Vote for the best F1 racing game series

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F1 2011 by Codemasters

When asked to name the best F1 racing game of all time, F1 Fanatics nominated titles spanning 20 years of gaming.

But which was the best of all time?

Take a look at the most popular picks below and vote for your favourite.

Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series


Formula One Grand Prix (aka World Circuit) (PC, Amiga, Atari)
Grand Prix 2 (PC)
Grand Prix 3 and GP3-2000 (PC)
Grand Prix 4 (PC)

It’s hard to exaggerate how influential Geoff Crammond’s original 1991 Formula One Grand Prix series was on later F1 racing games. And, indeed, F1 game designers, who still refer back to the Grand Prix series as one of the finest example of F1 video games.

It was a somewhat idiosyncratic creation with an unusual physics engine and turn-based multiplayer system. But what was most endearing about the Grand Prix series was its sense of liberty – an aspect which feels refreshing if you fire up GP4 after spending some time in the more restrictive world of modern F1 games.

Here was a game you could treat as you please: as an easy arcade thrash with all the driving assists on, as a tricky simulation taking on a two-hour race at Monaco in the rain, or indulging in the mindless fun of 400mph closing speed crashes that split your car in two.

Surely the greatest sign of its lasting popularity it that people continue to play it and apply lovingly-detailed modifications almost a full decade since the last game was released.

And the intro music for the original game was The Chain. What more could you ask for?

It is just so much fun and so far, the most accurate F1 game I’ve ever played.

The physics seem to be unparalleled and the artificial intelligence actually provided close and exciting racing without being erratic and completely unpredictable (unlike the Codemasters games). With all of the assists off and the AI turned up to the max, it’s nail-biting stuff.

The thing I like about it is that if you make a single mistake and do something as simple as dropping a wheel on the grass, it’s the end of your race. It’s the only F1 game I’ve played where mistakes are correctly punished and the grass has the correct level of adhesion (basically none!). If you’ve not played it, you’re missing out.

Easily the best F1 game ever, in my opinion.

Formula One series – Bizarre Creations


Formula 1 (PlayStation, PC)
Formula 1 97 (aka Formula 1 Championship Edition) (PlayStation, PC)

Bizarre Creations only produced two Formula 1 games but the second of these – Formula 1 97 for the first-generation PlayStation – is surely the epitome of arcade-style console racing games.

Its colourful graphics and convincing impressions of the cars and tracks dazzled gamers. The pick-and-up-play simplicity it offered won it many admirers.

And the addition of commentary from Murray Walker and Martin Brundle – ITV’s F1 commentary duo at the time – cranked up the fun factor to 11.

Sure there have been plenty of F1 games released since with better graphics, physics, more immersive season modes.

But for whatever reason, none of these even come close to the sheer fun of playing Formula 1 97. So much so that it still gets a whirl in my PS3.

Grand Prix Legends

Grand Prix Legends (PC)

The awesome attention to detail in Grand Prix Legends’ depiction of the 1967 Formula 1 season was simply stunning, and more than made up for the fact that the game was excruciatingly difficult.

It was one of the first games to feature the full Nurburgring Nordschleife, and the Green Hell has never looked more fearsome than it has from the cockpit of a Lotus 49.

Grand Prix Legends was not a great commercial success for Papyrus, who had previously made IndyCar racing titles. But it has a hardcore following among racing simulator buffs and fans of historic racing in particular. Almost 15 years after it went on sale, the Grand Prix Legends community is still going strong.

Astonishingly, they have even modelled the 72km Targa Florio sports car track for it. And don’t miss this video of a true Grand Prix legend – Jackie Stewart – watching and talking about the game.

Not only it represents one of the golden eras of Formula 1, but it was so advanced when it was released. The graphics were pretty, the cars were astonishing, the sounds were epic, and the feel of the thing: on a class of its own.

Even nowadays it feels modern, nothing like the games of today. As if no one ever cared to design a simulator that accurate, and one has to remember Grand Prix Legends was released when PlayStation 1 was still the way to go for most gamers.

It’s without a shadow of doubt, the best F1 game I’ve ever played.
Fer no.65

F-1 World Grand Prix


F-1 World Grand Prix (Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Dreamcast, others)
F-1 World Grand Prix 2 (Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, others)

F-1 World Grand Prix, which first appeared on the Nintendo 64, is about as far from Grand Prix Legends as it’s possible to get.

But this short-lived series benefitted from some well thought-out and original ideas and is fondly remembered by many of those who played it first time around.

Among the most popular was the series of challenges that invited you to recreate famous moments from the 1997 season – such as Damon Hill almost winning the Hungarian Grand Prix in his Arrows.

F-1 World Grand Prix was one of my personal favourites. It was a genuine, tough and satisfying sim on a console which didn’t do racers that well.

Formula One series – Psygnosis/Studio 33/SCEE


Formula One 99 (Playstation)
Formula One Arcade (PlayStation)
Formula One 2000 (PlayStation)
Formula One 2001 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 2002 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 2003 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 04 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 05 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 06 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One Championship Edition (PlayStation 3)

After the departure of Bizarre Creations, and following an unloved 1998 game produced by Visual Science, the Formula 1 series for PlayStation passed into the hands of Psygnosis, which later became SCE Studio Liverpool. Their series of F1 games endured largely because Sony eventually obtained an exclusive licence – bad news for F1 fans without a PlayStation.

Although they stood accused of churning out games that were little changed beyond annual updates to the cars, drivers and tracks, they did boast some popular features such as unlock-able bonus circuits.

Early PS2 titles were notable for including DVD season reviews that were far better quality than the commercially-available video tapes. There were also versions of some of the games for hand held consoles.

F1 06 on the PS2 is in my opinion pretty underrated?? it has pretty good gameplay and a very clinical feel to it, which I always appreciate.

EA Sports F1 games


F1 2000 (Playstation, PC)
F1 Championship Season 2000 (PlayStation 2, PC, others)
F1 2001 (Playstation 2, Xbox, PC)
F1 2002 (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, others)
F1 Challenge ’99-’02 (aka F1 Career Challenge) (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, others)

EA Sports’ series of F1 games is best remembered for its final instalment, which spanned four seasons from 1999 to 2002.

This proved a major hit with game modifiers, and has proved a popular platform for expansion. Unofficial packs have been produced for dozens of different seasons.

I enjoyed [F1 Challenge ’99-’02]: the graphics were quite realistic and the features were many.

You could drive the car in the pit lane; you could jump the start; you could lose a wheel and continue; you had all the sessions of a Grand Prix, a grid walk-through, mechanical failures, aggressive AIs (if you had a certain difficulty level – admittedly, when you were alongside, they dived out of your way), AIs crashing, tyres wore out, fuel decreased, your speed increased as your fuel reduced and your traction decreased as your tyres wore out.


rFactor (PC)

rFactor was among the first of the modern generation of racing games where much of the content is community-created.

There is plenty in the way of modern cars and tracks but one pack created by users which stands out is the superb 1979 season.

Being free of commercial restrictions, you can do pretty much as you please with it. So if you want to drive a 1979 Ligier JS11 on a combination of the modern Monza F1 track plus the old oval – you can (see video).

With rFactor you can pretty much race any season of F1 you can think of and has great physics to match with great sounds and fairly good graphics as well

Codemasters’ F1 2010 and F1 2011


F1 2010 (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
F1 2011 (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC, others)

F1 2011, the latest F1 game from Codemasters, brings the official series bang up-to-date with modern features such as DRS, KERS and even the appearance of the safety car.

Taking advantage of the capabilities of today’s hardware and exploiting the benefits of the FOM licence including access data supplied by the teams, virtual F1 has never looked better than in the latest title.

It’s hugely popular among F1 gamers online – that much is clear from the number of threads given over to it in the forum. The latest edition permits up to 16 people to race simultaneously.

F1 2010 and F1 2011 are the games I’ve enjoyed the most. They are the games which I’ve been the most engaging for me.

The thrill of taking tenths of your previous laps (yes, I’m sad) was just great and something that wasn’t as enjoyable in past F1 games. The Collantine Cup has also vastly increased my interest in the game.

I’d say F1 2011 is the best I’ve played simply because it has a bit more than F1 2010. However there are still many small problems which stop the game from being perfect.

Vote for the best F1 racing game series ever

Which of these is your favourite F1 game or Formula 1 series? Cast your vote below and explain your choice and tell us which of them you’ve played in the comments.

Which is the best F1 racing game / game series?

