Can’t afford a full blown racing simulator rig at home? Fear not, as with just a a steering wheel and a decent PC setup you can still keep your eye in using some of the fantastic sim games currently on the market. Here is our run down of the top 5 Racing Sims that you can buy today –
Following on from the ultra successful original Rfactor game, the sequel was a major evolution. Introducing advanced tyre modelling and maintaining it’s ultra customisable architecture, it brought many aspects used by top level racing sims to the masses. Despite several complaints and problems on first release, the game has become the polished and advanced program that was originally intended. With countless mods to choose from and an online world full of real racing drivers, it is still number 1 on our list. Improved AI, full day-to-night cycles and updated graphics and lighting make it a true simulator that you can run from home.
Born from the ashes of the defunct Papyrus operation, I Racing is based around the same game engine that powered Nascar Racing 2003 Season (a much loved but often overlooked sim game) but with tweaked physics and graphics to make it even more realistic. Laser scanned tracks and a huge array of addons make I Racing a highly customisable and realistic sim game. The standard of racing online is often higher than RFactor due to a brilliant licensing system that penalizes off track incidents and accidents and encourages proper racing. The only thing holding I Racing off of our top spot is the fact that RFactor is a cheaper alternative than the monthly subscription that I Racing charges.
Grand Prix Legends
The daddy of race sims – Grand Prix Legends was so far ahead of the competition at the time of release (1998) that it is still regarded as one of the finest racing sims ever made. With the physics and game engine that would eventually make its way into I Racing, GPL was based around the 1967 F1 season and featured cars and tracks that upped the benchmark of simulator games for years to come. The graphics were light years ahead of the competition. Now kept alive by creative modders who have made the game compatible with newer systems and with new content, the game is still alive and kicking… IF you can find a copy. If you’ve not played it yet then we thoroughly recommend it.
Released in 2006, GTR2 became the benchmark for sim GT racing. Featuring all the cars and tracks from the 2003-2004 FIA GT Championship, the game was for serious sports car racers. With 24hr weather cycles and the ability to mod the game with new cars and tracks, enabling you to recreate the legendary 24 hours at the Nordschleife, GTR2 is still popular with fans of GT racing and raced by many professionals. The series has since been continued and formed the basis of the newest game by SimBin, RaceRoom.
Possibly the most beautiful of all the games listed so far, Assetto Corsa by Kunos Simulazioni was released in 2013 among a myriad of other sim games. Entering the fray with many new game modes and features that hadn’t been seen before allowed AC to stand out from the crowd. VR modes made gameplay even more immersive than ever before and with a multitude of add ons and DLC’s, it is as expandable as your imagination allows. Lacking in the AI department and no changeable weather conditions it can’t quite compete with the likes of I Racing and RFactor but should be considered for part of your collection if you are a serious sim racer.
Agree with our selection? Disagree? We’d love to know. Facebook or Tweet us with your top 5 sim games, and check out our up and coming competition to win a copy of F1 2017!
Author: Clerk of the Course
The Clerk of Junior Torque. Administrator, Editor and Dictator!