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Favourite racing tracks in driving games...


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So recently being getting into driving games again and having just been playing a bit of FM7, PGR4 and now FM3 just been hooked for a few hours on FM3 on again. I think it because it has my favourite racing tracks in there of all time:-

 

  • Fujimi Kaido - Full Circuit
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Rally di Positano - Full Circuit

 

There are other tracks that are fantastic too but these are my standouts. 

 

Fujimi Kaido - is just a work of art - lovely twisty track though some beautiful Japanese countryside, waterfalls etc. Its just the epitome of what my perfect driving road would be. Even now on aging hardware it plays so well and looks so good. Just took an Alfa Romeo 8C round there assists off and it just flows so well and edge of the seat driving with sharp hairpins and some lovely straights. Only got a 360 back again a few weeks ago and my mate dropped FM3 around last night and I've been hooked all over again. 

 

Rally di Positano - Similar to above really. Just love the architecture and location as well as the twisty track that runs along the coast and then up into the hills along it. Nice length to the circuit and just flows so well. Lovely blue skies and lighting is great. I was flying around this in a little Fiat 500 Abarth just chilling to some tracks and enjoying the views and the challenges of the circuit.

 

Amalfi Coast - Love this short twisty tack along the Italian coastline. Again flows really well and has some nasty challenging hairpins in there. Love how the surface changes to cobbles in town and then tarmac etc and its a short track that really keeps you on your toes.

 

Having amazing fun with the 360 and PGR4, Sega Rally (Revo) and Forza Motorsport 3. For me as driving games I don't think they have been bettered. PGR4 is almost a perfect arcade racer for me - city circuits, weather, night. Sega Rally for taking the Sega Rally formula and making a more diverse game with some great circuits in there. Playing Dirt 5 recently obviously had the visual edge and frame rate etc but Sega Rally is just such a great experience with a lovely set of diverse well designed circuits and has you on the edge of your seat pretty much all the way through the races. Different games but think SR has a lovely balance bring arcade and a rally game together really well.

 

As for Forza Motorsport 3 - for me this is still the pinnacle in the series. I don't think we will see such a diverse range of tracks in the series again. Not sure if it just takes too long to model long tracks like Fujimi Kaido these days in the fidelity that is needed or just too expensive who knows but I think the series has lost its way a bit for me. Sure the visuals are great, as is the tweaks to the AI and adding more physics to the simulation but as a simulation game that keeps things interesting and fun I think the balance here is pretty much spot on. I think FM4 took the same formula a bit further and had 16 car races etc but for me FM3 has the balance perfect.

 

Going forward I'll probably end up just playing driving games mostly on my 360 as they are just great IMHO and the controller works really well. And well they are fun! :) 

 

BIt of an epic post this but what are your favourite tracks in driving games? Which ones do you keep going back to and put a smile on your face? Which ones should we try because they are awesome? Any game any age. 

 

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Spa has always been my favourite for real life tracks. 

 

Loved the Nurburgring in PGR2. In fact, the best tracks i have ever raced were in the PGR series. 

 

 

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Monza, INTERLAGOS, Monaco (yes, really, I fucking love it), INTERLAGOS, the track from the original Ridge Racer, INTERLAGOS, Brands Hatch.

 

Did I say Interlagos? Because, Interlagos.

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I've not played past 4, but I have very fond memories of hammering around some of the tracks in the early Gran Turismo.  I had a massive souped up Honda CR-X (looked it up, the Del Sol LM edition) which was a delight to push round Grand Forest Speedway reverse.  Trial Mountain and Deep Forest Raceway in GT3 were really good once you got the hang of them, too.

 

That was a particular track in Burnout 2 which was an absolute doozy once you got into the zone with your burnouts

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Sol in the Wipeout Omega Collection is pretty nice, especially in VR. :) 
 

Honourable mention to Silence in F-Zero X - it’s little more than a slightly skewed oval, but there are great opportunities for boost-chaining, and the music is cheesy but it absolutely works...

