Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) (PC)
Racing 16 November 2005
The ninth installment in a legendary racing game franchise created by Electronic Arts company. After two Underground games, featuring illegal night street races, the franchise went back to its roots, combining ideas from the two most recent titles with classic elements. The player’s goal is to climb to the top of a black list of the most wanted drivers. Again you get to explore a huge virtual city, taking on different racing challenges. These include circuit, sprint, drag, elimination, time trial, speed challenge, and police pursuit. After completing enough of these you can challenge subsequent drivers from the black list. Apart from elements typical for the series, such as licensed cars and diverse soundtrack, the game features complex car customization, both in terms of appearance and performance.
Forza Horizon 3 (PC)
Racing 27 September 2016
The third installment in a series of open-world racing games developed by Playground and initiated in 2012 as a spin-off of the popular Forza Motorsport console franchise. In Forza Horizon 3, the player participates in another edition of the titular racing festival. However, apart from the role of a racer here, the player also co-organizes the fest. The game is set in Australia and the map is twice as large as it was in the second installment. As usual, the game stands out mainly with a massive number of licensed cars available (350 in total) and those were recreated with great attention to detail. The game offers newest, exclusive car models. such as Lamborghini Centenario, but also a wide set of off-road cars and various buggies. An opportunity to complete the campaign in a 4-player co-op mode is the largest new feature Forza Horizon 3 comes with.
A sandbox car driving simulation. BeamNG.drive is a debut work of the indie developer Beam NG and the result of several years spent developing a highly-realistic driving model. Players can sit behind the wheel of several vehicle types (e.g. passenger cars, pick-ups trucks, vans) and explore the vast terrains prepared by the developers. In addition, the creators prepared several game modes, including police pursuits, street races, and courier missions. In-game editor lets the players create their own vehicles and tracks. The driving model takes into account the numerous factors that influence moving vehicles. The pinnacle of BeamNG.drive is its remarkably realistic damage system - the in-game crashes' resemblance to real-life road accidents is almost terrifying.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PC)
Racing 30 October 2012
A new installment in the legendary racing series. As the title suggests, the game refers to one of the most well-received parts of the series - the original 2005's Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The game was developed by Criterion Games, a company well-know for the Burnout series. The remake resembles the original game when it comes to dynamic police chases and the so-called Blacklist, where the player challenges other most wanted drivers for races and climbs up their ranks. This time the developer put emphasis on the game's open-world environment, and the opportunity to explore it freely. The player can freely roam the streets of Fairhaven and switch between the vehicles they previously managed to acquire. Participation in subsequent races unlocks upgrades and modifications for each car. In doing so, the player earns prestige points as well, which allows them to challenge subsequent Blacklist drivers. What is typical of the series, the game offers an arcade driving system that features spectacular collisions.
Need for Speed Carbon (PC)
Racing 01 November 2006
The tenth installment in the bestselling racing game series originally launched back in 1995. The game lets you play as the main protagonist of the previous game. He returns to his home city only to find his domestic street racing scene taken over by rivaling gangs. As you take on new racing challenges, you take back your home town one district at a time. The game’s mechanics employ the well-proven solutions introduced by its predecessors, while introducing several new elements at the same time. Those include, first and foremost, canyon duels, which require much attention, as it is possible to run through the traffic barriers and roll down the slope. The other novelty is the team; you can assemble your own crew, and its members can aid you during races, e.g. by blocking your rivals. Additionally, the game features cut-scenes with real actors, several dozen licensed car models, as well as vast car customization options. Regarding the latter, Autosculpt module lets you modify almost any element of the car body.
Need for Speed (PC)
Racing 15 March 2016
The ninth major installment in one of the most popular car racing video game series continually developed for over two decades by the Electronic Arts company. This one was created by recurring Ghost Games Studio (former EA Gotheburg) mostly consisting of ex-Criterion employees. The game's development process was also assisted by members of the Speedhunters community, including photographers, journalists, and drivers focused around broadly understood car culture. Marking the 20 year milestone of the series’ existence on the market the creators decided for a restart, naming the new game simply Need for Speed. To meet the players’ expectations the product draws from the two most popular reincarnations of the series: Need for Speed: Underground and Underground 2, featuring all the elements fans loved the franchise for – extensive car customization, authentic fell of the car culture, and a compelling story set in an open world bustling with nightlife.
