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Racing Titles of 2021: Looking Back and Jumping Ahead

Racing Titles Coming in 2021

Operation Sports

Racing Titles of 2021: Looking Back and Jumping Ahead

It was a never-ending flurry of quality racing titles in 2020, and it seems like that trend is going to continue through 2021. Only five months into the year, we have already received multiple titles from multiple disciplines and genres, with some of the biggest racing titles in 2021 yet to hit.

Regardless of what type or style of racing that enjoy the most, there have been multiples titles to choose from, and it feels like the year’s most anticipated titles still linger on the horizon.

Racing Titles In 2021

Within the next eight months, racing fans (like myself) will be able to hit the pavement (or dirt) with titles like Turn 10’s Forza Motorsports and Forza Horizon(possibly), NASCAR, Milestones’ Hot Wheels, Codemasters’ F1, Nacon Games’ Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown, Klyotonn’ WRC 10 and bleeding into 2022, Polyphony Digital’ Grand Turismo, and EA’s newest iteration in their Need For Speed series.

That is a list filled with amazing potential, and while many of these titles are considered game-rotation leaders, as a racing fan I welcome all of them and brim with anticipation at the number of hours I will invest into each and every single one of them.

The future is obviously a bright one for the racing genre and if we are being honest it has been for quite some time now. We are four months into the year and already we have seen some extremely capable racing titles dropped into the hands of the community, and while we always thirst for more, let us take a quick look at some of the best that we have been able to consume and enjoy up to this day.

Across The Finish Line Already In 2021

MXGP 2020

We are including this one since it dropped just a few days before 2021. If you missed my initial review, these were some of my thoughts:

If you are at all familiar with Milestone’s work, then MXGP 2020 is going to feel familiar, and in some ways very similar to one of its other series, Monster Energy Supercross. There is some real depth to the title with a solid offering of modes between online, career mode, the track creator, a revamped playground, and more.

The game provides a plethora of accessibility options for those looking to give the series a shot for the first time, so even if MX racing games aren’t high on your list or rotational options, MXGP 2020 offers a lot of fun and repayable elements, especially during the holiday break.

Monster Energy Supercross 4

Monster Energy Supercross 4

I loved a lot of what MESX 4 had to offer, and since my review, the developers have patched the AI issue that was one of my biggest concerns out of the gate.

What Milestone has delivered with Monster Energy Supercross 4 is a solid step forward for the franchise in terms of depth and authenticity. The presentation package has improved, the career mode is deeper, and MESX 4 offers up a solid online suite of modes and options.”

Not everything is perfect as I mentioned. The AI lives and plays by a different set of rules, and the level of accessibility for newcomers to the series is questionable at best. Even with issues I’ve mentioned, Monster Energy Supercross 4 offers a lot of fun and depth in surroundings that look wonderfully detailed and vibrant on the next-gen systems.

Racing Titles in 2021

Monster Truck Championship

I honestly had zero ideas of what to expect out of MTC from Teyon and walked away extremely surprised at how addictive and fun this title was from the start.

Teyon claims that Monster Truck Championship is a true simulation and based on what I have played in recent years, it comes the closest. There is something inherently fun here, and Monster Truck Championship embodies what the world of monster truck events is all about, or at least comes very close.

It does not include fan favorites in terms of licensed and recognizable monster trucks, but it makes up for that with some great in-house schemes and execution on the track. Monster Truck Championship delivers a lot of fun and addictive gameplay that feels real and does so while offering up a lot of ways to make it accessible to all levels of skill and ability.

Monster Truck Championship may not have enough depth to be a mainstay in your rotation for months on end, but it makes up for that in other ways and should be viewed as a solid addition to your collection.

Racing Titles in 2021

MotoGP 21

Love them or hate them, Milestone continues to deliver some of the most relevant racing titles throughout the year, and the studio has has become part of the racing community lexicon.

MotoGP 21 is addictive, fun, and there are plenty of reasons to keep coming back to it. The challenge is real and does require effort and time investment, but rarely does a game pay you back the way MotoGP 21 does. As I spent time playing MotoGP 21, my only thought was to continue playing it.

Whether you’re a newcomer or veteran to this series, MotoGP 21 is an absolute must-own. It offers a distinct challenge for people of all skill levels, and I grew to respect that challenge in every way possible.”

Those are four of the best to come our way this year, but the year is not even halfway over at this point, and some incredibly exciting titles are still on their way. Let’s take a look at what is coming for sure and what titles are rumored to be dropping this year or early next in 2022.

