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#1 Edited by UlquioKani (1372 posts) -

Racing games are weird to me because even the best games in the genre are usually undercut when discussing the best games of all time/of the year. It's something I do as well when I'm considering end of year lists. The giant bomb guys tend to put them on their lists but they never really get the recognition that other games seem to. I'm not really sure why this happens though. They seem like games pretty much everyone enjoys but no one would call them their favourite.

I guess racing games don't really blow you away like other types of games have the potential to but they deserve some recognition. I want to know what your top 5 racing games are. I decided on a low number as I doubt some people will have enough entries to fill a top ten.

  1. Need For Speed Hot Pursuit (2010)
  2. Grid
  3. Forza Horizon
  4. Blur
  5. Need For Speed Most Wanted (2005)
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#2 Edited by mlarrabee (3849 posts) -
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#3 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1192 posts) -

1: Forza Motorsport 4

2: Burnout Paradise

3: Dirt 3

4: Need for Speed Porche Unleashed

5: Gran Turismo 3

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#5 Edited by Thedrbrian (68 posts) -
  1. Forza 4
  2. Star Wars:Podracer
  3. Burnout 2(before EA fucked it up with Baysplosions and all the motion blur)
  4. Richard Burns Rally
  5. MarioKart 64
Avatar image for video_game_king
#6 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

1. Burnout 3.

2-5. Other racing games.

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#7 Posted by BeachThunder (14576 posts) -
  1. Wacky Wheels (?)

I...I don't play racing games >_> Maybe I should play that copy of Burnout Paradise that happens to be in my Steam library...

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#8 Edited by PhilESkyline (877 posts) -

1. Gran Turismo 2

2. Gran Turismo 3

3. Gran Turismo 1

4. Burnout Paradise

5. Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit

Avatar image for aetheldod
#9 Posted by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

Rock and Roll racing x5

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#10 Posted by Vinny_Says (5914 posts) -
  1. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)- Spent a good 2 weeks trying to get gold on all the police events. That was my Dark Souls honestly, super hard but super satisfying
  2. Forza 3- This is when the series achieved its ultimate vision, subsequent games were probably better but they were only iterating on a solid foundation
  3. Dirt 3- So much variety and that mode where everyone hangs out in a parking lot and does crazy stunts was so much fun
  4. Driver San Fransisco- Overlooked by too many people, but understandable after the terrible games that came before. Get this game son!
  5. Forza Horizon- Weaving through traffic on a Colorado highway going 300km/h in a Bugatti is the best. Hope to see more of this, something with more variety in terrain, car types and weather.

Burnout 3 was also great and so was Dirt 2!

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#11 Posted by TheBluthCompany (475 posts) -

1. Forza Horizon

2. Burnout 3 Takedown

3. Project Gotham Racing 2

4. Burnout Paradise


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#12 Edited by MikeydCT (743 posts) -

1. Burnout Paradise

2. Mario kart 64

3. Forza Horizon

4. Diddy kong racing

5. Midnight club

add N4S: most wanted (2012) and that all the racing games I have played.

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#13 Edited by 71Ranchero (3399 posts) -

1. Sega Rally Championship(SAT)

2. Daytona USA(SAT)

3. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2(PC)

4. San Francisco Rush: 2049(DC)

5. Grid(PC)

BONUS 6. Blur(PC)

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#14 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (7002 posts) -
  1. Burnout Paradise
  2. Super Mario Kart
  3. Pure
  4. Blur
  5. Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts
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#15 Edited by Chaser324 (8080 posts) -

There's a decent amount of variety in racing games, so it's difficult to bring it down to a list of only five.

  1. Burnout Paradise - I know open world racing games can be divisive, but I think this is the first and still one of the few that has done it right. It delivered the same frantic fast-paced action of its predecessors, all in a fun open world with no shortage of things to smash through, records to beat, or split ramps to barrel roll off of over a dozen other racers. Burnout 3 defined the blueprint for the modern arcade racing game, but it was this game that blew the doors off of the online experience and truly solidified the Burnout franchise's legacy.
  2. Super Hang-On - Nobody does old-school arcade racing like Yu Suzuki, and this remains the pinnacle of that work in my opinion. Even ignoring the novelty of the ride-on cabinet (which is still dumb fun), the Genesis version and more recently the 3DS rerelease are great fun at home.
  3. Forza Horizon - I've always respected the craft and care that's been applied to the Forza games, but I don't know that I ever truly had fun with it until Playground Games ripped that base game out of its somewhat sterile confines, ratcheted up the drifting, and unleashed it on the beautiful vistas of virtual Colorado.
  4. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) - For better or worse, Need For Speed is an annual staple of the racing game release calendar. While the franchise has generally managed to be competent, it never truly shined until the guys at Criterion brought their expertise from Burnout - resurrecting cop on racer action and reinventing the online leaderboard.
  5. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed - I know I'll get hate for this, but I think this beats Mario Kart at its own game. I won't pretend that the nostalgia doesn't factor into it, but the racing feels fun and seems to reward skill a bit more than many other kart racers.

