The highest level of motorcycle racing, MotoGP, has an excellent video game series developed by Milestone.
With MotoGP 22 set to launch next week, we were wondering, what is the best motorbiking game ever? Would it also be possible for MotoGP 22 to beat it next week? Here's our take.
The MotoGP video games
The MotoGP video game series has been going since the year 2000. The Namco MotoGP series of the early to mid-2000s was favourably reviewed, as was THQ's "Ultimate" series.
Since then, MotoGP has seamlessly transitioned to the next-gen consoles, with MotoGP 20 and MotoGP 21 arguably being the best ever in the series. What makes these games so special, though?
Well, like most of Milestone's games, the graphics, sound, handling and overall feel of the MotoGP game is top-notch. MotoGP games have the full calendar, teams, drivers and season fully-licenced as well.
Add to this innovative game modes like Managerial mode and nostalgic content such as the historical tracks and riders. For MotoGP 22, we don't see that changing, as the year-on-year improvement has been steady and impressive.
The best biking games
To be the best, you have to beat the best. So, which is the best motorbiking game ever? That's not an easy one to answer, but we'll be excluding games that aren't solely motorbike games.
If we're going down the simulator route, there aren't many better than Ride 4. Another Milestone game, Ride 4 is the Grand Turismo of bikes, with a huge selection of bikes and circuits on offer.
While Ride 4 is great, it doesn't have the personal feel that MotoGP 21 has. While it's as good when it comes to gameplay and presentation Ride 4 doesn't have the road to glory career mode that we love in MotoGP 21.
Another candidate though, and the one that more players and critics site as the best ever is Trials Evolution. Trials Evolution, as the name suggests, sees players advance through different "trials" on their motorbike.
It's a very simple game, but it's extremely addictive and well-made. What sets Trials apart from the crowd though, is its stage designer feature. This makes the game endless in terms of the fun you can have and the content you can enjoy.
Can MotoGP 22 be the best ever?
It's a big ask, but it's certainly possible. We know that MotoGP 22 will have the same level of quality and presentation that we've been used to in the MotoGP series. We also know that it will be on the next-gen systems, making full use of the advanced software.
However, it's the certainty about its quality that, in a way, works against MotoGP 22. Because this is the official game of the 2022 MotoGP season, it cannot deviate from that, it cannot be a novel concept.
While additions and expansions in terms of more historical content would improve the experience, it won't to a level that will usurp Trials Evolution.
The only way for this to happen would be for MotoGP 22 to introduce an incredibly unique feature (which we haven't seen in trailers so far).
The other method would be to revamp and significantly expand the Historical content, which we could see in fairness, given the retirement of Valentino Rossi and the introduction of the 2009 season content.