What are your favorite racing games?

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GTxForza

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#1  Edited By GTxForza

Hello!

I'm new to Giant Bomb forums and I would like to see you guys share your favorite racing games.

My top 2 favorite franchises are Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport.

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tfarcevol

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#2  Edited By tfarcevol

RC Pro AM for the NES and Top Gear for the Super NES.

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deactivated-619b03b9dff60

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NFS Hot Pursuit 2

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Colonel_Pockets

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Basically anything made from the old Criterion.

  • Burnout Paradise
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
  • Forza Horizon is pretty good too
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FacelessVixen

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Seeing how many people will mention Burnout Paradise and Forza Horizon is prime drinking game material.

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Shindig

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Gran Turismo 4, Tourist Trophy. A package deal, really. The GT formula felt like it peaked and Tourist Trophy's progression was all about dogfighting for the bikes you want.

Burnout Paradise. Phenomenal and it's a shame Criterion (ex or otherwise) can't recapture that magic. It's Chase HQ's open world endgame.

Grand Prix Legends. I like sims but they do lack a bit of character and charm. GPL has the most visceral engine notes I've ever heard and, despite the age, it feels dangerous to drive. It should, really. Jackie Stewart's the only person in that game still alive.

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liquiddragon

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#8 liquiddragon  Online

1. GT3

2. Mario Kart 64

3. F-Zero X

4. Burnout 3

5. Need for Speed Underground

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OldGuy

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Grand Prix Legends by Papyrus for PC, 1998. So, so good. So, so hard. It is simply the best.

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hippie_genocide

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@zoofame: Go for the trifecta and play Ridge Racer Unbounded

My top 3 are...

  1. Burnout Revenge - I know this isn't really people's favorite Burnout because they always choose 3 and Paradise, but I just really liked this one. The traffic checking was a controversial thing but I found the game to be balanced with it in mind, so the races were still somewhat of a challenge. It had really fun online modes too.
  2. Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2005) - I unapologetically love this game. The arcadey driving is really fun and the cornball FMV's just add something to the game. EA tried to rekindle the spirit of this game in the NFS reboot in 2015, but it just wasn't the same.
  3. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) - This is a cool cops vs. racers driving game made by Criterion. You can use spike strips, EMP's and other weapons to battle on the road. The Autolog online integration was really cool and wish they'd bring that back. And that wet pavement man, it still looks good.
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stantongrouse

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More than some other genres I would lean more into "whichever one I am currently playing the most of is my favourite" partly down to still having access to most of the racing games I've ever played but always having a couple on the repeated play rotation. I loved Lotus Esprite/Top Gear when they came out, but would much rather play Horizon Chase Turbo now than those games as, nostalgia aside, the old games just don't run as well as my memories would lead me to believe.

I would currently put Forza Horizon 4, Trackmania 2020, Hotshot Racing, Wreckfest and Sonic Racing Transformed as being the five I could sooth all my habitual racing itches with. Maybe a Burnout or Criterion Need for Speed to have as a back up too.

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Seikenfreak

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#14  Edited By Seikenfreak

Ooo, this is kinda my bread and butter. Never easy to pick favorites.. Probably have some classics on here because I think there is some beauty in simplicity and some of the newer games have lost their way.

Gran Turismo 2 (PS1) - Classic GT. In modern times, I find it a perfect balance of arcade and sim. The handling and feel is forgiving by todays standards and allows you to sit back and relax with a controller. Massive selection of cars, a lot that no newer games even bother having. Love the career/gameplay structure here as well.

Gran Turismo Sport (PS4) - The best racing game for online match-making and ease of entry. Very high skill level required when you're near the top and a great rewarding sense of competition. iRacing does exist, but its got a (very) high cost barrier to entry if you really wanna get into it and it is a bit simple/dull in terms of presentation compared to more popular racing games.

Need for Speed: High Stakes (PS1/PC) - Aside from the unique Porsche Unleashed entry maybe, High Stakes is the peak of NFS in my opinion. Another example of something being arcade-y but still giving a sense of playing with cool, real cars. The tier of cars available here are great. The whole vibe, from menu design and a killer soundtrack, is something that Need for Speed has lost and will probably never get back.

Top Gear (SNES) - One of my earliest racing game experiences. Ugh, the music is so damn good. Hard and unforgiving in the way old games are, it's still fun even if you only play the first few levels for a bit. The sequel, Top Gear 2, doesn't quite have the same style or music, but is easier to progress and play as a video game.

Project CARS 2 (PC) - My racing game of choice for VR. I think it's got a great sim handling model and some pretty good visuals. Using VR for racing sims is the way forward and if you're game doesn't support it, then why even bother. Lots of good race cars to choose from, but not a great selection for street cars.

Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 (PS2) - The quintessential Wangan racing game. It's a crime they have not made a new one. Very unique, not a good or realistic handling model, but you get used to it. Good selection of japanese cars. Decent customization.

Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 2 / Kaido Battle: Touge no Densetsu (PS2) - And the quintessential drifting game in my opinion. I originally played the japanese version of this, long before it was available over here, via an installation on my PS2 HDD. Again, kinda unique/bad handling model, but you do get used to it over the dozens of hours of gameplay available here. Unique progression system. Big variety in japanese cars. Decent customization. Again, blasphemous they haven't made a new one.

Colin McRae Rally 2.0 (PS1) - There are a lot of fun rally games. Probably only singling this one out because I bought it in 2019 and played a lot of the career mode. I hadn't played it prior to this and I think it still holds up. Put the time in to get comfortable with the crazy twitch reflexes that a rally game requires and eventually you'll get into the groove and feel so damn good when you nail a course.

Forza Horizon Series (Xbox) - I think this is going to be your best bet for an open-world racing game experience. Nothing else is coming to mind at least. Excellent balance of arcade/sim handling, enough so that cars feel like cars are bound to physics you can relate to but forgiving enough to allow for play on a controller and an easy sense of fun.

Monster Energy Supercross 3 / MXGP PRO - My picks if you're looking for two wheels on dirt. Supercross is indoor/stadium style courses, and MXGP are the larger outdoor courses. Can pick whatever fits your style. I did play Motocross Madness and some others as a kid, but I don't think there is any reason to go back to older games in the dirt bike genre.

F-Zero (SNES) / WipEout XL (PS1) - If you're looking for your futuristic, hover vehicle racers, these are it. One 2D, one 3D. Blindingly fast speeds. Each with a unique style of their own. Each with their own awesome soundtracks.

Tourist Trophy (PS2) - The Gran Turismo of motorcycle games. Obviously, both from Polyphony Digital. And they haven't made another one yet! Ugh, so dumb. Has that special Gran Turismo vibe, with the music and the visuals. Great motorcycle selection.

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hermes

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Burnout Paradise. Often imitated, never surpassed.

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Ascara89

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Both NFS most wanted games, asseto corsa, forza motorsport 3, and I have a lot of fond memories of crash team racing ('99)

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AV_Gamer

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Outrun

NeedForSpeed: High Stakes

NeedForSpeed: Hot Pursuit 2

Rage Racer

Wipeout XL

I love racing games, but I never get the time to really sit down and play them like I use to, because so many other genre of games get my attention first.

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navster15

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Y’all like Diddy Kong Racing? They should make another one of those.

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alphanull

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on the sim side, iracing is the king, bar none. i still enjoy assetto corsa + competizione, the dirt rally series and rfactor 2. automobilista is also really neat.

arcade-wise, the f1 series, the dirt series (except 5), sonic all stars, burnout 2 and 3 (paradise is not as good) and i'm also gonna be that guy and call gran turismo and forza arcade games, but i enjoyed most of them.

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senorsucks2suck

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#20  Edited By senorsucks2suck
  1. Burnout 1 with the specific caveat of it having to be on the gamecube. Trying keep those clickable-triggers depressed, without them slipping, as you try to navigate traffic to complete burnout after burnout in order to complete a lap was invigorating. Sweaty hands and license free cars. Perfectly placed direction arrows. Great soundtrack. Just enough cars that you could master each one (i think they handled differently). Split screen. Perfect game. Unmatched by the XBox and PS versions. Sequels got to be a little outrageous. Since this is Giantbomb and Jeff likes Burnout Paradise (like game of the year enough likes) well i guess people are going to say Paradise. Which is by far the worst game in the series. Open world for no reason. Gatekept behind a paywall of motorcycles and entire levels (Big Sur). One of the original offenders of DLC high crimes and misdemeanors. Burnout 1 can be booted up and completed in 3 or 4 hours. And you can always do better. That is the whole point of racing games. All the car porn of modern racing is kind of silly. You wouldn't catch me playing a modern racer other than Hotshot Racing (downloading now)
  2. SSX was the perfect launch PS2 game and made importing a PS2 when next gen consoles were as impossible to get as they are now feel great. You can't get downthe mountain without doing tricks and learning routes. Like some of the best things in life once you've missed it it's gone forever. Every time i pick up game in this series I get frustrated by not remembering how the controls work. 15 minutes later I'm back in a grove that could be years or decades old. Most games don't have controls this atuned. Can't be sure which of the sequels actually might be better but none disappoint until they started incorporating skiing which killed the vibe and just felt like some EA CEO preaching about how great skiing is too.
  3. Gran Turismo 1 at the time. Please do not play that game now. Having that game and analog sticks and rumble was just great racing. Handing off the controller to a friend to help get your S-license was amazing. Getting that feeling of "this is the 1" in regards to a lap or winning an event is what racing games are for. Original car porn. Made Subarus relevant and real to me as a brand when i totally overlooked them and I'm currently IRL car shopping and GT1 might influence a $20K decision. The intro to GT5 gave/gives me goosebumps.
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Malusdraco

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not really too much of a racing buff but mario kart 7 did me real good when i needed it. i've been getting into Redout lately too, the controls are a little funky but the aesthetics are on point.

