Top 5: Racing games

As with all ‘best of’ collections, the writer’s bias cannot be eliminated, so here is a quick cross-section of the most fun I’ve had on four wheels and a screen.

1. Forza 4 & 3

Beautifully crafted and saturated with great gameplay, physics and content, these games are still a towering success. Challenging for those who relish it and simple and engaging for the beginners, it has a widespread fan base. Aside from the wealth of racing experience, the game also encourages artwork, photography and cinematography. The online multiplayer is varied and addictive, allowing you to auction off cars, buy bespoke tuning settings or drop into a plethora of race types and classes.

2. Need for Speed Underground 2

Action packed and full of flair, this game was an instant favourite. Backed by the classic tracks ‘Riders on the Storm’ and ‘Black Betty’, it was iconic of the early noughties. Sporting a full-blooded story and the beguiling voice of Brooke Burke to guide you through, it was a six cylinder powerhouse of fun.

3. Mario Kart

Spanning generations, this series of games has probably brought more people together to race than any other. The first game (launched in 1992) enjoyed great success, not only because of the now famous characters but for its new style of racing. Developed across the series, the ‘rubber banding’ technique gave the losing players a competitive chance to catch up, these power-ups keep the races intense right to the flag, perhaps something that should be introduced to modern Formula 1.

4. F1 2013

Expanding on the strengths of its predecessors, the 2013 edition of F1 brought not only much-needed improvements but new content. Aside from tweaks to the feel and look of the game, the addition of classic cars and tracks was a stroke of genius. The career also had an overhaul, incorporating the Young Driver Tests in Abu Dhabi and giving a real sense of objective and pressure on key races throughout the season; as a result, the game seemed more alive than its slightly drier, more strictly simulator brothers.

5. DiRT 3

As action packed as a fox in a hen house, DiRT 3 throws something new at you with every turn. Sliding through snow drifts or drifting through Battersea Power Station, the cars feel like they are itching to bite your hand off, and added to the effects of the changing terrains and weather, you have to be fully engaged from the word go. Tameable for the less advanced and challenging for the pros, DiRT 3 is the spirit of rally at its finest.

Author – Joe, Bath store