  • Codemasters? F1 2010 and F1 2011 (38%)
  • rFactor (9%)
  • EA Sports F1 games (8%)
  • Formula One series ?ǣ Psygnosis/SCEE (6%)
  • F-1 World Grand Prix (3%)
  • Grand Prix Legends (6%)
  • Formula One series ?ǣ Bizarre Creations (5%)
  • Geoff Crammond?s Grand Prix series (25%)

Total Voters: 508

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“But what about…?”

Where’s iRacing? What about Grand Prix Manager 2? How could you forget Super Monaco GP?

If your favourite F1 game is not listed above either it didn’t get nominated or it wasn’t popular enough.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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190 comments on “Vote for the best F1 racing game series”

  1. C’mon, you just forgot “Nigel Mansell World Championship” on old Amstrad CPC !!!

    1. I knew I’d have to use this on the first comment:

      If your favourite F1 game is not listed above either it didn’t get nominated or it wasn’t popular enough.

      1. I have a bit of a collection of racing games for the PC and some of my favourites were GPL, Spirit of Speed, F1 racing by Ubisoft and F12002 by Ea. I didn’t get any of the current codemasters offerings as yet as I need to upgrade my pc.
        Spirit of Speed isn’t quite F1 but it’s great fun driving on the banks at Brooklands and the pitstops are very origonal. I prefer a PC for gaming although I have had several consoles over the years. Switching from a gamepad to a wheel was a revelation for me and some of the new ones are simply superb.
        I currently use a Thrustmaster F430 wheel which is an amazing wheel for the price but again I plan to replace it with an F1 Integral from the same company.
        Fanatec are another company that I am keeping an eye on.

      2. @keithcollantine too bad I didn’t notice that thread earlier, otherwise I would have nominated Ferrari Formula 1, 1988, on the Amiga.

        Mouse-controlled, it took some time to master but was rewarding when you did. It featured tyre wear and fuel consumption, so you had to tune your turbo down during the race.

        I voted for the Grand Prix series, though. I finished 12 full seasons of the original, the latter 8 in multi-player setting.

      3. I hope I did the right thing – voted for choice #1 which you labeled as Geoff Crammond’s GP series. I still have a fully functional copy of the first (1992) release (MicroProse Grand Prix) on my museum quality Commodore Amiga 500. You mentioned it as being “1991”, but it was only released in 1992 covering the previous season.

        My vote is maybe a little unfair — I have never played any other F1 game …

      1. It’s got to be Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix 4. Greatest game ever and it’s still going strong. I am part of a strong community on where there are mods made for almost every season, hundres of tracks and eveen other series like V8 Supercar, Indycar and GP2.

        I am also part of an offline racing league called the GPGSL, that allows you to be a team boss or driver, paint your own car and go racing. I am the owner of MAC Racing Ford and we are sitting mid table in season 8. Not bad considering it is only the teams second season.

  2. For me, it has to be the F1 95/97 games created by Bizarre Creations. Full of nostalgia, great gameplay, amusing cheats, the lot.

    It’s just huge fun. Modern F1 games rely on the online features to keep people interested. I got bored after doing half a season on F1 2010/11, but I’ll happily pick up 95 or 97 and just do a season. You didn’t need to spend ages messing around with set ups, installing updates, downloading add-ons or complaining about a glitchy penalty system, you just switched it on, got straight into the game and had fun. That’s what games should be about, and that’s what I get from playing F1 97.

    I recall one race I played on it once. I must have been about 9 or 10 years old, and I did a full length Grand Prix at Spa – in Katayama’s Minardi. I spent most of the race in 15th or 16th place, trying to close down a gap of half a minute on the next car (I think it was Diniz’s Arrows). I succeeded and felt like a God. I’ve never been so patient or excited to race for such a lowly position on any other racing game.

    1. I recall doing an entire season not 8 months ago, as Taki Inoue. I remember it being one of the best evenings in recent memory.

      1. Funny – I remember that too. I also remember him retweeting our progress of his season. Only 4th in the championship though, and a record number of wet races…

        1. And the one where he mysteriously barged the Williams and Benettons out of the way before moving over to let the two Ferraris take the top spots…

          1. Hey, don’t hate the player…

    2. I agree with you about modern games and and the online features which are unnecessary in my view. This is also the case in other games as well where they keep trying to sell you addons. Dragon age comes to mind as a particular culprit. The Elder Scrolls series is how it should be done IMHO.
      Online racing is good fun but it should be an option and not a prerequisite. My first attempt was at Monza in Ea’s F12002 against a Williams and he stalled at the start and then he spun out at the second Lesmo and retired. I had the replay for ages.:) The fun and excitement it generated was addictive and I used to drive a track on the morning of an event to have an up to date feel for the track which I found very useful and added to my experince of the real race.
      This company produces simulators that are on my wishlist.

      1. The problem is that AI is never going to be as intelligent as a real person, thats why for me racing games is all aboubt the online aspect. I gave up with the ‘careers’ in racing games ages ago after i realised that your never going to get AI cars defending and attacking like you would with with real online players. Its just so much more competitive being online.

        1. Absolutely true but offline is great for testing and fine tuning and the gameplay should be consistent in both modes. I just had a Quick count of my pc racing games and I have over 20 including GRID, TOCA, TDU, NFS, the various F1 games mentioned above plus some games to comemerate drivers such as Richard Burns in rallying and Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR. It is my intention to play more online once I upgrade my games room, my normal gaming rig crashed just before christmas and my projector bulb blew before that but replacing both with new makes more sense. Until then I am making do with a backup rig and normal screen which is just ok.
          However nothing compares to a big screen for gaming IMHO.

    3. Grand Prix 2. Nothing will ever come close again. Ahead if it’s time and the MODing for it was so much fun.

      For me the perfect F1 game would feature the graphics of Forza, the enjoyment of F1 97 and the challenge mode scene in F1 World Grand Prix.

      1. Remember in F1 World Grand prix, you had to Win the race with Schumacher, but keep Ralf on the lead lap also, almost impossible!!!!

  3. Bizarre Creations (RIP) for the WIN.

    I’ve played the Grand Prix series, and spent days messing with Processor Occupancy and crashes to desktop but loved it all the same.

    I’ve played Grand Prix Legends and raced in a league which was the highlight of my life for a while. I’ve spent hours with the glorious handling trying to get my GPL Rank handicap down under par and loved that too.

    I played ISI’s F1C for years, racing online and downloading hundreds of mods and new liveries, tracks, sounds and loved messing about with the PLR file to get the formation lap and the recon lap too and I loved that.

    I played Studio Liverpool’s F1CE on PS3 and was blown away by the crispness of the graphics and the weather effects.

    I’ve played Codemasters’ F1 series for I don’t know how long and I’ve even ran two successful off-season championships, the latest one of which will be decided in a final round four-way showdown at Silverstone in two weeks.

    But nothing, nothing compares to Bizzare Creation’s Formula 1 ’97 to me. The one F1 game that gave me the most joy, the most fun, the most immersion and was responsible for cementing my life-long love for Formula 1.

    Was it the graphics? With its first-of-its-kind cockpit view, the proper FOM timing graphics and hi-res cars and bright, beautiful circuits?

    Was it the handling? With its analogue stick steering, real sensation of speed and grip that struck the perfect balance between arcade and simulation and was rewarding yet challenging?

    Was it the audio? With its fantastic commentary by Sir Lord Murray Walker MBE and Martin “You’re right there, Murray” Brundle and its EPIC orchestrial rock soundtrack?

    Was it in the details? The fact that you could change and customise the drivers names, make a race with whatever realism settings and length you wanted, take tear-offs off your visor and get proper body-deforming damage and penalties after collisions?

    Was it the bonuses? With ‘Sunob’ and ‘Edialea’ and the 1950s black and white race around Silverstone and the Wipeout mode?

    Whatever it was, it ticked every box that you could ask for as an F1 fan back then with a console and no racing game has ever had the same impact on me since.

    1. Here here! (obviously). Agree with Dan’s comments too.

    2. Makes you wonder why they didn’t do any others after ’97. Anyone know? They did Project Gotham Racing later, I think.

      1. All I know is that Visual Sciences made Formula 1 ’98 and that game was an absolute disaster. Why Bizarre left, I don’t know. I imagine it was to chase bigger projects.

    3. I feel so left out when I read about F1 ’97. I never had a Playstation (we instead had an N64 with F1 World Grand Prix) so I’ve never played this game. I can only judge it based on the videos, but I get the feeling it’s something you had to have played when it was new to understand how fun it was.

