The Best Driving Video Games of All Time
Whether you’re an active gamer or a casual gamer, driving video games hold a special space in our hearts. Take a drive down memory lane and discover which driving video games had the best design and most unique game mechanics at launch. The driving games on this list have all contributed to and influenced the way other driving games have been conceived. Keep reading to find out if your favourite video game makes the list of best driving video games.
Pole Position (1982)
Designed as an arcade game in 1982 by Namco, Pole Position set the bar for future car racing games and is considered the most successful racing game of the classic era of gaming, becoming the highest grossing arcade game in North America in 1983.
Outrun was the first racing game experience to allow the player to choose what route to drive and customise their driver.
Super Mario Kart (1993)
Whenever thinking of a racing game, many of us will remember our times playing Super Mario Kart with our friends and family. Super Mario Kart continues to reign the car-racing game market, even 25 years after the original release.
Daytona USA (1993)
Growing up in the nineties, you would typically find one of these multiplayer arcades in various bowling alleys. This game is filled with champion imagery and challenging game mechanics, and it’s no wonder this game continues to be a favourite for car-racing game enthusiasts.
Sega Rally Championship (1994)
Although there are only three race courses in this game, you could drive on different surfaces which would influence the car’s handling. Sega Rally Championship is still as loved today as it was when it was first released.
Twisted Metal 2 (1996)
Launched on PlayStation in 1996, Twisted Metal 2 is an impressive game that is full of action and memorable experiences combining racing and combat.
Gran Turismo (1998)
Gran Turismo’s designer, Kazunori Yamauchi, said that it required five years to complete the first instalment of Gran Turismo. Yamauchi said “In those five years… I would wake up at work, go to sleep at work… I estimate I was home only four days a year”. The dedication of the game designers really shines through in GT’s gameplay and this masterpiece will continue to be one of the best driving games ever made.
Grand Prix Legends (1999)
For a game released in 1999, Grand Prix Legends is a game that was well ahead of its time. Designed with incredibly advanced graphics for the time, and encompassing highly accurate gameplay, Grand Prix Legends holds up to be one of the most satisfying driving video games to play.
Some will say this game has greatly influenced sandbox and open world driving gameplay. Driver was one of the first games that enabled you to freely explore the roads without having to be looped into a circuit.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
Whilst not primarily designed to be a driving game, this game makes it onto the list because of the game’s memorable driving moments. Do you remember cruising alongside the beach with songs from the 80s playing through the radio?
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted provided gamers with a first experience into what sandbox racing should be like. This game was a lot of fun because it was one of the first games that empowered you to get creative with your vehicle’s rims and body-kits in an open world.
Forza Horizon 3 (2016)
One of the most advanced racing games on the market, Forza Horizon 3 equips you with hours and hours of fun. In this game, you are encouraged to explore the diverse terrains of Australia in your dream supercar. The detailing and game mechanics in this game are unbeatable.
Although nostalgia will often influence any choice of best driving game of all time, the games on this list also carry with them a legacy of being pioneering in use of graphics, or in how the game was played, and they have all influenced newer games in ways we don’t always notice.