The 8 Greatest Driving Games of All Time

Driving or racing games are one of the most popular genres in the video game industry. If you think about it, it’s easy to see why this genre is so successful. For the most part, the gameplay is fast, most titles are competitive, and almost anyone can pick up and enjoy a good racing game.

However, the genre has seen its share of changes over the years. In this post, we’ll take a look at the eight most important driving games of all time and see how they’ve impacted the gaming industry.

1. Gran Turismo (1998)

Gran Turismo┬« is now a legendary series, exclusive to PlayStation consoles since the beginning. While Gran Turismo┬« 7 is a lesson in technical excellence, it’s the first game to truly conquer it all. This game single-handedly reinvented the console racing simulation genre.

It is completely different, very competitive and very rewarding for experienced players. The launch of Gran Turismo® was nothing short of revolutionary, and the fact that you can still pick it up and enjoy it is why you should think twice before selling your old console.

2. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

These days, Need for Speed: Most Wanted feels less like a game and more like a frozen moment in time. This game does an amazing job of making you feel like you’re driving at lightning speed. You still have full control of your car, but there’s just enough aggression that you feel like you might crash it at any moment.

We can say that this is the leader of the series. It’s a game full of personality and gives you a similar feel to the first Fast and Furious movies. Above all, the story is so good that even other NFS games can’t match it.

3. Out Run (1986)

Out Run is one of the most important arcade games of all time, joining Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Galaga. The premise is simple: You drive a red convertible down an endless American highway, accompanied by one of the most infectious soundtracks in gaming history.

The game had a huge impact on the industry and influenced much of the music in modern racing/driving games and movies. Inspired by the movie The Cannonball Run, the game offers the fun of racing to the finish line in a supercar. It’s amazingly simple, yet utterly addictive.

4. Forza Horizon 3 (2016)

Forza Horizon 4 and 5 are both great games, but Forza Horizon 3 is probably the best of the bunch. The map is something really special, the soundtrack is awesome, and the DLC is very enjoyable. Also, the grinding is not as clear as in Forza Horizon 4 and 5.

It still looks good today, as it should, as it laid the groundwork for later games in the series. The game is arcade style fun, but realistic enough to make you want to buy a steering wheel for your setup.

5. Driver: San Francisco (2011)

This game isn’t talked about much compared to the others on this list, and that’s a shame. Driver: San Francisco is quirky, stylish, and thoroughly enjoyable from a narrative perspective. You play as a police officer named John Tanner, who is involved in a disastrous car accident and ends up in a coma.

Here’s where it gets weird: you play the entire game while Tanner is in a coma. As you can imagine, things get weirder and weirder, but everything comes together well in the end. It’s a masterclass in storytelling, unconventional game design, and unique level design.

6. Crazy Taxi (1999)

Crazy Taxi lives up to its name, as this game is a chaotic adrenaline rush paired with a brutally aggressive soundtrack. The game has the word “Taxi” in its name, but customer satisfaction is far from your goal. Instead, the goal is to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

This includes finding shortcuts, making crazy jumps, and finding the craziest stunts possible. What started as an arcade game quickly became a huge success for Sega. It will forever be remembered as one of the most iconic games of the early 2000s.

7. Ridge Racer (1993)

The only reason Ridge Racer is lower on this list is that it’s pretty heavy to play these days. That’s the nature of most PS1 games (Gran Turismo being a surprising exception). However, like Gran Turismo, Ridge Racer changed console driving games for the better.

The controls were more precise than any other game at the time, and it was the first time that drifting in a game was enjoyable. It’s an arcade racing game with lots of sandy beaches, big mountains, and lots of bridges for some reason. Things have evolved a lot since then, and this game owes a lot to it.

8. Mario Kart 8 (2014)

If Super Mario Kart and other previous entries in this series are the more “classic” options, Mario Kart 8 is the best of them all. It features great level design, lots of new and classic maps to choose from, and plenty of excitement.

Mario Kart has always been the go-to party game because there’s nothing like hitting your friend with a blue shell when they’re about to win.

It also makes us long for the days of the Wii U, where many great games were bogged down by the somewhat wrong hardware choices Nintendo decided to make. Fortunately, Mario Kart is still around on the Switch.

Racing games are more immersive than ever

The games on the list above are from 1986-206, and that’s no coincidence. Arguably, we’re past the golden age of racing games, and the latest games are cookie-cutter titles that lack the OG magic.

The truth, however, is that most of the older titles set vibes and spawned different racing game concepts, while most of the newer titles focused on being more immersive and tactile. for the players. It is now possible to buy racing chairs, steering wheels and wheelsets, in other words, everything that can make you feel like you are racing rather than playing.

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