 

 

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Most of the PGR stuff was amazing, thanks to being based around real world locations.

I particularly liked Sunset Peninsula in Forza 4. And El Capitan from Gran Turismo. I also always really loved racing Royal Raceway in MarioKart 64, but I know a lot of people think it's boring and too long.

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Nordschleife.

 

39 minutes ago, MattyP said:

Fujimi Kaido

 

This has recently been released as a mod for Assetto Corsa.  It doesn't look as nice as it did in Forza 3/4, but it still drives like a dream.

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2 hours ago, Super Craig said:

SNES Rainbow Road is amazing once you get good at it.


Ghost Valley 2!

 

interesting topic though as I’m playing DIRT5 at the moment and my god it’s so dull, the tracks are totally uninspired. 
 

My fav track is Long Beach (love that for time trials) and Brands Hatch for the racing.

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3 minutes ago, Nick R said:

I'm going to stick with the ones I chose when I asked this question 14 years :o ago:

 

 

:D

 

Don't know if I'm getting old really and there is perhaps an element of "seen it all before" when I boot up a recent racer. Just think they aren't as good these days. Sure they may look a bit shiner but just don't feel as creative like it's almost as if the designers have no passion anymore either that or they are designed by committee.

 

I think the last recent racing game that had me hooked in was DriveClub. Great circuits and none of the fluff we seem to get on modern drivers. I did enjoy Forza Horizon 4 too but that is more of an open world game. And you can buy clothes in it. Which is just silly. :) Cant think of any other racing game where I've won amongst other things pink hotpants for winning a race. :D Sure we have Assetto Corsa with its mods and VR on the PC which is amazing. But something that you can grab a pad and boot up for an hour session.

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6 minutes ago, max renn said:

interesting topic though as I’m playing DIRT5 at the moment and my god it’s so dull the tracks are totally uninspired. 

It was Dirt 5 that drove me back to Forza Motorsport 3! :D

 

After belting around in Sega Rally the week before I tried Dirt 5 must say I wasn't overly impressed with Dirt 5. It's lovely in terms of visuals but just feel left wanting in that game. Like it's missing a spark. 

 

Then I wanted to play some of my favourite tracks again to see if it was just rose tinted specs syndrome. However no. The old racers still have it. Even the graphics and sound aren't bad either!

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Out of interest does anyone have a copy of Forza Motorsport 4 kicking about that they are willing to part with? Fancy playing this again after 3.... 

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Super Bell Subway - I don't normally like the tracks with moving obstacles but the fixed traintracks make it easy to plan ahead and play the risk/reward. Some nice variation of routes have folks criss crossing in nice ways:

 

 

 

Also the music! 

 

 

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I can't remember the name of the track unfortunately, however there was a particular sprint? layout in NFS Underground 2 which i absolutely loved. There was abit where you changednfrom the highway roads to a narrow tight run though a back alleyway of sorts between some buildings. Flying past garbage and trashcans. It always stood out as it was such a heart in your mouth moment of threading the needle at 180 mph or something. I loved those Underground games.

 

For real life racing tracks, Singapore F1 layout is superb. Its the one grand prix that im guaranteed to get a sweat on for. So very technical and precise. Hard enough to drive around at speed nevermind while trying to keep your position from the chasing pack on old slick tyres.

 

Rain? That takes it to a whole new level of immersion and difficulty. Always my highlight in F1 every year.

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I opened this thread expecting real life tracks and immediately had an example in mind, but now it's full of excellent made up ones and now I'm not sure this is my favourite. But anyway, I think if we're only counting real life tracks, while I could probably put laps into Spa all day long (did an hour-long race there on FM7 the other day), I think my favourite is:

 

Mount Panorama, Bathurst

Funnily enough, I think I first drove this in EA's Real Racing 3, back on my Nexus 7 tablet (lots and lots of rocking baby to sleep and so this was my primary means of gaming). Track looks a bit tuppeny happeny, especially the stand, but sod it. Fun, long straight where your car skips around a bit, after diving into the left hander on a short grid (mayhem). Then you've got a fantastic hill climb. Once at the peak, you start winding downhill a bit into increasingly tighter S bends, which leads into a left hairpin and the scenery opening up. My favourite bit! On the power downhill, probably reach the top speed of your car, and then a sweeping right hander where you hold your breath and dare yourself not to lift off. 

