3 great auto racing games

Even the most responsible driver sometimes feels like hitting the gas pedal with more force than necessary. As it is, it’s a highly inadvisable thing to do in the majority of day-to-day situations, and let’s face it: your Civic can’t really go all that fast.

Cue racing games. For just a couple of bucks, these simulators will let you drive every vehicle you’ve ever dreamt of – from a souped-up Lamborghini to a sound-barrier-breaking F1 model, there’s a driver’s seat in there for everyone.

Since the genre is fairly popular, picking the right racing game can be hard, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 3 great auto racing games together with a realistic overview of their features.

Gran Turismo: If you’re a fan of realism, look no further than the vaunted Gran Turismo games. Considered the premier racing simulator, Gran Turismo has robbed many men of their sleep and free time on their way to obtaining the next license or ultra-fast machine. Aside from realistic steering and replica tracks, ‘GT’ games are also known for their meticulously-implemented real life vehicles, featuring well over a hundred attractive cars to choose from in each title. Yet the game’s perks can also come as a drawback: Gran Turismo will rarely let you run loose and will punish even the slightest driving failure with a less-than-ideal finish-line placement. There’s also the fact that you’ll need to own a recent PlayStation console to enjoy the game, but hey – nothing good comes easy, right?

Burnout: One could say that Burnout is everything that Gran Turismo is not, aside from both games being good: whereas the latter will try to capture real-life racing as closely as possible and without any compromises, Burnout is all about ludicrous speed and brutal car smashes. That’s right: the game will sometimes reward you for totaling a competing race car in a certain way. Anything to get the first spot, eh? It’s all in good fun, though – in fact, we’d much rather see reckless drivers run into things in Burnout than in the real world. The game is not for everyone, however: even if you can deal with the fact that no ‘real’ car models are in the game, you’ll need lightning-quick reflexes if you hope to keep up with the urban racing environment.

Need for Speed: Like Gran Turismo, Need for Speed has been around for a while and it’s had a remarkable array of titles with different schemes: some will turn you into a notorious underground racer while others might have you take on the role of a cop. In many ways, Need for Speed games are a combination of Gran Turismo and Burnout: they try to keep it real and feature actual car models but also won’t try to stop you from running loose here and there. Another perk is that they sometimes feature a storyline which can help immerse you in the game better. Of course, racing games are all about feel: despite ‘Speed’s features, the steering and setting don’t cater to everyone, and some simply consider the series a lesser version of the aforementioned titles.