MotoGP 21

Waiting For The Green Flag To Drop

F1 2021 – Releases July 16

What The Developers Are Saying

F1 2021 will immerse players into the glamorous world of Formula One, giving a taste of the lifestyle both on and off the track: the rivalries, emotion, and dedication needed to compete at the highest level. For the first time, in career mode, it is now possible for two players to play career mode together (either as teammates or rivals).”

Why Are We Excited?

What is not to be excited about with this franchise? I often struggle to find something truly negative about the series to write about, and now with the inclusion of co-op career mode and next-gen graphics and presentation, that trend should continue.

People were initially concerned about the merger (acquisition) of Codemasters by EA, but from what I’ve heard from my sources, EA has left the team alone and will let the developers continue their domination of the genre.

F1 2021

RiMS Racing – Releases August 19

What The Developers Are Saying

“A race is not won purely on the track, so you need to become more than a rider by understanding motorbike behavior like a real engineer. Traction, angle, braking, torque, trajectory, speed — every factor must be considered before heading to the workshop to change certain components and configuring the optimal set-up.

Your adventure starts by choosing your dream motorbike. In RiMS Racing, you can ride the world’s eight most powerful European and Japanese motorbikes: Ducati Panigale V4 R, MV Agusta F4 RC, Aprilia RSV4, BMW M 1000 RR, Suzuki GSX-R1000R, Honda CBR1000RR, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, Yamaha YZF-R1. Recreated with an unmatched level of detail thanks to close collaboration with each manufacturer, these motorbikes also provide a highly accurate and realistic riding experience.”

RiMS Racing

Why Are We Excited?

If you must ask why we are excited even after you read a complete breakdown of what RiMS will be about, then maybe you’re not as big a fan of the racing genre as you thought. Granted, not everyone loves racing of the two-wheel variety, but if done correctly, RiMS has a chance to pull in fans that didn’t even realize they wanted to be fans.

The game will only feature a total of eight superbikes, but each bike has been meticulously re-created and will be extremely modifiable based on the words from the developers. Give me quality over quantity any day of the week, and I am hoping that is what takes place here.

WRC 10 – Releases September 2

What The Developers Are Saying

“Celebrate the WRC 50th anniversary with WRC 10. Which includes a new historic mode, improved career mode and livery editor, new legendary cars, reworked audio design, and more!”

Why Are We Excited?

The WRC series is such an enigma to me, and I have no doubt that will continue with the anniversary edition of the franchise. Never has a series grated on my nerves so intensely yet delivered such an addictive experience that it kept me coming back for more way too often.

The racing in the WRC series is white-knuckle racing in its purest form, and the series will penalize you harshly for losing focus for even a second. That may sound like conjecture, but trust me when I say that every word I just typed is a simple fact when it comes to driving in WRC.

WRC 10

Hot Wheels Unleashed – Releases September 30

What The Developers Are Saying

“Get behind the wheel of the coolest, fastest, and most legendary vehicles, with their own personality, driving style, and levels of rarity. Discover all their unique attributes and how to use them to face every track and challenge. And with the Livery Editor make your ride a one-of-a-kind masterpiece of speed!”

Why Are We Excited?

I have now seen a substantial amount of actual gameplay from Hot Wheels Unleashed, and my anticipation for this title is growing each time I get a look at the new content. The racing physics look exactly like what I would hope for out of a game of this type, and the developers have confirmed that over 60 official Hot Wheels cars will eventually be available in the game.

Hot Wheels Unleashed

Forza Motorsport 8 – Releases Q4 2021?

What The Developers Are Saying

“We are taking what has made Forza Motorsport great over the past 15 years and pairing it with new game concepts and new technologies. With the new Forza Motorsport, ray tracing is coming to ForzaTech, you will see a dynamic world in 4K, 60 fps, that is connected and dynamic — from surfaces of cars reflecting off each other to brilliant red paint bouncing off intensely detailed track surfaces, and the interplay of light and shadow throughout the world.”

Why Are We Excited?

There are substantiated rumors out there that FM8 will be built on an entirely new game engine in the form of Unreal Engine 5. While I have loved what this series has provided in the past, if the jump to the UE5 engine is legitimate (and it is), it should help make it one of hottest racing titles available.

We’re still not sure what FM8 will be, but we do know that the developers are working on a new tire-to-track system that includes a new tire pressure system, new rubber-to-track system, and a new handling reaction system — none of which is too surprising.

