Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) (XBOX)
Racing 15 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.
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (XBOX)
Racing 17 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.
Need for Speed Carbon (XBOX)
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.
FlatOut 2 (XBOX)
Racing 30 June 2006
FlatOut 2 brings a continuation to a "brutal" racing game developed by Bugbear Entertainment. The original game combined regular racing competition with unlimited destruction - both cars and environmental objects could be damaged and / or destroyed. In FlatOut 2, the creators focused on extending the scope of mayhem the player witnesses, thus the only real challenge the player can encounter in this game constitutes of making it to the finish line in one piece. What's more, the crashes and car damage are visually even more impressive than in the original FlatOut, thanks to the improved graphics and an upgraded engine behind the in-game physics. The game offers 16 fully customizable cars, as well as 8 drivers differing in driving style and attitude towards opponents. FlatOut 2 brings both single player and multiplayer experience, for up to 8 players in the latter case. Additionally, Destruction Derbies were also included, similar to the original game. In Rag Doll events the player will "ski jump" or drive through fiery rings for example.
Need for Speed: Underground (XBOX)
Racing 17 November 2003
The seventh installment in the legendary racing series developed since 1995. Created once again by EA Black Box, the game brings revolutionary changes to the series, focusing on illegal street racing, popularized mainly by The Fast and the Furious movie. This time, apart from usual races, the player can take part in several racing events, such as drifting competitions or drag races. The game offers a wide set of licensed cars popular among the illegal racing aficionados. The game stands out with a wide array of car customization options it delivers - the player can buy licensed car parts produced by the most popular real-life manufacturers. Money is an important aspect of the game, because the player spends the cash they earned in races to buy new cars and parts. Need for Speed: Underground features a diverse soundtrack as well. The player can listen to a variety of genres, such as rap, techno, or metal.
Forza Motorsport (XBOX)
Racing 03 May 2005
A racing simulator developed by Microsoft’s internal studio - Turn 10. Serving as a response to a competing franchise - the popular Gran Turismo series, Forza Motorsport offers an impressive number of 200+ licensed car models from several manufacturers, divided into a number of classes and sub-classes. Each available car can be profoundly tuned – not only visually, but also mechanically. Effects of customization and damage to the cars are depicted during races due to a special system that calculates the performance of the car in real-time. Competitions take place on multiple and diverse tracks, among them both fictional street circuits as well as real tracks from all around the world. Apart from the career mode, the game features an online mode.
TOCA Race Driver 2006 (XBOX)
Racing 21 February 2006
The largest and the most extensive installment yet, belonging to a series of racing games developed since 1997. Known as TOCA Race Driver 2006 or DTM Race Driver 3, the game offers an extensive career mode, which casts the player in the role of a virtual driver capable of participating in 35 different championships related to various car classes. What is new is an ability to go through the driver's career focusing on one type of races only and gradually gaining access to faster cars. However, the player can choose to play in the World Tour mode from the very beginning, though it may come with some difficulties. As usual in the series, racing takes place on faithfully recreated tracks and the players receive dozens of licensed cars with different parameters. Apart from subsequent improvements in terms of the graphics, the game offers modified driving physics and an upgraded system of car damage. The player-controlled car can be now damaged by overheating, engine fade or tire burnout.
Racing 05 November 2004
A dynamic racing game created by Bugbear Entertainment - a Finnish developer studio. The game references such franchises as Burnout or Destruction Derby, because in this competition causing as much damage as possible during the race is as much important as who crosses the finish line first. The player takes part in brutal races taking place on 48 different tracks filled with shortcuts and destructible objects. The game is arcade in terms of the driving physics, though car damage affects both the performance and the handling of the car. Flatout features an extensive single player campaign, during which the player buys new cars and upgrades them gradually. However, multiplayer competition was also included. Apart from regular races, the game offers destruction derbies and a series of crazy mini-games requiring the player mainly to launch the driver through the windshield.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (XBOX)
Racing 01 October 2002
The sixth installment in the popular racing game series from Electronic Arts, expanding on the ideas of the 1998’s Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. Similarly to its predecessor, the action is focused on police chases. The players have several game modes at their disposal, allowing them to become either road hogs or law enforcers and compete against the AI or their friends online. The game's highlight is the eponymous Hot Pursuit mode, in which we race against opponents with police hot on our heels. The title offers more than 20 varied tracks located in urban, coastal, and woodland areas. In our garage we will find a considerable collection of licensed vehicles that have to be progressively unlocked with the points gained in races. The production features detailed three-dimensional graphics and a soundtrack with tracks from numerous famous artists.
Burnout 3: Takedown (XBOX)
Racing 07 September 2004
A third installment in a popular series of console racing games, originally launched in 2001 by the British studio Criterion. Burnout 3: Takedown is the biggest game in the series, sporting an impressive set of more than 70 cars, divided into 12 categories, and 40 varied racing tracks on three continents. The list of game modes was also updated, with an overall of 9 single-player modes and 7 multiplayer ones, in which up to 16 players can take part. The biggest emphasis was put on the trademark of the Burnout series, the Crash Mode, which also underwent some changes and improvements. Among them, the most important are the ability to enable the afterburner in any moment of the race, the ability to control the vehicle during the crash to cause even more destruction, or pick-ups, increasing caused damage and increasing the final score.