The PC has always been one of the most loved gaming platforms. Great accessibility, amazing graphics, all sorts of compatibility, tons of accessories, you name it and the PC offers that level of customisation. Therefore it comes as absolutely no surprise that some of the best games out there today are available on the PC platform.
In fact, so popular is the platform that most games before being launched on consoles are first tried out with PC’s to test their popularity as it is easy to reach out to PC gamers and the options that they have at their disposal are immense.
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When it comes to racing games then, few can beat the actual performance of a PC which gives you a simulation that is the closest possible to a real race track. With amazing sound, graphics and realistic gameplay, it can transform your entire experience and take it to the next level. Keeping this in mind,
Here are the top 10 PC racing games out there today.
Project CARS – Combining the old and the new
Few racing games offer fun and enjoyment on such a regular bases as the exciting and amazing to look at Project CARS from Slightly Mad. The way the game has been created itself tells a story as it happens to be crowd funded and competes with the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo which are amazing games in their own right.
Not only are the graphics wonderful, but the tracks and vehicles have been created again from scratch and the range of options that are available too is dizzying. You may decide to take a 1970 Ferrari F1 car for a spin around a modern race course or even take an old LeMans car through the old classic race courses making this a great game for car enthusiasts and those who are really into racing. For those just looking for fun, you can even take a kart around some of the most daunting tracks in the world.
The game itself is packages in such a unique manner and comes with so many customisations and features that it automatically earns itself a name as one of the best PC racers out there today.
iRacing – More than just a game
iRacing is one of the most legendary names when it comes to simulation racing. While many still make the mistake of calling it just a game, it is much more than that and needs constant hard work and dedication to succeed in it.
The game itself has been created with such attention to detail that it is hard to separate it from reality and the rules itself are about as serious as in any track or racing club event across the globe. This is meant for those who are extremely serious about how they take their car racing and are willing to give to excel in it. A natural progression from the equally challenging IndyCar and Grand Prix legends set of games, this is one that serious and professional gamers love to admire.
While not cheap (at about $50 a year), it is immense value for money, particularly for those looking for a little more than just hours of mindless gaming.
Race: Injection – Realistic driving yet tons of fun
SimBin has always been one of those names that has made the best simulation racing games and with Race: Injection, takes things one notch higher. They have made amazing games mid-2000 onwards with the Race 07 and GTR series and this is the feather on their cap as it combines all the successful elements into one.
The game isn’t easy and is sort of a gateway for those who are looking to get into hardcore racing games from the just the usual basic arcade racing. For instance a Toyota Altis in the game would be the same as a real life one and one can use various tracks to pick up the intricacies of the game and the physics on the basis on which the game works.
However, it’s not just all hard work. There are tons of open wheel racers, muscle cars as well as endurance cars to help you through a number of driving challenges and at the cost that it comes at, Race: Injection is nothing short of pure value for money.
F1 2014 – For the real motor racing fanatic
Now while the F1 series from Codemasters’ has had its fair share of criticism, there is absolutely no denying that it is one of the most detailed simulators out there today. Even the most basic of F1 racers requires gamers to have a deep understanding of things like oversteer and torque and how they work while driving at above 300 km/h at tracks around the world.
At an individual level, F1 2013 is an amazing game and brings together all the elements from the older series that worked so well and combines tons of new elements with it as well. They have added features like granular assist setting and a number of different scenarios and racing options that make this game holistic and fun.
A good force feedback wheel is all that you need in order to feel like you’re in the cockpit with this racer. With game modes that allow you to go into the past, feel transported into tracks like Monza and Monaco as you manoeuvre the race car around the track in a bid to survive. F1 2013 is one of the most challenging games on this list but also one that offers a lot of fulfilment making it a must for F1 lovers all across.
Shift 2 – Bringing together the best of both worlds
When it comes to combining the elements of fun and serious racing, there are few games out there that do it better than Shift 2. From how the car handles to what you need to do to consistently perform, this car includes all of that in your overall gaming experience setting it apart from the rest.
The game has been created very intuitively and as opposed to just locking one view for the drivers, the view in the game keeps shifting as you drive into a corner and the driver looks at the apex and gives you an overall sense of realism. It might take a bit getting used to but isn’t very distracting as it feels more natural.
This kind of attention to detail even springs up when you’re in the thick of action. It ensures that you pay attention to where attention must be paid. For instance, if there is another driver who is running you close, then the attention shifts from things far away and there is razor sharp clarity on the mirror. On the other hand, when stuck in traffic, the cars which are around the racer are more focused on. This makes racing feel natural and effective. Therefore, overall Shift 2 succeeds in combining the elements of fun with performance driving and comes out top in both counts.
Dirt 3 – Slipping and sliding for pure fun
Dirt 3 is just one of those games that does not take itself too seriously and makes for hours of endless fun and joy. Rally racing itself is quite a bizarre concept and Dirt 3 takes all the elements from it to make it an awesome game overall. There are miles of coastal gravel roads and dirt track forests to drive though and the game design is such that it incorporates all the elements of rally racing such as wheel spin as well as sliding on tracks making you feel that you really are in a real rally race.
