Friday, January 29, 2010

Top Five Racing Games of the Current Generation

NASCAR season is almost upon us, and while I'm not a fan, I decided why not create a list of five racing games that are the best of the best-- the ones that leave every other game in this generation in the dust. These games are the fastest, funnest, fiercest, and frenetic of this current generation. I'm counting all five systems: the PlayStation 3, the Wii, the Xbox 360, the DS, and PSP this time around. Will your favorites be listed? Will I have even played your favorites? Let's find out.

5) Burnout Paradise (PS3, 360, PC)

The Burnout series is known for its hectic arcade-style racing. That's not all you'll get with Burnout Paradise. This time around there's a free-roaming sandbox world to cruise around through. There's events at nearly every intersection that you can participate in. There's the standard circuit races around the city, but there's also more gnarly events such as road rage where you take out as many cars as possible on your very bad day, stunt challenge where the goal is to boost and drift your way to the top, and marked man where the object is to avoid as many crazed drivers as possible in your attempt to survive. With beautiful visuals, cool-looking cars, and a bounty of bodacious gameplay, Burnout Paradise is very much a car fan's paradise.

4) Motorstorm series (PS3, PS2, PSP)

The Motorstorm series is all about off-road hijinks. There's multiple vehicles to choose from each with their own optimal lines to take in each race. A giant big rig shouldn't leap off ramps while a motorbike should stay away from deep water, mud, and snow. As you complete races, you earn tickets and points that unlock new, more challenging races. As you earn points, you move onto new ranks where the races are harder and the competition is much fiercer. There's three Motorstorm games thus far, each with different themed locales. The original Motorstorm takes place in deserts and canyons. Pacific Rift is set on a tropical island whereas Arctic Edge occurs in the frozen tundra. The latter two games have online multiplayer for up to eight players.

3) Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

Time for Mario and friends (and foes) to take a chunk of this list, don't you think? While it's not the best Mario Kart ever thanks to obnoxious catch-up AI via item abuse, it is the most content-packed. There's so much to see and do in this installment of Mario Kart. There's thirty-two tracks in all with the sixteen all-new tracks being some of the most exceptionally designed and crafted yet (save for another Mario Kart on this list). The online is top-notch and shows that the Wii can do a competent online system-- if EA and Activision haven't already shown you that. The visuals are crisp and colorful, the racing action is fast and intense, and the fun is wild and wacky.

2) Excitebots: Trick Racing (Wii)

Get ready to get excited with Excitebots: Trick Racing. The goal in this game isn't just to cross the finish line in first place-- it's to do it with style. Performing air spins, bar spins, vehicle smashes, tree runs, bowling a strike, kicking a field goal, scoring a goal, piecing together super sandwiches, and more all earn you stars. The player with the most stars at the end of a given race wins. Stars can then be used to purchase new vehicles styled after insects and animals and new paint jobs. Whether you want to play against the computer on one of more than twenty courses or hop online and take on friends and strangers, Excitebots: Trick Racing is the game for you. No other racer besides number one put a smile on my face more than Excitebots.

1) Mario Kart DS (DS)

Who knew that my favorite racer would appear on a portable of places? Mario Kart DS has it all: thirty-two tracks, sixteen old, sixteen new, twelve racers with multiple karts to utilize, online Wi-Fi play, a better item balance than most Mario Karts, less catch-up AI, and some of the most creative track design in the series. If there's anything this game doesn't have is online battle mode, but get a friend with a hacking device and this problem becomes nil. A great game to play alone or with friends local, national, or worldwide, Mario Kart DS is my favorite racer this generation. Who doesn't love racing someone with a penis for their online avatar?

There you have it. We started our engines, and now we're letting them sit and cool. Were your favorites listed? Let everyone know in the comments section.

1 comment:

Car Games said...

I see you enjoy some Kart style games. Have you played ModRacing yet? It's very close to the MarioKart series, but you can customize everything. It's a ton of fun.