Tell Us Dammit

Tell Us Dammit

Dammit, we want you to tell us stuff! Stuff like your favourite racing game.

This isn’t some marketing survey or whatever. It’s an emotional investment in you. Yes, we’re interesting in knowing you, Kotaku reader person. You probably know enough about us — more than you even want to, we’re sure. But, hey, we’d like to know about you, too.

Anyway, here’s today’s question…

It seems like racing games are back. Just this month we’re getting Split/Second, ModNation Racers and Blur, three genuinely good and genuinely different racing games. But what’s your all-time favourite?

Me? It’s either Super Mario Kart, with its tight racing lines and brilliant mix of offensive and defensive power-ups. Or Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series, the only racing sim where I’ve ever bothered to play a full season over full race distances. Or Burnout 3, the most thrilling and spectacular racing game I’ve ever played. Depending on my mood at the time, my pick would have to come from that trio.


  • well, considering racing games are my favourite genre, it’d be a long list, but I’ll state my five faves:

    1. Stunts
    2. Burnout 3: Takedown
    3. Gran Turismo 4
    4. Crash Team Racing
    5. GTR 2

    Keep in mind, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for me. 😀

  • I’ll tell you dammit that nothing beats Crash Team Racing on the PS1.
    Mario Kart Double Dash on the Gamecube is a close second.
    My girlfriend and I bonded over that game before we got together, fond memories.
    Even before that though, kick ass game.

  • Your mention of Mario Kart makes me do a double take on my own decision, but I don’t find Mario Kart to really to a racer, more of a party brawler on wheels lol.

    I’d have to say Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 – great range of cars, well designed tracks, competent AI, great music and playing a cop or duking it out with them when you’re trying to catch that f-ing McLaren made for a challenging and thrilling experience

  • Crash Team Racing!

    I could never stop playing battle mode with my mates overseas. The reflexes involved in deflecting missiles with shields and TNT were insane and there was nothing more satisfying than timing the exact moment to chuck out a rolling bomb towards the opponent.

  • Absolute favorite would have to be Burnout 3. There’s just something about the execution of that game that’s bang on. Second would have to be Crash Team Racing. Don’t know exactly why, but I prefer that to any Mario Kart game I’ve played, though I detested it’s sequel.

  • Back in the day I was really into Need for Speed: High Stakes on the PSOne. These days the Forza series gets my vote.

  • For me, nothing has ever quite lived up to the awesomeness that was Carmageddon 2!! Granted the green blooded zombies were a bit of a disappointment, but that game as a whole was just oodles of awesome!

  • Mine is Wipeout 2097 although I have not played it recently or even any of the new versions this series this was the first game that showed me racing was all about speed. Nothing beat the feeling that game gave me when you took a corner and just scraped up against the walls with sparks everywhere. Sountrack was pretty good also although I don’t think I ever want to hear firestarter again.

  • Racing games and me just dont mix. Super Mario Kart is probably the racing game i’ve spent the most time on, the 2 player splitscreen battles are awesome. And they lasted for like an hour each, only because after a while both players get that item stealing ghost thing, then its a waiting game to see who gets the red shell first.

  • I had fun with the Blur Beta and was looking forward to ModNation Racers until I realised it was a full release title and not a PSN offering.

    My all time fav racer would have to be Burnout 3: Takedown, living in Melbourne, working in Sydney for a Brisbane based project I lugged my Xbox and Burnout 3 through the airport each week for about three months. I played the hell out of that game and it was great online as well.

    I must give shout outs to Stunts and Super Mario Kart couch-versus too.

  • Burnout 3. That game was so insanely addictive, and I got such a visceral thrill from the speed and the carnage.

    NFS High Stakes. My brother and I played this to death. Dunno why I enjoyed it so much, but I did. I loved the soundtrack too, so much so that I still have it on my iPhone.

    Rollcage. Again, my bro and I played this to death. I loved the destruction, the speed, the secret shortcuts, the weapons. Awesome game.

    Now I want to jump on eBay and find Rollcage..

    • Rollcage! I totally forgot about that game, I hate racing games but there was something about that one that really sucked me in. Sadly, I lost it in a break-up property split. Guess I’ll be looking on ebay eventually, too.

  • I would have to say DIRT 1. (not 2…) I’ve wasted many a day just trying to edge an extra tenth of a second of a track.

    Oh, and yeah, stunts was awesome back in the day….

    OHOHOH, and I’ve just remembered another. Can anyone help me out?? I think it was called “Deathtrap?” but I’m not sure. You could drop mines I think. Man, it was so long ago, but I remember spending hours on it.

    Oh, and I also spent way too many hours staring into my monochrome green glow while playing Lombard Rally. It had killer grfx.

  • Uni Racers for SNES!!!

    This is a game that I used to pull all nighters playing with my mate back when I was in high school. We would rent the game for a whole weekend and get his dad to order us take away pizza.

    It was one of the only games where split screen worked well enough on a small colour TV (no big LCD’s back then!!).