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (PC)
Racing 12 November 2004
A sequel to Need for Speed: Underground, a best-selling 2003 game from Electronic Arts, which changed the shape of one of the most popular car racing franchises. The game takes you to a virtual metropolis that thrives after dark. For the first time in the history of the franchise, the city is completely open for exploration. As you ride around its streets you can challenge the drivers you meet on the way or learn more about the favorite locations of the street racing community. The gameplay mechanics did not change much; rather, the developers focused on an even more detailed recreations of licensed cars and car parts used for tuning. The game’s graphics were noticeably improved, featuring all sorts of new visual effects. The soundtrack keeps equally high level, as usually featuring songs by famous artists across a wide spectrum of genres.
The Crew (PC)
Racing 02 December 2014
A sandbox racing game developed by Ivory Tower Studios in cooperation with Ubisoft Reflections. The Crew was tailored for the fans of spectacular racing video games. The players become drivers racing across the American roads and cities. There are over 100 car models, whose appearance and performance can be modified as you see fit. The Crew offers several play modes – both single and multiplayer. The world’s open structure (an area covering over 5 thousand square miles) encourages you to explore, take up new challenges, and undertake hundreds of missions. It is also noteworthy that the game includes expanded social features.
Next Car Game: Wreckfest (PC)
A dynamic racing game developed by the creators of the cult FlatOut series and the last two iterations of the almost equally famous Ridge Racer series – Finnish studio Bugbear Entertainment. The game takes inspiration from the previous works of the studio, focusing on crazy rivalry, unrestrained with fair play rules. Apart from having the best lap time and being the first one to cross the finish line, you should also eliminate your opposition as brutally as you can. Therefore, the races overflow with vicious competition, and the tracks quickly become covered with car wrecks of the defeated. The game features complex car customization both in terms of appearance and performance. From the technical side, the game catches the eye with well-polished graphics and advanced damage system, which impacts not only how the cars look but also how they behave. You can race alone, competing against AI, or take part in one of many crazy multiplayer modes.
DiRT Rally (PC)
Racing 07 December 2015
The next major installment in a bestselling racing game series developed by British studio Codemasters. The title returns to the origins of the series, originally launched in 1998 as Colin McRae Rally, focusing solely on good old rallying. The player can drive a wide array of cars from 6 classes, including both new brands as well as classic models from 1960s. You can compete in several varied locations scattered across the globe, e.g. Wales, Greece, or Monte Carlo. The authors put heavy emphasis on the realism, and the driving model reflects that, taking into account numerous factors, including the road surface and your car’s customization. As your vehicle can be damaged, it is essential to hire a team of mechanics who can repair the car and upgrade it with new parts which you successively unlock throughout gameplay.
Project CARS (PC)
Racing 07 May 2015
A robust car racing simulation game created by the experts at this genre, Slightly Mad Studios (Need for Speed Shift, Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends and other titles), in cooperation with the community of World of Mass Development. Project CARS lets you test your driving skills, putting you behind the wheel of diligently recreated cars of different classes – from karts, through sport cars, to Formula 1 racing cars. The creators highlight the authenticity of the experience, including realistic driving model and advanced collision system, as well as impressive visuals. The game offers many varieties of gameplay in both single player and competitive online multiplayer.
Assetto Corsa (PC)
Racing 19 December 2014
A very realistic racing simulator developed by independent studio Kunos Simulazioni, which specializes in the genre. The developers of Assetto Corsa have previously created such games like netKar Pro and Ferrari Virtual Academy. The game allows the players to assume the role of professional race drivers and participate in thrilling races of various car classes – from mass-produced vehicles, through prototypes, to the legends of GT and F1. The game has a realistic driving model developed by racing engineers and professional drivers. The model calculates many factors related to the car’s behavior on a track, including g-force distribution and tire grip. Assetto Corsa’s high quality graphics employ the potential of DirectX 11 libraries and the eighth generation consoles. It uses such technologies like HDR, motion blur, dynamic lightning and shadows.
