2015 has so far seen the release and reveal of a few highly anticipated car racing games from big gaming franchises. Time for us to list the best ones out now and expected in the next twelve months!
Gamescom 2015, the leading gaming conference, added a couple of more to the table including Need For Speed 2015 which promises to revolutionize the entire franchise. Forza Motorsport 6 was revealed earlier in January and further detailed at Gamescom 2015 but is about to hit the stores in a few days.
The list combines both sim-racing games and arcade racing video games. We ranked our top 7 based on graphics, gameplay, mods and choice of race modes, tracks and cars. Don’t hesitate to post your comments below!
7. F1 2015
F1 2015 is the seventh Formula 1 racing game developed by Codemasters. It was released in July 2015 and is available on three platforms namely Windows PC, XBox One and PlayStation 4. The game incorporates all the drivers and circuits from the 2014 season. Despite having mixed reviews, the game topped the UK sales charts and enjoyed a stay in the top five for 5 weeks.
The game features a new Pro-season mode that is more complex than normal gameplay. In this mode players have no HUD or assists. Additionally, the game is compatible with PS4 and XBox One voice recognition software allowing players to communicate to their engineers at the pit stops. The AI is one of the features we criticized.
Platform: Microsoft Windows, XBox One, PlayStation 4
Driveclub is a PlayStation 4 racing game released in 2014, it focuses on road racing and uses the concept of clubs where gamers can create teams of six people and join challenges together. Its graphics have been praised but its environment considered ‘lifeless’. A new patch was released in January 2015 with new countries and tracks.
Players can choose from three modes namely tour, single event and multiplayer. The multiplayer mode allows for clubs and interaction with real-life players through online races.
Developer: Evolution Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 4
5. The Crew: Wild Run
The Crew Wild Run is an open-world racing game and an expansion of ‘The Crew’. It was also one of the major highlights of Gamescom 2015. The expansion brings new graphics, new cars and new challenges as well. The game will be released on November 17, two weeks after Need for Speed 2015. The Crew has been praised for its rich graphics but criticized for poor physics.
The game takes players to a place called ‘The Summit’ where they compete in various challenges to identify the king of the road in famous locations in the United States. The cars range from dragsters, drifters, monster trucks, motorcycles and so on.
Developer: Ivory Tower
Platform: Microsoft Windows, XBox One, PlayStation 4, XBox 360
4. Project CARS
Project CARS was released in May 2015 across various platforms including Windows PC, PlayStation 4, XBox One and later on Linux. A release date for Wii U was cancelled after the developers deemed it unsmooth on the Nintendo platform. Project CARS has gained great popularity on popular consoles like the XBox and PlayStation.
Being a low budget game, Project CARS only offers a limited number of cars. Japanese cars are scare, the Mitsubishi Evo is the only one featured in the current version. The XBox One version has been known to suffer from bugs (audio) and low resolution. However, when it comes to realistic racing, Project CARS beats its rivals. The game assumes the structure of real life racing, including practices, shakedowns, qualifying and main race on different days.
Project CARS 2 was announced in June 2015 and will feature more cars and tracks including rallying and hill climbs.
Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
Publisher: Slightly Mad Studios
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Linux, PlayStation 4, XBox One
3. Need for Speed 2015
Need for Speed 2015 was another major highlight at Gamescom 2015, being a full reboot of the franchise the game has built quite a bit of anticipation. Furthermore, Ghost Games – a subsidiary of EA – took over the development from Criterion Games albeit with 80% of employees from the latter. As opposed to former NFS games, the new installment will require an online connection to play. It will be released on Microsoft Windows, XBox One and PlayStation 4 on November 3. One of the major changes in the new game is the lack of manual transmission which was met with rage by fans.
Developer: Ghost Games
Platform: Windows, PlayStation 4, XBox One
2. Assetto Corsa
Assetto Corsa is a sim-racing game initially released in late 2013 before the final version hit the market on 19 December 2014. Just like most sim-racing games, Assetto Corsa requires an extremely fast PC in order to run smoothly. Hardcore gamers spend thousands of dollars building these gaming PCs accompanied with real-life racing hardware. The game will soon be available on XBox One and PlayStation 4 in 2016 thanks to 505 Games.
AC offers vast freedom to its players and a similar sensation as that of real-life racing. With the console versions coming next year, its popularity will soon increase as the need for a powerful PC is one of its shortcomings currently.
Due to its flexibility and mods, the game is able to stay up to date depending on the customizations by the user. Gamers with experience in programming languages such as C# go the extra mile of creating their own telemetry and interface enhancements. Nevertheless, the game offers downloadable content in form of packs, one was released in March and a second one is under development.
Developer: Kunos Simulazioni
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform: Windows PC, XBox One, PlayStation 4
1. Forza Motorsports 6
Forza Motorsport 6 is another highly anticipated game that is scheduled for September 2015 release on XBox One. New to the game is the wet-weather racing. To make this as realistic as possible the developers visited real world tracks to identify where water puddles are formed.
Forza 6 launches with a record breaking 450 cars and 26 tracks. Over 60 car makes have been confirmed so far, and race cars from leading series such as FIA WEC, WTCC, BTCC, V8 Supercars, F1 and Formula E are also included in Forza 6. New tracks include COTA, Brands Hatch, Lime Rock Park, Daytona Speedway, Monza and Watkins Glen.
Our most anticipated number 1 race game for 2015/2016!
Developer: Turn 10 Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: XBox One
Other upcoming racing games
Gran Turismo 7 is still under development, the release date is still unknown but multiple sources say it will come in 2016 or 2017.
Timeless Sim Racing Games
The following sim racing games have been with us for a while but due to their nature of realistic racing, they still make it to the list as some of the best racing games if not the best.
iRacing.com is one of the most famous sim-racing games and just like Assetto Cars its only currently available on PC. For those looking to enjoy a substantial amount of real racing then this is one of those games that provides close to reality sensations. The latest stable release was put up in June 2015. Due to extensive research and big partnerships the game enjoys a full potential of launching industry trends. It has however been criticized for its nature of being quite expensive.
Its one of the earliest sim-racing games with experienced developers who have been involved in military projects from as early as the 90s. It was released in 2013 albeit with various mods over time. Its used by many real-life professional racing teams including NASCAR and F1.
Its a present day racing game for historic cars sharing the same graphics and physics engine with rFactor. Noteworthy, the game has been praised for its excellent graphics.