Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
After a fast and furious 2005, the racing genre stalled a bit in 2006. The Xbox 360 was the only system with any noteworthy racers, no one else even got off the line. Even if they had, they probably would have been smoked by these two next-gen hot rods.
Developer: Eden Studios
Platform: Xbox 360
Back in the ‘70s, National Lampoon famously ruminated on the classic question of How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink. Well wonder no further because the answer involves a girlfriend, a spliff, a beer, and a virtual Hawaiian island in Test Dive: Unlimited. With 100 different cars, next-gen technology and last-gen pricing, this driver easily takes the checkered flag.
If you want the thrills without worrying about the spills, Need for Speed: Carbon on the 360 is pretty slick. A tuner's dream, there are about a million different ways to pimp your ride, then go online to play cops and robbers through the neon-lit streets of Palmont. With sweet graphics, tight controls, and easy-to-pick-up arcade racing, Carbon is a crowd pleaser.