Car Games are loved and played by millions across the globe, but not everyone who plays them knows the rich history that’s led to the modern-day hits we know and love today…
It All Started with Atari
Developed by Atari, Gran Trak 10 kicked of the car games genre as we know it today – released in 1974 it was perhaps the first true car-racing video game. It was a pretty rudimentary, coin-operated arcade game, which saw the player drive a car around bendy track from a top-down perspective, attempting to beat the clock. Gamers controlled the black and white action using a steering wheel, pedals and a gearstick on the arcade cabinet. It was a smash hit, and having realised this Atari developed a second racing game in 1976 – Night Driver. This was the very first racing game that allowed players to experience racing from a first-person perspective, with the camera sitting behind the car as the player navigates it down a pitch-black road, attempting not to hit the barriers at either side. As the game progresses, the track became more complex and the game moves faster, making it more difficult for the player not to crash.
Having looked at the origins of car games, it’s time to consider some of the modern classics that have topped best in class lists for years. Gran Turismo 6 may have been criticised for its dodgy blur effects, but is still widely considered one of the very best racing games in history. It boasts more than a thousand playable cars, from street-ready production vehicles to super-cars, tons of challenges that offer countless amounts of playability and a simulation mode with license tests that will make grown men cry. It combines rally car races, NASCAR, street-races and pro-circuit runs, making it an incredible all round car-game experience a gaining it fans all over the world. The Forza series is perhaps even more popular still, largely because of its emphasis on community play – with the latest installment tying in all the strongest aspects of the previous titles together into an amazing collage of gameplay, graphics, accessibility, versatility and fun.