It's fair to say we were absolutely spoiled with racing games in 2017, in what was a landmark year for the genre. In the space of just one month, we witnessed three contenders from major franchises jostle for position in a spectacular race to the finish line. After a long four year wait, Gran Turismo made its belated debut on PS4 with the release of the online eSports-focused Gran Turismo Sport, but it faced stiff competition from its Xbox rival franchise. Forza Motorsport 7 boasted the most comprehensive car selection of any racing game released this generation, as well as crisp 4K graphics and a new, more engrossing career mode.
Taking on these two racing game goliaths was Slightly Mad Studios’ racing simulation Project CARS 2. As the least established IP, Project CARS 2 was the ambitious underdog with huge potential, promising to be most authentic racing simulation ever made with a diverse variety of racing disciplines, an innovative dynamic weather system, and an unrivalled track selection. Annual licensed games such as MXGP 3, MotoGP 17, WRC 7, and F1 2017 also all saw significant improvements that elevated them above typical incremental updates, while futuristic racing fans were treated to the long-awaited comeback of the WipEout series with the release of WipEout: Omega Collection.
You can view the full list of nominations for the Team VVV Racing Game of the Year Awards 2018 here.
Best Post-Release Support
In the age of downloadable updates, video games are constantly evolving. Not to be confused with DLC, our new Best Post-Release Support award recognises the continuous efforts developers have made to constantly improve a game years after release, whether it's responding to the community, releasing patches to fix bugs, improve the graphics, physics and audio, or add additional game modes that transform the experience.
Gran Turismo Sport
Winner: Raceroom Racing Experience
Raceroom Racing Experience often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves in the sim racing world, despite having an excellent selection of cars and tracks, realistic physics, and arguably the best audio effects in any racing simulation. Like Assetto Corsa, R3E is still evolving despite being released five years ago.
The force feedback has improved tremendously over the years, while new Flag Rules implemented in 2017 added to the authenticity. Iconic racetracks such as Imola were added to the game, while the first Porsche pack marked the start of many to come as part of Sector3 Studios’ long-term partnership with the German automaker. Above all, Sector3 Studios has done a commendable job improving the game as a long-term service, with recent updates adding triple screen support as well as improvements to the continually evolving physics. R3E is a racing simulation that keeps on giving and deserves more recognition.
Do you agree with our winner? Let us know in the comments below. Check back soon for more Team VVV Awards 2018 coverage on the website and YouTube channel throughout March.