  4. I’ve only played one of these, so don’t really want to vote. Any way to skip to the results?

    1. @Matt90 Yeah, if you select ‘Formula One series – Bizarre Creations’ and click ‘Vote’, it’ll take you to the results screen.

      1. Haha, nice try. I might just have to vote for the only one I’ve played- I think it was F1 2001 on PS2

        1. Actually, I owned both F1 2001 and 2002. I didn’t like the handling of the 02 cars though (too skittish I think), so I’m not sure I ever actually played it- I bought it solely, and partly bought 2001, for the free previous season DVD. Was an absolute bargain at the time to get a preowned review with a game. And I did enjoy 2001 I think, although I remember the career being poor.

    2. I was just about to ask that question :).

      1. Actually I’ve just completely missed the “View results” button below the poll.

    3. As @slr writes, if you push the “view results” button below te poll it shows the current voting results.

      I won’t be voting in this one either, I haven’t ever played a racing game longer than a few laps (maybe 2 hours for Need for speed demo is the most), it just is’t my thing!

  5. I guess from my comment about F1 2010 and F1 2011, I should vote for Codemasters. But I’m not sure, the only other F1 games I’ve played are the Psygnosis/Studio 33/SCEE F1 games. From what others say about the other F1 games I haven’t played, I seemed to have missed some really good racing games.

  6. The amount of votes Codemasters are getting so far disturb me. Yeah, F1 2010 and F1 2011 are good games but considering the sheer number of horrible glitches, bugs, poor design choices and oversights present in both games, plus the fact Codemasters knowingly released F1 2011 in a broken state, then eventually released one patch that fix some problems and introduced others and then refused to address the new bugs in a secondary patch means that the series has no right to be considered the ‘best’ in my opinion.

    I hope F1 2012 makes the improvements that it really should have made last year – proper glitch testing prior to release, no tyre change bug, proper replay system online and offline, improved penalty system with no easy exploits when running off-line, improved PS3 graphical optimisation, etc etc. Codemasters have the base for a really amazing series, but they keep letting themselves down with pretty basic and unforgivable mistakes and issues, in my opinion.

    1. Wow, it’s getting a lot of votes. In the forum thread hardly anyone mentioned it. Thought this was going to be a battle between F1 97 and Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix. Shame.

    2. I’m guessing it’s that fact that they are freshest in the memories. That coupled with the younger age of many readers.

      They are good, they’re just not the best.

    3. I really couldn’t agree more with you. When I heard they would have some relation to Race Driver GRID (well worth playing if you can find it) I was overjoyed, but both have been… frustrating.For every stunning moment, there is a nearly game breaking bug, or poor design decision. And it’s almost unplayable with a controller

      I’m not saying the F-1 World GP is much better – it probably isn’t – but it feels good to play and that, as in any game, is what counts. At least, that’s true on the N64 – the Dreamcast versions weren’t that good.

    4. I am fortuntely old enough to have played all these games. And seriously I get why F1 2010 and 11 are so highly rated.

      Bugs and glitches ? Come on, all of them have appaling bugs and glitches. I remember F1 97 being a nightmare in that sense.

      I voted for Geoff Crammond’s (yeah I had time on my hand and this was how I spent it), but this is quite hard core and getting it to run at the time required top notch gear! Plus making the add ons run smoothly requires lots of love and devotion. No add-on, and you get bulky games that make you wish you never started playing them in the first place.

      RFactor : Are we talking about games or devs meat F1 Fan wet dreams?

      F1 2011 with Hard setting is realistic and difficult enough, runs smoothly, is beautiful and allows online gaming experience. Lets all rejoice F1 games have evolved for the better instead of applying our usual rose tinted glasses to games too !

    5. They’re fun games, but there’s no real character. Someone needs to make a proper effort to make an F1 game like Geoff Crammond did. With F1 2010 and 2011 I get the feeling they’re just projects to the side of their other priorities. The fact they release a DiRT game each year as well as an F1 game says to me that they’re not spending enough time developing it. The Grand Prix series games were made by a bunch of developers that were employed to make an F1 game, as the end result showed.

      1. I think F1 2010/2011 are good games, but they just don’t get me wanting to come back for more like Grand Prix 2 did. That’s the difference.

    6. I really, deeply agree @magnificent-geoffrey . I guess most people who voted for them have either not tried any other games or are getting distracted by graphics. F1 Challenge was 7 years before F1 2010, it’s obvious the latter is, visually, better. But as @damonsmedley says, there’s no real character. As @ajokay says, they are good, they’re just not the best.

      1. The thing with the CM F1 games is though that the racing itself is brilliant when you’ve got a decent lobby together, but there’s always a few bugs that get in the way of a perfect experience.

        1. I think graphics-wise they’re the best games yet (obviously), but they showed little improvements in comparison to previous games, and in some areas got even worse.

    7. I think the main problem with why the CM games have many bugs is because I believe they did in-house testing of the games. I hope this changes for F1 2012 as you need people outside of the company to test the game.

      I think CM have suffered with having tight deadlines and releasing their games in this day and age. They have to release a game every September and this puts certain restraints on them. If you take a game like Call of Duty or whatever, they aren’t as strict on times and they can release whenever they want, they don’t have seasons to bear in mind.

      Also with releasing games today they are heavily criticised for massive bugs, but back in 1997 bugs were an accepted part of any game. In F1 97 I’m sure there are places where you can drive through walls, and crash into cars when you haven’t made contact. It’s all about perspective really.

  7. In terms of quality of racing, IMO rFactor is far beyond anything else commercially available. As far as fun factor I really liked the two latest Codemasters’ games, although bugs and performance issues seriously flawed these titles (I might have rated them higher If played them on a console). I also liked the EA titles, especially 99-02. All in all, rFactor gets my vote.

  8. In terms of a career mode immersion & probably in-game graphics I would say the recent Codemasters games.

    However in terms of actual driving realism I would go for the Geoff Crammond games, GP4 especially.

    However for sims with F1 cars in them, iRacing, Live 4 Speed & some of the MODS for rFactor/rFactor 2 are where to go for pure simulation.

  9. In terms of realism for a sim racer – I’d go for rFactor. The tyre modeling etc is fantastic.

  10. I haven’t really played much of F1 2011 nor tried F1 2012, but I used to play Grand Prix Racing when I was younger on the PC, then F12002 by EA on PC as well. Later on I got PS2 and played F1 2006-2006. After that, there were no more F1 games. But can you believe it…..until my PS2 blew it’s top off last year, I was still playing F106 and really loved it.

    Recently, I played F1 11 on my cousins PS3, and I for some reason felt the graphics were worse than the F1 06 game. Bizarre, I know.

    But overall, best game was F106 for me….to have me playing it every other weekend till 2011.

    1. nor tried F1 2012

      I don’t think anyone has…

      1. I’d love too though

    2. Recently, I played F1 11 on my cousins PS3, and I for some reason felt the graphics were worse than the F1 06 game. Bizarre, I know.

      You’re probably not wrong. The graphics on the PS3 version of F1 2011 are absolutely horrendous.

  11. haha that F1 series by bizarre creations looks truely awful!!! It has to be the 2 latest games by codemasters, great games and look awsome with 3D glasses : )

    1. It was the best thing that money could buy in 1996. Considering the amount of detail that’s in that game crammed onto a 650Mb disc at a time when 3D graphics on home consoles were in their infancy, it’s incredibly impressive.

    2. There is far, far more to a game than its graphics. If graphics were the only measure of a game’s prowess then anything on the Wii, PS2, PSOne, SNES, etc would be rubbish. You know fine that’s not the case!

      1. Graphics are the least of my concern when buying an F1 game. Physics and AI come first, as well as how well the game performs online against other people. The handling has to feel right otherwise there’s no real reward. The only aspect Codemasters seem to care about is the graphics, and they still don’t come close to F1 Championship Edition.

        My ideal F1 game would have F1 Championship Edition’s graphics and Grand Prix 4’s physics with smooth online play.

    3. Remember that it was made almost 16 years ago on the first generation consoles and it actually doesn’t look all that bad when you’re coming from that angle. In ’96 those were amazing graphics and the controls and commentary was fantastic.

    4. I wasn’t commenting on the gameplay as i have never played. You have to say the graphics are funny looking back, and people will probably say the same about todays games in years to come. The classics will live forever :-)

  12. I’ve only played Codemasters F1 2010 and 2011.
    F1 2010 had a bit too many bugs but was still enjoyable.
    I think F1 2010 was superior to 2011 in terms of the car setup feature however overall F1 2011 is an improvement over it’s predecessor.

