise around the map. It was also a lot of fun, since the "target aesthetics" of the game were all "High Class" with expensive outfits. We walked around in track suits and were driving classic or plain shitty cars and it was always a good laugh.
 
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Inspireless Llama

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Dec 20, 2019
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Nov 24, 2019
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One of my favorite racing games of all time, though really it was more of a car mechanic simulator, was Street Rod 2.


I spent untold hours in this game. It had a lot of businessy and modification aspects to it, not so much about the tracks as it was how you could mod the vehicle to make it do what you wanted. I totally do not recommend this as a game to play now, but I did want to drag some of you with me to nostalgia-town as revenge for the reference to Mario Kart 64 above and that cursed Rainbow Road. :p
 
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Dec 9, 2019
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One of my favorite racing games of all time, though really it was more of a car mechanic simulator, was Street Rod 2.


I spent untold hours in this game. It had a lot of businessy and modification aspects to it, not so much about the tracks as it was how you could mod the vehicle to make it do what you wanted. I totally do not recommend this as a game to play now, but I did want to drag some of you with me to nostalgia-town as revenge for the reference to Mario Kart 64 above and that cursed Rainbow Road. :p
Wow, you bring back memories. I still can't believe noone has made a modern version of that. I actually played through the game, beating The King which was extremely satisfying.
 

Lutfij

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Jan 2, 2020
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Need For Speed: Unleashed was the best I played from EA's lineup apart from the "original" Most Wanted. The former allowed to tinker with a lot of aspects of the car and also participate in various types of races. The latter was the first in EA's roster that actually brought amazing visuals for that era. I also have a soft spot for Codemaster's Dirt 2 and 3 since I actually love rally racing.
 
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Jan 19, 2020
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MarioKart 8 on the Switch is probably my favorite.

I picked up Garfield Kart last week on Steam and it's a pretty good clone. The power skids aren't as smooth as MK8 at all though.
 

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