It’s been an interesting year for the racing game genre so far. With several big guns like F1 2018 and Forza Horizon 4 still to come, the first half of 2018 has been more about variety. Indeed, racing isn’t even the main focus of a lot of these titles. Exploration, customisation and causing chaos are consistent themes. There’s plenty of variety to whet the appetite no matter what kind of racing games you’re in to. So let’s look at the best racing games of 2018 so far.
Best Racing Games Of 2018 So Far: Onrush
Is it a racing game? Technically not. Codemasters’ vehicular combat title, developed by the minds behind DriveClub and MotorStorm, was a fascinating attempt to bring something new to racing gaming. It eschews point-to-point racing in favour of team-based mechanics and game modes centred on destroying opponents. It’s ambitious, brash, colourful and a whole heap of fun. Unfortunately despite strong critical reviews it failed to find an audience on launch. Perhaps due to the fact it’s a racing game that’s also not a racing game at the same time? Perhaps it was a hard sell, but regardless, Onrush remains a very enjoyable arcade combat experience.
Best Racing Games Of 2018 So Far: Burnout Paradise Remastered
One of many titles receiving current-gen re-releases, the original Burnout Paradise was in many ways ahead of its time. Taking the Burnout formula of chaotic arcade street racing into an open-world map proved an inspired move. The greatest aspects of classic Burnout, such as excellent soundtrack and spectacular crash physics, remained. But the new setting gave the player a wonderful sense of freedom as you zoomed around the city with Soundgarden and Guns ‘n’ Roses blasting on the radio. It’s exactly the kind of game that benefits most from a current-gen remaster; the improved graphical fidelity making Paradise City look even more beautiful than ever on PS4. Burnout Paradise Remastered genuinely feels like it could be a new game released in 2018; it’s stood the test of time THAT well.
Best Racing Games Of 2018 So Far: Danger Zone 2
Speaking of Burnout, were you a fan of Crash Mode from those old games? This is the game for you. Formed by three ex-Criterion Games developers, Three Fields Entertainment released the first Danger Zone game in 2017. And a year later, Danger Zone 2 has arrived to build on the promising platform laid by the first game. Adding a greater variety of vehicles, settings and gameplay mechanics, Danger Zone 2 evokes the spirit of those classic Burnout crash modes brilliantly. There’s still nothing quite as satisfying as nailing an enormous highway pile-up, snagging all the bonus pick-ups, then surveying the carnage from a news helicopter high above. In that regard, Danger Zone 2 is just about the perfect spiritual successor.
Best Racing Games Of 2018 So Far: MotoGP 18
For players more into their real-world racing, the latest entry from Milestone’s long-running bike racing series will do the job. You always know where you stand with a Milestone MotoGP game; solid and interesting career mode, enjoyable bike physics, and the star riders from real-life MotoGP racing represented down to every last detail on their bike and leathers. This year’s entry has garnered some criticism for a lack of innovation; a new graphics engine took up most of the development focus at the expense of content. But the new graphics themselves do look very impressive, and for new players or those looking to dive back in, MotoGP 18 is as solid an entry point as ever.