After E3 2017 has wrapped up, everyone now knows what to expect for the rest of the year. Racing games have a big fanbase and nailing simulation is key to fans. If you’re a driving enthusiast and your driving skills get called into question, that’s a shot at your ego. Racing series such as Bandai Namco’s Project Cars, Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo and Turn 10’s Forza Motorsport are the main games that claim to offer the best racing simulation on the market. The wars between the fans of the series garner ridiculous heat, and 2017 is going to be the year that these developers lay everything on the table. The list is of racing titles is huge this year and it will be the definitive head-to-head.
Forza Motorsport 7 was unveiled to launch alongside the Xbox One X this Fall. Turn 10 is promising 4K visuals as 60FPS and the gameplay trailer looked gorgeous. While Sony did not show anything from Gran Turismo Sport (also due this Fall) during its press conference, it ended up releasing one fantastic trailer. The emotion it captures along with the visual shots will bring a tear to your eye. The game has been in closed beta for a few months and that experience in itself has been enjoyable. Bandai Namco has been showing off Project Cars 2 for a few months since its announcement and has made leaps from its original version. The game will feature the most tracks on console ever and includes licensed Indy Cars and Rallycross. The visuals on all these games show what these consoles are made of.
While fans can be excited for these three main titles, there are other titles that have either released this year or are on the horizon. Codemasters has two for 2017 and the first was the remarkable DiRT 4 which hit on all cylinders in terms of racing any automobile off-road (can we get bikes in the future?). That game has proven to be the pinnacle of the series dating back to the Colin McRae days. The other game will be F1 2017, a yearly title representing the Formula One series. What makes this game so unique is that despite the fact that it will be based on the current season that has been so exciting, it introduces the classic cars and tracks for the first time since 2013. This offers something more than just a yearly update. Classic cars will periodically be announced leading up to the release date.
For stock car racing fans, NASCAR Heat 2 will be offering the complete package of the racing series. Fans can race as drivers in teams for this year’s Monster Energy Series, as well as the lower tier Xfinity Series. More importantly, the trucks will be represented in a NASCAR game for the first time in ages. The Camping World Truck Series will also feature Eldora, the dirt track that is for the hardcore fans of NASCAR. You might think the sport is a joke, but for NASCAR fans who do appreciate it, this will be the ultimate package for yet another yearly racing game.
While the simulation racers are covered along with the games that represent their designated sport, arcade racers still have a dent in the market for 2017. Ubisoft has announced The Crew 2, which will hopefully right the wrongs from the first game as it looks to offer a lot more content. EA is releasing its next Need for Speed title with Payback. The game will be story driven and fans of the Fast and Furious movies will probably find it right up their alley. Of course, one could tag Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as a racing game this year for the Switch, but this article was mainly to focus on all the big gun simulation games.
One thing is certain: no matter what type of racing or racing series you prefer, the pinnacle edition of these games all are releasing in 2017. The engineers from Gran Turismo even teamed up with Thrustmaster to create an $800 steering wheel that has over 35,000 man hours of development input into it. More importantly, all these games will be the first to take advantage of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X 4K enhancements. DiRT 4 includes enhancements that make it look stunning and run smooth (all that can be read in the review link above). Racing fans will forever look back at 2017 and say this was the greatest year for racing games.