Following the release of new trailers for Forza 6, Need for Speed, and Crew Wild Run, we’re feeling a little nostaligic for the racing video games of our youth. So, in no particular order, our man Yazan walks us through his top ten.
Need for Speed Underground
“Rom bom boom boom, badada tara rom…”
If you haven’t heard this song, or are not already humming it, we have no idea what you were doing in 2003. But for those of you still in the dark…
Underground was much more than a snappy sound track though. For one thing, this was one of the first games to include this level of customization, a big reason why it became such a big hit to petrolheads across the world.
Plus, the gameplay was so straightforward that anyone could play the game and become competitive. Underground wasn’t oriented around creating the ultimate driving experience, but more towards the fun side of gaming with cars. Small wonder gamers quickly became addicted.
“To the windooowwww, to the wall…”
Gran Turismo 3
Developed by Polyphony Digital, this was both a critical and commercial success, and went on to become one of the best-selling video games of all time, due mainly to the reality of the cars (all 180 of them), the tracks and driving physics.
Granted, we realize Gran Turismo games by and large are pretty awesome, but personally, number three was the one that made the series what it is now: it had next-level gaming and physics compared to other games in the early 2000s, focused more towards the adults than kids. If Need for Speed gameplay was straightforward, Gran Turismo 3 showed us the importance of nailing a hot lap time. Every time.
You’ve probably never heard of this, have you? This game was developed by Konami and was released in 2005, around the same time as Gran Turismo 4. But while GT4 offered more than 700 cars, Enthusia boasted only a quarter of that figure. The cars included though were what made the difference: ’91 Bugatti EB110; ’79 BMW M1 Procar; ’73 BMW 3.0 CSL; ‘73 De Tomaso Pantera GTS. Pretty awesome line-up, isn’t it?
Enthusia also featured my own personal selling point, the BMW E30 M3. I still remember my friend skated over to my place with the PS2 disc in his hand: “Dude, this has an E30!” Although the game had ultra realistic engine sounds and video effects, it’s a mystery why it wasn’t more successful.
Granted only being available for the Playstation exclusively probably didn’t help…
If there’s one driving series above all others that aims to be as realistic as possible, it’s Forza. The cars look, drive and sound spectacular, and there’s probably no better example than Forza 4.
What made me love F4 (yes, it has an E30 M3, but that’s not the only reason) were the massive customization options available, from the detailed tuning options – including engine swaps and gearbox mapping – to the custom detailed liveries. During Forza’s partnership run with Top Gear, there was even some Stig-based content too…
I recall a BMW 2002 tii I designed with a friend, which had a Supra 2JZ engine mated to a Toyota gearbox, along with a Limited Slip Differential from an E30 M3. We added bigger turbos, tuned pistons and custom computers to turn it into a mind-blowing 800hp drifter. Safe to say the virtual rubber was melted down to the ground