10 Car Video Games Every Gearhead Loves (And 8 That Just Make Us Mad)

Everyone loves a good car race. Whether it’s from watching one on TV or playing a game, the choice is really varied. It’s funny that the most brilliant racing games don’t have to be the newest, and you don’t have to own the most sophisticated games console to enjoy a challenging course. The race is all about the challenge and the willingness to learn something new. These days you can race nearly anything through your favorite console or even your phone. Some games are fantastic, while others just plain suck.

Now, the true hardcore gearhead will tell you that nothing matters except the latest and greatest racing game with graphics and precision that’ll outperform the Hubble telescope. To me, those type of gamers lose out and lose focus of the adventure of racing. To me a racing game should be way tougher to beat than you can imagine. It should make you want to come back again and again. It should also make you hate wanting to play certain levels. Check out what race gamers love and hate about their favorite racing games.

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18 We Love: Gran Turismo

via gtplanet

Gamers seem to love Gran Turismo just as much for its graphics as they do the game. Polyphonic Digital, creators of the game have a major hit on their hands. From the video tutorials to the stripped-down levels of play, the game has a lot to offer car enthusiasts. There are at least 28 different track courses for you to challenge, and from what I’ve read, the attention to detail is amazing. The only real complaint about the game is that it’s not extendible, so once you master the tracks, you might get bored after a while. All in all, Gran Turismo is great fun.

17 We Love: Forza Motorsport 7

via microsoft

This racing game is talked about often online and seems to be a fan favorite. In this 7th series of Motorsport, the focus is on the details. Everything from the fans in the crowd to the cars is painstakingly detailed for enhanced gameplay. Sand blowing in the wind is something most game makers wouldn't give a second thought about, but even that was included. There are various weather and road conditions to consider when racing on which course, plus you can shorten or lengthen the races as you wish, which is really cool. I like that players need to earn their way toward driving better and more powerful cars through experience.

16 We Love: Driveclub

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Driveclub, although ending its runs years ago, remains one of the most unique racing sims around. The game’s maker, Evolution, had a hard time just getting the game ready for consoles, especially with Sony’s PlayStation. Delayed nearly a year, when it did finally arrive, Driveclub was hampered by performance issues. This was eventually addressed. The graphics were amazing and the gameplay surreal according to players and critics alike. The clear and well-thought-out driving in the game mattered most, and Driveclub delivered on this front.

15 We Love: Need For Speed Payback

via nvidia

Need For Speed Payback is considered by most critics and online reviewers as “OK," but not much more than that. Payback takes care of all the initial complaints from 2015 about the game by adding more feature-rich stories and enhancing events such as drag racing and letting the player pause the game. New tricks such as police chases allow for some added fun, but most players agree that the game can do better if they stick to the pure street racing of earlier game versions. There is still a lot to be liked about Payback, you’ll just have to search deeper for it.

14 We Love: Grand Theft Auto 5

via vox

GTA 5 has been around for 5 or more years now, and is still going as strong as ever, with the game’s publisher Take Two announcing that more than 75-million copies of the game have been sold since 2013. That’s phenomenal! GTA consistently keeps up with the times and has a steady supply of cars to race, steal and mangle anytime you wish. People aren’t so crazy about the so-called “micro-payments” that has been introduced to the most updated games allowing you to pay for certain upgrades, but you won’t hear Take Two mentioning much about it, since they are making additional millions doing so.

13 We Love: F-Zero X

via lego

Racing at over 1,000 km per hour high in the air is what F-Zero X is all about. It’s you and 29 other racers in an all-out race to see who wins. Introduced in 1998, the Nintendo 64 system really takes full advantage of the retro game’s graphics and plays extremely smooth. The main purpose of the game is to pass your opponents of course, while watching your vehicle’s energy meter. You can boost up on energy through special strips on the track to keep going like an Energizer Bunny until you reach the finish line. The simplicity of the game is what people like the most about F-Zero X.

12 We Love: Super Mario Kart

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First introduced all the way back in 1992, Super Mario Kart has gone through many incarnations. It’s the game people almost love to hate. It’s fun and has challenging courses all at the same time, which is what any kart-type of race game should be. Also, it’s a game that’s made for nearly any level of gamer. The latest version is number 8, but you can find older games just about anywhere according to Game Stop. Normally racing against 12 other racers, you have a wide choice of characters to choose from and what players call an even wider choice of courses to have fun.

11 We Love: Pole Position

via carjojo

You wouldn’t think that a racing game from 1982 would interest anyone these days, but Pole Position is a game that people really love. The arcade-style game involves getting around the track in a certain amount of time with the goal of qualifying for the F1 race. Is it a simple game? Yes. Is it fun? Oh yeah. Sure, it doesn’t have all the flashy graphics and endless add-ons of today’s race games, but at the same time, you’re not stuck buying needless bells and whistles when you’ve already purchased a game either. Pole Position provides a decent challenge for what it is – a fun racing game.

