Five of the hardest racing games of all time | traction

What’s the hardest racing game you’ve ever played? Was there a particular part of a game you just couldn’t get past? Did the last license test in Gran Turismo 7 knock you out?

Well, we’re trying to compile some of the games that we’ve found extremely difficult to smash the controller. That doesn’t mean these games are bad – quite the opposite. In fact, all five games listed below are critically acclaimed and very popular among racing game connoisseurs.

Whether the games are generally super hard games (Stuntman) or just a nerve-racking tutorial (Driver), we think we’ve covered a whole range of hellishly difficult driving games from the last quarter century. (More to come in the future!)

Good old Diamond Creek – Richard Burns Rally


In our retrospective of 2002’s epic stunt-em-up, we dubbed Stuntman the “dark soul of driving games.” It’s a well-deserved slogan, too, as Reflections Interactive’s approach to simulating the world of a stuntman movie is equal parts frustration and violent crashes.

Your on-set director gives you directions on where to steer your vehicle and what obstacles to overcome, but his commands often came too slowly for you to react in time, and some were vague to impenetrable. There are no checkpoints either, so one mistake and you’ll have to start the whole scene over.

Stuntman, PlayStation 2

Still, it’s a good game that makes all the frustration worthwhile, with impressively destructible vehicles and cool set pieces. All of the individual stunts are also tied together in a cinematic trailer that showcases their hard work in all its cinematic glory.

However, the Stunt Constructor Arena is where the game really shines for me, where you get the chance to create extravagant and explosive stunts that show off the game’s damage and physics model.

And there is no director who could give you stupid instructions.


In Driver, another 1999 game from Reflections Interactive, players take on the role of undercover cop John Tanner fighting the criminal underground of Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York – with only his car.

There were car chases, fully explorable cities, and tons of PlayStation 1-era pop-in textures, but the game’s physics engine really made it shine. The 70’s-inspired cars featured realistically soft suspension that resulted in dynamic vehicle movements, ideal for creating exciting car chases in the game’s novel “Movie Director” mode.

Drivers, PlayStationNurse! The flashbacks have started again. Argh!

However, some of the missions were extremely difficult; It takes several tries to get close to completion. The police were also a pain in the ass and would attack you mercilessly for running a red light, speeding, or looking a bit dodgy.

However, this is nothing compared to the game’s opening tutorial, which was so confusing and difficult that many players simply abandoned the game before its first mission.

You’re given a list of driving techniques to complete within a minute, but nothing is explained or demonstrated, making it a random guesswork task. It used to take me a millennium to finish the Driver tutorial – and in January 2000 I finally did it.

Richard Burns Rally

You can’t make a list of the toughest racing games without Richard Burns Rally. Warthog Games’ rally sim took a different approach to the official WRC game franchise, starting at 100mph over a blind crest labeled “Realism”.

Crashing into the countryside ended the rally, with hidden damage to the oil pump, battery or alternator just as likely to end proceedings as an accident that broke the bodywork.

Richard Burns Rally“I said right entry at the chicane”

This makes the game difficult. Extremely difficult. But it’s also worth it, with one of the best physics engines ever produced in a game – not just in the driving genre.

Completing a stage with a zero time and a spotless car is an achievement like no other, as the way your car realistically holds up in compressions and berms makes for a satisfying rally thrill unrivaled in modern day rally rivals games seeks.

There was also a tricky Rally School mode, voiced by 2001 World Rally Champion Burns, which helped players hone their Scandinavian tricks and handbrake manoeuvres. While lacking in content in vanilla form, Richard Burns Rally has found new life thanks to the modding community. However, it doesn’t make the game any less brutal.

TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3

A list of hard racing games would not be complete without an Isle of Man TT title. From Jester Interactive’s two Isle of Man games (TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing and TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship) to Kylotonn’s TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge series, the difficulty and danger of the Isle of Man TT well presented in video game format.

These titles leaned more towards simulation, with the Ride on the Edge games in particular exhibiting some unforgiving bike handling characteristics.

TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3, Brian McConnell, BMW M1000RR, Snaefell Mountain Coursedid i save it Of course not.

This has been improved somewhat with RaceWard Studio’s TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3, released this May, but it remains a severe test of the coordination and skill of any motorcycle gaming fanatic.

The bikes race at nearly 200 mph across the Isle of Man’s famous Snaefell Mountain Course and surrounding roads, with an unruly, dynamic racing line prompting players to ride right into dry stone walls.

Due to the narrow public roads found throughout the island, it’s almost impossible not to avoid hitting a curb at the wrong angle (is there a correct angle for a motorcycle?!), leading you straight to the scene of the accident.

TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3, Snaefell Mountain Course, SupersportPerfectly placed paramedics…

And the sluggish way the bikes move requires players to practice their braking and tip-in points. Knowing the route across the massive 37.73 mile course is vital to achieving a lap without a crash.

And let’s not forget the difficulty of controlling a 1000cc superbike under acceleration; Players must be careful to keep the front wheel on the ground when exiting slow turns like Quarterbridge or the infamous Ramsey hairpin.

It’s worth it, though, because this game is every TT fan’s dream.

Now, is not a difficult game per se, but some of its scenarios will test the players’ patience to the extreme.

The crawl scenarios are a particular source of frustration, with the top-heaviness of some vehicles proving to be the bane of my BeamNG life. I’m sorry to say that despite several attempts to climb the Johnston Valley mountain in the SP Rockbasher, I’ve completely given up on Freeform Mountain Crawl. v0.28, automation test track

Not only is it quite a long distance from the starting point to the bottom of the mountain – and on the relatively safe route it’s easy to skid with the car – but the way the car responds quickly to accelerator pedal movements means that I return to sea level end-to-end (over-end-over-end etc.).

Even with a differential lock, many off-road vehicles feel unnecessarily unstable on rocky terrain, leading to a number of spectacular accidents. But let’s face it, that’s what BeamNG is all about, and I’m a punishment glutton, so it’s always worth another try.

For a more enjoyable crawl scenario, try Leap of Faith – it’s a much easier traverse of a rocky canyon with a Hollywood-like win at the end.

There’s frustration in other scenarios as well, as other chase-style missions employ AI cars that take random routes to escape your clutches. “Destroy the Moonhawk” is a good example of this; while you have the task of disassembling a rebuilt muscle car with your standard SUV. scenariosevery time

Straight ahead, the Moonhawk is just too fast for your Chelsea tractor and disappears into the distance. However, it supposedly takes a random route every time, so be sure to catch up if the AI ​​slows down on tight corners.

Of course, in the 15 or so attempts I had at this scenario, the Moonhawk diligently clung to wide-open roads, giving me no chance of catching it. Excellent.

Still, I took solace in extravagantly destroying various Fiat Multiplas.



Which racing game would you call the hardest ever? Let us know if you’re still in therapy after trying the Driver’s Parking Garage tutorial in the comments below.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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