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (PC)
Racing 16 November 2010
Another installment in one of the most popular racing game series, developed since 1995 by Electronic Arts. Criterion Games, a team popular mainly for the Burnout console series, was entrusted with the task of creating this installment. The title of the game refers to the two earlier installments that featured police pursuits, released in 1998 and 2002 respectively. In the game, the player can pick their side and play either as a cop or a racer. A set of gadgets was introduced into the gameplay, emphasizing the arcade nature of the series. Cops can deploy spike strips and set up road blocks, while the racers can use things like radar jammers. As usual, the game features dozens of licensed cars and a soundtrack including numerous popular songs. The Autolog system is a completely new feature, the role of which is to organize a network of players allowing them to compete against each other.
Need for Speed: Undercover (PC)
Racing 18 November 2008
After the slightly more realistic ProStreet, in which the players raced on professional racing circuits, the popular Need for Speed series returns to city streets with a traditional, arcade installment. Developed by a Canadian EA branch, Undercover puts a special emphasis on the storyline. As an undercover cop, the player has to infiltrate the ranks of a racing gang. To do so, they have to prove their worth in a series of driving challenges, including regular races, time trials, highway battles and outruns. As usual, the players receive a massive number of licensed cars which can be modified both visually, and in terms of their performance. The game's improved visuals and excitable soundtrack are complemented by cinematic cutscenes featuring mainly Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III) and Christina Milian - a singer.
Forza Motorsport 6: Apex (PC)
Racing 06 September 2016
A free-to-play spin-off installment to the bestselling racing game series known from the subsequent generations of the Xbox console. It was developed by Turn 10 Studios with PC users in mind. The gameplay of Forza Motorsport 6: Apex does not differ significantly from other full-fledged installments in the series and emphasizes simulation aspects (while still offering a number of gameplay facilities). Compared to the full-price console version, the title is significantly poorer content-wise. The game features only slightly more than 60 cars (compared to the 450 models available in the original) and 20 tracks in six locations based on actual racing circuits. The basic game mode, Showcase Tour, allows us to take part in 12 automobile events commented on by the former hosts of the highly-popular Top Gear television series.
Need for Speed Rivals (PC)
Racing 19 November 2013
An arcade racing game belonging to the long-standing and very popular Need for Speed series. The title was developed by Swedish-British studio Ghost Games (former EA Gothenburg), aided by ex-employees of Criterion Games. Players can become either drivers taking part in illegal street races or police force trying to apprehend them. As you progress in the game you unlock new cars and useful technologies. The in-built All Drive system allows for seamless coexistence of single and multiplayer modes. On the technical side, Need for Speed Rivals is powered by the advanced Frostbite 3 engine, also used in e.g. Battlefield 4.
FlatOut 4: Total Insanity (PC)
Racing 04 April 2017
The fourth full-fledged installment in the spectacular racing series Flatout started in 2004 by Finnish studio Bugbear Entertainment. After the cold reception of the third installment in the series, the task of creating the new entry was given to Kylotonn studio, the creators of the fifth installment of the popular rally series WRC. The game is strongly based on notes and suggestions of the community and promptly returns to the roots of the series. In the game the player traditionally participates in brutal races in which one can win not only by driving fast, but by eliminating the vehicles of the opponents as well. FlatOut 4: Total Insanity has the option to destroy the environmental objects, create astonishing crashes and sports a realistic destruction system – all the features that were the iconic traits of the series since it was created.