    Ahh, simple days.

  • I’ll second the calls of Burnout 3.

    But mention of Carmageddon brings back fond memories… I’m not too sure that it’s stood the test of time, though. I don’t think it would be as fun today as it was back when I first played it. But Burnout 3 I can play over and over again!

  • Stunts
    Wipeout (both PS2 version and PSP)
    Super Mario Kart (and to a lesser extent Double Dash)
    Forza 2 gets a nod too.

  • On Console, the Original Project Gotham Racing. The perfect mix of fun and skill orientated racing. Plus the ability to win by Kudos makes this the most stylish racing game so far.

    On PC – Need For Speed II SE. The only racing game that I bought a video card specifically for (3DFX VooDoo Rush) So Much fun, but cannot be played today as the Video Card died, and software rendering looks like poo… Long Live the Mclaren F1

  • Best Racers

    Arcade – Sega Rally and Daytona – still so fun to this day. I couldn’t count how much money i spent on these games.

    PSX – Gran Turismo – was so hard but very satisfying to beat those licenses and endless amount of tracks. Why were reverse tracks always better?

    Xbox – Juiced and Burnout Revenge – awesome races, drags, drifting, police chases, really cool slow-motion crashes.

    Xbox 360 – Grid and Burnout – cool online additions like online races, owning the street, buying and selling cars.

  • Not a huge fan of racing games, but there have been a few that have held my attention for a decent amount of time. In no particular order:

    Gran Turismo (any of them)
    DiRT2 (came free with my video card and ending up loving it)
    Need for Speed Underground
    Mario Kart 64 (multiplayer. ‘Nuff said)

  • I loved playing Flat Out. I have played it on Xbox & PC. GT Legends would be a close second.

    This is not to say that I don’t like other racing games having raced Live For Speed a lot online in the past. Gran Turismo is a sentimental favourite but Flat Out is the racing game that I have had the most fun playing.

    I was blown away with what was done with Test Drive Unlimited and like this game for other reasons. Bringing an open world racing game to the table in the way that they did to revive this dying franchise was excellent.

    You wouldn’t think that racing games would have a lot of diversity to bring to the table but there actually is.

  • This is like choosing your favourite child! I am just going to pick the games I played the most:

    Stunts – I spent hours making and swapping tracks with friends. The funky physics actually made this game better

    Need For Speed (Original) – This blew me away back in the day. I still remember the epic point-to-point races down the highways. Was the first driving game to really thrill me.

    Need For Speed 3 – I played this multiplayer so much that I can still remember the track layouts. I could probably play this in my sleep.

    Burnout: Paradise – One of the few games that I completed 100%. It actually made my wife sick of the Paradise City song, I played it so often.

    IndyCar Racing – A friend and I did a full race once, playing for about 3 hours before he tried to overtake me and clipped my wheel, taking us both out. This game gave me arm cramps!

    Special mentions go to Stunt Car Racing, NFS:Underground, NFS:Porsche Unleashed, Supercars, Pitstop II, Colin McRae Rally, Daytona USA, Outrun, Motocross Madness. Any of those games could arguably be on my most played list.

    • I had completely forgotten about Indycar Racing. I used to play this on a PC with a flightstick. I would only do the street circuits. Spent so much time playing this game. Was one of the better sims around at the time too.

  • My favorite racing series is STILL the ROAD RASH series!

    Maybe it’s the sheer concept of the series that was better than the games themselves, but this is a series that could quite easily come back these days on current gen consoles and be done *phenomenally* well. Imagine playing it online???

  • — Gran Turismo 1 —

    There was nothing like it at the time, it looked great, sounded great, played great, and was so in-depth in terms of cars, tracks, tuning.

    Plus it had information on the cars (well, GT2 had more, but GT1 started it) – the GT series taught me more about cars than I ever thought I’d imagine. And who said games can’t be educational? 🙂

  • microprose GP 2 – PC
    indy 500 – PC
    San Fransico Rush – N64
    Flatout – Xbox
    Burnout 2 – PS2
    Forza 2 – 360

  • I don’t really like “fun” racers like Burnout etc. I mean, I enjoy them, but they don’t have long lasting appeal to me. I prefer more serious ones like Forza, though I appreciate ones with a bit more charisma, like PGR and GRID. GT4 put me off the GT series because of how sterile and uninvolved it was, at no point did it feel like I was doing anything other than playing a game against a computer. Forza helps remove that with the simple addition of personalities to the AI- across the world, people constantly curse the names of the AI drivers (damn you Rossi!!!).