Honorable Mention:

Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast - An expansion to Outrun 2 (an under-appreciated gem in its own right), this game was released so late in the Xbox/PS2 era and in such limited quantities that few people seem to even be aware it exists. It stands out though in my mind as being one of the best feeling arcade racers of its time and delivering an almost zen experience of shifting gears and drifting around corners and through traffic.

SSX 3 - I'd say I actually like this game more than a few in that top five, but it isn't a pure enough racing experience for me to feel alright with putting it in there (especially with the tricks being my favorite part). Also, fuck what ya heard, that new SSX game was great too.

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#16 Edited by topsteer (740 posts) -

1. Gran Turismo 5- I haven't played 6 yet or else it would likely be number 1.

2. Dirt 2- It's hard to pick between 2 and 3 but I'll go with 2 since I put more time into it.

3. Forza Motorsport 3- I haven't played 4 or 5 yet.

4. Burnout Paradise- This one is a bit surprising for me since I don't like the other Burnout games.

5. Blur- The only racing game I've played online and it was super fun.

EDIT: I want to give an honorable mention to PGR3 as I spent a ton of time with it when I first got the 360.

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#17 Edited by Devil240Z (5708 posts) -

Gran Turismo(series)

Tokyo Xtreme Racer(series)

Sega GT(series)



I'm pretty sure I have the best taste in racing games here...

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#18 Edited by SlashDance (1867 posts) -

These are the ones I enjoyed the most at the time of their release. No idea how they hold up, apart from GT3 which I played recently and is still incredible.

  1. Gran Turismo 3. Everything about this game was mind blowing when it came out. It's the reason I bought a PS2, and I spent hundreds of hours playing it. It would be on my top 5 games of all time list.
  2. Forza 2. The only Forza game I played for some reason. Great driving, great customization, great soundtrack.
  3. Destruction Derby 2. Incredibly stupid game that I spent a lot of time playing with friends.
  4. Toca World Touring Cars. If I recall correctly, it had amazing AI for the time. AI drivers were not on rails, they were aware of your presence, they made mistake, etc. Very fun game.
  5. Wipeout 3. Aka the best Wipeout game. It played great, it had a freaking cockpit view and the art direction was gorgeous and unique.
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#19 Posted by Atlas (2575 posts) -
  1. Forza 3
  2. Mario Kart DS
  3. Forza 2
  4. Burnout Paradise
  5. F1 World Grand Prix (N64)
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#20 Posted by BabyChooChoo (6553 posts) -

In no particular order-

  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
  • Diddy Kong Racing
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Need for Speed Underground 1/2 (probably could throw Most Wanted in there too)
  • Quantum Redshift (bet you didn't see that coming did you motherfucker!)
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#22 Posted by mosespippy (4751 posts) -

Ahhhhhh..... It really really annoys me when people rank NFS3 HP as a favourite and don't mention NFS4 HS. NFS4 HS has every track, vehicle and mode from NFS3 HP, plus more tracks, cars, mode variants and a career mode. It is one of my top 5 games of all time and I still play through it every year. The PS1 version doesn't have the NFS3 stuff but it is also very good.

As for the rest of my top 5 racers

  • Motorstorm: Pacific Rift
  • Burnout Paradise
  • NFS Hot Pursuit 2
  • GT3

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#23 Posted by MocBucket62 (1849 posts) -

Here's Mine in no particular order:

  • Mario Kart DS
  • F Zero GX
  • Star Wars: Episode One Racer
  • Burnout 4: Revenge
  • Mario Kart 64

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#25 Posted by ScientificPizza (2437 posts) -
  • Crash Team Racing
  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer
  • Midnight Club II

and then some others, I guess. I liked what I played of Burnout Paradise a lot, but I didn't play that game too much. The first Need For Speed Underground was pretty great as well.