 

@Boozy The Clown let's do a week here on the FM7 time trial. I'll still be crap compared to you guys, but at least I'll have oodles of fun bringing up the rear.

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52 minutes ago, SeanR said:

The one with the underwater section in stunt race fx. Who cares if it had a single-digit frame rate?

Aqua tunnel. And it was the fucking balls. Great track.

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3 minutes ago, TehStu said:

I opened this thread expecting real life tracks and immediately had an example in mind, but now it's full of excellent made up ones and now I'm not sure this is my favourite. But anyway, I think if we're only counting real life tracks, while I could probably put laps into Spa all day long (did an hour-long race there on FM7 the other day), I think my favourite is:

 

Mount Panorama, Bathurst

Funnily enough, I think I first drove this in EA's Real Racing 3, back on my Nexus 7 tablet (lots and lots of rocking baby to sleep and so this was my primary means of gaming). Track looks a bit tuppeny happeny, especially the stand, but sod it. Fun, long straight where your car skips around a bit, after diving into the left hander on a short grid (mayhem). Then you've got a fantastic hill climb. Once at the peak, you start winding downhill a bit into increasingly tighter S bends, which leads into a left hairpin and the scenery opening up. My favourite bit! On the power downhill, probably reach the top speed of your car, and then a sweeping right hander where you hold your breath and dare yourself not to lift off. 

 

@Boozy The Clown let's do a week here on the FM7 time trial. I'll still be crap compared to you guys, but at least I'll have oodles of fun bringing up the rear.

 

+1 for Bathurst... I think I first played that in TOCA Race Driver on the PS2 and it was so intense.

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Picked up Sega Rally Revo in a charity shop after playing Teknoparrot arcade Sega Rally 3 a lot.  It's incredible.  Easy up there as one of the best racers ever. 

 

But for favourite tracks I always quote Ridge Racer 1 on Arcade then PlayStation. The purity of only having one car (on the arcade machine) and one track meant you couldn't cheat by upgrading things.  You just had to practise and get good. And when you did, wow, you knew every minute detail of the track, forwards and backwards and you owned that car, like the two were always designed to go together.

 

Otherwise, I really enjoyed the Rage Racer thing where they gave you a long easy loop track, almost as an add on to the full game (turn right for the main run and all the variations or hammer on straight for the loop).  It was great in the days of the PS1 to not know how fast the console could go, and every time you unlocked a new car you'd hammer it around the loop putting not only the car but also the console to the test.

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I remember getting a lot of enjoyment out of the 'full lap of the island' in Test Drive Unlimited. Took about an hour iirc, with a real variety of scenery and speeds. None of the open world games since have had anything quite like it. 

 

Edit: here's youtuber Jimmy Broadbent playing it back when he had something like 1% of his current audience. 

 

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The only track from Hard Drivin'

 

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Also the Austrian Redbull Ring Ring (which to my knowledge is only in F1 games, would love to see it in the next Forza)

 

image.png.1a95248783444bce563901968b8c553e.png

 

And Maple Valley in Forza Motorsport

 

And last but not least, The Goliath in Forza Horizon 4

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Basically any WipEout track with a vertical drop. Metropia from HD, Omega, and one of the PSP games (iirc), has this vertical drop that goes in on itself. It’s fucking wild. Phantom + 4K + 60fps + HDR + banging choons, and it’s god tier gaming.

 

523381EC-365C-404C-813A-43BAA2CD1306.thumb.jpeg.e2ccdbc3f9bf49ea3b13b95b840d5175.jpeg

 

 

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