At Motormessenger, we’re big fans of console gaming. But with Gran Turismo Sport still some distance away, which games should you pick up now to get your motoring fix?
If you like your rally sims served with crushing realism, forget WRC 6 and go for DiRT. It’s a proper return to form for Codemasters, with the slight disadvantage of not featuring all the fully-licensed WRC cars from 2016 more than offset by the glorious graphics, punishingly tricky courses and breadth of virtual machinery available.
You can fire through Finnish forests in a Richard Burns-spec Impreza WRX STi, or drift your way down the Col de Turini in a snarling E30 M3 if you wish. For those who fancy something a little different, there’s the bump-tastic Rallycross option and also the max-power lunacy of the Pike’s Peak hillclimb. And – rarely for a current-generation racer – there is a distinct learning curve to be made between cars. Just because the MkII Escort Mexico is loose at the rear doesn’t mean that you can drive the mid-engined Renault 5 Turbo II in the same way on the same stage.
Were you 7km into a 9km stage when you slid wide and clipped a boulder, flipping your car? Tough luck; there’s no rewinds here and that’s why DiRT is so addictive.
- Price: £54.99
Project CARS: Game of the Year Edition
Despite the popularity of the PS4 in the console wars, there’s been a lack of high-calibre track racing sims of late. Sure, there was Driveclub, but that’s not exactly all about differential preloads and snappy gearing. Project CARS marries a range of fully-licensed road, touring, open-wheel and GT cars with a broad range of genuine and original global racetracks, such as Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and Mount Panorama.
Add into the mix a range of challenging weather effects (you can race on the Nordschleife at night during a storm if you wish) and you’ll have something to keep you on your toes… especially if you’re in a P1 and deploy KERS at the wrong moment.
If you can get past the absence of big-name manufacturers such as Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini, then Project CARS is well worth your time. Make sure to purchase the GOTY which comes equipped with 50+ more cars and the combined Nurburgring Nordschleife and GP circuit.
- Price: £44.99
Rocket League: Game of the Year Edition
There are times, however, where trying to rein in the oversteer on a Zonda Cinque isn’t particularly appealing. For those quick and easy gaming sessions, we recommend Rocket League.
It’s a ridiculously fun game to play, and the main game essentially revolves around car football with customisable vehicles sporting large rocket boosters. The GOTY edition adds a variety of gaming modes such as Snow Day and Hoops (Basketball), but the basic premise is the same – skillful control of the ball or puck, coupled with timely use of rocket boosts and aerial flight, will get you goals.
Be warned, however – Rocket League is very, very competitive and people will not take kindly to putting three goals or more past them!
- Price: £19.99
[P.S. Sometimes you can get really lucky on DiRT: https://twitter.com/Noucheisms/status/828211578671620096]
Which other current-gen console games would you recommend for the petrolhead?