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Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

After talking about the best party racing games, arcade racing games and simulators, it's time for us to list the biggest disappointments.

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If you're a fan of racing games, you've probably been following our Racing Dreams series, where we've been taking a look at the best arcade, party, and sim-racing titles out there. Well, today we're continuing that series by looking at the biggest disappointments in the racing genre. Before we do that however, be sure to check out our previous Racing Dreams articles here (Arcade, Party, and Sim-racing).

Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

10. Gran Turismo 6

It was thought that Gran Turismo 6 for PlayStation 3 would be a big step forward for Sony's best-selling game series, but it ended with Yamauchi's popular racing series taking a real step back with GT6, which contained lifeless rigid car physics based on a tire model that was so painfully dated, limited and often uncorked that for long periods it almost felt like a long, drawn-out joke. The car quality was also horribly uneven, the engine noises grim, and the career situation so sterile and impersonal that it felt as if time stood still.

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Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

9. Forza Motorsport 7

Turn 10 glanced a little too much at their Forza neighbours, the creators of the Horizon series, Playground Games, here. They looked a little too much at the mobile gaming world and all the loot boxes and forced micro-transactions that sabotage almost every major game they touch, and squeezed out the by far weakest Forza game ever with Forza Motorsport 7. The car physics were deplorable compared to the really wonderful Forza Motorsport 4 and the way they focused on everything but the racing itself - made me beyond mad. Hopefully the next, Forza Motorsport 8 is significantly better than what Forza Motorsport 7 is, otherwise this game series might as well call it quits.

Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments
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8. Ridge Racer: Unbounded

When the people behind the Flat Out series joined forces with Bandai Namco to inject a few hundred gallons of high-octane Ridge Racer fuel back into the series, many of us old foxes applauded. Unbounded looked good in advance. Like a savage, explosion of Ridge Racer, Burnout and Need for Speed, drenched in mile-long asphalt tracks. But yes... The game was ultimately a monumental disappointment and the worst instalment in Bandai Namco's long racing series, much due to bland tracks and hopelessly uninspired game controls.

Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

7. Mario Kart: Double Dash

Mario Kart 64 was masterful. Wonderful. Brilliant. But how do you best follow up on one of the highest-acclaimed, best-selling and most-played party racing games of all time, which has redefined what Mario Kart in particular can and perhaps even should be? Not with the gimmicky Double Dash. The game I consider to be the black sheep of the Mario Kart series and one of the most disappointing racing games I have ever tested. The whole charm of Mario Kart was lost and considering how tough and chaotic it felt, it was really nothing to celebrate. When Nintendo talks about the upcoming Mario Kart 9 also being based on a "twist", I hope they have not built an entire game on a flawed gimmick, as was Double Dash.

Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

6. Split / Second

It looked superb in advance. The people behind Pure had loaded up with everything the arcade racing genre had to offer at the time and the mix between Flat Out, Ridge Racer, Burnout and Need for Speed ​​made me really interested. Split / Second would exist in the borderlands between racing and action, and the whole thing was that the tracks were a bigger part of the racing than in other titles in the same genre, and made all of us at Gamereactor count down the days to the launch on November 19th, 2010. But the finished product was not good, unfortunately. The racing breathed cheap gimmicks, the game feeling was lifeless, sterile and the competitions were super boring and monotonous.

Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

5. Grid (2019)

Race Driver: Grid (2008) I think stands out as one of the most complete and entertaining arcade racing games of all-time. Codemasters really succeeded with everything in that title and the expectations for the "soft reboot" that would take place in the autumn of 2019 were thus high. Or maybe rather astronomical. Unfortunately, Grid (2019) felt a bit like a cheap copy of the original without the same perfect driving feel, atmosphere, variety and speed. This game thus stands as one of the biggest racing disappointments of all-time and the upcoming sequel Grid: Legends does not feel much better so far.

Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

4. Project Cars 3

Project Cars was hardly perfect but it was very good. A racing simulator developed with constant input from fans, what more could you ask for? Project Cars 2 was in many ways the game that the original really should have become and even though there were some built-in problems with the self-designed Madness Engine, it was a really nice racing game that could easily compete with genre giants such as Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport. But somewhere along the way to a completed third, Ian Bell's team lost their way. Project Cars 3 was marketed by Bell himself and producer Andy Tudor as "the world's most realistic racing game" when in fact it was a bubbly, tiring arcade racing game without any embedded realism, disguised as anything else. The physics were very dry, the feeling of speed so excessive that it often felt like F-Zero, and the layout was taken from a free game for Android phones.

Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

3. Driveclub

The MotorStorm people's haunted PS4 game Driveclub was not bad. Not at all. But it was also never very good and for my part one of the biggest racing disappointments I have encountered, ever. The idea was that the game's built-in clubs would revolutionise the racing format and include millions of players, who would compete together, build a community and a racing atmosphere, but it fell flat. Driveclub was, and still is brutally beautiful to look at, but that's about it.

Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

2. Dirt 5

Colin McRae: Dirt, Colin McRae: Dirt 2 and Dirt 3 were all brilliant arcade racers based on an uncompromising focus on entertaining driving skills, gorgeous graphics and brutally fine variety. Dirt 4 tried to pretend to be Dirt Rally, which made it suffer from some schizophrenia, but it was never bad in the way Dirt 5 was, and is. For the single worst racing game that the traditionally great Codemasters ever put together, Dirt 5 was and is, with its lousy car physics and horrible graphics/aesthetics, boring like absolutely nothing else that has ever been released in the genre over the past ten years.

Racing Dreams: The world's biggest racing disappointments

1. Need for Speed ​​(2015)

It is no secret that the Gothenburg studio, Ghost Games did no real wonders with the five games from the Need for Speed ​​series that they released over a ten-year period. Many of them were mediocre and none of them lived up to the quality we were offered in titles such as Most Wanted, Underground or Hot Pursuit, and what disappointed me the most was the re-boot, Need for Speed ​​from 2015. The idea was to bake into current trends in car building culture in the US, with everything called Hoonigan, Singer and Magnus Walker, and racing was supposed to be imbued with atmosphere and character but nothing worked in this game. Absolutely nothing. The bugs were many, the racing felt bland and flat, and the twisted story ashamed us.

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