header decal

Motorsport

20 Dec 2019

RealOpinions: Despite strong competition there is only one choice for racing game of 2019

RealOpinions: Despite strong competition there is only one
choice for racing game of 2019

It was a packed field with some amazing games, but one racer stands above the others.

Jump To
link decal

Need for Speed: Heat

link decal

GRID

link decal

WRC 8

link decal

F1 2019

link decal

The winner is...

There have been some brilliant racing games in 2019, but which has been the most complete and engrossing of the lot?

From F1 2019 to the latest Need For Speed, there have been some great entries to the motorsports scene this year across many subcategories.

Plenty of titles have bought aggressive wheel-to-wheel action and thrills to gamers this year, but at the end of the day there is one clear choice for the best of 2019.

Before we name the winner, let's look at some contender...

Need for Speed: Heat

KING OF CUSTOMIZATION: NFS Heat let you create your own style

Although Need for Speed Heat was an undeniable improvement upon 2017's Payback, the series still feels removed from its glory days.

The graphics were drop-dead gorgeous, the sound was on point and the customisation was arguably the best the series has seen its 25 years.

In addition, Palm City was an excellent playground to spend your time racing around, making full use of the day/night cycle that was introduced for Heat.

However, some of the same problems plagued this game the same as some of its predecessors. The story was lame and cheesy, the soundtrack was average and the cops were way too overpowered. Overall, Heat is a good game, but some way off the best of 2019.

GRID

RACE HARD: GRID's Nemesis Mode was a revelation

GRID 2019 was both old school and modern, making it ideal for both rookie and experienced players to enjoy. An entry that you could sit down and play for just a couple of minutes or hours on end thanks to its revamped tournaments system, this was a game that put fun above all else.

The new Nemesis Mode was also an innovative feature and the AI are excellent in this game. They race like real players thanks to GRID's complex "carographer" which allows for many different driving styles within a single race.

WRC 8

CHALLENGING: WRC 8 was trial by fire for many this year

DiRT 2.0 was also released this year, but WRC 8 pips the former to the title of the best rallying game of 2019. We reviewed WRC 8 back in September and were thoroughly impressed by its graphics, handling model and complex weather system.

The attention to detail is also admirable here, as the game's worldwide selection of venues and events all feel unique and realistic, something that's very hard to achieve for even the biggest of game developers.

The only real downside was the sharp difficulty curve for new players and the inability to change the difficulty settings mid-way through a career, something most of us find ourselves doing at some point.

F1 2019

SPARKS FLY: F1 2019 was endlessly playable

Fans of Formula 1 and the Codemasters franchise weren't disappointed with the latest entry in this series.

The British developers built on a solid entry last year in F1 2018 by carrying through the good immersion, great car development system and continued to nail the gameplay and handling models.

The graphics are brilliant, particularly at night, as the new graphics engine is a marked improvement over the previous iteration. The AI also took a huge step forward.

They're now far racier and aggressive than before, you really fear them for the first time in the series' history.

Out of all the new features, though, Formula 2 has to be the best. This is a feature that the F1 fandom have been clamouring after for years and 2019 was the year we finally got our wish.

The winner is...

SENSATIONAL: F1 2019 takes the cake

Despite stiff competition, F1 2019 was undoubtedly the best racing game of 2019.

It wasn't perfect. The media interviews are still repetitive and often don't make sense and the timings glitch in qualifying is frustratingly still there.

Despite the negatives, though, F1 2019 is quite possibly the best Formula 1 game Codemasters have ever produced.

From a more aggressive experience against the AI to deeper customisation and more stable online play, F1 2019 hit all the right marks.

The inclusion of F2, especially once it was online-enabled, was a real game-changer. These lower downforce, more tail-happy, cars were an immense challenge and remarkably fun to drive all year. They gave the impression that you were getting two games in one.

We can only hope that F1 2020 builds on this year's game and takes it to the next level!