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Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Driving/Racing Game

Matt Gardner
Best Driving/Racing Game 2011, Game of the Year 2011, GOTY 2011

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Driving/Racing Game

It's been an excellent year for racing fans. Codemasters have once again had a cracking twelve months, with two games to make our shortlist this year and a renewed focus following the poorly-received Bodycount to redouble efforts on their flagship racing franchises. The Xbox 360 finally got an answer to Gran Turismo 5, although Turn 10 played to their strengths, eschewing cold simulation for all-encompassing vehicular adoration. The 3DS got the fun multiplayer game it needed in the irrepressible Mario Kart 7, and there were plenty more fantastic games worth mentioning that didn't quite amass the votes to make our shortlist - TrackMania 2: Canyon and WRC2 to name but two.

NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.



Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Driving/Racing Game

DiRT 3

So what was the most complete package this year? Forget MW3 for FIFA 12...it was really all about DiRT 3. A frankly astonishing amount of content, numerous game modes and slick online play in no way compromised the feel behind the wheel. A stunningly realised, comprehensive offering from Codemasters and the definitive rallying experience.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Driving/Racing Game

Driver: San Francisco

Anyone coming into DSF cold could be forgiven for thinking that the storyline was written on hallucinogens, but that didn't matter. Equipped with the innovative 'Shifting' mechanic, DSF was an utter blast, bringing back some of the adrenaline-fuelled, high octane automobile action that used to be the series' staple. Some excellent multiplayer options helped it surpass Ubisoft's original expectations.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Driving/Racing Game

F1 2011

Codemasters and F1, the two go together so very well indeed, and this year's instalment was no exception. No, it wasn't a far cry from its predecessor, but the dev team only tuned up what was necessary, streamlining and perfecting rather than overhauling. With cracking physics, gorgeous visuals and a co-op career mode, this was one of the more niche, but utterly rewarding, time sinks of the year.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Driving/Racing Game

Forza 4"

Rammed with content, with more depth everywhere you looked, on the surface Forza 4 might not have looked much different to its predecessor. But under the hood there was a game that could appeal to car fans everywhere, no matter how good you were at video games. Slick, perfectly balanced and with some fantastic online options that really served to foster a sense of community, Xbox owners could be delighted with Turn 10's effort this year.

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Driving/Racing Game

Mario Kart 7

It's Mario Kart. On the 3DS. FINALLY!

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Driving/Racing Game

MotorStorm: Apocalypse

Motorstorm's single-player game found itself streamlined a fair bit with Apocalypse, but it made up for it with more forgiving AI and some true blockbuster moments with some of the best destruction not just in racing, but in gaming itself, making it the first racer that actually made you feel as if 3D added something to it. The online perks and gambling setup added to the longevity too.

Best Driving/Racing Game 2011: DiRT 3

Game of the Year Awards 2011 | Best Driving/Racing Game

FYI: Hooning absolutely IS a crime.

For car enthusiasts of all ages and all capabilities Forza 4 was the obvious choice for Game of the Year in this category, and indeed we expect to see it wearing site badges proudly this festive season. It was damn close, a decision that took a huge amount of mulling over, to-ing and fro-ing, deep soul searching and emotional torture...but our racer of the year has to be DiRT 3.

Codemasters surprised us all with just the most fantastically comprehensive package. Where other racers might have simply built upon past successes, DiRT 3 was an altogether unexpected, but enormously welcome, smash hit. We knew it would be good, just not how good, and Codemasters surpassed themselves. It looked wonderful, handled even better and what was in the box was incredible: the range of modes, the level of customisation, the glorious array of offbeat online modes, social network integration and, the cherry on top, the much-vaunted Gymkhana. It wasn't an instantly accessible game, necessarily, but once it had you, there was no turning back.

Add a comment 1 comment
hurrakan  Dec. 21, 2011 at 17:12

Forza 4 and Gears of War 3 are the only reasons I turned on my Xbox this entire year.

Sorry, I don't like rally games.

Last edited by hurrakan, Dec. 21, 2011 at 17:13

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