The developers have said they are taking a fan-first direction with FM8 and that includes a recent beta test for the new game, which is relatively far along in development at this stage. There is a chance that Forza Motorsport 8 may roll into 2022, but for now, I will choose to believe that we will see FM8 in Q4 of 2021. This is also really me just hoping the rumors are true.

Racing Titles in 2021

Forza Horizon 5 – Releases Q3 or Q4 2021?

What The Developers Are Saying

Well, the developers have not really said anything, which is odd for a game that, based on multiple rumors, will most likely drop before Forza Motorsport 8. Rumors are flying everywhere that it will either take place in Asia or Mexico, and either location would lend itself incredibly well to a game style that we have all grown to love over the years.

Why Are We Excited?

If you have played any of the past four installments of the Forza Horizon festival style open-world racer, then you know why we are excited. From the adrenaline-pumping racing to the open-world chaotic chases and crashes, the Forza Horizon series has provided some of the best “simcade” racing ever seen on console or PC — and that should continue with this iteration.

Even better, we now get to experience this unbelievable series on the Xbox Series X, and it will be included on Xbox Ultimate Game Pass. I have always been biased towards licensed seasonal racers such as F1 and NASCAR, but if you put the Horizon series on next-gen hardware, that bias might start to slowly fade away.

Racing Titles in 2021

NASCAR NXT – Releases Late Q2-Mid Q3?

What The Developers Are Saying

The developers have not said a whole bunch at this stage, which is odd considering the newly built and designed game will release during the actual 2021 season. The developers do have high hopes, and they want the renamed title to climb up to the upper echelon of racing titles, finally giving NASCAR fans a game that will represent what they see on TV and at the track in a way that has never been seen before on consoles.

Why Are We Excited?

With the acquisition of Studio 397 and the NASCAR physics system of rFactor 2, Motorsport Games is looking to implement the highly touted physics system into its rebuilt and redesigned NASCAR title, a title they promise will look and reflect more of a AAA-designed game.

This far into the development cycle, it seems hard to imagine the implementation of this physics system will be flawless, but my guess is that the purchase was announced well after the initial agreement and the implementation of the new physics system had already started.

Along with the new physics system, I sincerely hope that a new damage and presentation system has also been developed and implemented. MSG and NASCAR have extended their relationship through 2029, and it finally seems like the NASCAR franchise and property has a developer that wants to deliver a true simulation-style experience on console.

Gran Turismo 7 – Releases Q1/Q2 2022?

What The Developers Are Saying

Gran Turismo 7 builds on 22 years of experience to bring you the best features from the history of the franchise. Whether you’re a competitive racer, collector, fine-tuning builder, livery designer, photographer, or arcade fan — ignite your personal passion for cars with features inspired by the past, present, and future of Gran Turismo.

From classic vehicles and tracks to the reintroduction of the legendary GT Simulation Mode — enjoy the best features from past installments of the series. And if you love to race, practice and compete in the FIA Championships and Sport Mode. Gran Turismo 7 is also about more than racing. Refine and create in the evolved tuning and customization mode or improve your skills and racing strategies through Driving School.”

Why Are We Excited?

If you watched the initial trailer for the game, then you know exactly why we are excited. Polyphony has promised to take advantage of every aspect of the PS5 hardware with stunning visuals, fast loading, adaptive triggers, and utilization of the haptic feedback system found in the PS5 controller. Seeing the delay for Gran Turismo was not unexpected or even a surprise, as that is all too common for the series, but the news that it was being delayed a full year (at least) hit hard — and not in a good way.

Unlike the latest release, Gran Turismo Sport, the developers have promised to migrate back to the fundamentals of the series, which includes a designated career-like path and a strong focus on the single-player experience.


Leave a Reply

  1. Nice write up Robert.
    Looking forward I have to say RiMS has me the most intrigued. If they are able to accomplish off track what they are advertising and nail the handling and physics on track this could very well be the bike genres very own Assetto Corsa..:cheers:
    I see they have the bikes listed..any word on tracks?
    I'm excited for the next NASCAR game moreso due to the drastic changes in the schedule this year than anything else. Having never played rRactor, I don't know anything about their engine/damage model or anything. My main worry though is with them starting from scratch again that they may scale it down and only include Cup and not Xfinity or Trucks (or Dirt, but that's not a real series).
    Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown interests me a bit, but (based on my experience with Test Drive Unlimited 2), it's premise isn't entirely dissimilar from The Crew 2 (open world race, multiple disciplines)
    May also get Gran Turismo 7.

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