Free Online Racing Games
There is one genre of MMO that invariably rarely makes its way over from consoles to hit the free to play online PC market and that would be racing games, so when they do crop up with love to get behind the wheel and give them a test drive (you know, providing there is a wheel…). The racing game genre is probably one of the least crowded for the F2P market and so as often as not the competition between different racing titles is a lot less fierce as it’s definitely not an oversaturated battleground (unlike say the MMORPG genre).
Driving simulators are the most popular type of racing game, dominating most of this list, we have a few that try to do something little different and so for their efforts have still been included in the list:
With exceptional graphics and a huge franchise behind it, Need for Speed World is a heavy hitter on the list were players can go up against skilled AI compete against other real-world players from across the world. Players are able to drive around the streets in a relatively sandbox type world scoping out Street racers that they can participate in and join either single player, multiplayer or private races. Some races are class restricted so that players can only use a certain type of car in the event to ensure that things are evened up, but away from classic races there are the classic evade and pursuit type games classic to the Need for Speed titles.
Drift City is another game that has tried to put a bit of story background into the game, set in the future and revolving around the global shortage of oil and the discovery of a new resource called Mittron which allows cars to run faster for longer. A mysterious faction has arisen that drive cars called HUVs and as a player it is your job to perform missions around a tropical island. Players can collect various different cars and hands them using the Parts Shop, trigger the players in the auction house and race them in the Battle Zone in Solo or Team Based Races.
One of the main features of Auto Club Revolution is a wide selection of licensed cars (Mazda, Ford, Chevrolet, Jaguar, Koenigsegg, etc.) that are available to players as well as a number of multiplayer modes, particularly at the massive elimination mode where players go against each other to knock each other out of the race. The game brings some of the world most famous racetracks which are created using laser scanned technology to recreate the tracks to a detailed level, capturing every twist and turn as it is seen in real life and rendered in a highly polished and graphically stunning game.
When it comes to top of the range AAA HD graphics then you need only take a look at World of Speed which also focuses heavily on team based gameplay with a variety of game modes, cars and racing in some famous real-world locales (on and off the racetrack). Using an already successful “Driver Score” system players are able to build up points completing team based objectives and complete mandatory mini goals as well as racing at the same time, meaning that even if a player wipes out on the first hairpin they still have a chance to technically win the race. Players also get the chance to lean towards for different roles in the races; Drifter, Blocker, Drafter or Wingman, which requires a different style of play and rewards players for performing their role well.
Street Racers is a little different to other racing games in that, when it comes down to it, you don’t actually do any racing, at least not in the literal sense. The game works like some more popular combat strategy MMORPGs where players start with the most basic of cars (literally cars you would make your morning commute to work in) and slowly add new parts and upgrades to increase its stats and in a roundabout way “level it up”. The races are completely automated, you don’t actually even see any racing, and instead the game weighs up your modified car against your challenger and that you know who won. This type of game isn’t for everybody, but the popularity of these types of MMORPGs definitely warrants it having a place in our list.
Last but not least we have Tales Runner, though originally and all the title of the game has now been re-launched under a new publisher and is currently in beta. Players must race on foot through a host of fantasy-based racecourses, competing against others in challenging events and game play modes whilst dodging environmental hazards, traps and even enemy AI as they try to reach the finish line. It’s definitely a different style of racing game but from what we’ve seen it has a lot of promise and with its built-in mini games and wide character selection should be a lot of fun.