I like Project Cars 3. I like that it's more accessible than his predecessors. I also like the driving behavior and the handy racing physics. But why the hell do you have to overload a racing game with newfangled nonsense like dynamic challenges, multiple experience systems and other bells and whistles?

That motivates you to keep playing, they say. It is said that players need to get a feel for progress. But let's be honest: In the end, it's all about the sheer fun of driving. And that happens far too rarely with many current racers. I say: Make racing games easy again and bring arcade racers back to the big stage!

Looking for the fun of the game

Which racing game is guaranteed to save every tired party? I agree, Mario kart! Nintendo's fun racer has been putting friendships to the test for decades. How often did my buddies and I shout at the booth late at night when, shortly before the end, a red turtle took care of the change in leadership. Mario Kart is easy to learn, yet difficult to master. Because, of course, players with track knowledge have a clear advantage.

Nevertheless: Mario Kart and many other arcade racers have shown that simplicity is sometimes the greatest art of game fun. Drifts, acceleration pools and power-ups are just as much a part of good form here as tough battles for positions at the top and direct control as possible. Especially with the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X on the march, I would like to see more courage to commit to the arcade again.






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/430x/2020/10/arcaderacer01-buffed.jpg" alt = "Unrecognized genius: Blur from 2010 is considered the" Mario Kart for adults ". The power -Ups were very similar to the Nintendo model.
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Unrecognized genius: Blur from 2010 is considered the "Mario Kart for adults". The power-ups were very similar to the Nintendo model.

Source: Activision




Why not Blur from 2010 reissue? Or bring a new Ridge Racer to the start? Does anyone actually know what became of Bleifuss (1995)? Times by Need for speed and apart from a few racing sequels or remasters, terrifyingly little has happened in this sector.

The pitfalls of city traffic

But even far from the comic runabouts, I still see a need to catch up. After all, everyday city traffic sometimes feels a bit like an arcade racer. Okay, maybe you have to increase the drama a bit and increase it with the corresponding mission objectives, but then an open-world racer can really bring joy again.

Anyone here remember Midtown Madness? In the racing game released in 1999, I whizzed through the narrow streets of Chicago in a VW Beetle, a bus or a muscle car. How I ultimately reached the goal was entirely up to me. This freedom was great without killing me at the same time. It was natural and suited the gameplay.






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/430x/2020/10/arcaderacer03-buffed.jpg" alt = "The makers of the recently published Hotshot Racing rely on polygon graphics and drift orgies.
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The makers of the recently published Hotshot Racing rely on polygon graphics and drift orgies.

Source: Moby Games




The Dreamcast and arcade classic, Crazy Taxi, was similarly entertaining, albeit much more weird and louder. Here I had to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible and enjoyed the humorous racing gameplay, the wild music and above all the colorful look. Why isn't there something like Crazy Uber yet? Also with online functions and real people who tell me, as a driver, their life stories. Sounds strange, but at least it would be something like an evolution of the arcade genre.

Joy in destruction

And while we're talking about racing pearls that have been buried far too long, I must of course not forget the burnout series. Appeared later this year Burnout Paradise Remastered for the Nintendo Switch too. However, I still miss a new part of Criterion's maddening scrap press in the large Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X lineup.






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/430x/2020/10/arcaderacer04-buffed.jpg" alt = "The last sign of life of the burnout series: Burnout CRASH! the formula of the racing game series evaporated That was okay for in between, but the racing gameplay was definitely missing here.
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The last sign of life in the burnout series: Burnout CRASH! steamed the formula of the racing game series down to a minimum. That was okay for in between, but the racing gameplay was definitely missing here.

Source: Moby Games




Burnout exuded a raw lust for destruction like hardly any other series. So exactly what you should avoid with your car in reality. When the sheet metal of the sports car deformed in slow motion, there was always real joy. And of course the later series parts had a modern touch thanks to the open game world and a multitude of game types. At its core, however, even a Burnout Paradise remains a thoroughbred fun racer, where "fun" was always the focus.

Similar to Mario Kart, each burnout part was ideal for fun evenings. Not necessarily for several hours, but for short, cracking sessions. The reason: Absolute focus on fun, strong balancing and a simple and effective racing gameplay.






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/430x/2020/10/arcaderacer08-buffed.jpg" alt = "Ridge Racer was an absolute figurehead for the platform and arcade racing on the first Playstation However, the Ridge Racer Unbounded, released in 2012, did not make the leap into modern times and failed because of its own claim.
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Ridge Racer was an absolute figurehead for platform and arcade racing on the first Playstation. The Ridge Racer Unbounded, released in 2012, did not make the leap into modern times and failed because of its own claim.

Source: Moby Games




And that's exactly what there has to be again in the future: Arcade racing games that are simple, but all the more entertaining. Away with experience systems and sprawling service options, with crashes, rocket engines and hard-hitting drifts!

Nowadays so many games are simply completely overloaded and seem less like a humorous pastime and more like optimized "time-consuming machines". Only a few developers really manage this balancing act. And Project Cars 3 also had really good ideas, but in the end it seemed too crowded. Of course, that's not to say that rocket jets, flying turtles, and takedowns made the game any better.

But for me the racing games of the next generation should like to be a touch simpler and easier. Even in times of ray tracing and SSD hard drives, a little arcade feeling has not hurt anyone.

Don't you think so? Then I warmly recommend Hotshot Racing developed by Lucky Mountain Games and Sumo Nottingham. The Polygon Speedster, also available for PC, PS4 and Switch, is part of the Xbox Game Pass and brings back the driving experience of the 90s arcade games. The whole thing now in Triple A and with a little more marketing power behind it: I wouldn't let go of the virtual steering wheel anytime soon!

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