As we enter another day of social distancing and staying at home, you may be trying to find new and different ways to pass the time. We’ve already looked at the top 10 car films to watch, so we’re now looking at the top 5 car/driving games to play!
5: Forza Horizon
This 2012 racing video game is the fifth instalment in the Forza series. The setting takes place in the fictitious Horizon Festival – a street racing event if Colorado. You can experience dynamic seasons, explore the amazing scenery and collect cars to take for a spin. If you enjoy playing this game, and you can go on to play Horizon 2, 3 and 4!
4: Need for Speed
Put your foot on the gas and tear up the streets in this classic driving game series! Based on illicit street racing, Need for Speed takes you on the ride of a lifetime from wide city streets to narrow mountain roads. Make iconic cars your own in one of the 11 games from the series!
3: Mario Kart
Sometimes you can’t beat a classic – this go-kart-style racing game was launched in 1992 and has been played all over the world ever since. Developed and published by Nintendo, we’re sure you’ll have hours of fun (and probably a few arguments… that damn blue shell) racing against friends and family on tracks such as Tick-Tock Clock (Mario Kart 8) and Rainbow Road!
2: Gran Turismo Sport
GT Sport is the classy gentleman of the racing scene, caring about sportsmanship and driving etiquette and there are so many reasons to love playing it. The vast car list gives you all of your favourite cars with realistic sounds, and the vehicles will behave differently depending on the course conditions – it takes driving games to a whole new level!
1: F1 2019
Ever dreamt about getting behind the wheel of an F1 car? Well now you can – F1 2019 challenges you to defeat your rivals in the most advanced and ambitious game from Codemasters yet. This game has amazing graphics, storylines in career mode and features all official teams, drivers and 21 circuits from the 2019 season. It’s been praised for its authenticity to the real thing so it’s no wonder it’s as popular a game as it is!
Not only are we here to share with you what we think is the top 5 driving games, but we’ve also spoken to Mark Hamilton, co-founder and creative director of Fireproof Games for his favourite driving games, and it’s fair to say he knows a thing or two about what makes a hit game (more than we do here at Marmalade, at least!)
Hi all! My name is Mark Hamilton I am one of the Co-Founders and Creative Director of Fireproof Games where we make a series of spooky puzzle games called The Room. In a past life, I worked as a track designer on the Burnout series of racing games. Marmalade got in touch and wanted to ask me some questions about the different types of car games are out there –
What do you think is the key to making a good car computer game?
That depends on what kind of racing game you’re making. There are two main types – Arcade and Sim – they are very different from each other so what makes them good is very different too. Arcade racing games are over the top, with unrealistic physics that allow the cars to drift, jump and crash in exaggerated ways. The tracks in an arcade racer are designed with fun and spectacle in mind and generally allow cars to race in places they would never be allowed to in real life. Games like Burnout or Need for Speed have you racing through traffic on city streets, smashing through building sites and generally causing a whole lot of mayhem. Sim racers try to simulate driving a car as realistically and authentically as possible. They use complex physics models to simulate the aerodynamics, grip and handling of the cars to make driving feel as believable as they can. Sims usually focus on real-world cars racing in real locations. Frequently these days games like Gran Turismo Sport and iRacing even laser scan real-world cars and tracks to map them out to millimetre accuracy. The official F1 game from Codemasters goes further by including qualifying and testing sessions and even post-race press interviews to show what an F1 drivers job entails beyond the actual races.
Would you say car games are becoming more or less popular and why?
Arcade racers are not as popular now as they have been in the past, but Sim racers are way more popular at the moment. In the last couple of years e-sports leagues for games like Gran Turismo Sport, and iRacing have been established with racers able to compete in virtual leagues and even FIA certified tournaments. In the last month, there have even been “virtual” replacements for F1 and NASCAR races cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak with racers and celebrities streaming races to an audience of millions.
What is your personal favourite car game of all time and why?
My personal favourite is the Ridge Racer series which, back in the day in the arcade and on the original PlayStation 25 years ago, was one of the fastest, best-looking games available.
Are there any up and coming car games you’re excited about?
Everything is a bit quiet as far as new racing games are concerned. New Xbox and PlayStation consoles are around the corner, and both companies are holding their cards close to their chests at the moment. No one really knows what new games are on the horizon…