In addition to fun arcade racing, there are also serious racing simulators. Which ones are the most realistic?
Games dedicated to racing and ordinary driving have been around since the dawn of the industry itself. The first peak in popularity of racing games came in the 80s, and the genre has not stood still since then. Racing games were actively developing, using all the capabilities of modern iron, and along with this, the demand for realistic simulators increased.
Of course, many great racing projects came out in parallel, in which no one thought about the laws of physics (like the crazy and unique Burnout Paradise), but today we will focus on down-to-earth racing simulators. The next 10 games will definitely appeal to those who have always dreamed of riding a sports car with a breeze, but have not yet fulfilled their dreams.
Launched in 2008, iRacing with a built-in paid subscription is holding up pretty well these days. iRacing was ahead of its time with its approach to driving, which the authors tried to make as close as possible to how it looks in reality.
During races, only the cockpit view is used (with the exception of a couple of modes), and pedaling, gear shifting and steering are furnished just like in real cars. The game can be blamed for the lack of a realistic damage model and dynamic weather changes, but iRacing should still appeal to all fans of serious racing simulators.
Need For Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed
The Need For Speed series is not known for its realism, but when developing Need For Speed: Shift, the creators decided to make the game much more mundane than the previous parts. And in the direct sequel, this formula has been perfected.
The game looks great by today’s standards. Among the main advantages of Shift 2 Unleashed are a realistic model of destruction and several types of motor sports, which significantly influenced the overall development of the franchise.
Forza Motorsport 7
The Forza franchise was having a hard time at the launch of the Xbox One with the release of Motorsport 5, but Motorsport 7 managed to bring the Forza franchise back to its former glory. The seventh part is regularly compared to the excellent (albeit not so realistic) Horizon spin-off.
In addition to smooth and detailed car controls, the game boasts dynamic weather changes. For example, the tracks become wet after rain, which affects traction. Another highlight of Motorsport 7 is the extensive customization of drivers, thanks to which you can put your exact copy behind the wheel.
Assetto Corsa Competition
In the recently released and as yet little-known racing simulator, you can compete in sports races with other players online or against AI in offline modes.
Assetto Corsa Competizione leverages the power of the Unreal Engine 4 to create dynamic tires and aerodynamic physics car models that are as close as possible to the characteristics of real cars. It also recreates real-world tracks in detail, so you can repeat legendary races from the history of sports racing.
Euro Truck Simulator 2
No racing or competition with other drivers; Euro Truck Simulator 2 invites you to get used to the role of a trucker delivering goods across miniature Europe.
You can also travel freely on the roads, but you still have to spend money on fuel, truck maintenance, and border tolls. Fortunately, you can always get a job to start earning money from trucking and start building your logistics empire.
City Car Driving
As described on the Steam page, City Car Driving is an effort to create a realistic driving simulator designed to “help you learn basic real-world driving skills.” And this game is quite successful.
City Car Driving implements the already familiar dynamic change of weather that affects driving, but the main feature of the simulator is the “smart traffic” system. Pedestrians behave in an unpredictable manner, as, in fact, other cars, and this serves as a great reminder that you must not take your eyes off the road – neither on virtual streets, nor in reality.
Gran Turismo Sport
The latest part of the longest-running and most successful PlayStation franchise, Gran Turismo Sport, is noticeably inferior in the number of tracks and cars to its predecessors. But this is offset by stunning graphics and realistic driving.
The cars in the game not only look luxurious, but feel real. And as a bonus, Gran Turismo Sport has a great online mode that has remained relevant for several years.
Dirt Rally 2.0
Dirt Rally 2.0, a spin-off of the popular Dirt series, focuses on realistic off-road rallies rather than off-road racing. All types of surfaces are waiting for you here – from snow and ice to (as the name implies) viscous mud.
The game implements the change of seasons, as well as the weather, so that before the rally you can prepare well for the race in the announced conditions. Damage directly affects the handling of the car, and each track is gradually modified after numerous arrivals. Therefore, you should not relax even on familiar roads and always make informed decisions.
Project Cars 2
The second installment of the Project Cars series remains the best, with both regular races and off-road races, and its main feature is extremely realistic driving. The developers managed to achieve this using the LiveTrack 3.0 system.
She is responsible for changes on the track at each lap: from changing weather conditions that affect the behavior of the car, to calculating temperature changes both in the car’s interior and on the track itself. Thanks to this, circular races under the same location do not have time to get bored, because each new circle is completely different from the previous one.
It is such a realistic racing simulator that even despite its venerable age, professional racers and engineers of NASCAR and Formula 1 use it as a simulator in preparation for races.
The game has a very high threshold of entry, but only in it all aspects of racing are worked out to the smallest detail: for example, tires here gradually wear out, and observing them, you can determine the durability of their real counterparts. And this is just one of many details – any part of the car can be checked in this way. Therefore, all fans of hardcore racing simulators should definitely not pass by RFactor 2.