Formula 1

Five of the best racing games ever made.

Five of the best racing games of all time

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For most, the closest we'll ever get to driving around tracks or city roads at over 100mph is on a video game. 

Only the most elite drivers on the planet compete week in week out on the world's most famous circuits - Spa, Silverstone or Monaco for example.     

As a child, it's what so many dreamed of, but very few achieve. So for most of us, we get our kicks through virtual driving - or racing. 

And we don't take it too seriously - for some winning is about bragging rights over friends and family and for the rest of us, it's all about the fun. 

But for a few people, eSports gaming is a way of life. And this year, McLaren are giving the best virtual racers from around the world a chance of a lifetime. 

Partnering with World's Fastest Gamer, McLaren F1 are offering one person the greatest prize in eSports gaming.

That is, a contract with the constructor to become their Formula 1 simulated driver, working closely alongside the likes of Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne and Jenson Button. 

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Those are two men that make a living doing what most of us can only dream of. 

With only one contract up for grabs, the rest of us have to settle for casually playing racing games from the comfort of home. 

But that's not all bad because, over the years, gamers have been spoilt for choice when it comes to driving games.

So with that in mind, here's five of the best ever made. 

5) Need for Speed - Most Wanted (2005 - PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PSP, PC and Mobile)

The Need for Speed series has been one of the most successful in gaming history. Creating an incredible 24 games between 1994 and 2017, it would have been impossible not to include one of those in this list. 

Most Wanted had everything you desired back in 2005 - police chases, free roaming open world driving and an extensive car list. In a period when racing games were moving away from full video cut-scenes, NFS: MW stood true to itself and went against the curve - to great success.

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4) DiRT Rally (2015 - PS4, Xbox One and PC)

It's fair to say that in the 10 years between the release of Need for Speed Most Wanted and DiRT Rally, driving games drastically changed. 

DiRT takes full advantage of the newer generation of consoles - PS4 and Xbox One, creating a challenging simulation even the best gamers would have struggled with early on. 

The realism is unmatched - tires can burst and engines can overheat, leaving players struggling over the finish line at times. 

Thanks to the decent variety of cars to choose and stages to drive (36 to be precise), DiRT is a game any racing fan must own - and one they must master to gain true respect from the eSports community.

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3) Burnout Paradise (2008 - PS3 and Xbox 360) 

A far cry from the constraints and structure of rally stages, Burnout Paradise took players back onto the open road - and caused a fair bit of carnage while doing so!  

There are no tire stacks on the edge of a track, screaming fans behind the tape or even any directions to follow - in Paradise City, players can do whatever they want. 

There was so much to do and a multiplayer mode that players to slide in and out of seamlessly, ensuring countless hours disappeared in front of the screen.    

And no one will ever forget the best song on the soundtrack. It was quite fittingly 'Paradise City' by Guns N' Roses, and it had gamers singing along everytime they loaded up Burnout.  

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2) Gran Turismo 5 (2010 - PS3)

The Gran Turismo series had always been a favourite amongst fans but GT 5 took it to a whole new level. 

Online multiplayer was introduced, bringing up to 16 people onto the track at once. And with those many players battling for first place, there was bound to be some contact.   

That's where GT5's brand new damage mode came in, allowing players to pick the level of realism they played with and crashing never looked so epic.

But that's not all. GT5 was about more than just sports and supercars - players could race NASCAR, Super GT and World Rally Cars as well.

There was so much variety and what perhaps pleased die-hard racing gamers the most, is the fact that each and every car sounded different on the track.

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1) Forza Motorsport 3 (2009 - Xbox 360)

Forza Motorsport 3 is arguably the greatest driving game ever created. Even in 2017, fans are still switching on their old consoles to play the smoothest simulator of its time. 

Eight years ago, the graphics were stunning, the physics jaw-dropping and the controls tight. On top of that, there were over 400 officially licensed cars to drive, an in-depth, customisable career mode and 

On top of that, there were over 400 officially licensed cars to drive, an in-depth, customisable career mode and 22 circuits to master. 

Forza truly was ahead of its time and it's a game that continues to please racing gamers of any level - even eight years on.  

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Do you agree with our top five racing games? If not, share your favourites in the comments below. 

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Topics:
McLaren
Formula 1
World's Fastest Gamer

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