What Makes A Great Racing Game?
It’s pretty obvious that racing games are very popular, particularly when speeding in real life is a major traffic offense for the common people. From the many racing games that I’ve played and enjoyed, I’ve noticed that there are some foolproof criteria that may help you differentiate the good from the bad. If you enjoy racing games extensively, you could probably relate to most of the points stated below
The most important thing that I look for in a good racing game is the selection of in-game cars available for purchase. Some racing games provide a variety of cars that they separate by brand - both familiar and real-life brands as well as made-up brands – or name while others separate the cars by type. However, it doesn’t really matter which type of car it may be, as long as it’s cool-looking enough, it can get you to want it bad enough to work both of your butt cheeks off for it. After all, getting a virtual version of your dream race car is so much affordable and probable than getting the real version!
But of course, if you have an obsession (that perhaps stands in the line between healthy and unhealthy) over, for instance, muscle cars like the Mustang and Camaro or luxury race cars like Ferrari or Lamborghini, you’ll probably stick to games that provide those types of cars. Bonus points to the game if it provides an in-game photo capture feature like in Forbidden Racing. If the photo capture feature provides awesome-looking and customizable backgrounds like in Car Stories, then I’ll give the game even more bonus points!
The second point that a good racing game will have is the rush and competitiveness of racing. Sound effects in the gameplay a huge role here, along with the graphics and camera view of course. If you have an insatiable hunger for speed, you’ll definitely love racing games that feed your hunger by letting you listen to the roar of your powerful engine as you slam on the accelerator or the screech and squeal of the tires burning on the asphalt when you drift. I know I do!
Not to mention, the camera view surprisingly plays a role in increasing the immersion of the game. For instance, in Need for Speed: World, you can opt for the driver view so it feels a lot more like you’re driving the car yourself. If you can hook your PC up with a driving simulation rig - complete with a steering wheel, a seat with the gearbox next to it and pedals, you’ll be able to enjoy the game as realistically as you can... short of playing it in realistic virtual reality simulation, of course.
The best part about the rush of racing is when your car zooms right through the finish line to snag the first place! Everybody likes a winner, but if the game makes it too easy to win, the win may feel a bit “fake”. However, if the game provides enough challenge and competition to make you work for the trophy, you’ll come to enjoy the game a whole lot more. Trust me on this! This is perhaps why I’ve enjoyed games with opponents rather than timed-laps. In this case, games that provide exhilarating police chases or busy traffic, like in Driver Experience, will earn extra points from me.
Last but not least, the holy grail of all racing games – customization! The more options that the game provides, the better the game is. And of course, to make things fair for the free-to-play players, all of the items should be available for in-game cash. For instance, in Rush Racing, you can spray paint your car as well as add logos, decals and even texts. The game even allows you to add an underglow to your car, switch out the default rims for something much cooler and add a rear spoiler, a hood scoop or a roof scoop! Thus, maybe you cannot afford to personalize your car in real life, but at least you can do so virtually in a game!