  13. During my school holidays, I used to spend 2 hours at a time hot-lapping around the streets of Monaco in Schumacher’s Benetton in Formula 1 (’96). Bizarre Creations FTW!

  14. Worst F1 2011 (I managed to play 2.5 season on F2010, but put F1 2011 in the draw after the 1st three rounds)

    Tops for me is Formula One series – Psygnosis/Studio 33/SCEE just great fun.

    1. F1 2011 was leaps and bounds above F1 2010. I have no clue why you didn’t like it. What system did you play it on?

      1. I too couldnt stand F1 2011, traded it in once it became clear the patch wasnt fixing much.

        For me its up there with F1 98 as one of the worst games ever released

        1. Yeah, but what was actually wrong with it?

          There are a few crash bugs but, I mean, that’s not exactly uncommon in a game.

          1. I have it on PS3, and I haven’t even started my career yet, despite buying the game as soon as it was released. I tend to play with time-trial and occasionally I venture online. I think the graphics of F1 2011 on PS3 really let it down. The frame rate is, at times, unbearable.

          2. Ah… that’s not so good then. On PC the graphics are, well, fantastic.

  15. I voted EA simply because as a PC gamer, it F1C was the game I was stuck with playing for the longest, yet it never lost its pull.

    Beyond that, I still remember the anticipation and buying of GP4 on release day, and I wouldn’t want to miss the top-notch graphics of the recent Codemasters incarnations for the world, so they get #2 and #3 respectively.

    1. EA’s F12002 was the game I played the most of. Geoff Crammonds GP4 didn’t impress me in comparison but I have only played it for a short time and the comments here suggest that I should have given it a bit more time. It seems to me that SIM racing is still in it’s infancy but with the latest release of better wheels and games etc I believe it will grow enormously. With large oled screens finally coming of age with a response time of .2ms I cant wait to try one.
      However I am against subscription only offerings. When you buy a game you should be able to play casually without incurring extra cost and the option to enter races online with the provision that if you pay to enter, you get a decent prize if you win.

  16. Ah, the memories :) Video System’s F1 World Grand Prix for N64 is my favourite. I still have both games and play them from time to time. While far from perfect, they were fun to play and that’s what matters for me. Simple controls, simple adjustments, 2-player mode, Schumacher vs Hakkinen, what more could you ask for? :D

    I also played some EA F1 games, nothing special to say about them, just average, and Codemaster’s 2010… man, that game was just too frustrating, poorly done pit stops and lots of bugs.

  17. What about Gran Turismo?

    It featured the Ferrari F2007 and F10 along with tracks like the Nurburgring (nords, GP, dtm, 24 hour and 4 hour), Spa, Suzuka, Fuji and Monaco.

    Yes it also has other cars and tracks but people do F1 races with the Ferrari formula 1 cars.

    Also the Formula GT is based on a car from either the 90’s or 80 I think possibly. They were in GT3.

    1. What about Gran Turismo?

      If your favourite F1 game is not listed above either it didn’t get nominated or it wasn’t popular enough.

  18. rFactor is an amazing sim, you aren’t limited unlike with other F1 games. Can’t wait till rFactor 2 comes out!

    1. @dryyoshi rF2 Beta has been out for over a month. :P

  19. What about Grand Prix Manager 2?

    To be fair, this should be here by default. It’s clearly the most fun you can have in 256 colour mode!

    1. @Ajokay I remember buying it and being hugely disappointed. It was so boring. I think @ratboy liked it though.

      1. @keithcollantine I know, i rememeber you saying in the GPM2 thread, which is why I dig the ribs here! It’s good for a bit of a laugh, but I don’t know what the coders were smoking when they wrote the game, if often throws up some hugely odd results. I remember the one time I played the game through to completion (10 years, I think) McLaren won the 1999 championship, and promptly went bankrupt, disappearing from the grid for the remainder of the game!

        1. @ajokay I loved Stirling Moss doing the commentary
          “into the pits comes JOHN NEWHOUSE” due to not being able to use Jacques Villeneuves name haha

          1. There’s a sound file in the game directory where he says “Jacques Villeneuve”, you just have to go in and swap the file names around.

            Gotta love PC games.

  20. and you want me to believe it’s not a sponsored article?;)
    I voted for rFactor but only because Gran Turismo 5 was not on the list.

    1. @arrrang I’m sure you’re joking but to be clear F1 Fanatic never runs paid articles.

      I can’t think who you might suggest would have sponsored this.

      1. Yes I was just fooling around.

        But the list of nominated games, the title picture and the order games are listed might suggest we have a winer already. Maybe it’s just obvious only for me that Codemaster F1 2011 will win with ease.
        It’s the newest, best looking, FOM licensed and already achieved commercial success.
        Conspiracy theory came up to my mind because I remember few articles about the game. But I didn’t think that somebody could take it seriously!;)

        1. the title picture

          If I’d picked any of the other games you could make the same claim.

          the order games are listed


      2. For me, F1 World Grand Prix for me, easily. Grew up playing it so maybe I’m biased Geoff Crammonds games were/are great as well.

        I kinda feel like F1 2010/F1 2011 have an obvious advantage, just because they are far more recent. It’s like asking whether the original Mario was better than the a least one, most people would pick the latest just because they know it, but the people who where playing games back then probably would find that insulting.

  21. Having played most of games listed, I have to say iRacing, even though is not popular enough doesn’t mean its not the best

  22. To me F-1 World Grand Prix on Nintendo 64 was the first F1 game worth wasting time on. SCEE:s Formula One series were great but nothing beats Codmasters F1 series – they have many things to improve, yeah, but all in all I´ve never played better F1 games even if you don´t mention the DRS and KERS functions that also add pretty much to the gameplay.

    When it comes to GP Legends, rFactor and the early Grand Prix games they are too unforgiving – It´s not that hard to drive a F1-car. Anthony Davidson himself commented on that while working with Codemasters on their latest games.

  23. Crammonds F1 is “for sure” (as all F1 drivers seem obliged to say during any interview) the best F1 game, however it took it’s lead from Crammonds earlier incarnation “Revs”. Initially for the BBC micro, Revs was developed with the testing assistance of David (brother of James) Hunt and was the class of its field when released by a significant distance. I presume it’s inclusion here is omitted as it was an F3 car.

    I still remember my fastest lap (1:24.8) around the old Silverstone.

    Tricky to master but with tremendous feel it had an unusual steering mechanism that had you using the space bar to add lock when turning (left or right) which was something of an acquired taste.

  24. I thought GP2 by Geoff Crammond was fantastic. These days, games seem to be eye candy first, then gameplay.

    I got into Grand Prix Legends, which is a mega challenge and probably the ultimate racing simulation. To win feels an achievement, plus you raced on the long version of Spa (8.7 miles) and the Nurburgring. No Tilke tracks here!

    There is still an active community and the game has been modded pretty significantly, and although graphically, is dated, it has a soul, which is missing from modern racing games.

    1. I think it’s the only game I’ve played that had the original version of Spa in it. Are there any others?

      1. @keithcollantine If you count the conversion of the GPL track to rFactor, and ISI’s detailed scratch-made version for rFactor 2, then yes.

        1. @SouthPawRacer That sounds like fun!

          I was curious to know if it’s appeared in any other “on the shelf” games.

          1. Check out iRacings laser scanned Spa, with their FW31. Incredible quality. Head n shoulders above any version of the circuit.

          2. @keithcollantine Well, technically, the rFactor 2 version is off the shelf, because it comes as a default track with the game. :)
            “Off the shelf” may not be the right term for it though, because the game is not available on disc.

  25. The only people who are not voting for rFactor are those who have not played it ;)

    1. @infy Well-put mate. Who doesn’t want to drive a modern F1 car at Nords or Laguna Seca? rFactor is the ONLY game that allows it, and it’s a simulator to boot. :D

  26. I had the most fun with all the mods for F1 Challenge, so I chose that game, i played it for 7 years, so it had to be my choice.

  27. rFactor hands-down for me.

      1. count me in.

