The racing genre of video games has been around for a very long time. The first-ever racing game released was Grand Prix by SEGA in 1969. Yeah, that’s not a typo! 1969 was the same year that Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon! Since then, racing games have evolved through multiple generations to look vastly different, but they still retain the need for speed and the win! There are three categories in the racing genre: Kart racing, simulation, and arcade racing.
Kart racing games feature cartoon-styled cars, planes, boats, bikes, and more, typically have weird or wacky track designs, and always have some different types of power-ups or abilities to make the races more entertaining. The most common Kart racing game is Mario Kart and has been around ever since 1992. Mario Kart has been on every major Nintendo system since the SNES, has been made into arcade standalone machines, and even has its own VR game coming to the West soon! I have owned every Mario Kart game that has come out and it is a staple game at all of my game nights with friends. For the record…I hate the blue (leader) shell.
There are many other well-known kart racing games out there such as Diddy Kong Racing (N64), Sonic All-Stars Racing (PS3, 360), and Crash Team Racing (PS1). This category continues to be a favorite among casual game players and families. There will always be a strong sense of competition in kart racing and I look forward to new renditions of this category.
Simulation racing is as close as you can get to racing in the real world, but in a video game. A lot of people like these games because it will be as close as they can get to racing on road courses in Europe or driving an exotic sports car. Everything from the scenery to the road to the cars are as realistic looking as possible. Simulation racing games also make the handling of the vehicles you drive accurate to real life. This is honestly why I suck at simulation racing games and why I avoid them. I tend to hit a lot of walls and other cars when I am trying to get 1st place, but in simulations the car gets totaled loooooong before the end of my race. The biggest names in simulation racing are Sony’s Gran Turismo and Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport series.
Arcade racing is kind of a cross between simulation and kart racing. Most arcade-style racing games use realistic cars, but damage done to the cars are not realistic, meaning that if you run into a wall, your car will take significantly less damage than a simulation version. Many of the arcade racing games come with power-ups (similar to kart racing) or modes where your goal is to destroy other players. Some common arcade racing games are Blur, Burnout Paradise, and Twisted Metal.
Now the whole reason I decided to write a blog on racing games is because Forza Horizon 4 is releasing tomorrow, October 2nd, but since I love this game franchise so much and I bought the ultimate version of the game, I got my copy on Friday and have been playing it ever since! This game is from the makers of the super realistic simulation series Forza Motorsports and as I mentioned I suck at simulation racers and tend to avoid them so why is this game different? Well the Forza Horizon series is an amazing arcade-style version of a simulation game. This game lets you select numerous difficulty options that allow you to play it more like a simulation with real damage physics or more like an arcade game where damage to your car doesn’t affect the car’s performance. It gives you the look of a simulation with amazing graphics, but let’s me play the way I want to.
But it’s not just the play style that makes Forza Horizon 4 an amazing game. In my opinion, it is the best looking game on the Xbox One X (any of the screenshots you see here were captured while I was playing this past weekend). The game is open-world where you can explore the rich culture of England. There are numerous races, events, challenges, and more to do with hours of engagement. And the best part? Playing the entire game with up to 6 friends in a convoy and up to 72 people in a lobby where live events take place for everyone to enjoy. Everything about this game has been amazing and I can’t wait to see what else there is to do!
What are some of the racing games you play? Also, what is your dream car? I have already unlocked a 2017 Ford GT, Lamborghini Huracan, and a beautiful Aston Martin, but I am not sure what else I want to get! 🙂
“I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” Walt Whitman