    Though my all time favourite is still Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast, it introduced a love for car racing games that didn’t exist in me that I haven’t been able to shake since. I can still remember playing it for hour after hour when I got it for Christmas one year, and my parents advising me on how to drive the first car (the MX5) properly when I was playing it in front of them on boxing day…

  • There have been many racers over the years, I guess the main ones that stick out to me and had the most fun with…

    Micro Machines 2 : Turbo Tournament
    This game was fantastic, it even allowed upto 8 players at once with pad sharing! Even today there is one track that still remains in my mind, it was hardware/toll shop based, 2 benches + 2 beams, it was a simple straight up, hairpin, straight down, hairpin cross the finish. Going of the beams was death, when you came off the beams there were 3 Paint tins at each end, where you could try and gain a shortcut in between them, the gap was about a car length, so you had to be spot on otherwise it was over, the brother and I took it in turn trying to nail the turns and shave the extra hundredth off…

    Gran Turismo (Series)
    When the first one hit, I don’t think anyone expected how big it would become, but at the time on the PSone it looked fantastic. It gave you real cars, a stack of options to tinker with the cars settings and a great career mode that spanned the entire range of cars. So you weren’t always resorting to an old favourite.

    WipEout (Series)
    Only got involved from a demo of 2097, after playing it to death, the game was instantly purchased, everything about this game was intense and rewarded skilled piloting when you learnt actually how to control the craft correctly. It was still a tough as nails campaign. Since then I have gone onto all the WipEout games and they have continually added features to the series which keep it fresh. Zone Mode (in Fusion, PS2) and Detonator (in HD Fury, PS3) are insanely addictive and have lost many an hour to them.

    Burnout (Series)
    The original Burnout was fucking frustrating, the slightest graze would be death and I was close to packing in the game, but they kept on improving the engine and Burnout 3 : Takedown is probably the best of the previous gen, it was fast and had great extra modes. Alot of people said they didn’t enjoy Burnout Paradise, but personally felt it was a awesome game, the events were varied enough, though it was annoying to race to the same 8 ending locations. Online for the game was a time sink, jumping online with friends to do the challenges and just driving around doing stupid things is incredibly fun. Well supported with a mix of paid and free DLC also.

    Destruction Derby 2
    Mainly this version only, the rest tried alittle too much and weren’t as good, the mix of tracks where you could look to try and cause chaos off jumps, do barrel rolls and generally see how long before your car lost a wheel.

    These are the first that come to mind… might update later if I think of more…

    • Reading over other peoples responses now a few more are worth mentioning…

      Pitstop II
      Potentially the game that got me interested in racing games, it was simply enough, actually made you use the pits and tactically if you did it well it would help in staying in front.

      Colin McRae Rally (1 & 2)
      The first 2 PSone games only, for me these were similar to Gran Turismo in how it changed rally games forever. It gave you complete control over the settings of the car, it punished bad driving when you had the ability between stages to repair your car, as you wouldn’t have time to repair the alot. So it was a balance of racing hard whilst keeping control. Full Championship mode across multiple countries, various track types, day and night stages, special stages, it had it all.

      Formula One (PSone, Original & 97)
      Psygnosis at this point in time couldn’t do anything wrong, these games, WipEout, Destruction Derby, they were one of the best developers at the time. Again, this is another game which provided a huge upgrade on the consoles. Full Formula 1 Championship, Practice, Qualifying and Full Race, all tracks, variable weather, pit stops and even had Murray Walker doing the commentry, the first game I got on the PSone. Steve Vai and Joe Satriani were also apart of the soundtrack!

      Daytona (Arcade)
      I don’t think anyone could argue, this is probably the most famous Arcade racer ever.

      V.R. : Virtua Racing (Arcade & Mega Drive)
      One of the first games to have ‘3D/Virtual Reality’ style graphics, it was a game like Daytona, only 3 tracks, but overall more technical than Daytona, alot of time was wasted trying to beat fastest laps.

      Road Rash (2 & 3)
      The Mega Drive versions of the game were actually damn hard in the later levels, it also remains to one of those games which were fun to play as you got to have chains, clubs, mace and more to play with…

      Rollcage (Series)
      Once again, you guessed it… Psygnosis! Provides the same level of speed as the WipEout series, but with these awesome cars that could flip and continue on, get enough speed and you could drive up the wall and onto the ceiling. This game needs to be remade.

      Championship Sprint (aka: Super Sprint)
      Top down racer that had a nice little upgrade system, tracks with shortcuts, plenty of hazards to watch out for and probably one of the only games that allowed you turn around a corner whilst spinning out…

  • I have some fond memories of Sega Rally 2 in the arcade/pokie room in Wakefield, North Yorkshire.

    There were two machines, and my brother and I would try to beat the high scores. The leaderboards were dominated by 2 sets of initials.

    Eventually me or my brother would take the number 1 spot on one of the machines, only to return a couple of days later, to find that one of these other guys had stolen our glory with a faster time, so we would play until we had run out of change, or until we’d had beaten the fastest time.

    This went on for 3 months, before we left for Oz. Every couple of day’s we’d turn up to find one of these two nemeses had beaten our best times, and we’d play and play until we had beaten theirs.

    ‘As fate would have it’ we never ran into those two blokes during our many trips to the arcade. It would have been nice to put a face to the competition.

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