Five car and racing video games to recommend

Racing games offer as much action as the big movie blockbusters, and many exhaust the technical possibilities of modern PCs and game consoles. There is enough variety: from simple and fun to great open-world racing spectacles.

“Grand Touring 7”

Grand Touring 7
“Gran Turismo 7” is a racing video game designed with incredible detail. Photo: Sony/dpa

The design philosophy of the “Gran Turismo” game can be summed up in a few words: love of detail. For 25 years, Sony’s exclusive racing game series has been synonymous with great fun in awe-inspiring settings. Hardly any other series offers more cars, more variety, and more attention to detail than Polyphony Digital’s hymn to the automobile.

Since 1997, a total of nearly 90 million copies of the series have been sold. At the start, players are given a few dollars with which they have to win small races against a few easy opponents.

If they want to go higher, they have to acquire licences, which gives them a greater choice of racing series, cars and tuning parts. In the end, there are more than 400 vehicles to choose from, from the classic VW Beetle to the most powerful racing car. Fans can let off steam on more than 30 tracks.

Visually, the PS5 version is wonderful. Bright asphalt, different weather conditions and impressive tracks allow Sony’s new console to reach its full potential. The difficulty level is very accessible: just like in an RPG, racing drivers can gradually upgrade their car to keep up with the fast-paced competition. With “Gran Turismo 7”, Polyphony Digital and Sony return to the old strengths of the series and offer an unrivaled racing experience to be enjoyed for weeks on end.

“Forza Horizon 5”

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“Forza Horizon 5” launches drivers on dusty tracks through beautiful valleys nestled in Mexican deserts. Photo: Microsoft/dpa –

“Forza Horizon 5” is the new flagship of Microsoft’s Xbox Series console. Playground Games stages an open-world racing extravaganza that launches players through an idyllic Mexico in search of money and fame.

“Forza Horizon 5” goes full steam from the get-go. Whether it’s with a Mustang GT through narrow streets, with a classic truck through the swamp or with a buggy on the beach, there is always a race or a challenge somewhere in the gaming universe.

The special feature: each area of ​​the country is freely traversable and offers, in the style of open-world adventures, new quests in the form of races. It can be a normal road competition or sometimes a test of skill where fans have to reach record distances on jump ramps. If things go wrong, you can go back and start over.

With each success, drivers move up the ranks and unlock new tracks or buy new cars or tuning parts with the prize money.

Variety is the trump card of delivery. Whether solo against the clock or against other players online, “Forza Horizon 5” offers numerous game modes. Almost all actions, from skidding to brutally knocking down traffic signs, give experience points. Plus, there are animations, awesome weather effects, and a catchy soundtrack.

“Forza Horizon 5” is a must-have for all fans of the Xbox series. A huge and spectacular adventure park for all racing fans.

“Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”

Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
“Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is Nintendo’s timeless card to excite racing fans of all ages. Photo: Nintendo/dpa –

Nintendo’s exclusive Mario Kart series of racing games has been around for 30 years. Since the Super Nintendo, it has accompanied entire generations of video game fans. The eighth edition brings together all the strengths of its predecessors in one complete package.

The crazy races with the well-known heroes and villains of the platform game have lost none of their entertainment value even decades after their release. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” isn’t even new, but rather a remake of the Nintendo Wii game “Mario Kart 8” with some more refined gameplay and technical details.

In different categories, players compete against the computer or against a maximum of seven players along the colorful tracks that include scenarios such as the “Greet Ravine” or the “Haunted Mansion”. And here not only the perfect drift counts, but also the use of popular extras such as banana peels or rocket propulsion.

In addition to racing, fans can pop rival balloons or chase coins in online arenas. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is entertainment for the whole family. Even after 30 years, it gives enormous pleasure to slow down opponents with a banana peel or knock them off the track with a well-aimed tortoise shell.

For those who know all 48 tracks by heart, Nintendo has announced another 48 tracks in a paid add-on pack until the end of 2023.

Chaotic, fun, unique, “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” offers varied and fun races in a unique comic design.

“GRID Legends”

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“GRID Legends” is a successful combination of racing game and docudrama. Photo: Electronic Arts/Codemasters/dpa –

For those without grand ambitions to compete, “GRID Legends” is the right choice. The latest offshoot of the long-running series from the English development studio Codemasters is based on proven virtues, such as a good driving experience. However, fans do not have to do without the audiovisual highlights.

“GRID Legends” consists of two parts. On the one hand, there is the classic racing game mode. Players work their way up the ladder, accumulating points and money through race wins around the world to unlock new tracks and cars.

On the other hand, Codemasters adorns the game with a story mode. In it, a young driver joins a losing team and becomes the number one of the season. The story sequences are staged in the style of a docudrama, with partially known actors such as Ncuti Gatwa from the Netflix series “Sex Education”.

But regardless of whether it’s a classic racing simulation or a novel, the driving behavior of the various cars has nothing to envy rivals like “Gran Turismo 7”. “GRID Legends” may not be as brilliant or as extensive, but it offers purists weeks of driving fun.

If you ignore the story, which takes getting used to, Codemasters’ “GRID Legends” is a complete racing simulator with a great driving experience and spectacular scenery.

“Hotshot Racing”

Hotshot Racing
The video game “Hotshot Racing” also brings competitors together on split screen. Photo: Curve Digital/dpa –

In “Hotshot Racing” by Lucky Mountain Games and Sumo Digital, a handful of cars and tracks are enough to offer fans driving fun without big ambitions. Following in the footsteps of the 80’s arcade classic “Out Run”, the game takes its fans through winding mountains and across sunny beaches with stylish retro graphics.

In “Hotshot Racing”, players can accelerate without brake. Delivery does not bet on tactics and playful niceties. The only thing that counts is the exact moment of the drift. If used correctly, this maneuver fills a kind of energy bar that accelerates the car with the push of a button.

The eight selectable male and female drivers differ primarily in their one-liners, with the cars only differing in top speed, acceleration, and drift behavior.

It seems simple, but it is not. At higher difficulty levels, drivers have to know the circuits exactly in order to take on the competition. Only those who perform the drift maneuver and boost boost at the right time have a chance of winning. In addition to the Grand Prix game mode, there are also online races.

Known but good, “Hotshot Racing” brings back old racing classics in the style of “Out Run” and uncompromisingly focuses on a lot of fun without great complications.

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