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Games Worth A Lifetime: Part 3 - Racing

The best games of our lifetime that deserve your attention.

I decided it was time I share my thoughts and knowledge on what I think are some of the greatest games ever to be put to our screens, with this I hope to explain why I think these games deserve to not only be on this list, but also deserve your time to visit them so you too can share in some of the greatest games ever made.

Obviously not all these games are available for modern consoles, but thanks to plentiful remakes, re-releases, digital editions on Xbox, PlayStation 3, PC and many other devices, emulators or even just a few bargains on eBay, it's not hard to get stuck into the kind of games we gamers really deserve to play.

In the last article I spoke about the greatest Action and Adventure games to have ever graced our screens, which you can read here. This week I'll be taking a look at the racing games I think every gamer should at least try.

Mario Kart 64

The definitive Mario Kart in many ways will still always be the original Snes version, but in many ways it can’t hold up the wonder that what the Nintendo 64 edition. With its improved graphics, controls, sound and tracks it really set a new standard for multi-player racing games.

All the Mario games are great fun, but personally I don't much care for the control scheme on the Wii and handheld devices. When it comes to Mario Kart, what you really need is a Nintendo 64, 4 controller pads, 3 friends and a big TV screen.

It doesn't matter if you play multiplayer, death match or single player, Mario Kart 64 is one of the most entertaining racers ever made and easily one of the greatest party games of all time.

Where can I play it? Nintendo 64 and Virtual Console

Crash Team Racing

Crash Bandicoot was one of the hall mark games for the PlayStation 1, but for me the best game in the series was in many ways a blatant rip-off of Mario Kart 64. Many things were similar, but regardless of this it was just as good as Mario in many ways and that little bit better in other ways.

For those of us back in the day that had the Sony console and not the Nintendo one, this was the perfect Mario Kart alternative. With all the familiar characters from the series, some fantastic track design and even an open world map area between races, this was one heck of a fun game to play and it still is even today.

Where can I play it? PlayStation 1 and PlayStation Network

Gran Turismo 4

Gran Turismo had for many years been my number 1 racing game of all time, but in recent years it's somewhat slipped behind on what made it so great, of course this is all personal opinion, but I think Forza is the current winner for home consoles.

But before the fun-less title that is GT5, we had the PlayStation 2 and back then Gran Turismo 4 was king of the consoles. I had the perfect mixture of stunning tracks, immense cars, slick presentation and some of the best handling racing controls ever put to game.

Sure there are more realistic games out there now, but if you're a racing fan and you haven't played GT4, it's time to dust off the PlayStation 2 and see what all the fuss was about.

Where can I play it? PlayStation 2

Forza 4

When Forza 3 was released it set a whole new standard for console racing games, maximising on racing physics, graphics and customisation options that games just couldn't get enough of. So it seemed a tall order for Forza 4 to improve on what was already a fantastic game but Turn 10 studios did exactly that.

Forza 4 offers a huge amount of tracks, cars, customisation options, multiplayer modes, split screen, Kinect support and plenty of bells and whistles adding on thanks to their affiliation with popular motor show "Top Gear".

It has everything you could ever wish for in a racing sim and plenty more added on top for good measure, plus with its consistent DLC releases adding new tracks and cars there is always something new to keep you entertained.

Where can I play it? Xbox 360

Burnout 3 - Takedown

The Burnout series has always been a firm favourite of mine, with a near perfect blend of high speed action, big crashes, super cars and slick arcade handing. Although for me the game has never been better than it was with Burnout 3, the 4th game changed too many features and Paradise City was a little boring, but not Burnout 3.

The graphics and the crashes in this game are legendary, combine that with a great sound track and you've got one of the finest arcade racing games ever created.

Where can I play it? PlayStation 2 and Xbox (original)


When it comes to futuristic racing games there is nothing out there that compares to the quality of the Wipeout series. Featuring a racing style that imagines what F1 would be like in a few hundred years if all the vehicles used magnetic levitation instead of wheels and they allowed the use of high powered weaponry.

The track design is unlike anything else before or after it, featuring death defying spirals, loops the loops, jumps and an almost bobsleigh layout throughout to keep your eyes rolling in their socket as your tear around them.

Combine that with a thumping sound track, a dizzying array of colours and lighting effect and you have one of the most intense racers ever made.

Where can I play it? Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, PC, Mac, Amiga, PlayStation 1, 2, 3, PSP, Vita and PSN