Need for Speed ProStreet (PC)
Racing 13 November 2007
The 11th installment in the popular racing game series developed by Electronic Arts. In contrast to the previous parts of the game, this title completely abandons the idea of illegal races and transfers the action to professional racing circuits. Players take part in a number of challenges divided into four race variations: Drag, Grip, Drift, and Speed Challenge, in the latter the driver who reaches top speed wins. Successive victories unlock new challenges and cars. The game offers 26 licensed car models that can be customized with the Autosculpt system. The authors emphasize the recreation of crashes and the realistic damage model that influences the car’s performance. Fans of realism were given the option of turning off all the driving assistance, like power steering and ABS, which makes driving much more simulator-like.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 (PC)
Racing 08 February 2011
A sequel to the bestselling Test Drive Unlimited - a game that managed to reinvigorate the classic racing series launched by the Accolade company in 1987. The game is set in two locations, namely the islands of Ibiza (Spain) and Oahu (Hawaii) - the latter appeared in the first Test Drive Unlimited where it is accessible later in the game. The player can freely explore both islands, taking on subsequent racing challenges. Alongside the game's progression, the player purchases new luxurious cars, but also villas and other properties. The game introduces several changes to the mechanics. Instead of individual races, the player takes part in racing tournaments. Also, the player obtains special licenses, which unlock subsequent challenges. Although the single-player mode was supplemented with a storyline, the game focuses mainly on multiplayer competition. Thanks to the improved game engine, the player can drive in daylight or at night. Dynamic weather conditions were implemented as well.
DiRT 3 (PC)
Racing 24 May 2011
The third full-fledged installment belonging to the incredibly popular racing-themed franchise developed by Codemasters. The DiRT subseries has cultivated traditions initiated in the late 1990s by the Colin McRae Rally series. After the previous game, which emphasized off-road competition, DiRT 3 constitutes a return to the original concept behind the main Colin McRae series, bringing back rally competition in its most classic form (the game uses the official WRC licenses). However, this third iteration still introduces a massive number of novelties, such as stunt arenas from the X-Games competitions, or a completely new type of contest, that is the so-called Gymkhana - it was popularized by one of the most famous drivers in the world, Ken Block. Gymkhana is all about being fast and showing off at the same time - a designated route has to be completed as quickly as possible, but the player is rewarded with points for performing various stunts along the way. As usual, a wide set of licensed cars is at the player's disposal here, many of them originating in different time periods. Also, DiRT 3 features buggies and pickups - those are typically used in off-road competitions.
Need for Speed World (PC)
Racing 27 July 2010
The online installment of the popular Need for Speed series, focused on player-vs-player races. The game was developed by an EA in-house studio, also known for e.g. several previous installments of the franchise and the Skate series. The game takes place in a virtual city full of many attractions and divided into themed districts. The players participate in various events, racing against AI opponents or other players. When you crash into a police car, you can also compete against the police. With the reputation points gained in the races you can unlock next driver levels and special abilities, while the money you earn can be spent on mechanical and visual tuning. The game is free to play, although it utilizes microtransactions to buy various power-ups, more garage space or to rent exclusive cars. The game was shut down on 14th July 2015.
Need for Speed: The Run (PC)
Racing 18 November 2011
Another installment in one of the most renowned racing game series developed by Electronic Arts since 1995. In contrast to the previous installment, the game was developed by EA Black Box - an internal studio of the American company. The story is centered around the eponymous coast-to-coast race across the United States. Winning this huge event is the only way for the protagonist to obtain money required to pay his debt to a dangerous criminal organization. In the game, the player has to complete different racing challenges, and the story campaign features quick-time events for the first time in the entire series. The relatively short story campaign is complemented by a set of separate challenges. These require the player mostly to drive on twisted mountain roads, sometimes buried under avalanches. Impressive visuals have their source in the Frostbite 2 engine, popular mainly for being used in the Battlefield series.
F1 2016 (PC)
Racing 19 August 2016
The next installment in a series of Formula One racing simulators developed by Codemasters. The game was designed in response to the players' feedback received after the release of the previous installment. As usual, F1 2016 features the official F1 license, thus the player takes control of the digital representations of real-life cars and competes against the drivers actually racing in F1 on authentic, faithfully recreated circuits. One track was added in this installment: Baku, Azerbaijan. Among other new features, a special hub-like location deserves a notice - it's where the players can talk to the key members of their team and give them instructions. For the first time in the series, the game features testing sessions allowing the player not only to get familiar with particular tracks (to develop a strategy), but also to earn points required for car upgrades. F1 2016 utilizes an improved version of the engine that powered the previous installment.