  28. I would have voted for Geoff Crammonds Grand Prix series as it was the big F1 game that suddenly brought all the main elements you wanted in an F1 game, but instead I went for Grand Prix Legends.
    We all look at the the Grand Prix series as bringing in setups and multiplayer and a damage model etc… However, it was 3 years earlier that Papyrus had released “Indianapolis 500: The Simulation” (1989) on the PC and it was from this that the benchmark of setup and damage model was set. Papyrus went on to make Indycar Racing (1993), that was a great sim and took all their knowledge to give us GPL many years later (1998)
    GPL was the first F1 game / sim that you really had to have a steering wheel. No longer could you just jump in and drive, like other games as there were no driving aids. You needed you ease your way in. When you finally got it right it was supreme and the satisfaction was immense. However, GPL would not be the great sim we remember without the huge amount of dedicated modding work by the community that still follows it today. GPL although well over 10 years old is still playable today on the latest PC and looks as great as a modern game. It truly set a benchmark that others are still trying to replicate.

  29. Still has to be F-1 World Grand Prix on the N64 for me. Fun and accessible, it was still nails hard if that’s what you wanted, and captured what the fans want better than pretty much any F1 game. The Challenge mode in particular was the reason to play the game, and I’m baffled as to why Codemasters don’t have a similar feature in their games, even if it were released on DLC.

    Both Bizarre (RIP) and Geoff Crammond also made great games, but the two Codemasters games have been frustrating experiences, particularly given how amazing they could potentially be. Hopefully F1 2012 will fix some of the bigger problems.

    1. I have but two things to say right now:

      1) I’m amazed how popular F1 2010/2011 are proving. I was expecting some support from those who haven’t experienced the classics, but I think I speak for many by saying that I believe many of us will be slightly miffed if it wins (which is looking likely so far).

      2) I’m depressed how little support F-1 World Grand Prix is getting. I guess too many people experienced the Dreamcast version!

  30. Crammonds F1GP series were fantastic. They really are the only F1 games that I have happily sat through a whole season of playing. F1GP4 still looks awesome – and still plays a better game than even the latest Codemasters versions.
    Codemasters stole a few years of my life when they released Grid – but their F1 games leave me thinking they kinda missed the boat whith gameplay….

    F1GP series FTW.

    1. Yep, have to agree here. I forked out for every F1-type game that came out for the Amiga looking for something that Crammond’s original finally delivered. Full 3D? ALL the tracks? ALL the cars? elevation? full races? pit stops? set-ups? multi-player? damage? full championship? It was a dream – there was nothing that was comparable, and it was only ever bettered by Indycar Racing 1/2 imo. I couldn’t get into the console games – fun, but all too arcadey.

      GP3 & 4, and GPL came along a little too late for me, I tried to find the time to dedicate to it, and loved GPL when I managed to do so, but it never held me in a slack-jawed and goggle-eyed trance at 4am like GP1 & 2 did. I’m blown away by the vids from rFactor, but I know I’d have to force myself to sit down with it.

  31. F1 2010 are awful.
    Both are full of bugs. The car setup is completely illogical and the physics and damage is awful for a game for this generation of gaming.

    1. *sand f1 2011

  32. Iracing is clearly king

  33. Voting F1 (Bizarre) but last night’s epic race and a very Schumacher/Barrichello-eque overtake almost made me vote Codemasters.

    That was the culmination of an incredible 7 minute chase:

    Fantastic racing with the fellow racers I’ve met through F1F.

  34. It would be codemasters games, if it wasn’t for the total and utter joke that is its production value’s… thanks to codemasters giving the dev team bearly any time to make a proper product.

    1. I like this one better!

      1. Yeh ive seen that one, awesome vid :]

  35. Glad my nomination got to the list :)!

  36. i hink f1 2010 was amazing, massive step up from the rest, f1 2011 is good but there is something about f1 2010 which i soo loved, i was hooked on it for ages.. great game

  37. Sorry, but who is doing the demo of F1 ’97? They clearly can’t drive!

    1. Yep, they even got overtaken by Larini !

  38. Voted Grand Prix Legends, of course.

    As ever, it’ll never be recognised by gamers and fanatics because it’s just not popular enough. I’ve played a game of every series (except Bizarre creations) and none of them catch the essence of F1 better than GPL.

    I hope people give it a go after this post. Many would be surprised… and Papyrous (or whoever owns the rights right now) should remaster it and add online playability.

    1. What’s left of Papyrous now make iRacing. It’s brilliant and suggest you give it a try out!

      1. @ajokay: but I have to pay a monthly suscription which I cannot afford!

        Plus, I cannot keep up with the speed of technology. So my PC runs on coal compared to modern machines :P.

    2. I second that. And I wrote a similar post as well. :)

  39. From F1GP on my monochrome laptop (the spray effects in wet weather looked amazing!) to GP4, the Geoff Crammond series has to win hands down, the fact that a lot of the F1 tracks in rFactor are ports of GP4 tracks shows how well they were done (or lazy people are xD).

    What I really liked is the fact there was a rolling scale of difficulty, so the 10 year old me could play and enjoy F1GP just as much as adult me enjoyed GP4 with a wheel and some shades of difficulty between. The ability to hot-seat multiplayer was brilliant too, though the network play could drop sync so easily… That said, I’m pretty appalled at what Codemasters consider adequate net play in this day and age, I mean even if they just added hot seat it’d be an improvement…

    I liked GPL but I have nowhere near the skill required to get much out of it.. The only other one I tried out of the list is F1 Challenge 1999-2002.. Cool that it was built for multi-seasons, but I could just not get into it… Think some of the console based ones looked so ugly as well, considering GP2 (and GP3 for some of them) was so old and still looked a damn sight better.

    I think the problem with F1 2010/2011 is the atmosphere is just like being in a vacuum… Weirdly GRID actually had quite cool atmosphere so I don’t know how they managed to get it wrong. That said, despite my bashing, I love playing both games, just they could just be so much more!

  40. It has to be Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix for me (the original), nothing can beat the nostalgia of watching this and seeing ‘Carlos Sanchez’ and ‘Kurt Langer’ pop up :D. It was pretty much the first computer game I ever played, certainly the first one I got hooked on.

  41. played F1:CE on ps3 by Psygnosis/Studio 33/SCEE for a long time. graphics are unrivalled, physics are almost faultless and the attention to detail in the game is simply amazing. highly under-rated game and never really made it big due to the sim-ish nature of the game, unlike codemasters’ attempt to cater for everyone, doesnt mean i don’t think F1 2011 is very good though.

    1. I have to agree. This one is way better than the current Codemasters games. Loved the physics much more, the graphics where at 60fps. It didn’t have the multiplayer and the career mode options of the current codemasters games, as well as the marketing budget, but its still the best current gen F1 game, in my opinion…

  42. Loved the Geoff Crammon’s GP series when I was a kid, and I enjoy f1 2010/11 for a multiplayer romp with a controller.

    But really, for any self-serving f1 fan, you need to be playing rFactor. Creating a set-up, managing tyres and temps, it’s all there.

    Sure the mods might not be completely “realistic” and it may be more for hobbyists, not those who want to just jump in and play. But I’m really sad it’s not getting more votes.

  43. This was an easy choice for me, the Geoff Crammond series absolutely nailed F1 in my opinion. I had GP2/3/4, bought a PC wheel and sunk many hours into those games. I believe they’re still being modded to this day, with updated teams, graphics etc, which says a lot about how popular they were and still are!

  44. Since i was born & got into Gaming seriously in the recent era of Digital techonology and with it currently evolving vastly, I obviously voted F1 2011, which is the only F1 game i’ve played which contributes to my limitation of chosing a game. Im certain the CE is a very decent game though along with F1 2002 given the now outdated platforms they’re on.

  45. voted for rFactor, and really hope that rFactor2 will have some excellent F1 mods. the factory-mod Formula Classics 1960s is awesome, a tribute to Grand Prix Legends, a joy to drive.
    played F1 Challenge 99-02 for its decent mods year by year, but liked Grand Prix 4 maybe more. i was very hopeful for the Codemasters F1 201X, but although it looks absolutley breathtaking (never seen our beloved legendary F1 facilities in better quality before), but the casual-like feel of the control destroyed it for me.
    so, rFactor!

  46. Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series. I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing every part, from first to fourth, made tons of mods for myself and the community as well.

    Codemasters products are great to play as well, but i just can’t save my game in the middle of the 100% race to continue it later, i can’t watch telemetry to compare my laps and to work on the fine details of my setups and can’t watch extensive stats after session and there’s no TV-style overlays, long replays, and real life camera positioning. It’s just immature all round, although nice to look at and to drive (though in terms of driving i think F1 2011 took a step back rather than forward). Give Crammond a decent graphic engine and a license for F1 game and nobody will remember Codemasters soon afterwards, i’m pretty sure about that.

