Best Racing Game of 2020

For much of the year it looked like 2020 was going to be a repeat of 2019, when Sony (Gran Turismo), Microsoft (Forza), and Nintendo (Mario Kart) all left the racing field wide open for other publishers to step into the spotlight and claim the crown of Best Racing Game.

But then Nintendo surprised everyone in September by announcing that a new Mario Kart game had been in the works and that it was going to launch just a month later, in October. And as if that wasn’t enough, it would be the most experimental entry in the series to-date, utilising real-life toys and props so that people could race around their own homes. It would go up against Codies mainstay franchises F1 and DiRT, both of which returned with highly acclaimed new mainline entries this year. Rounding out the pack was Project CARS 3, which demonstrated that Slightly Mad Studios hadn’t lost its touch, at least not where its Project CARS series was concerned, even if it had massively flubbed Fast & Furious Crossroads.

The Shortlist:

DiRT 5

Project CARS 3

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

F1 2020

The Winner:

DiRT 5

Runner-up: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

While Codemasters mostly made headlines last year by being at the centre of an acquisition bidding war between Electronic Arts and Take-Two, the company also continued to quietly churn out acclaimed racing game after acclaimed racing game. In 2019 it was DiRT Rally 2.0, F1 2019, and GRID. Last year it was F1 2020 and DiRT 5. Now finally one of them has won our yearly award for Best Racing Game. DiRT 5 is a beautifully bright, flashy, and above all fun arcade racer. It represents a much-needed shot of adrenaline in the arm for a franchise that was beginning to feel a bit shallow and hollow following the release of DiRT 4.

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