10 Best Racing Games of This Generation
If you ask someone what their favorite genre is, they’ll never say ‘racing’. For some reason, it just doesn’t click with a lot of gamers, probably because you don’t have a gun and can’t shoot things. However, the best racing games will give you a lot more fun than their metallic exteriors would indicate, and that’s why we whipped up this handy list of racing games to help you choose…
Cel Damage HD
And if that description doesn’t whet your vehicular appetite, I don’t know what will. Cel Damage allows you to drive around in a series of wacky cars, playing as a series of increasingly wacky characters.
These cars can be equipped with machine guns, axes and knives, throwing you and your opponents into an arena for a bit of good ol’ fashioned deathmatch.
Formula One games tend to get severely underrated. Without all the sports cars and glitz and glam of other racing series’, F1 usually gets sidelined in favor of other, more popular franchises.
But it’s not without its merits. F1 2015 is a fun, tightly-controlled racer that reminds us to not forget the Formula One games in among the Forza’s and Gran Turismo’s. Even better; it comes packing a brand-new Pro Season mode, a grueling challenge which features no HUD and no gameplay assists of any kind.
For seasoned veterans only.
Though it sounds like a high-school science project, Project Cars is arguably the most realistic racing video game available on current-gen consoles.
Unfortunately for owners of the PS3 and Xbox 360 (and Wii U), their version was cancelled. Whether this was due to the fact that Project Cars would be extremely difficult to get right on older hardware, we don’t know, but it’s a sure bet.
The racing game looks stunning, and though it only features a small roster of cars, each of them is rendered beautifully. A sequel has already been confirmed to be on the way, so give this one a spin before it hits.
If you like your racers to be taken off road, then Dirt Rally is the racing game for you. The title is about as self-explanatory as they get too, and you’ll be racing your hardened sports car through a series of increasingly dirty rally courses.
And by dirty, we mean in the muddy sense. Of course. Dirt Rally is strictly family friendly, and the only time it’ll cause you grief is when you wince in pain as your car does several barrel rolls and whacks into a wooden post. Ouch.
Need For Speed (2015)
Need For Speed, like many other racing games this gen, took an online-centric approach to its gameplay design. But unlike a lot of other games this gen, it didn’t really work, but that did not detract from the gameplay itself.
Indeed, this aspect was as fun as ever. While it could be argued that the singleplayer story that the game presented was unnecessary, it was fun, and it was cheesy – and the developer knew it.
And that’s the great thing about Need For Speed. It wasn’t afraid to take risks, and managed to carve out its own unique space in a relatively crowded market. And, as expected, the visuals and sound design were out of this world.
The trials series is all about bikes, insane stunts and… physics. Lots and lots of physics.
Not that those physics are in any way realistic, mind you. Rather, Trials Fusion thrives off its poor attention to actual science, which makes it all the more fun for the player to experience.
Trials Fusion doesn’t really shake up the formula much, but did it really need to? No, it did not. The core concept remains the same; drive your bike and its unfortunate passenger through a series of stages, attempting to pull off as many crazy moves as possible.
Wheelies, flips and stoppies are the order of the day here, and Fusion is so damn fun that you’ll forgive its similarity to every Trials game ever made.
The less said about the disastrous launch of Driveclub, the better.
For those who weren’t aware, it was initially meant to be a PS4 launch title (and free PlayStation Plus offering) before being delayed… and delayed… and delayed. And even worse, when it did finally appear, the PlayStation Plus version was nowhere to be found.
In fact, were it not for the aforementioned launch, Driveclub would probably have been received much more favorably. So instead, let’s focus on its gorgeous graphics and fine blend of arcade and simulation gameplay.
The racing game itself was packed full of neat ideas, including being able to create a club with your mates and accrue club points across each mode. Plus, the weather effects. Yum.
The Crew is an open-world racing game that many were pegging as the next big thing in racing prior to its launch in December 2014.
The Crew’s biggest selling point is the fact that it touts a scaled down version of the United States. This allows players to free-roam, partaking in races and challenges in a variety of famous U.S. cities.
The game’s always-online state is a step toward the future of open-world titles, and while it didn’t always function correctly, it was still a serviceable part of a vast, beautifully-designed world.
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart doesn’t really need an introduction – if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably played at least one iteration. And Mario Kart 8 continues the series in fine form, refining and polishing the formula that fans have been enjoying for decades.
And that’s the best thing about Mario Kart 8; it’s familiar. Everything you love is here, from the cast of characters to the crazy powerups. Mario Kart 8 looks sublime with the Wii U’s HD visuals, and it really helps make things pop, especially in split-screen.
Forza Motorsport 6
The Forza series has trailed behind Gran Turismo on many occasions, but this generation, it’s the winner by a clear mile.
Well, that’s not really giving Gran Turismo much of a chance; we haven’t seen that series on PS4 yet. However, when it does launch, it’s got a pretty steep hill to climb if Forza Motorsport 6 is any indication.
In short, the popular racing game’s 87/100 on Metacritic is no fluke. It comes packing a serious visual upgrade over its predecessor, and it’s AI system – Drivatar – is the best in the business. All this, combined with some slick, slick handling, helps skyrocket Forza to the top of our list. Your move, Polyphony!