While the game itself is loose, and more edge of the seats kind of racing, it is immensely enjoyable and there is a definite physics behind it that makes it quite realistic as well. Rally racing is fun and bizarre in equal measure and this game exploits all these elements to make an experience that is coherent, dynamic and hours of endless enjoyment.
Grid 2 – Great graphics, fantastic performance
When it comes to arcade racing, few games out there compare to the sheer amazingness that is Grid 2. While later in the game, one may argue that the difficulty makes it more simulation like, there cannot be an argument that the slippery physics as well as the big drifts are nothing but sheer fun.
The racing needs you to be extremely focused and there is technique involved but at the end of the day the driver feels that the car itself is nothing but a great beast that can be tamed around a track. The graphics are unbelievably beautiful and the tracks are quite well designed as well. The game constantly keeps adding new challenges and it more than just about crashing top sports cars. The Flashback feature, which is a Codemasters’ signature helps to go back and correct mistakes made previously is another great add here and can make racing that much more fun, particularly when challenges keep getting more difficult and frustrating.
The game itself seems to be a fantastic template for what the series might have to offer next and we can’t wait to see that as it has already shown tons of promise and quite enjoyable playing.
Driver: San Francisco – Reliving the classics
When it comes to sheer coolness, no game on the planet can beat Driver: San Francisco. It has tons of cars, great classic tracks and an insane sound track making it every car lover’s dream game as it matches nostalgia with performance as you take a trip down memory lane.
The game itself contains cars from a number of eras and looks very 70’s overall. The game includes the typical American muscle, squealing of tires, the rip roaring engines and the ups and downs of the roads of San Francisco with the event variety letting you explore each and every one of these options.
A game as unique as this also has one of the most unique concepts as well. As opposed to racing with only one car, there is an option of swapping cars freely, all with the push of a button. In fact in a race, you may not even finish with one of the initial cars and in car chases drivers can be quick to move through traffic and create a set of incidents that can completely mess up opponents. Novel, fun, bizarre, original, this game is a complete riot and one that’s always sure to be fun no matter what time or place.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit – The legend continues…
The Need for Speed series is legendary in its own right and one can argue that the car racing genre exists because of the work of this series. Right from NFS 1, the series has been one of the most anticipated and eagerly awaited releases on any gamers calendar and while lately many of their games haven’t quite been up to the mark, they can still come up with absolute gems all the time.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is one of those games that effortlessly rises above the rest in terms of both how its designed, set up as well as in the way the gameplay works. Hot Pursuit isn’t like one of those racers where all that is expected is to drive through a city and look for challenges – it cuts directly to the chase.
The game itself has racers marshalling a fleet of cars, either as street racers or as cops through the most amazing and quick roads that come in the series. The game barely needs you to touch the brakes as you can use the rails or even another car for that matter when it comes to cornering. You can even push on cars onto traffic that is oncoming to watch the fun and as cop you are rewarded for catching the street racers and putting them away. Fast and furious fans will not be disappointed as it’s as much fun as the film and while some may say as silly as well, it’s all in good racing.
Burnout: Paradise –Racing through a wonderful world
Burnout is one of the top games out there in the market today and as a series has been hugely successful across the world for its impressive gameplay as well as graphics. Therefore, when it comes to open world arcade racing, Burnout: Paradise is amazingly fun and involves tons of action.
The game is set in a city that has only cars and the roads are the best places to drive at and come with the most challenging twists and turns throughout both the city and the country. The soundtrack too is quite good and adds to the overall feel of the game. Burnout was one of the first games that introduced concepts like the crash breaker and supercharged nitro and to that extent, Burnout: Paradise adds on to those features to make it a more complete game overall. The locations are stunningly beautiful and so are the cars, which are a pity, considering how much smashing and crashing happens throughout the game.
So hit the gas and zoom past dazzling scenery in a series of races in what is undoubtedly a top game today. Simple, hours of fun and still quite challenging, Burnout: Paradise is all that one can expect from a good arcade racer and more.
Racing games on the PC are among the most amazing and fun elements that a gamer has. However, they can be quite serious as well. Depending on whether you want a technical or experience or one that just involves hammering down cities in a superfast race car, there is a game for everything.
Figuring out the nitty-gritties of engine specifications, tyre wear and suspension balance is something that would catch the fancy of many a professional and racing games are designed to cater to a wide section of gamers. For those who are looking for mindless fun, all that they need to do is pick a car and zoom through the tracks.
Racing games can also help incorporate many classic elements as well including old cars as well as legendary tracks. This is a must for those who have grown up loving motor racing and can take you back to the days when racing was one of the most passionate and dangerous sports around.
Be it F1, rally racing or general street racing, there is a game out there for everyone and be it realism or dynamism that you are looking for, you’ll get that from the best games.
So what are you waiting for?
Go out there and grab a copy of a racing game that you like best and enjoy some mind boggling hours of fun on your PC.
[Featured Image Source: Flickr]