Racing Games and You: What Qualities of Racing Games Should You Look for?

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Gamers often say racing games “are the same,” and they do have a point. A lot of racing games do share similar gameplay styles, graphics, and features. However, some racing games do tend to rise up from the rest, and some racing games retain their claim to fame even as newer games get released. So how exactly do we know which racing games are good? If you’re a newcomer in the racing genre, what exactly are the things to look for in a racing game? Turns out, you might want to check out certain qualities that can either make a racing game enjoyable or something to turn down after a match.

1. How fast can you get?

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A huge part of what makes racing games awesome is how they make us players “look great.” In fact, it seems the best racing games are titles that make an effort for players to accelerate for as long as possible. This explains why a lot consider arcade racing games – which you only play for a short time – can be much more fun than console racing games – which you can play forever. After all, when you play for a limited number of “tries” via an arcade machine, you pay tokens for your experience. And you’ll notice the best of these games actually make an effort to give you an exhilarating race.

A lot of racing games that players consider great include placing straight paths at key intervals to help accelerate cars. Aside from these, games also often feature tracks about a third bigger than their “real life” counterparts. These help players go faster much easier, and allows cameras to change perspectives much quicker.

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Great games also seem to try to make it a point to help players avoid “braking” as much as possible. They do this by subtly making roads and curves easier to navigate, and they make sure players “feel” like they pull off a tight turn or a hard curve (this is called “needle threading” in technical terms). 

2. How customizable are the cars?

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It’s one thing to have a racing game with a ton of cars, but it’s another thing entirely to have cars you can actually personalize. Gamers with a knack for customization consider creativity a key factor in good racing games. It just doesn’t feel good to win a match when you know it’s not really “your” car. Thankfully, a lot of great racing games do give players the freedom to customize their vehicles – ranging from boosts in “skill,” colors and decals, as well as physical looks as well. It’s much more enjoyable to play a racing game where you can customize car colors, add spoilers and bumpers, and even switch tires.

A lot of racing gamers love racing games not just for the mechanics, but for the slate of cars available in the title. Aside from the manufacturers, check out what models are there, and how realistic the graphics are. You might not know it, but you might be looking for the pristine feeling of sheer awesomeness as you navigate complicated tracks in an awesome car… and looking good doing it.

Likewise, try to check how in-depth customization works for your particular racing game. If you can customize your cars in the game, how exactly will the game let you do it? This can make or break your overall experience. For instance, Grand Theft Auto games usually just allow you to change the color of your cars, so this can ruin your racing experience. Likewise, games like Forza actually let you customize your car with great detail. 

How replayable is the game?

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When you ask a player what makes them love racing games, they’ll most likely leave out the story. What they look for is the sheer thrill of racing. And unfortunately, playing the same track over and over won’t exactly make it fun the hundredth time. A key trait of great racing games would be their replayability – what sorts of game modes do they have that can make you want to play all the time? What makes the game special compared to the rest?

Check the kind of controls the game offers to players. Just how customizable are the controls to your needs? Great games usually have responsive controls that allow you to control wheelspin and drifting properly. And when the game does offer a customization option for car statistics, how do these changes reflect on the game? 

See what sorts of game modes your prospective racing game has. Some games have entire campaigns where there’s a story component that accompanies the title. While these tend to be “short,” games like Need For Speed usually have a free roam component with their campaigns that lets players explore the world map and play minigames if they don’t feel like finishing the story. And when you do finish the main story, you can usually replay it – and approach it in different ways, such as using different cars or a different “driving style.”

Other games, such as motorcycle games, have an inherent appeal to them because they’re replayable on the get-go. For instance, motorcycle games are very thrilling as the stunts looks awesome and a lot of racing fans can’t get enough of it. Other video games have a wide variety of game modes that players might enjoy even if they’re not playing the main story element. 

4. How is its multiplayer component?

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Another component that makes great racing games awesome would be an inclusion of a multiplayer component. Whenever possible, try getting a game you can play with multiple players, be it via LAN, or over the internet. This ensures you get a completely different experience every time you’re booting the game. Granted, not a lot of players appreciate multiplayer in many games. However, if you want a racing game you’ll most likely play everyday, then spicing things up with other players might be the key.   

A lot of racing players often enjoy racing games not just because of the cars or the races, but the multiplayer component in general. Knowing that you’ll be able to play the game with players all around the world can add a different “thrill” to gameplay, especially knowing that you can compete with players worldwide. Try to check if your game allows you to do this as well. 

If your game does have a multiplayer component, how is it so far? Do you find matches easily? Are you matched fairly with players according to skill? How versatile and navigable is the multiplayer interface, and how enjoyable is it? Try to assess whether the game’s multiplayer component is something you’ll enjoy playing for a long time. 

Racing Games For Newbies: Choosing is a Matter of Preference

Despite how racing games look, they’re actually more complex than they seem. Racing games we have similar rules but it’s how these rules blend together that make racing games different from one another. Some racing games are separate entities of their own, featuring different kinds of races and configurations to choose from. Meanwhile, racing games can also come in the form of mini-games in other adventure or open world games. Unlike there more nuanced cousins, these mini games actually add the racing component in an otherwise non-racing game. Always remember to choose racing games that aren’t just accurate but also fun for you.

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