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11 Best Racing Games Of All Time | Man of Many

  • Best for PlayStation: Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
  • Best for Xbox: Forza Horizon 3
  • Best for Overall: Gran Turismo
  • Best for Multiplayer: Mario Kart: Double Dash
  • Best for Storyline: Need for Speed: Underground 2
  • Best Racing Games by Category

    When it comes to ranking the best racing games of all time, there’s a lot to consider. With so many different platforms and consoles tackling the automotive endeavour from a multitude of different angles, pinning down the top results is no mean feat. However, Man of Many has collated the data and pulled it into one place. To create this list, the team of editors and writers took into account previous playtime, industry impact, and reviews from online communities. Specifically, data and scores from MetaCritic were highly valued, providing valuable insight into the games that have major global appeal and interest. Similarly, in the case of nostalgia, the list prioritises the cultural significance of the title. For example, the original Gran Turismo is objectively a less complete game than some of its later iterations, however, the role it played in securing racing games as a category is invaluable and therefore was weighted higher than others.

    How Man of Many Chose This List of Best Racing Games

    Now down to brass tax, the big winners and the games that changed the industry. For this list, we focused primarily on car racing games, rather than dipping into the world of motorcycle racing and jet-boat offerings, however, you will find some crossover. Here is a list of the best racing games of all time, as selected by Man of Many’s team of gaming editors and writers.

    11 Best Racing Games of All Time

    Let’s kick things off with probably the greatest 3D futuristic racing game to ever get released, F-Zero GX. Developed by Amusement Vision and published by Nintendo for the GameCube, F-Zero GX acts as the successor to F-Zero X and builds upon the series’ challenging, high-speed racing style, all while keeping the primary gameplay and control scheme from the Nintendo 64 title. F-Zero GX marked the first important video game collaboration between Nintendo and Sega and came with a campaign mode, where the player jumps into the shoes of F-Zero pilot Captain Falcon through nine long chapters. The game was also a leap forward in terms of visuals and controls.

    1. F-Zero GX

    Best for: Overall

    2. Gran Turismo

    Back in the early ’70s, arcade racing games were a massive hit. Piggybacking on the success of arcade games like Hang-On and Enduro Racer, Sega decided to develop a new arcade car racing game which we all now know as Out Run. The game was created by Yu Suzuki, who wanted to develop a game that would let players enjoy the intricacies of driving rather than racing. Despite Out Run‘s core DNA being a driving game, it still retains the classic, race-against-the-clock feature, making it a best of both worlds experience. The game takes place from a third-person rear perspective, where you take control of the Ferrari Testarossa Spider and get to the finish line before the clock runs out.

    3. Out Run

    Published by Rare for the Nintendo 64, Diddy Kong Racing is a racing/adventure game that borrows some of the gameplay elements from the Mario Kart series. You can pick and choose between ten different characters and get to race around in airplanes, hovercrafts, and cars. Diddy Kong Racing has a story mode and a multiplayer mode for up to four players. The game was an instant hit upon its release and even received the Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling game of the time, with 800,000 copies sold before Christmas 1997.

    4. Diddy Kong Racing

    Another absolute banger for Nintendo 64 was F-Zero X developed by Nintendo’s EAD division. Serving as the sequel to the original F-Zero (released in 1990), and the first game in the F-Zero series with 3D graphics, F-Zero X is a fast-paced racing video game taking place in a futuristic setting. You along with another 29 challengers get to race on tracks in an intergalactic Grand Prix. There are 5 different modes namely, GP (Grand Prix) Race, Practice, Time Attack, Death Race, and VS Battle.

    5. F-Zero X

    Best for: PlayStation

    6. Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

    Best for: Storyline

    7. Need for Speed: Underground 2

    Best for: Multiplayer

    8. Mario Kart: Double Dash

    Best for: Xbox

    9. Forza Horizon 3

    Need for Speed: Most Wanted took the franchise to a whole new level with its live-action cutscenes shot using real actors and CGI effects, more engaging police pursuits, and online multiplayer. The game came out in 2005 and was the ninth instalment in the series developed by EA Canada along with EA Black Box and published by Electronic Arts.

    10. Need for Speed: Most Wanted

    Rockstar Games is largely known for its smash hit GTA series but the publisher has some massively under-appreciated, hidden gems under its belt, including the Midnight Club franchise.  The third entry in the series, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition really pushed the envelope and was truly ahead of its time. The game had incredible graphics, a truly great library of tracks, more cars, and personalisation options (the first game in the series to have car modification, both on a visual and performance level). Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition was genuinely all about blinding high speeds, fast cars, and action-packed races, coupled with a ton of content, something that was actually rare back then.

    11. Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition

    Despite gaming being a relatively recent addition to the entertainment scene, racing has been part of the art form’s DNA from its very inception. As far back as 1973, racing games have been a core element of gaming culture, kicking off with Atari’s Space Race, arguably the first popularised racing game in history. In this title, players took command of spaceships racing across the screen in a battle for speed supremacy.

    Racing Games in History

    In the world of racing games, there are a number of considerations that determine whether you will enjoy the title or not. Some are more straightforward than others, but it’s worth taking the time to look at what you want to play, where and how often. Here are the key considerations for racing games.

    Things to Consider

    If you’re not completely sold on the idea of a racing game for tonight then you’re in luck. There are a bunch of great titles to look for to keep you entertained and ready to splash out on your console. Check out some of our other recent gaming coverage.

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