  47. Maybe I’m not the first one to notice this, but Legends is soo underrated in the poll results.

    It has the best physics engine ever, only iRacing comes close – both were programmed by the same lead guy, Dave Kaemmer.

    The closest thing you get to a real F1 car.

    I understand the underratedness in part as GPL covers F1’s heydays in the ’60s so unless a modern-day fanatic is interested in F1 history beyond the 2000s, those cars simply does not mean anything to him or her.

    I, personally, thought I found a diamond when I got to grips with the game last year – I’d kill to drive the old Kyalami or the Green Hell. The latter is truly the greatest challenge for a racing driver in any category, car, ever. It’s like Monaco, but tenfold in length. It’s undulating.

    1. I actually voted Legends because of the reasons you mention even though I played more of EA’s F12002 and still do occasionally. I have codemasters GRID and its fun but it is mainly an arcade style of playing. If you are looking for a realistic experience you have to have more than just a good game. In my view you need a decent pc and a decent steering wheel minimum. I started playing racing games on consoles and then I bought a wheel for my playstation and everything changed. A friend suggested I should try gaming on a pc. I did and I have never looked back. Several wheels later, including 2 logitech momo wheels raced to destruction, I am still using a pc as my gaming device. Consoles are convienient, portable and affordable but the ultimate gaming rig needs to be pc based IMHO.

    2. @atticus-2 It is a marvellous game but it is quite niche – exemplified by the poor sales and lack of a sequel. Sorely tempted to dust off my old copy though.

    3. I love GPL too but be serious now. GPL’s physics engine was revolutionary at the time, but is now quite old hat. rFactor and its gmotor2 relatives all have better physical modelling than GPL, especially in relation to tyres. The aero in GPL was particuarly basic. rFactor 2, iRacing, and I believe Assetto Corsa all have mathematical tyre models, rather than the old magic forumla models, and are moving things on again. Part of the reason GPL was so difficult was due to its tyre model giving incorrect outputs at low speed (relative to reality) and thus having an incorrect level of grip in certain situations.

      IMO these little warts are what give the sim its charm, just like the old cars modelled in it. Don’t want to start an argument or anything, I’m just trying to point out that GPL’s physics engine is certainly no longer the best.

  48. I started with Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix, and followed it through all it’s incarnations. I used to hook up my Atari to my friends, for LAN games with hours of real time races.
    As I progressed to my first PC of any note (Intel P60), I found as I updated it, I bought the latest F1 title on the market. I’ve played them all bar Codemasters F1 2012, as I’m still happily banging in the laps in 2011. I’ve enjoyed all the games for one reason or another, but Crammond lead the way, and brought a true feeling of an F1 race in your hands. If only he could of got together with Codemasters now, to gel the modern graphics to his incredible attention to detail when it came to physics and game feel.

    1. Edit**
      I’ve played them all bar Codemasters F1 2011, as I’m still happily banging in the laps in 2010!

  49. Ubisoft’s F1 Racing Championship (F1RC) was nice too. Have played this game a lot in the past. It was one of the first (if not THE first) with GPS modelled tracks. Downside was that track layouts presumably couldn’t be edited so fans could not keep the game up to date. Newest track in the game is Sepang so you can say it’s a little old now.

    1. I seem to remember that F1 Racing Championship varied enormously depending on your platform, and I also know they were largely based on the unlicensed Monaco Grand Prix.

      I played both on N64 are they’re decent enough, but F1RC really felt like Monaco GP with the 1999 license and some bug fixes. That didn’t stop it from being a fundamentally good game though, although like the Codemasters games they had some pretty glaring faults (although, unlike Codemasters games, they are perhaps forgiveable based on the hardware of 1999/2000).

  50. Just out of interest why is Formula 1 98 so badly rated and remembered ? It was the first F1 game I ever played so I have fond memories of it.

    1. I think many people at the time were expecting another game in the line of F1 ’97, which it wasn’t.

      I found the SCEE games suffered from a lack of personality, and just weren’t made with the same passion as F-1WGP, Grand Prix Legends, etc. They’re not bad games, they’re just not as good as the rest in my view,

  51. As I said in the Forums I’ve played only three games: F1 Challenge ’99-’02, F1 2010 and F1 2011.

    I honestly love F1 Challenge (I still play many different mods today – the orginal as well), but here we are voting for a series, and I know the previous EA Sports games were far worse than F1C.
    I saw some of Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix games but I decided F1C, which I had, was better.
    I think rFactor, having tried it a few times, was an improved copy of F1 Challenge, but not better enough for me to enjoy it – actually, I preferred F1C.
    F1 Challenge gives you far more freedom than Codemasters’ games: I won’t copy my lengthy post from the “What was the best F1 racing game?” thread (which I linked to above) but if you read it you’ll find it’s a really great game. The video in the article shows little of the capabilities of the game, only by playing it can you really appreciate it. I’ve done so for years now, it was the first F1 game I ever played and despite it being old now I still love it.
    It’s true, I haven’t tried many F1 games but my vote definitely goes to the EA Sports series.

  52. I was going to vote the Geoff Crammond series, at it WAS fantastic stuff.

    Then I remembered how it would go if I picked it up again: I’d realize that the world has moved on since, and I’d smash my fantastic memories with realism.

    If you love something ancient, and want to keep the fond memories, never, ever EVER pick it up again. You’ll be sorely disappointed.

    While I’m sure I had more fun with GC’s sims at the time, I’m also sure that Codemaster’s realism is much more precise today, so F1 2010/2011 gets my vote.

    If iRacing was there*, it would get my vote by far, though!

    * Since it doesn’t have a proper F1 season, and (I think) less than 1/8 of the tracks, it is rather fair that it isn’t.

    1. Ok, iRacing has 3 current tracks: Silverstone, Suzuka and Spa.

      If it hasn’t changed this season, Silverstone is still using the old configuration, though.

      1. They would have to re-scan it, so it’s unlikely to happen in the near future. They do have quite a few former F1 tracks like Zandvoort, Brands, Watkins Glen, Aida, Indy (might have forgotten some) though.

        1. Oh yeah, it’s no small task, and good on them for not skipping corners.

          But that, and the single F1 car, still makes it a far cry from being a F1 game (which there is absolutely nothing wrong, they just have other priorities).

  53. Rfactor is the definitive sim racer from this list. While the visuals are getting on a bit, the physics are second to none here. Sadly most have clearly voted on their lack of knowledge of these games and basing them on visual looks.

    Second would have to be GP4 (Grand Prix 4) and then closely followed by Grand Prix Legends (GPL). The others are just not even on the scale of these three beauties. However the Murry Walker and James Allen collection have the best sounds :P

  54. Damn it! I just remembered “Team F1” management sim for the PC. I think it may have had another name too, it was translated from german and covered the mid-90’s somewhere.

    Loved the immersion and stress of getting your cars rebuilt from race to race and managing the books etc. I still have the disc!

  55. My experience with F1 games dates back to ‘Monaco GP’ in the early 80s on a sega sc-3000. Since then its pretty safe to say I have played EVERY (decent) F1 game ever created. I skipped the crap ones, and read F1 game reviews religously in gaming mags. Some highlights that stick out, is seeing Sega’s Monaco GP in a gaming mag in the late 80s showing off the amazing graphics, I never got a chance to play this game at an arcade, but I did eventually play it with MAME arcade emulator in the early 2000s and by then the game was an antique.

    But I remember how good the game looked in magazines, and the Amiga version for Super Monaco GP was crap, and the master system and mega drive/genesis versions were just as bad also.

    Another memory that sticks in my head, is mid 1992. Leaving school that day, and coming home to find after months of waiting Geoff Crammonds F1GP. I remember the first car I chose after correcting the drivers fake names in the game to the real F1 names of 1991 was taking a McLaren Honda out on to suzuka. And I played that game for a good 2-3 years. Then GP2 came out in 1996, and made me realize my current PC equipment was out of date, and did an upgrade, the game ran better, but that game was such a system hog, this to me has to be my favorite PC F1 game of all time, the customizing of both the helmets and the car skins, heck, even the billboards around the track, I loved GP2, I still have the disc, not that I would ever waste time playing it now-a-days. Sure the nostalgia is great, but the game is no good compared with modern games.

