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Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

Matt Gardner
Best Video Game Awards 2009, Features

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

With developers finally pushing the limits of both of the high-definition consoles, there was a veritable plethora of drop-dead gorgeous looking driving and sports sims. Thankfully a good bunch of them had the gameplay to match, as big hitting franchises like FIFA, Forza and Colin McRae returned with arguable series' bests, proving that - unlike Beverly Hills 90210 - it's possible to be both pretty and engaging at the same time. The Wii also made its mark again with the advent of the Wii MotionPlus, boasting increased motion control along with its impressive partnered showcase Wii Sports Resort, and a hugely responsive Wii version of Tiger Woods 10 that really made the most of MotionPlus. Finally, although Gran Turismo 5 failed to make an appearance on a next-gen console yet again, the PSP was graced with its slick realism and smooth gameplay.

Take a look at the shortlist of contenders below, and if there are any that take your fancy be sure to click on the thumbnails for a price comparison:



Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

Colin McRae: DiRT 2

From the Malaysian rainforests to the stadia of LA, DiRT 2 took rally gaming to a new level. Accessible to all comers, it struck a fine balance between the immediacy of the arcade, and a driving experience that married realistic physics with exhilarating speed.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

F1 2009

Pretty good on the PSP, but a huge achievement on Nintendo's little white box, the Wii version of F1 2009 proved to be one of the most fun racers of the year, with a handling model that proved frighteningly fast and immersive. True the rosters were a little out of date, but the drive itself was great fun and made for some heady races.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport


FIFA 08 was good, FIFA 09 was better, and again EA Sports has somehow managed to improve the formula with some subtle presentation tweaks, an overhaul of Manager Mode and a revamped growth system for this year's instalment. Additionally, you could now put your own face into the game and take your Pro through every single game mode.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

Football Manager 2010

Football Manager has certainly been the discerning choice for wannabe Alex Fergusons over the years, although it has at times been criticised for poor presentation. This year changed that with a spruced-up interface, a full 3D match engine and smoother running. Eidos never had a chance.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

Forza Motorsport 3

It already had Iron Man fans hooked by using the Audi R8 as its poster child, but Forza 3 was about so much more than its fantastic looks. Accessible to newcomers and veterans alike, Forza 3 improved on its predecessor in nearly every way and thrilled Xbox 360 owners as their Sony counterparts bemoaned the lack of a Gran Turismo rival.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

Gran Turismo PSP

The Sony handheld, however, did get its own new Gran Turismo game, and it was good. Really good. Although lacking a Career Mode, GT PSP managed the admirable feat of distilling the GT experience onto a UMD, tuning the title superbly for on-the-go gaming. The cars were all there, it looked fantastic and it handled just like its bigger brothers.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

MotorStorm: Arctic Edge

Another cracking game for PSP, Arctic Edge brought all of the MotorStorm magic across for the prtable market, recreating the snow wastes of the extreme north with aplomb. From the open courses to the fully featured vehicles themselves, this proved that downscaled ports didn't have to suck.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

PES 2010: Pro Evolution Soccer

Bouncing back from a relatively poor 2009, Konami seemed to take their kick up the backside well, with a much improved game this year to show that PES was back on form. The 360 degree movement was just the start, with a graphical overhaul, a new A.I. system, greater strategic control and more licenses helping to make this year's rivalry with EA a much closer affair.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10

Another polished performance from EA, pre-Woods' PR nightmare. Building on previous games in the series, again this was a case of exceptional presentation backed up with tweaked and perfected gameplay mechanics. Most notable, though, was the Wii's version, using the new MotionPlus to frankly excellent effect.

Best Video Game Awards 2009: Driving/Sport

Wii Sports Resort

Speaking of MotionPlus, the game that introduced the Wii's new level of motion control was a fab fun fest of sporting frivolity. Particularly engaging were the swordplay, the archery and the wakeboarding, with a couple of old favourites returning for an upgrade too. Best of all, though, was the table tennis, which really showed off the new hardware, although if I see another advert with Ant and Dec I may have to break something.

Cast your votes below!

Add a comment8 comments
Jeffrey Archer  Jan. 13, 2010 at 11:24

What about the brilliant NFS Shift? Arguably at least better than half the entrants in that list. Driving/Sport should have been split into their own sections IMHO.

Gunn  Jan. 13, 2010 at 11:33

Normally I'd agree but perhaps there was not enough decent racers to add in for 2009.

CompactDistance  Jan. 13, 2010 at 14:21

FIFA 10 is buggy but I just keep going back. It's an addiction.

Gaamer  Jan. 13, 2010 at 17:08

Whaaaa? Fifa 10 is beating Forza 3? Thats just silly... Forza is a masterpiece of a game, so detailed and in depth. And i'm not being biased, I prefer football to Racing, but you should still be able to appreciate the genius behind Forza!

Ben  Jan. 13, 2010 at 18:32

NHL 10 is better than all of those games. Definitely deserves to be on the list...

Mark  Jan. 13, 2010 at 23:59

Forza 3 is the next best gen racing game ever made, that is a simple fact.

Jack  Jan. 14, 2010 at 01:46

@ Mark

Thats why its in 2nd place behind FIFA 10 - the greatest football game ever made.

Dale  Jan. 16, 2010 at 01:20

I think driving and sports are 2 totally separate categories and it would have been much better/fairer if there were 2 separate polls.

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