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Best Racing Game of 2021

Best Racing Game of 2021 - Article

by Christian Evans , posted 5 days ago / 1,824 Views

With Gran Turismo 7 slated for early 2022, and no sign of a new mainline Mario Kart thanks to the continued ‘insane’ sales of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Xbox flagship title Forza Horizon 5 emerged as the clear favourite as the pinnacle of 2021 racing games. Despite being denied a titanic battle between the platform holders' racing jewels in the crown yet again, a number of other titles showed up to compete.

Hoping to give one of the genre's behemoths a run for its money were the officially licensed editions of F1 2021WRC 10, and MotoGP 21, banking on their faithful recreations of motorsport's current finest tracks and drivers. Keen to surprise these well-established racers were the ostensibly more playful, arcade racing experiences of Riders Republic, Cruis’n Blast, and Hot Wheels Unleashed, who were themselves pushing for a podium finish. 


The Shortlist:


Riders Republic


Forza Horizon 5


Hot Wheels Unleashed


Cruis’n Blast





The Winner:

Forza Horizon 5

Runner-up: Cruis’n Blast

If we’re being honest this race was won before it even started, and this was reflected in it being the most one-sided award category win this year by quite some margin. Such is the quality of Forza Horizon 5 compared to the competition, the only obstacle to taking the 2021 racing crown was Michael Masi tallying the votes, ignoring them, and deciding to ‘bend’ the rules at the last minute to make it exciting. Perhaps the only surprising result here is the lower podium finishers not including any of the more established franchises, maybe pointing to yearly release fatigue and people favouring fresh experiences.  

Now in its fifth iteration, the open world format of Forza Horizon is indeed as fresh as a homemade pico de gallo, thanks to complete relocation, this time to Mexico. Hosting the most diverse ecosystem the franchise has taken on, be it skirting around a dormant volcano, ploughing through jungles in a watery deluge, or taking on sandstorms that are whipping up across the desert, Forza Horizon 5 is the driving playground. No matter how you like your driving game, pretty much everybody is catered for here, and the multitude of modes are delivered with aplomb. 

It may not have been challenged in winning this award, but make no mistake, its win is not by default; Forza Horizon 5 is one of the best driving games ever made. Deserving of this award, and indeed a potential challenger for the overall game of the year award, Forza Horizon 5 has well and truly earned its time in the sun. 

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shikamaru317 (5 days ago)

Pretty obvious result on this one, but congrats to Forza regardless.

  • +9
Angelus (4 days ago)

"...the only obstacle to taking the 2021 racing crown was Michael Masi tallying the votes, ignoring them, and deciding to ‘bend’ the rules at the last minute to make it exciting."

Just wanted to let it be known that someone here understood that reference, and this is now already setting a high bar for best article of the year lol. Fuck that guy.

  • +8
Tharthesos Angelus (4 days ago)

Same for me.

  • +1
coolbeans (4 days ago)

Me after hastily googling Michael Masi

Haha... good show, old chap. An obscure reference not many will catch.

  • +5
SecondWar coolbeans (4 days ago)

I suppose it would be to anyone who doesn’t have an eye on Formula 1. I can’t say I knew who he was either until THAT race.

  • +1
axumblade (4 days ago)

Oh. I forgot that other racers came out last year...

  • +2
SecondWar (4 days ago)

I’m playing Riders Republic now and I enjoy it as a change of pace from the other types of games I usually play. The dialogue however is cringeworthy, trying way too hard to sound hip and edgy.

Also, got to appreciate the dig at Michael Masi.

  • +2
Leynos (4 days ago)

Cruisn Blast for me is my fave racing game in the last 20 years.

  • +1
scrapking (3 days ago)

I appreciate Forza Horizon 5 for the fact that:

  • it arrived relatively bug-free
  • the standard edition of the game is LOADED with content, such that even though there is some premium content available you don't feel ripped-off if you don't buy it
  • 0
smroadkill15 (4 days ago)

Not even close. FH5 is so damn good!

  • 0
LivncA_Dis3 (2 days ago)

Makes a list just so Forza can win haha

  • -1