Racing games have long been a key part of video games, with the sport working incredibly well when translated into a game. Over the years there have been plenty of games and franchises come and go, with only a few remaining today such as Forza and Gran Turismo. But, there have been many fantastic products of the time that are still a lot of fun to revisit today. Here are the top 5 forgotten racing games that you need to play.
5. Destruction Derby 2 (1996) – PC, PlayStation
The Destruction Derby series was certainly a product of the time, with it being released during the early days of the fifth generation of consoles and continuing onto the PS2, although the quality has gone downhill by that point. Destruction Derby is based on the demolition derby sport, with players racing against other players and AI with the aim of taking out their opponents and destroying their cars. The second entry is certainly the highlight of the series and improves upon the original game. Destruction Derby 2 added the option to take part in traditional races as well as the Destruction Derby mode, offering much more variety than the first offering. The game also features the legendary play-by-play commentator for the Indianapolis 500 Paul Page on commentary, as well as a thrash metal soundtrack featuring acts including Jug and Tuscan. While a game like this probably wouldn’t work today, it certainly helped inspire future games including Burnout Paradise and Split/Second.
4. Blur (2010) – PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Following the fourth Project Gotham Racing game, the IP was abandoned and Blur became the spiritual successor to the series. Sadly, following the game’s release in 2010, the studio would be closed by Activision the following year, making Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone the final games that the studio would create. Blur would eventually be delisted from Steam, likely due to licenses expiring for the real cars that are in the game, and it is unlikely that the game will be added back to stores in the future. Digital copies of the game can trade for hundreds of dollars online, so the best option to play this game today is to buy a used copy for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
3. Need For Speed Underground 2 (2004) – PC, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP
The early 2000s saw the rise in popularity of modded cars, in part due to the Fast and the Furious movie franchise. EA saw this and took their Need For Speed series in that direction with the Need For Speed Underground series of games. The second and final entry, Need For Speed Underground 2 is a highlight of the entire series and still holds up today, although graphically it is showing its age. Players are able to modify and race many popular vehicles of the era including the Nissan Skyline, Mitsubishi Evo, Audi TT, and Toyota Supra. If you grew up with the original Fast and the Furious movies then this is a game that will bring you a lot of nostalgia.
2. F-Zero GX (2003) – Gamecube
This entry isn’t because players have forgotten about the F-Zero series, but Nintendo surely has. The F-Zero series is a futuristic racing game similar to the Wipeout series, although F-Zero predates it. Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, there were a number of games developed in the series, with GX being the last console entry to be developed. A Gameboy Advance entry was released in 2004 and the series has been dormant for over 17 years now. No matter how much support and demand from fans there is, Nintendo simply doesn’t seem interested in bringing the series back. Shigeru Miyamoto stated in 2015 that he could see it being brought back if Nintendo could develop a unique controller to use with it, but many players don’t want that, they just want a fun and fast-paced racing game and we still live in hope that one day Nintendo will bring it back.
1. Split/Second (2010) – Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Split/Second is perhaps the most fun racing game that you’ve never played. Released in 2010 during the seventh generation, Split/Second could be likened to Burnout Paradise but is much more chaotic. The basis of the game is that the player is taking part in a TV show that sees racers race across various tracks and use the environment to take out their opponents and cause as much destruction as they can. It is fast, chaotic, and an absolute blast to play. It can be found very cheap on the used market on the Xbox 360 and PS3 and has also been added back onto Steam after it was removed for a few years, with Steam keys being available very cheap online. One of the main downsides is that the PC version is capped to 30fps, but a fan-made patch does boost it to 60fps. There is still a small dedicated community that releases fan-made tracks and competes against each other online.