    The fact that a game released in 1996, had cars from 2 seasons ago (would be unheard of now) but the game was in development for so long. Thats the only game I played a full season. Soo much fun, now its been 15/16 years, and I still vividly remember some of the wild events that happened in those races, I recall an 80 lap race at Aida, I was driving Alesi’s Benetton B196 and Villeneuves Williams that led the entire race, his engine blew with one lap to go, allowing me to win the race. Classic stuff.

    I recall Nigel Mansells GP, I loved my Williams Honda’s back then, but even in the late 80s, the game was no good.
    Grand Prix Circuit by accolade was an F1 game with the test drive gaming engine. For its time it was fun, but today the graphics are laughable.
    GPL, I remember this game, I have never been that good at it, would always crash or spin out. It was hardcore!
    F1C 99-02. I loved this game also, but ironically I played more sportscar/lemans style mods for this game than F1 related racing.
    rFactor. I have been playing this game off and on for the last 7 years, this is right up there with my favorite F1 games of all time. As well as other amazing mods.
    Continental Circus was a fun arcade conversion by Taito in the late 80s, got this game for xmas one year for my amiga.
    Finally, I bought F12010 and sold it a few mths later after not touching it for months. I now have F12011 and like it more than F12010, by no means is it perfect, but its good enough. If I actually list ALL the F1 games i’ve played, the overall # is quite scary. I even played Ferrari F1 on the amiga in 1989/90. I loaded that game up not long ago on an amiga emulator, my God, That game is horrid now-a-days. Some things are better left in the past!

  56. Can not feasibly understand how the Codemasters series is leading so far. I’m assuming most who voted haven’t played the older one. F1 97 got my vote. I remember spending hours on it back on the old PSOne.

  57. Crammond’s GP series is what got me interested in F1 in the first place, but the accolade for greatest ever MUST go to Grand Prix Legends. It survived better than almost any game ever released because it was astonishingly good. The first racing game that made you really work to get on. This meant the rewards for succeeding were monumental.

  58. And Ayrton Senna, Super Monaco GP II.

  59. How can no-one be voting for GPL that’s one of the best sims of all time and it was released nearly 15 years ago and its still running strong.

  60. Grand Prix 2 still has mods –
    I loved the first PSX F1 with Murray however Grand Prix is something like a time machine.

  61. I think F12011 has an unfair advantage of being the most modern. I still enjoy drving the Ferarri F12010 on Gran Turismo 5. That is my game of choice these days period. I need to fork over the 60$ for F1 2011. I wish it had retro cars and tracks on there how cool would that be?

    1. Nothing unfair about that.

      Every other racing game except for RFactor is outdated. And while RFactor is certainly a better sim, the F1 experience of 2010 makes it a much better F1 racing game (at least to me).

  62. Definitely F1 World Grand Prix. Countless hours did I sit there and simulate full races on that game. With the AI as hard as they could be, driving a Prost with my racing wheel around the rainy Spa, it was brilliant.
    Plus I was a defiant N64 guy rather than PS1 or PS2, and it wasby far the best F1 game on N64.

  63. i think codemasters’ f1 2010 and 2011 are absolutely dreadful and will not be purchasing any of their products again.

    1. I kind of a agree with you it is so frustrating a game that is just unrealisticly fast and easy.

  64. I absolutely love all of the F1 games I’ve played but I’ll have to exclude GP4 of my favourite list. Why as a young kid waiting all year for his present receiving a game unplayable without a steering wheel is pretty sad, still I played it probably more than I should had.

  65. rFactor by far, unfortunately the learning curve, and just getting the game and a good mod up and running is more difficult than more mainstream games, so it will never perform as well in polls, but it’s far superior to any of the other games listed as far as level of competition and realism in my opinion.

  66. There was one game on the Sega Mega CD (Sega CD in the US) called F1 Heavenly Symphony (I don’t know if this is the sega saturn game, however which was done by the same creators of the Mega CD game). The Mega CD game leet you play a season in formula 1, starting with a test session to catch the eye of teams, then you would do a full season vs the real F1 world. I loved that game. It had different weather conditions, interesting phisics (but with false 3D similar to Super Nintendo’s “mode 7”). It actually was released right after Ayrton Senna’s death if I remember correctly, so they had him “removed” with a character with a red helmet, but there was a scenario mode where you could relive his 1993 Brazil victory, for example. It was simply brilliant with an excellent soundtrack.

    The Sega Saturn game was also fantastic, a completely different approach with only 4 or 5 tracks, but each one with live Japanese commentary and a “live broadcast” TV while you raced. The sounds of the cars were amazing as well as the cockpit, and it was in 3D, running very smooth for a Sega Saturn game. It is probably the game that created the best F1 atmosphere I’ve ever played. I bought the Saturn wheel for this one! (And loved hearing “Mihaeru Schumaka, Damone Hiru passta!” If you can download both these games in emulators, do it. The graphics might be outdated, but the atmosphere, soundtrack and F1 passion are there and much better represented than the recent games.

    I voted Geoff Crammond’s because it was the best in the list. The only PC game I played, to be exact, which would take me away from the consoles. Over here in the East PC gaming never really catched on until recently, and consoles were the go to for entertainment. Loved it for exactly what Keith described in the article. I could do it seriously when I wanted, but i could also put my car indestructible, in Hockenheim, and crash into the pile of cars at the first chicane taking half the field out of the race, and watching the replay, seeing those little helmets moving without any expression was funny for me for whatever reason!

    As for the recent F1 games, I have to admit I’m very disappointed with them. A Formula one racing game nowadays HAS to run at 60 FPS. F1 2011 actually was a step BACKWARDS from 2010 with poorer frame rates… Also I think the game just doesn’t capture enough the F1 atmosphere- the career mode doesn’t bring the “adrenaline” and the competitiveness of the F1 world. You know one game that did create atmosphere in a career mode? Mega Drive’s version of Super Monaco GP. You started in a poor team and if you aimed at the “faux Mclaren”, a rival would appear and make you fired. To change teams, one had to beat a rival in 3 races… Loved it. Every single team had a “personality”. This I hope can be translated in future games, not plain vanilla racing. F1 is more than technical driving- its passion, its “human”!

    1. @Sergio-Perez

      Also I think the game just doesn’t capture enough the F1 atmosphere- the career mode doesn’t bring the “adrenaline” and the competitiveness of the F1 world.

      I completely agree. I think, despite its awful handling, F1 Championship Edition nailed the career aspect. I remember being absolutely on edge as I tried to score points on occasions. The fact there was no option to restart the race probably added to the tension. It was such a brilliant feeling when you won a race.

  67. I’m voting with the heart, not the head. I spent hours playing F1GP, GP2, GP3, not so much on GP4, but Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series, although not technically the best looking game, was by far the best at its time. I loved the fact that you could modify the graphics and even make your own tracks which I dabbled in…

    I currently own F1 2011 on XBox, and it just seems like any other racing game. The graphics are great, but the gameplay just doesn’t offer anything special in my view.

  68. Here are a link to the Mega CD and Sega Saturn F1 games. Didn’t know they released an english version of the Mega CD game!

    Play the one bellow starting at 3:00 minutes:

    Unfortunately the Sega Saturn video is from the monaco track, which was the poorer of the ones in the game…

  69. Gotta be Codemasters 2010 & 2011 efforts for me. It infuriates me as much as it excites me which is always something I’ve enjoyed about video games.

    Honourable mention to F1 97. I was so, so terrible at that game.

  70. Grand Prix Legends is by far the best sim from a driving point of view. Very hard but extremely rewarding. Places like the old Nurgburgring, Rouen, Clermont Ferrand, The old full length Spa Francorchamps, just incredible circuits to drive on let alone race.

    If this was ported to the XBOX 360 I’d be in heaven. This is a game you simply HAVE to try. The bona fide best F1 game by a country mile.

    1. I especially like that the designers had the sense not to use Bugatti Au Mans, where the 1967 French Grand Prix actually took place, and substituted it for Rouen. Perfect example of getting “poetic licence” exactly right.

    2. Yep, GPL is tops. Trying to take the Masta kink flat (the key to a really fast lap at the old Spa) in a car that drifts and slides around, exceeded all the other race games I’ve played.

      The real gem within the game is the fact that the designers modelled the physics for the various chassis so they actually has different handling/speed characteristics. For example, the Lotus was an edgy rocketship, while the Brabham had more neutral in handling. I may be wrong, but the modern games use one physics model for all of the cars represented?