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#26 Edited by hanktherapper (416 posts) -
  1. Project Gotham Racing 2 The first racer I've really gotten into. It's also the only one where I put in over 70 hours
  2. Burnout 3: Takedown For me this is the best Burnout game. It also has my favorite soundtrack
  3. Dirt 2 Honestly, I only bought this because it had tracks based in southern Utah. It took a while to get used to it's style, but it won me over
  4. Forza Horizon I have never enjoyed a Forza game. When I heard this was created by ex-Bizarre Creation guys I gave it a shot
  5. Blur Just damn fun to play and yes this list is dominated by Bizarre Creation games.
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#27 Edited by JJWeatherman (14928 posts) -

Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition is the best game that also happens to include racing.

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#28 Posted by Maginnovision (788 posts) -
  1. Gran Turismo
  2. Motorstorm
  3. Wipeout
  4. Forza
  5. Tokyo Xtreme Racer

All series, because I liked the current one when it was out. I'd also add NFS:Underground there, and Grid and Dirt, but they don't make top 5

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#29 Posted by pweidman (2590 posts) -

1. Forza 2

2. Forza 3

3. PGR 2

4. PGR 3

5. DiRT 2

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#30 Edited by TheMasterDS (2911 posts) -

1. Diddy Kong Racing

2. Blur

3. Sonic And Sega 2

4. Trackmania 2 Canyon or the free Trackmania 1 I don't know

5. Star Wars Episode 1 Racer

Honerable Mentions to Hydro Thunder Hurricane which is rad and the DS version of Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam which probably wouldn't qualify as a racing game but it could do.

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#31 Posted by Vextroid (1538 posts) -

1- Burnout Paradise

2- Crash Team Racing

3- Mario Kart Double Dash

4- Burnout 3

5- Sonic And All Stars Racing Transformed

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#32 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

Hmm. Good question. I suppose my top five would be:

  1. Top Gear
  2. F-Zero
  3. Rock n' Roll Racing
  4. Mario Kart 7
  5. Gran Turismo 5
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#33 Edited by bigjeffrey (5282 posts) -
  1. Forza Horizon
  2. Mario Kart Double Dash
  3. Project Gotham Racing 4
  4. Need for Speed: Underground 2

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#34 Posted by InfiniteSpark (376 posts) -
  1. F-Zero
  2. Burnout 3
  3. Forza Motorsport 3
  4. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)
  5. Mario Kart DS
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#35 Posted by ez123 (2145 posts) -

1.) F-Zero

2.)PGR 4

3.)Burnout Paradise

4.)Hydro Thunder Hurricane


Honorable Mention:Forza 3, Dirt 3

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#36 Edited by Nightriff (7112 posts) -

5. Diddy Kong Racing

4. Star Wars Episode 1 Racer

3. Forza Motorsport

2. Mario Kart DS

1. Mario Kart 64

As you can see I haven't played racing games in many years.

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#37 Edited by Boboblaw (488 posts) -

1. Burnout 3

2. Burnout Paradise

3. Need For Speed: Hot Persuit

4. Diddy Kong Racing

5. F-Zero X

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#38 Posted by Hamst3r (5254 posts) -

1. Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

2. Trackmania Sunrise

3. Mario Kart 64

4. F-Zero X

5. Wipeout XL

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#39 Edited by mlarrabee (3849 posts) -

@mosespippy: High Stakes was always buggy and landed in exactly the wrong spot graphically for me. NFS3 had simpler models and graphics and Porsche Unleashed still has decently detailed cars and crisp textures, but High Stakes looked muddy and cluttered since I could never get it to run well at higher resolutions. Plus, it felt like it was always overcast or raining. That game made me depressed, even when it didn't crash to desktop.

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#40 Edited by csl316 (13913 posts) -

I'll go by some of the ones that really hooked me over the years.

5. Sonic Racing Transformed/ Crash Team Racing

4. Rush 2049

3. Need for Speed III/Most Wanted (Callahan version)

2. SSX 3

1. Gran Turismo 2/3

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#41 Posted by mosespippy (4751 posts) -

@mlarrabee: Personally I've never had it crash, either back in the day or on my mac running through VMWare and Wine, or on my current Windows laptop when I played through it last October. I've never ran it on low resolutions though. I always jacked it up as high as I could. I see what you mean by the game being overcast though. Tracks like Kindiak Park and Dolphin Cove were not bright, but I live on a constantly overcast rainy island so it never stood out to me. Once you get far enough to have the Hot Pursuit tracks those are all just as bright as you remember them.

