Everyone had a favourite video game that they played for hours when they were younger. Even today, the gaming culture is huge, with releases getting more and more realistic and engaging year by year.
Driving and car racing games have always been a popular gaming experience for people of all ages — but which ones are our favourites? Motor retailers, Lookers, has conducted a survey to find out which car-related video games we love the most.
Crash Team Racing
Almost 20 years old, Crash Team Racing was a spin-off of the hugely popular Crash Bandicoot. In this game, you get to play well-known Crash Bandicoot characters and race opponents in various situations. What we love about this destructive kart-racing game is how you can not only steer, reverse and brake; but also hop over obstacles, crash through crates, use weapons to get ahead, and boost your speed with a power-up option!
Super Mario Kart
An instant winner on most people’s lists when it comes to car-related video games, Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart launched in 1992 and has sold around nine million copies worldwide to date — making it one of the world’s best-selling games.
To play the iconic Super Mario Kart, you first choose one of eight characters: Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, Bowser, Donkey Kong Jr., and Koopa Troopa. Once you were ready to go, you’d take part in a manic go-kart race around multiple crazy tracks. But it wasn’t just a case of driving, players could also get special powers and had the chance to launch shells and bananas to knock their opponents off course and get across the finishing line first!
Super Mario Kart has been so successful, that there have been multiple sequels to the game on further generations of Nintendo consoles, as well as Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U device.
Need for Speed
EA (Electronic Arts) has produced lots of hugely popular video games — including FIFA, The Sims, and Medal of Honour. However, one of its most popular titles ever is the racing game, Need for Speed (NFS). This game focuses on illegal street racing and players are given multiple tasks and races to complete while dodging and outrunning law enforcement agencies.
Amazingly, NFS is the most successful racing game franchise ever! It’s sold over 150 million copies and has 23 main instalments of the game. In fact, it’s so well established, that there was even a film based on it starring Aaron Paul, released in 2014. You can also play this game on PlayStation, PC and Xbox.
The octane-fuelled driving experience you get from Need for Speed includes everything from crashing through buildings and stripping billboards, to passing under trucks and taking part in cross-country racing. Players also had the ability to tune cars, change alloys, swap engines and gear boxes for better power outputs, and stick spoilers on the back of cars for a cool vehicle aesthetic that suited the characters’ disdain for law.
Micro Machines is another classic video game that turns out to be a strong contender even when being put up against more modern options. Playing Micro Machines, you had control of a range of miniature vehicles, which you raced around unusual tracks — such as on top of kitchen tables and in gardens.
There were plenty of sequel versions to this game — and why not? The ‘shrinking down’ of the player combined with the manic racing style and household-themed obstacles meant hours of fun!
Published by the video game powerhouse Ubisoft, the game centres around a character called John Tanner, a former race car driver turned undercover police detective. Five main editions of the game has been released since its inception in 1999.
The game was noteworthy at the time of its release as it allowed players to explore each city as an open world environment and it also won the Game Critics Awards, best racing game (1999) award.
Fun Fact! Once the single mode player has been completed, players have the ability to drive in Newcastle upon Tyne where one of the developers, Reflections Interactive is based! Not sure you can visit our offices though!
While no means a mega-seller, the game was well received and rated well on gaming websites, one of the most fun features of the game included a ‘film director’ mode allowing the players to shoot a movie!
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