In the words of Borderlands’ Marcus Kincaid: “There’s nothing like a good sale!” Today is Black Friday in South Africa, and people everywhere are being not-so-subtly convinced that they need to spend tons of money on sales today lest they suffer a severe bout of FOMO on social media. As much as I don’t like consumerism, Black Friday deals are sometimes quite good, and if you’re a racing fan they’re particularly good for picking up games you might have had your eye on for a while. If you were looking for a new racing game to pick up today, I’ve got ten lined up for you that you might be interested in.
A note before you dive in: these recommendations are all for digital copies of these games. You might want to read the list and look for a physical copy in your local stores or on online retailers anyway.
50% off Gran Turismo Sport
I may have recently rated GT Sport 70/100 in my review, but this is the best racing game out on PS4 at the moment for simulator fans. GT Sport can be a lot of fun at times, and at others, it might be a trying time extracting enjoyment out of the grind. However, it has the potential to get better over time, and as Sony’s poster child for racing on the PlayStation platform, it’s unlikely to get worse. It’s an esports game, but it’s one that can double as a stand-in for GT7.
Codemasters are masters of the racing genre, and F1 2017 is the latest installment in the long-running series covering the Formula One 2017 championship. The EGO engine has evolved over time and turned into a solid base for some beautiful games, and it’s a step up from F1 2016 in many ways. Pick this one up if you need an F1 fix.
Project Cars was the start of a new chapter in Slightly Mad Studios’ history. With their previous work in Need for Speed Shift and Shift 2 Unleashed making the studio famous, they broke relations off with Electronic Arts and decided to go on a new course on their own. You can see this in the first Project CARS quite clearly because the game is still a little rough around the edges even bundled as a GOTY. However, it’s a labour of love for the developers, and it became a fantastic game as time passed. Pick this one up instead of the sequel, it’s well worth it.
Hot Pursuit (2010) was a return to form for the series, reaching back into its history to bring out a familar recipe for gamers who played the originals. Hot Pursuit is one of the better games in the series, melding in high-speed, high-stakes racing with over-the-top police chase missions that were a lot of fun. For just R20, this is an easy recommendation to anyone who is interested in the Need for Speed franchise and wants to see what it was all about. While you’re at it, maybe pick up the best game in the series as well: Need for Speed Shift. No microtransactions, no bullshit. This was the series at its best.
I gave Forza Motorsport 7 90/100. If there’s anything racing fans on the Xbox One or Windows 10 platforms should be playing, it’s this game. I wouldn’t call it close to perfection, but it’s so well executed and fun that it’s worth a buy. As I said in my review, the only edition that makes any sense is the Ultimate Edition, and it’s still an expensive purchase despite Microsoft’s discounts.
If Forza Motorsport 7 is for petrol heads, Forza Horizon 3 is for gamers who yearn for a return to titles like Test Drive and Midnight Club. This game has so much depth to it, and it even takes on fan favourite Trackmania for the award of craziest race tracks that shouldn’t exist. Instead of the Ultimate Edition, I recommend that gamers on Xbox One or Windows 10 pick up the base version of Horizon 3 and then pick up the Hot Wheels add-on DLC separately.
Easily Codemaster’s finest work, DiRT Rally was a clean sheet design for the team that previously found itself floundering in terms of sales and making games that were satisfying. DiRT 3 wasn’t that fun, DiRT Showdown had limited appeal, and things just weren’t going well in the eyes of their fans. Rally is one of the most difficult games to master, and it’s as good as DiRT 2.
If fun is what you want, karting games have been one of the best experiences on consoles in the past, especially for drunken multiplayer sessions on the couch with a bunch of friends ending at 3AM in the morning. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is so much fun and appeals to just about everyone. Too poor to afford a Switch and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? This is the next best thing.
Everyone had mixed feelings initially about The Crew, and its daft storyline was one of the things that may have contributed to that. However, as the game got on in age and Ivory Tower started fixing its many problems, it slowly matured into a fun alternative to Forza Horizon 3 for fans that didn’t own an Xbox One. There’s a lot of multiplayer action still going on in the servers, and the DLC add-ons that added rally and rallycross events into the game helped flesh it out further. There’s a lot of entertainment for your money here, and the progression system has been fixed somewhat, even if it is a bit annoying that you can use real money to purchase performance mods. Definitely worth a look.
Trials Fusion Awesome Max Edition makes almost no sense whatsoever, and that’s only half of the reason why you’re going to enjoy it. The other half is filled with gameplay that takes you back to the days when you were a tiny critter playing an ExciteBike clone on one of those 8-bit TV Gamestation consoles.
GTA V is less of a racing game and actually a buffet of nearly everything you might find in a game – crazy characters, great writing, a fun story, and lots of vehicle thefts. As much as the game is about shooting things and pulling off heists, it has an emphasis on racing. I’ve played GTA Online for a little over four years, and the racing just keeps getting better. Not only is the single-player campaign entertaining, playing with others online is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in a game to date.
Funny though, GTA V has been around for so long that it simply morphs into another game each time the developers copy something from another franchise. Case in point: the latest trailer for the Transform races. It’s clearly copying The Crew 2’s idea.