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Seikenfreak

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#22  Edited By Seikenfreak
@senorsucks2suck said:

I'm currently IRL car shopping and GT1 might influence a $20K decision.

An exciting time. Whatcha getting? I know I've used all the GT games as a shopping tool for various purchases. Hence why it sucks when a game doesn't have the car you are interested in. And in GTs case, they have a lot of the more realistically attainable cars for people.

Certainly affected the purchase and import of the old GTR I have in the garage now.

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cikame

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I'm fairly sure this thread was started by a bot or a weird marketing person, regardless my favourite racing game of all time is PRG4.

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senorsucks2suck

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@seikenfreak: But i really want a Mini Countryman Convertible AWD. Doesn't exist though. I live in a pretty snowspot and buying another 4 door just seems like nothing new..

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Krataur

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Racing games are one of my favorite genres, so this'll be a long list.

  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Gran Turismo 4
  • Burnout 1
  • Burnout 3: Takedown
  • Beetle Adventure Racing (N64)
  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 (PS2)
  • Rush 2049 (N64)
  • Midnight Club 2
  • Midnight Club 3
  • SSX Tricky
  • SSX 3
  • F1 2019
  • Blur
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senorsucks2suck

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@krataur: The F1 series is one that i could see myself getting into. It really needs live racing commentary which i doubt it has. I heard they try to play up the rivals part of things but without NBA 2K levels of aware commentary I don't think cutscenes cuts it... you would know though. I'm not doing the research.

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Sessh

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I've liked a ton of racing games over the years, but the one I keep thinking about (and coming back to over and over) is Driver: San Francisco. The shift mechanic translates to pure fun in my opinion, especially in the fittingly chaotic multiplayer mode.

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vaiz

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Need for Speed Most Wanted, 2005 version, holds a very special place in my heart. Maybe it was the time it came out, maybe it's that it was just a really good game, maybe it was the soundtrack, maybe it was Razor Callahan. Whatever the reason, it's my favorite Need for Speed game. It was also a fantastic showpiece as a launch 360 title while still having functional previous gen versions, so I was able to play the next gen version at a kiosk and then not be totally disappointed by the OG Xbox version in comparison.

For more sim racing games, I had a long love affair with Forza 4 when it came free with my Xbox 360 slim. Prior to that, I had never really been into sim racers. I never got in to any of the subsequent main series Forzas after that, but I do really like the Horizon series.

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senorsucks2suck

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@sessh: The ticking over of Kudos for Project Gotham Racing is a sound firmly ingrained in my mind and was kind of the start of me understanding and thirsting for achievements. It was a precursor, for me, for what i wanted out of racing game and got in Burnout. When achievements became a thing on 360 I knew what they were aiming for.

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billmcneal

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Gran Turismo 4, Sonic R

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MoonlightMoth

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Oh too many to count, but my current crush is art of rally, really love that game.

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isomeri

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Both Forza franchises have been seeing a lot of play on my consoles and PC for many years now. Looking back at past games, here's a list of some of my all time favorites. The number 3 seems to be somewhat of a good omen for games like these.

  • Forza Motorsport 3
  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Project Gotham Racing 3
  • Burnout 3
  • Gran Turismo 3
  • Dirt 3
  • Need for Speed Underground 2
  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
  • Flatout
  • Hard Drivin'
  • Trackmania
  • Wipeout HD
  • Ridge Racer (PSP)
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GTxForza

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@isomeri said:

Both Forza franchises have been seeing a lot of play on my consoles and PC for many years now. Looking back at past games, here's a list of some of my all time favorites. The number 3 seems to be somewhat of a good omen for games like these.

  • Forza Motorsport 3
  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Project Gotham Racing 3
  • Burnout 3
  • Gran Turismo 3
  • Dirt 3
  • Need for Speed Underground 2
  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
  • Flatout
  • Hard Drivin'
  • Trackmania
  • Wipeout HD
  • Ridge Racer (PSP)

I really miss Project Gotham Racing and Ridge Racer series, I hope both will come back by 9th console gen era.

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GTxForza

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Oh too many to count, but my current crush is art of rally, really love that game.

It's a beautiful looking game.

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TayJaySlay

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Sonic. All. Stars. Racing. Transformed.

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JD-D2

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#37  Edited By JD-D2

F1 2020 has a phenomenal career mode and lots of assist options if you’re not into the “sim” style so much. (Though it’s definitely not arcade.)