10 We Love: Forza Horizon

via motor1

The Forza series of racing games is one of the most beloved in the gaming industry. The fantastic graphics, the fast pace of the games and the excellent controls and options keep fans interested and dedicated to the franchise. Even the audio gets high marks from the players who like the music and commentary that were thoughtfully included in the gameplay. The race courses are plentiful and vary by quite a bit. You even have a chance to race against WWII fighter aircraft, which is really interesting and fun. The game will definitely keep your interest if anything else.

9 We Love: DiRT Rally

via mobygames

For many critics, DiRT Rally is perhaps one of the best car games to ever have been created. That’s because you better know what you’re doing from the minute you start to race. This game could care less if you are too slow or not. There’s no rewind or anything like that, the action is fast-paced, and you will get ran over quicker than you think if you don’t adapt to the controls. But that’s the thrilling part about the game. Its no-holds-barred approach is what keeps all levels of gamers immersed and focused on the task at hand. Released in 2015, the game is still very popular.

8 We're Mad At: Mad Max

via gamespot

Even though the game was first released in 2015, Avalanche Studios’ engineers are probably still in hiding from buyers of the game. Financial post refers to the game as “ugly and depressing.” Most players say that some of the cars are far too fragile. The game focuses on the main character Max and his trusty mechanic Chum Bucket, who constantly repairs and upgrades Max’s car as they go through different parts of wasteland. Car gamers don’t like the long spells of time they have to take to get the car updated. But players forget that the game is movie-based, and they need to have enough patience to get through the story properly.

7 We're Mad At: My Summer Car

via amistech

A report form South China Morning Post calls My Summer Car “one of the most annoying simulations ever played.” Your goal is to build a car from spare parts. Even in real life this can be hard, but of course, the game makes it infinitely harder as you run around to find everything you need. You have to locate everything from meeting the right people, locating the right tools and making sure you even have a bathroom to use. The game is frustrating for those that think they’ll instantly make a car, but if you always wanted to build your own car, I’d say go on and take the challenge and learn a few things along the way.

6 We're Mad At: Mario Kart 8

via shopify

Looks can be extremely deceiving at times. Mario Kart 8 is more challenging than it would seem, depending on what course and level you’re playing. To me it sounds like fun, but to a lot of players, those kart race courses want to make them seek out medical attention. The Odyssey Online mentions that some levels such as “Grumble Volcano” and “Bone Dry Dunes” are particularly frustrating. These levels and courses constantly bring you to your mental limit, especially if you crash and have to start at the rear of the pack over and over again.

5 We're Mad At: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

via bestgamingreviews

GTA: Vice City levels can be fun but annoying at the same time. One of the most annoying levels of the game involves a character by the name of Hilary. The racer seems to have a deity-like ability to stay on the road no matter what you try to do. If you get too close to him, you’ll spin out and/or crash. Time and time again, the same thing happens over and over until it nearly drives you crazy. To beat this level requires quite a bit of cunning and skill on your part. Once Hilary beats you, the course is restarted. Bring some aspirin along with you for this one.

4 We're Mad At: Burnout

via redbull.com

Burnout hit the gaming world more than 9 years ago, but still has a huge following. Well, more like a frustrated following. The arcade-style game frustrates because it’s not easy to win a race. The controls are quite sluggish as many games made during this time were. If it was too easy, then there goes the challenge, I say. You also have to carefully plan which car to use on which course, or else you’ll spend a very long and frustrating time attempting to navigate the road. The crashes look cool if you’re into that, but most players agree that it’s way too easy to do so.

3 We're Mad At: Ridge Racer 6

via wallpaperstock

Ridge Racer is best described as a casual racing game. I say that because if you are new to racing games, you probably aren’t used to things like drifting, which you’ll do a lot in this game. The controls aren’t the best, but the courses will challenge you after a few rounds. Most critics say they hate the announcer’s voice and the background noise, but for someone new to the game, they have over 130 cars to choose from and over 30 courses to practice with. Serious gamers will want to avoid this game like the plague, as the controls and graphics will not be suitable for them.

2 We're Mad At: Rocket League

via zestyio

Rocket League’s popularity continues to rise even though a lot of people aren’t crazy about it. Gameplay is based on a game of soccer using cars as the players. The game is love it or hate it as far as players are concerned. It’s funny that gamers are more annoyed with other players than the game itself, according to several online review sites. Being a team-based game, most seasoned players hate playing with newbies who constantly run into them, ruining their “shot.” Still, the game is notorious for lagging at other times, but really, it’s just a game isn’t it?

1 We're Mad At: Super Kids Racing

via playstation

The game’s title means just that – a racing game specifically designed for kids. I can only say that the game’s colors are certainly bright enough to capture a child’s attention for a while. Too bad the actual gameplay sucks. Finger Guns says it best when they mention that “the game is so utterly devoid of fun that it should be listed as a crime under the Geneva Conventions." There’s a huge amount of technical and design problems with the sluggish game that makes me think it should be only given to a child who’s done something reprehensible beyond measure.

Sources: ign.com, digitalspy.com, gamespot.com

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