10 racing games for your Ønskeliste

A thoughtful gift for those who are passionate about both motorsports and video games is racing games, and even in this 2023, there have been some very interesting releases.

If you’re still behind on Christmas gifts or don’t know what to give for a birthday, racing video games are a winning and convenient idea, especially since with digital options, you can gift them directly to the recipient’s PC or console. Or find if they put one or more of them in their Ønskeliste (Wish List. Sorry, we’re still from Denmark!).

Forza Motorsport – PC, Xbox Series S/X

Perhaps the most anticipated release of 2023, Forza Motorsport is the eighth installment in the series but also marks a new beginning, which is why Microsoft and the developers have decided not to assign it a number.

Forza Motorsport
Image: Microsoft

A mature video game with truly top-notch graphics, it has the added benefit, among other things, of being included in the Game Pass subscription. With over 500 cars and, inheriting from Forza Horizon 4 and 5, dynamic day-night cycles and weather conditions that impact car handling, races take place in 20 environments. All vehicles are customizable with over 800 upgrades and modifications.

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged – PC, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch

Another significant release of the year is the second installment dedicated to the Mattel toy cars, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged. American brand, but European game, since its developed by the Italian software house Milestone, based in Milan.

Image: Milestone / Hot Wheels

With much clearer graphics than its predecessor, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 also features a more elaborate storyline. It involves a mad scientist developing a device to shrink monstrous creatures that attack the game’s protagonists, who must defeat them by winning races with Hot Wheels cars.

Lego 2k Drive – PC, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch

Another big release of 2023 is Lego 2K Drive. If you think it’s just another copy of Mario Kart 8, you’re mistaken. It’s a title that, while borrowing dynamics seen in both Nintendo and Forza Horizon games, creates a game that is as fun as it is original.

Image: Lego

Produced by Visual Concepts, Lego 2k Drive allows players to race through the streets of Bricktown and is a mix of arcade and simulation for certain driving dynamics. The result is an experience that is always playful but at times deeper and more complex. Various surfaces, including asphalt, terrain, and water, affect vehicle maneuverability and functionality. Vehicles can be extensively customized, with over 800 upgrades and modifications.

The Crew Motorfest – PC, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, PS5, PS4

Ubisoft’s latest release is The Crew Motorfest, available since August 2023 with a completely new approach compared to The Crew 2. The concept is similar to that of Forza Horizon, featuring a motorsport festival in a large open world, this time set in Oahu, an island in the Hawaiian archipelago.

No more tours of the USA, but it remains a multi-vehicle experience. You can drive over 600 cars, which become the central focus, not neglecting other vehicles, especially off-road ones. The game offers diverse environments, from asphalt to forests and mud, and introduces a new feature called Playlists, a selection of themed campaigns that offer automotive culture experiences.

Mario Kart 8 – Nintendo Switch

Mario Kart 8 continues to resist as one of the world’s best-selling and loved games on Nintendo Switch. It is constantly updated.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Image: Nintendo

The latest two tracks added, just in time for the holiday season, are Madrid and Rome. The game still offers a wide range of character choices, now not only from the Mario universe but from the entire Nintendo world. Vehicle customization is also extensive and deepens as more coins are collected. Ideal for holidays and fun with family and friends.

Need for Speed Unbound – PC, Xbox Series S/X, PS5

The latest release of 2022 belongs to one of the longest-running and appreciated sagas in the world of racing video games. We’re talking about Need for Speed Unbound, available for PC, Xbox Series S/X, and PS5.

Image: EA Games

Developed by the British Criterion Games and distributed by EA Games, Need for Speed Unbound is a delightful tribute to some of the best chapters of Need for Speed, such as the two Underground games from 2002 and 2003, as well as Need for Speed Nitro. Graphically, it changes the game by contrasting the realistic graphics of vehicles and cities with a comic book-style for smoke, nitro, and character aesthetics. Despite lacking an original story, the arcade driving and extreme vehicle and avatar customization make it enjoyable and relaxing.

Gran Turismo 7 – PS4, PS5

A highly anticipated title that arrived almost 10 years after Gran Turismo 6 (with Gran Turismo Sport in between), Gran Turismo 7 debuted in March 2022 in time for the 25th anniversary of Sony’s exclusive series. In 2023, it received a further boost from the film dedicated to the entire saga, and confirmed to be one of the most loved racing games ever.

Image: Sony Play Station

A pleasant return to the classic formula, with nearly perfect graphics on iconic and beloved tracks and exceptional driving dynamics. Numerous customization options easily make it the best title in the entire series, despite being penalized by microtransactions, which have become a burden for video games, and by Sony’s insistence on making it playable only online.

WRC Generations – PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch

Released at the end of 2022, it is the latest title from KT Racing with the official WRC license, making it a welcome tribute to the entire saga.

Image: WRC Generations

The game includes the widest selection of stages ever seen in a rally game, and an equally extensive choice of championship-winning cars from its 50-year history. Rally enthusiasts and more can race around the world, from Sweden to Kenya, Italy to Wales, with many customization options and excellent driving simulation.

F1 2023 – PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5

The official title of Formula 1 couldn’t be missing, and like the championship it simulates this year, it has renewed its performance and car lineup.

Image: F1 2023

F1 2023 continues to be one of the best simulators in circulation for driving dynamics and graphics, but this year it goes even further with a top-notch career mode that includes budget options to become true team managers. It also introduces a new and wider range of possibility and assist options, along with new areas of the game focused on lifestyle and customization of living space.

Forza Horizon 5 – PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

Ok, it was released towards the end of 2021. But perhaps it’s still one of the best racing games you can give to someone with a PC or an Xbox console.

Image: Microsoft

Set in Mexico, winner of numerous awards including Racing Game of the Year at the DICE Awards 2022, it boasts the best open world in a title of this kind, a huge car park, perfect customization, and a variety of events, from classic races to online multiplayer, from special Hot Wheels events to the ability to create and share your own circuits with the community, to setting up your avatar in every aspect (there are even Extreme E suits).

In short, whether you love motorsports or travel, this game is exciting, fun, and full of activities.

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