Gran Turismo 4 and 5 are still excellent “simcade” racers, too, especially if you have a wheel. God I must have put somewhere around 1000 hours into GT5 last decade, played it to death and even beat all those Seb Vettel challenges.

If you really want to go hardcore, iRacing and Assetto Corsa are good for that, though they take serious practice and almost demand a wheel.

There also was not 10 games better than Art of Rally from last year, either.

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dcraig814

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@zoofame: so so happy to see the Porsche Unleashed love. What a classic.

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wollywoo

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I never enjoyed realistic racers but I love the occasional arcade racer. F-Zero GX, Wave Race: Blue Storm, Fast RMX. Speaking of Wave Race, where's the sequel?! I'd love to the realistic waves they could pull off on modern hardware.

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MightyDuck

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Hmmm, here's a few off the top of my head.

  • Jet Moto
  • Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit (1998)
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)
  • Need for Speed Underground
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)
  • Dirt 3
  • Wave Race 64
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Crash Team Racing (1999)
  • Gran Turismo 3
  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • Forza 2
  • Crusin' USA
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GTxForza

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@wollywoo said:

I never enjoyed realistic racers but I love the occasional arcade racer. F-Zero GX, Wave Race: Blue Storm, Fast RMX. Speaking of Wave Race, where's the sequel?! I'd love to the realistic waves they could pull off on modern hardware.

I wish F-Zero series to return in the near future.

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GTxForza

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#42  Edited By GTxForza

@jd-d2 said:

F1 2020 has a phenomenal career mode and lots of assist options if you’re not into the “sim” style so much. (Though it’s definitely not arcade.)

Gran Turismo 4 and 5 are still excellent “simcade” racers, too, especially if you have a wheel. God I must have put somewhere around 1000 hours into GT5 last decade, played it to death and even beat all those Seb Vettel challenges.

If you really want to go hardcore, iRacing and Assetto Corsa are good for that, though they take serious practice and almost demand a wheel.

There also was not 10 games better than Art of Rally from last year, either.

I love Assetto Corsa as well but I haven't tried iRacing before, and I can say it looks totally fun to play.

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Spankmealotus

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@seikenfreak: I was surprised and loved to see you mention the Tokyo Extreme Racer games in your list! I absolutely loved those games. Just the other day I did some looking to see if there was another one after 3 or something similar. Weird timing thinking about them, googling around for a sequel then seeing this post all in like four days.

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SchrodngrsFalco

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Harms Way will forever hold a place in my heart for how much fun I had with it with my GF at the time. Legitimately thought it was a great game.

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isomeri

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@gtxforza: I've kind of lost hope for a new Project Gotham Racing, but I do think that there's room for a new Ridge Racer and one of those games could look fantastic on modern hardware.

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Ignition

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Nodima

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#47  Edited By Nodima

Gran Turismo 2 will always have a soft spot for me because I had the time to collect - I hope I'm not lying here - every single one of those 650 or however many cars, and that was also at the peak of my, "dad, buy me that book about old cars" phase before I realized I didn't want to be a car guy at all.

But Gran Turismo 3 is the real answer because I put even more hours into that game, mostly driving a Mitsubishi Galant or the Suzuki Escudo in circles on a NASCAR track while listening to The Decemberists because nothing says cars like prog folk and that was the last time in my life I seriously considered investing in a driving wheel.

Hat tips owed to GRID for some reason, Biker Mice from Mars because it was RC Pro Am with, uh, biker micefrom mars, and racing challenges in GTA V because nothing raises the stakes in a car race than actual stakes in a car race, and Rockstar's street races have always been one of the few modes of racing in video games that feels lived in even if it's some of the most basic racing you can do.

Edit: Just to say that Need for Speed: Underground was the one time in my life a racing game was part of popular culture outside of gaming and actually directly influenced the next 10 years of my life via T.I.'s "24s", which did not lead to me putting spinning rims on my Saturn SL2 in high school but did heavily influence me to write about and catalog the then-burgeoning trap music sub-genre as a hobby and later actual job.

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ripelivejam

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#48  Edited By ripelivejam

Burnout 3 takedown, burnout revenge, forza horizons 2-4 with 4 possibly best, the maerio karts with tie between 64 and 8 deluxe. f zero x, star wars racer lol

I have wipeout for ps4 but feel I havent given it its due.

I appreciate and have paid money for Forza Motorsports and Gran Turisimos and probably will in the future, but my actual working knowlesge of cars and the different brands is negligible. As a red blooded muricun male I assume this is shameful but whatever.

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goosemunch

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I don't think anyone mentioned the GTR series yet. Back when I used to like racing games I regarded them quite highly. They're also victims of StarForce DRM making them unplayable on modern Windows today.

Fun fact, people/founders of SimBin that made GTR games went on to found Slightly Mad Studios that made NFS Shift games which is why they're so damn good.