As we enter 2019 and recover from our concoction of festive cheers and Irish liquor. It’s time to run down the top racing games of 2018, so before drink irresponsibly, let’s get in the driver’s seat and have a little drive down memory lane and look back on 2018.
Forza Horizon 4
Our first stop on our trip is to probably one of the standout titles for this year with gaming is Forza Horizon 4. Which builds on Horizon 3 successes and some more – Up to 450 cars to drive, endless customization from visual to livery to performance. More races on offer than you can get from Bethesda RPGs. Brilliant multiplayer, gorgeous Graphics and sound design. Killer soundtrack and with the first expansion being an excellent add on to what an excellent game and all of it is wrapped in the beautiful British countryside and with seasons changing by the week. Defiantly the best racing game of the year.
Next on our list is Codemasters, and with their latest game in their F1 series. F1 2018, which building upon from 2017 being brilliant from a fan’s perspective with classic cars coming back which has been improved upon with cars from the 70s. all the teams and tracks from the 2018 season, improvements to career mode, multiplayer while not a perfect specimen is heading in the right direction, and car handling becoming more realistic with changes to tyre models and ERS being introduced. For the discerning F1 Fan out there this is the best alliteration of f1 in video games.
Now sticking with Codemasters for now and with a new IP with Onrush which thinking about it, I would struggle to call it a “traditional” racing game. Because of its part racing game, part destruction derby, part “Call of Duty” game, instead of racing around a track or from A to B. You partake in team-based games which does sound a bit disillusioning but in gameplay, it’s refreshing and fun. And does emphasise team work very well indeed which most multiplayer games are a rarity. The game looks very nice and does run smoothly even with the occasional hiccup from Codemasters servers. A surprising and refreshing game to play and worth your time indeed.
Now, away from the world of Codemasters and to a title that has kinda slipped under the radar late in 2018. Ride 3 is basically in short “Motorbikes meets Forza Motorsport”. About 230 bikes on offer with 30 tracks recreated in great detail via Photogrammetry and scanning. Extensive customization from performance to visual, a career mode that would need an archaeology team to get their way through and multiplayer to boot make this a very well put together game even technically. A hidden gem in racing games in 2018.
Now last on our grand adventure is a trip down memory lane and with GRIP which harks back to the days of Rollcage (more so when some of the dev team in the making of this game also made the Rollcage series). With fun arcade gameplay with a plethora of tracks and game modes on offer across 4 Sci-Fi worlds -which while looks grittier than most BBC police dramas. The game could do with a bit more colour but it is well-built and looks nice enough. A pleasant stroll through nostalgia lane.
Before we start 2019 properly and before the big releases start to trickle out. One game that deserves a mention for 2018 is Forza Motorsport 7. Mainly because of the support it had this year with content updates from introducing dedicated drifting upgrades. New car pack and regular TLC, but it’s mainly because at launch it caught the loot box bug which in the grand scale wasn’t the worst version of loot boxes but still a question of “why?” fast forward a year and it’s gone and, in its place, a very fine game.