Five of the Best Video Games…About Cars

July 26, 2012 / by / 0 Comment
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Video games allow us to escape into a world of fantasy. We can use magic, outrun cops and even die without any real consequences.  Of the many genres that have grown and evolved since the inception of video games, car-based are perhaps the quickest way to get your blood rushing! Below are five of the best video games of all time…about cars.

Car-based video games have been around since the 1980s, ever since 8-bit graphics were introduced. Back then, racing games were not all that captivating and didn’t have much of a fan following, compared to other genres at the time. SpyHunter and F1 Racing helped pave the way for the games on this list. They were innovators of their time and deserve their accolades. However, they could not compare to the glory of the below five best video games about cars.

The Simulators

Simulation games vary from other racing games, because of their methodical attention to detail. They attempt to capture the reality of racing a car. This genre appealed to the car fanatic who had grown tired of less realistic racing games.

1. Gran Turismo – First released in 1998, it has had various incarnations over the years. Each one has been more detailed and meticulous than the last. Gran Turismo is the godfather of simulation racing games. Driving required careful car control and specialized setup. It also touted unlockable goodies, racing school and challenging event stages.

2. Forza – While Gran Turismo dominated the simulation market for almost a decade, Microsoft had enough. Thus, Forza was born. Forza boasted hundreds of cars, incredibly detailed graphics and scrupulous damage modeling. The level of customization had never yet been seen and was even too much for many gamers. It took the racing simulation genre to the next level. The Forza franchise has been a hot seller, ever since.

The Fighters

After a solid decade or so of racing around a track, people began to want more from their car games. Cars can bump into each other, but what if we loaded them up with weapons and had them duke it out on the track? Thus, the car battle genre was born.

3. MarioKart – While other games before it had battle elements, MarioKart was the first racing game to fully embrace the combat nature available on the racetrack. It became popular by allowing you to race as your beloved Nintendo characters. However, it stood the test of time by being an innovative battle racer. There were two primary modes:  racing mode and battle mode. In racing mode, you went around a track – but could pick up various weapons to dispatch your opponents. In battle mode, the track was gone and it was a free-for-all battle royale.

4. Twisted Metal – Perhaps in response to MarioKart, PlayStation developers released an over-the -top battle-centric bloodbath called Twisted Metal. The racetrack was gone, now it was all about displacing others. You were able to carry multiple weapons at a time and select the best one for your situation. Twisted Metal started off as a smash hit, however as the series progressed, it became less enjoyable due to lack of real innovation. Still, the original few installments earned their right on this list for showing us how much fun it can be to strap machine guns on cars.

The Runner

There’s only one contender in this category:  the runner. A game based on outlandish police chases and flashy street racers, this little gem defined a genre all its own. Many have tried, but none have succeeded in overthrowing the king of the police chase:  Need For Speed.

5. Need For Speed – This franchise has had more installments than the Mario Brothers and not all of them have been stellar. However, many of them stand out as true innovators of their time. The premise behind these games is simple:  you’re a street racer out on real roads. There are normal cars that get in your way and best of all, there are cops. A lot of cops. They coordinate with each other, get in helicopters and set traps to try to slow you down. You aren’t only trying to outrace your fellow rebels; you’re trying to avoid arrest, too, you rebel. The standout games of this franchise featured an impressive line-up of cars and deep customization options. This kept the player enthralled and ready to outrun their foes.

We’ve Only Just Begun…

While video games have been around for decades, we are just starting to enter an era of supreme realism, but will they ever be as real as seeing the real live cooling system parts of a vehicle? No doubt, in the coming years we will see racing games that make us really flinch when we crash!

This post was written and contributed by Edson Farnell. Edson writes about various automotive topics. Many of Edson’s friends refer to him as the Auto Parts Geek.


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