When it comes to racing games, a few annual or semi-annual series seem to dominate the genre these days and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, there are tons of underrated releases that have fallen by the wayside both recently and for generations of consoles. previous.

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Even with decades-old franchises, there are entries in these series that are unfairly overlooked. From games that push players into the driver’s seat on movie sets, fly them through apocalyptic cities, or even compete with car racing elements, here are 10 titles that, for whatever reason, didn’t get the accolades they did. they deserved when they first debuted. .

10 Specialist

A car is about to jump through a freight train at Stuntman

In Specialist, each mission is a fictional movie in which players must carry out the director’s orders, be it in a car, on a bicycle, or even in a tuc-tuc. The game has a clear reverence for the car chases in the classic movies, as many of the levels of Specialist They are familiar with some of the best action movies of the seventies and eighties.

Each fictional movie in the game is based on a real movie, from a British gangster movie based on the best Guy Ritchie movies, to a John Woo-like movie set in Bangkok, to a fake Indiana Jones movie titled “Scarab of Souls. losses”. “

9 MotorStorm: Apocalypse

Apocalypse by Motorstorm

Being one of the first games released for PS3, the first MotorStorm The game was a huge success, as it was a unique twist on off-road racing. Players had a unique set of vehicles to choose from that weren’t just common off-road vehicles like trucks, large rigs, and motorcycles. Each vehicle handles completely different from each other, and there is an element of strategy to choosing which vehicle to use depending on the track.

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The series became less and less successful with each release, and the final game, Apocalypse, was the worst received of the group, although it is one of the most entertaining releases. The series excels at changing environmental themes with each release, be it the desert in the first game, the tropical islands in the second game, or the snow-capped mountains in the third game. But, Apocalypse has a different concept, as it is based on a dystopian fictional city with a large number of destructible objects, and the world collapses as players race through the city.

8 Need for Speed ​​Carbon

A car goes down a mountain in pitch black and needs Speed ​​Carbon

Once locked in competition with Rockstar’s Midnight club games, the Need for speed The series took the lead in getting annual releases, even if it dropped in quality. Coal was seen as the first significant drop in the franchise by critics, as it followed the peak of the series, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, which incorporated police chases and retained a vast open world and in-depth customization options.

But, Coal features even deeper customization, allowing players to mold their own body kits rather than simply choosing them. The game’s cannon setup was also the most exciting open world in the series thus far, as the downhill mountains added a level of danger the games hadn’t seen before.

7 Fraction / second

A careful race drives along a highway narrowly avoiding an explosion

Although there are tons of Disney properties that deserve their own video game, surprisingly, Fraction / second It is actually an original Disney property. However, surprising as it may be, not everything Disney does is successful, and Fraction / second received a lukewarm reception upon its release.

The game is similar to MotorStorm: Apocalypse in which he placed great emphasis on destruction. The catch here, though, was that the destruction could open up alternate paths and change the layout of the course as the race progressed. It was a novel concept and it is something that we would love to see repeated at some point.

6 Blur

Take a look Blur It looks like a totally ordinary driving simulator, racing through standard swamp tracks against three or four opponents. However, the novelty of Blur is that vehicles can use weapons against each other, and it is played as if Need For Speed: Underground he was a go-kart racer.

Blur It is very well presented as there are many detailed tracks to choose from and also a huge number of licensed cars. The biggest problem with the game is that, for what is apparently a very polished version of Mario Kart, it is quite difficult, but other than that it is one of the most fun driving games that does not get the credit it deserves.

5 Driver San Francisco

Yellow car in Driver: San Francisco.

The narrow, bumpy streets of San Francisco may not seem ideal for a runner, but Driver San Francisco He does it wonderfully. The game was created by Reflections, which is the same developer behind Specialist, so it’s a given that the driving is amazing and it feels so much better than any arcade racer.

There’s also a substantial narrative that’s surprisingly compelling, and it’s the first game in the series to feature licensed cars. Believe it or not, the Golden Gate Bridge is not actually destroyed, which always seems to happen in the fictional media in which it is depicted.

4 Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights

A race track engulfs the Eiffel Tower in Juiced 2

Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights it was a huge improvement over the original game. Of all the street racing games released at the time, Juices 2 It was the only one that wasn’t based on an open world, and most of the tracks are closed and not on the streets at all, defeating the purpose of street racing.

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But, the locations are the reason the game is so underrated as it takes place in major cities around the world, including Milan and Paris. But more than anything Juices 2 it’s so cool because it puts a lot of emphasis on life and death pink slip racing, something that made the street racing theme Need for speed so fascinating games.

3 Midnight Club II

Rockstar might be best known for Grand Theft Auto series, but, before putting all his eggs in one basket by releasing a game every 5+ years, the developer released multiple open-world games each year, with some of the best of that time belonging to the Midnight club Serie.

Midnight club 2 is not for all racing game fans as it is more arcade and almost the exact opposite of a game like Great tourism. The game features wide-open worlds of Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo, but combines those realistic environments with wild stunts; players can climb famous monuments, such as the Louvre, and jump buildings. Because pulling a trick like that is so difficult to do, it is enormously rewarding when players do it.

two Stuntman: Ignition

Flaming car jumping over the fence

It’s a shame that Stuntman: Ignition It didn’t sell well enough for fans to get a sequel as it’s one of the most unique games in a market full of overly similar racing games, but, at the end of the day, fans were lucky they even got a sequel to the first.

The series features a niche concept, but Switched on It does everything the original did, and everything is so much bigger and better. It is technically exceptional and offers a fun satirical take on Hollywood movie production that is not seen often in the world of video games.

one Sleigh storm

A player jumps over a snowy mountain in Sled Storm

Although it is true that it is a bit unconventional, Sleigh storm is definitely one of the most underrated racing games of all time. For such an old game, it has an incredible sense of speed that developers are still struggling to emulate today.

There was a steep learning curve, as players had to hit the ramps at the perfect time and perform tricks while in the air for less than a second, and it was mandatory to find shortcuts to win. Of many ways, Sleigh storm It was almost like the blueprint of what would become the SSX series, and it’s a lost treasure.

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