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#42 Posted by bluefish (857 posts) -

PGR2: I don't mean it exactly in the sense of a GT or Forza but I still feel that PGR2 is the most technical racer I've ever played. In that cornering was everything, absolutely everything. And someone taking a great line came out miles ahead of someone who came in to the turn just a little off. With wide tracks and precise mechanics you could get perfect skills at PGR2 in a way I've never had again with a racer.

Extreme G (N64): Fuck, this game is still hella good.

PGR4: Though not a technically great as PGR2 it moves faster, has an amazing driving model and some of the best track designs in the genre. By basing their tracks in real world cities they're able to play with level design in a way most sim racers don't seem interested in.

Blur: It is a crime no one played this game. It was marketed (poorly) as mario kart for hardcore adults. That's a little off base if you ask me. It IS mario kart for adults in that it has higher standards of balance, strategic play and an actual driving model. In my eyes this is the only game that has beat Mario Kart at it's own game. And it thrives online: 20 person races are incredibly challanging and buck-nutty but it's some of the most fun I've had this generation.

If you ever pick up Blur and play online remember: If you come in 19th out of 20 you can be proud that you fought to beat that 20th guy. That is a victory.

Forza Horizon: I wasn't into Horizon for the first few hours. I played it and fell off after a little bit. I don't know what happened though, I went back, fell in love and did everything in that game. It drives beautifully, it looks beautiful and once you're done a tense race you can relax and bomb around in a classic Aston Martin and watch the sunset. Just a great game.

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#43 Posted by ConfusedOwl (1161 posts) -
  1. Need for Speed Underground 2: I don't see a lot of love for this game but it's easily one of my favourites. It's the first racing game I could sit down and play for hours alone.
  2. Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed: This game is possibly one of the first racing games I played. My dad owned this for PC and I played it a lot.
  3. Mario Kart 64: This game as well as Double Dash gave me a lot of good times with my friends back in the day. I remember playing this game split screen and having a blast.
  4. Forza 3: I was tempted to say the first game but this is the one I probably spent the most time with overall. It's a very fun racing game.
  5. Sonic And All Stars Racing Transformed: I played this not that long ago and it's easily one of my favourite kart racers. It's a shame I don't have anyone to play with locally because I can imagine it would be tons of fun.
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#44 Posted by Sinkjaer (39 posts) -

Not as much a pure quality of the games, but the ones I have spent the most time with over the years/generations. We are talking alot of hours here, I have always been a big racing fan, but these are my main games over the years.

Starting with the newest:

1. Iracing - 2008 PC

2. Rallisport Challenge 2 - 2004 Xbox

3. Live for Speed - 2003 PC

4. Gran Turismo 2 - 1999 PSX

5. Road Rash - 1993 Master System II

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#45 Posted by isomeri (2767 posts) -

I'm just throwing out the first five games which pop into my mind in no particular order. Games which barely missed this list include Forza Motorsport 4, Gran Turismo 3, Dirt 3 and Wipeout HD.

  • Forza Motorsport 3
  • Forza Horizon
  • Crash Team Racing
  • Project Gotham Racing 3
  • Burnout 3
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#46 Edited by BRich (502 posts) -

1. Forza Horizon

2. Mario Kart (SNES)

3. Forza 3

4. Forza 5

5. Burnout 3

I skipped Forza 4 for some unknown reason.

Avatar image for johncallahan
#47 Posted by johncallahan (855 posts) -

1.) Burnout Paradise

2.) Burnout 3

3.) Mario Kart Double Dash

4.) Forza Motorsport 3

5.) Grid

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#48 Edited by Jensonb (2033 posts) -

An honourable mention goes to the Motorstorm series.

5) Need for Speed: Most Wanted (A Criterion Game)

4) Mario Kart: Super Circuit

3) Burnout Paradise

2) Need for Speed: Most Wanted

1) Mario Kart 7

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#49 Posted by Hosstile17 (819 posts) -

5. DIRT 2

4. Wipeout XL

3. Rallisport Challenge 2

2. Project Gotham Racing 2

1. Forza 3

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#50 Posted by StarFoxA (5261 posts) -
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Pure
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash (the pinnacle of Mario Kart)
  • Mario Kart DS

Those are about the only racing games I can think of.