It will be hard to call 2022 a good year, and in terms of computer games and high-profile releases it became one of the worst in a while. Outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic, release of a new generation of hardware, deficit of semiconductors and other problems have caused huge problems for game creators.
Games were released, but we cannot remember only a few remarkable and outstanding projects. Speaking of amazing titles, we can think of Elden Ring and GoW: Ragnarok, we could try and add Horizon: Forbidden West and A Plague Tale: Requiem to the list, too.
The drought of the gaming sphere was noticeable, however, the gaming market could not be called a lifeless desert. Some genres became a kind of rescuing oasis for gamers due to rare releases.
Racing games are among those that we could mark. In 2022, at least 3 epic games were released along with a few smaller but still good and at times absolutely hilarious in a good way.
We will complete our Top List of Most Popular Projects with the best racing games in 2022 and wait for the sales.
Gran Turismo 7
The seventh entry of the legendary franchise from the father of Polyphony Digital Kazunori Yamauchi was released on 4 March 2022. The publisher of the game is Sony, so playing the game on PC will not be available. And it is not surprising.
Gran Turismo is a leader of the Japanese company and one of Sony’s favorite children. The corporation does not want to bid farewell to one of their main exclusives for many reasons, and the main of them is the authors of the series and their expertise.
The creators of Gran Turismo, and Kazunori Yamauchi in particular, are the main fans of their games. The team from Polyphony Digital have always cherished their projects and the seventh entry of the racing simulator did not become an exception. However, calling Gran Turismo 7 racing could be pretty much abstract.
In GT7 it is not fun to compete with AI as it is rather clumsy. It is much more absorbing to explore your cars, update them and go deeper into the gameplay that is surprisingly diverse by the standards of racing games. This feature was implemented thanks to the GT Cafe and a single player campaign.
Polyphony Digital managed to develop immersion in the the game at a decent level: while making process in the game, a player will have to travel around local places that fit in the city perfectly, to do tasks from “Cafe” and improve your car to play different modes. There are enough of them.
The car park in Gran Turismo 7 is impressive: the road will welcome you in ancient beetles or exclusive cars like Vision whose prototypes were developed for the game specifically. We will add thorough work on details powered by PlayStation 5 and we will get an exciting game for car fans.
Another racing game that was released in 2022 and represents a franchise but this time it is less iconic. GRID Legends, created by Codemasters and published by Electronic Arts, was released on 24 February last year and succeeded in gaining the commitment of some circles of gamers.
GRID Legends appeals to player who are just getting familiar with the series. The game was created with the help of working patterns we had been able to see in GRID in 2019, so it could seem a bit hackneyed for avid fans of the series.
In Legends it was possible to save everything that makes GRID GRID: smart multiplayer, beautiful and diverse locations, and also abundance of game modes. However, all of them could be lost in the mediocrity of the functions of the local car park.
Even though GRID Legends has various types of racing cars (fireball cars, experimental prototypes, reactive GT and exotic electric cars), they are different only in the appearance. You won’t be able to get a different experience while driving a reactive fireball car or a massive truck: the physics of cars is not really responsive as well as the physics of the surroundings.
GRID Legends cannot boast the mechanics of weather changes which functions as a graphics feature. Locations look great in the gleams of lightning whereas snowy roads make us feel cosy, but eventually it does not affect car control in any way. In comparison to Gran Turismo, the difference is massive.
However, the game is not bad but pretty much the opposite. GRID Legends is coping with its task: it entertains and gives a chance to get behind the steering wheel of a sports car while you are at a gamepad, keyboard or a gaming steering wheel.
Need For Speed Unbound
Some people consider 2022 successful in terms of huge releases, and all of them turn out to be working for Electronic Arts. Apart from RID Legends, last year EA published Need For Speed Unbound.
Unbound became an experimental baby for the Need For Speed series. And this is despite the fact that NFS has been rough since the release of Carbon: they made attempts to take Need For Speed to the track of legal races in ProStreet, make the series a car simulator in Shift and turn it into a QTE plot game with TheRun.
The first thing that catches our attention while launching Unbound is the visual style. The game is moving away from realism and is now based on an author’s fiction style. Unbound could not be confused with anything thanks to the visuals. And music.
Soundtrack has been one of the main tricks of the series from time immemorial, so Unbound is keeping the tradition. The playlist of the game is represented by loads of funky songs for conquering race tracks.
The game has a star system as in GTA. Having broken too many rules (which is impossible not to do in Need For Speed), the player will risk attracting attention of the authority which makes the game even more fun.
Summing up, NFS Unbound could be the best or at least one of the most authentic racing games in 2022. The merit goes to the developers of Unbound from Criterion Games who started making the game 10 after the release of the legendary Most Wanted, the developers who still remember how to create high-quality racing games under the auspices of NFS.
Worthy of Mention
Apart from the Big Three racing games or simply the best racing games in 2022, the previous 12 months brought us several projects worthy of mention. They are very different even though all of them represent the same genre.
Some of interesting examples will be the sports arcade MX vs ATV Legends who offers the player to plunge into the atmosphere of off-road racing competition. The tricks include a mode of split screen, for instance, or a net mode for 16 players.
There were a bit more projects but “easier”. These are PAW Patrol: Grand Prix, races with the universe of Paw Patrol (even such things exist) or Smurfs Kart with the Smurfs from the eponymous animated film.
Summing up, we can prove the statement introduced at the beginning of the text right. 2022 was very humble in terms of releases but anyway there were enough activities in the racing genre.