  71. I played F1 challenge 99-02 for many years and I loved it, I got a mod for almost every season so I could play modern seasons on my rubbish computer. However, on this poll, Geoff Crammonds series seems to be immensely popular compared to EA series. I have never played any of the Grand Prix games, what made them better than the EA ones?

    1. @duncanmonza The EA games were arcade-y and for everyone, really. The Grand Prix games were full-on simulations with endless options to tweak every aspect of the car, and the physics engine is amazingly realistic. The EA games are fun, but the Grand Prix series is on another level. You really should get yourself a copy – but be warned – you’ll need a wheel to get the full experience. Using the keyboard takes away all of the fun.

  72. Was thinking, another poll interesting to see would be ‘Have you played these games’ because I believe Codies series is only winning because that’s a lot of peoples only experience of an F1 game.

  73. I wonder if there’s much of a correlation between everyone’s favourite F1 games and the year in which they first became interested in the sport?

    1. @supernicebob More than likely! I only really got into F1 at the beginning of 2009 so naturally Codemasters got my vote.

  74. Just 23 votes for GPL? What’s wrong with people?

  75. I’d also like to make an addition. You say Codemaster’s F1 games are F1 ’10 and ’11, but everyone forgets about F1 ’09..

    Now, it might have only been on the Wii/PSP, not had online capabilities, and not had much else in terms of what F1 ’05 had on the PS2, but I still have it, and thoroughly enjoy racing on it from time to time (despite having now got F1 2011 on the PC), and it is still a Codemasters game, it was their first F1 game in the series, and it doesn’t seem to get a single mention anywhere..

  76. It`s got to be Geoff
    21st February 2012, 17:50

    After reading the posts I notice a few saying `never played GP by Geoff, whats the deal`, well in a nut shell GP series is a sim, the rest are games.
    After dusting off GP3 an browsing the 174 page booklet that comes with it, with everything from what front/rear brake balance does to looking at data logged laps with respect to throttle/wheel spin/ride height/suspension travel, this sim is just awsome in its depth. I remember doing quali laps around silverstone an racing into the pits to check the cross secitional temperatures of the tires to fine tune the camber of the wheels.
    But if the GP series was good then Grand Prix Legends was, well a Legend. It is, an will probably be the most concentrating a racing game/sim :-) you will ever play, once you get past the `dont change gear while throttling` or it will drop a bag of spanners on the track ( the car had a clutch but pedals dont ) you will find a car the almost steers on will power, I have never known a sim to portray the feeling of driving like it. Back to the modern era, have played most of the selection nominated but you always get that`Its good but…..` flashback to beating Mansells lap record at Mexico on keyboard on GP1, many many hours but I remember like yesterday………( Mansell 1:16.788 )

  77. It`s got to be Geoff
    21st February 2012, 18:11

    Sorry to double post, but if GPL an GP are combined it will probably beat the bug fest from codemasters ;]

  78. i voted geoff crammond series. the number of days spent playing gp2 tells me how playable it was.

    i really enjoy r-factor but mainly use it with GT / LM cars.
    out of the box, it isn’t an F1 game due to the lack of cars and tracks included. you need the various community mods to get it up to speed, so for that very reason it comes 2nd to geoff c. that said, the depth added to r-factor by the mods allows you to ‘drive’ a vast array of circuits, including the historical variations, and a huge variety of f1 cars past to present (the 80’s turbo ones have to be tried….monsters!), so if i hadn’t started with GP2, then r-factor (modded) would be my #1

  79. As Beyonce would say:

    “All the simulators, All the simulators wo oh oh”

    Or am I getting my wires crossed?

  80. I’ve played a few of the short list but the two top votes so far are what I’m accustomed to. I played the bizarre creations games and they were awesome for the time. Geoff crampons grand pix series was excellent too, I had gp3 and 4, paying gp4 mostly. It had so many editing tools that you could have a bang up to date game whatever season it was. But Codemasters formula one games have blown everything else clean out of the water. Ok so on consoles you can’t edit but frankly I don’t care. F1 2010 was near perfection for me, save the fuel issues but f1 2011 really upped its game. There’s still room for improvement of course but for a truly emersive game tat can be both sim or arcade and every shade inbetween with countless options and great realism, for me there is no competition! However I was surprised Ayrton Sennas super Monaco GP 3 wasn’t included. Surely a great?

  81. *crammonds – predictive text on my iPad Evans my iFingers just don’t tel it right ;)

  82. I’m quite disappointed to see Rfactor getting so few votes while the codemasters F1 2010 & 2011 getting so many. I had high hopes of the recent codemasters series, Grid was brilliant but the F1 games seem to be lacking. I find it really annoying that even on a multi turn wheel you are restricted to 90 degrees of lock in either direction, you usually see F1 drivers using around 180 in the tight turns. The latest of the two is worse than the first (on PS3) low frame rate, poor graphics, lack of updates and its not even 1080p. these games are clearly rushed. people complained about the length of time we had to wait for GT5 but its soooo much better, more polished and updated regularly. i wish the FIA would give the franchise to polyphony we might have to wait a while but at least it’d be worth buying. I guess Rfactor suffers from being a real sim but thats what i want. Rfactor and its derivatives, GT legends, GTR, GTR2 are all fine games if a little dated now.

    a while back me and a few mates visited the race centre near southampton, they have 10 machines running Rfactor on projectors with logitech momo steering wheels. its great! you notice exactly whats missing from the codemaster games…. Realism. on the first F1 race we did practically everyone span off the grid, which is what would happen if you burry the throttle from stopped, something that doesn’t happen in the codemaster games. The graphics aren’t as good as recent games but it is getting a bit old now Heres a link to a vid i took when we were driving formula fords, forgot to film the F1 cars. forgive my shaky camera work.

    Ironically the track, Brands Hatch, is lifted from codemasters TOCA race driver 3!

    Rfactor2 comes out soon, go and check youtube for some vids. looks really good, shame it’ll be PC only.

  83. Although this is irrelevant for this poll, F1 2011 on the PS VITA is actually the most fun I have had with an F1 game to date…. and I’ve played them all.

    This is despite having a full motion seat setup at home.

    The PS VITA port is not particularly awesome, and has issues, but something about the easy accessibility and quick “scenario” challenges, as well as the work they’ve done to make it playable with the VITA’s controls makes it a blast, and just realistic enough for me as an F1 fan to really enjoy.

    The cars handle great. I think that is part of what they got accidentally right. It is far more forgiving than the console versions, but not so much that you feel that you are playing an arcade game.

  84. I don’t know how anyone votes for the Codemasters games. They are fun, but nothing compared to the excellent games of old. Too many kids who get wooed by pretty graphics.

  85. I first experienced F1 games via a Grand Prix 2 demo. Just a 3 lap race at Monza was all it offered, yet it gave me hours of gameplay.
    I ended up buying the game and following the series, even enjoying being ‘John Newhouse’ as I set-up my car and continued being awesome.
    The only downside was the fact it was a few seasons behind the current season at the time of launch and the circuits it made me hate because I just couldn’t make it work.

  86. Grand Prix Legends, got my vote. I’d add the old Grand Prix series and the wonderful rFactor mod featuring the 1979 F1 Championship.

    F1 2010 and F1 2011 may be nice, shiny and modern, but there’s no “magic” there for me.

  87. I can’t beleive Codemasters have won this. The handling is hilarious.

    To each their own I guess.

  88. rFactor. Anything is possible.

  89. F1:CE for me. They had classic cars whilst also being a modern F1 game. Also the sounds were better and they used official FOM graphics.

  90. Prior to today I wasn’t sure. But then the Codemasters F1 2010 game reset itself, so it was a clear cut decision (out of the ones I’ve played).

  91. I have to say that F1GP3 is simply the best for one major reason. Basically it’s a sim that allows you to play any way you want. I want to race against a friend on a LAN. GP3 allows us to pick one team each (or more, actually), qualify each car and race each car (you can determin how to split the time between each car you drive) through a full race distance & throught an entire championship season. Hell, you can even race one car each, swith off all AI cars and race each track BACKWARDS….! No other game allows us to race the way we want to – still playing it regularly since it was first released…with the added bonus of not needing to upgrade old PCs to run it and can find the CDs for 25pence in charoty shops as well :-) I did buy F1 2010 and it just proved to be sub-standard ….. Crammond alone is worth 10X the entire codemasters team…all they can do is draw pretty pictures…

  92. Oh…and F1 2010 can’t even simulate AI qualifying properly….the times are basically pre-determined …that’s not simulation :-)

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