F1 Manager 22 screenshot

What was the best motorsport game released in 2022?

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As the end of another year approaches, there’s no better time to look back at another swathe of motorsport racing games released over the last 12 months.

As ever, Codemasters and Milestone served up another entry into their annual game franchises for Formula 1 and Moto GP, respectively. Kylotonn also produced their final World Rally Championship game, WRC Generations, with the WRC licence now in the hands of EA and Codemasters as of next year.

There were some new titles released that saw the Dakar Rally and World Superbikes represented virtually for the first time in a long time. Frontier Developments released F1 Manager 22, an eagerly anticipated management game that was the first of its kind in 20 years. Also, PlayStation’s flagship racing franchise Gran Turismo released its first mainline entry for nine years with GT7 arriving in the spring.

But what was the best motorsport game released in 2022? Review the main contenders here and then have your say in our poll.

Dakar Desert Rally

Saber PortoPS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox S|X, PC

Based on the famous annual off road challenge considered as possibly the most gruelling and dangerous motorsport event on the planet, Saber Porto released the first official Dakar game in four years just a few months ago.

Spanning over 20,000 square kilometres of virtual Saudi Arabian terrain, Dakar Desert Rally is easily the largest game on this list by scale.

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F1 22

CodemastersPS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox S|X, PC
F1 22 screenshot

Codemaster’s official Formula 1 game franchise shows no signs of stopping after the developers were acquired by industry giant Codemasters. As ever, the new game features all the teams, drivers and circuits from the 2022 season, with physics changes to reflect the major rules changes for this season that saw heavier cars, larger wheels and ground-effect aerodynamics.

Introducing VR as a supported mode on PC for the first time and adding driveable supercars to the game, Codemasters even patched in the Algarve circuit and Shanghai into the game after release.

F1 Manager 2022

Frontier DevelopmentsPS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox S|X, PC
F1 Manager 22 screenshot

A unique game on this list as, unlike the other, there is zero driving or riding involved. F1 Manager 22 instead focuses on how Formula 1 championships are won at the factory and on the pit wall by allowing players to become the team principal of any of the ten teams on the grid.

Making impressive use of Unreal engine, F1 Manager 22 was the first officially licensed Formula 1 management game for decades and earned plenty of attention when it was released midway through the 2022 season.

Gran Turismo 7

Polyphony DigitalPS4, PS5
Gran Turismo 7 screenshot

One of the best selling racing game franchises in history returned with its first main entry for nine years in 2022. Gran Turismo 7 followed the online-focused GT Sport and provided players with the kind of accessible physics, vehicle collecting and tuning gameplay that many have come to expect from the series.

Ditching the traditional championships grind with a new ‘menu’-based progression system proved divisive, as did the game’s early economy and ‘legend cars’ dealership. However, the game took the ‘Best Sports/Racing Game’ award at this week’s Game Awards to the delight of publishers Sony.

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GRID Legends

CodemastersPS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox S|X, PC
Grid Legends preview screenshot

Codemasters’ other main circuit racing franchise, the arcade racer GRID, returned with a new entry in 2022. But in an interesting new twist on the series, GRID Legends introduced an extensive story mode into the game where the narrative played out through a ‘Drive to Survive’ style documentary featuring live action actors.

Introducing new vehicle classes, race modes and original circuits to the series, GRID Legends unapologetically aims to provide arcade style thrills above all else.

Monster Energy Supercross 5

MilestonePS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox S|X, Switch, PC
Monster Energy Supercross 5

With no MXGP title for 2022, motocross fans had only the fifth instalment of the official AMA Supercross game to enjoy this year.

Featuring all the riders, teams and courses of the real-world championship, an extensive career mode, an open playground to ride around in at players’ leisure and a track creator, Supercross 5 was, on paper, the most comprehensive AMA Supercross game to date.

Moto GP 22

MilestonePS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox S|X, PC
Moto GP 22 screenshot

Milestone’s official Moto GP game franchise has continued to evolve with annual new entries to compliment each new season of motorcycle racing’s world championship. Moto GP 22 was no different, with the game again featuring all the riders, teams and circuits of this year’s Moto GP season, including the new Mandalika track in Indonesia.

One interesting new addition for this year’s game was the ‘NINE Season’ mode. A kind of playable documentary mode that covered the exciting 2009 championship battle that provided Valentino Rossi’s final world title. Featuring all the circuits, teams and riders from 2009, it essentially meant the game included two season’s worth of Moto GP content for the price of one.

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Motorsport GamesSwitch

After the release of NASCAR Ignition was panned by critics and players alike in 2021, there was no official NASCAR simulation game released this year as developers Motorsport Games focused on making the next entry into the series a more acceptable one.

Instead, NASCAR fans did get a new release in 2022 – a Switch port of the previous NASCAR Heat series called NASCAR Rivals. Including a career mode, the next-generation Cup car and an extensive challenge mode, NASCAR Rivals is very much designed to provide the kind of bitesize gameplay that the Switch is well suited to.

SBK 22

MilestonePS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox S|X, PC

As well as producing the official Moto GP game for this year, Milestone also treated fans of the World SBK World SBK game championship by releasing SBK 22, the first official game of the series in a decade.

Using the Moto GP game as a base, SBK 22 includes almost all of the same features of its Moto GP sister title, including a career mode that is eerily similar in format and presentation. As to be expected, the extensive customisation options of the Moto GP game are also present.

World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing

Monster GamesPS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox S|X

Dirt track racing is one of the most popular forms of motorsport in the United States and the World of Outlaws series has certainly been well represented over the generations. However, it has been a while since World of Outlaws fans have been able to buy a game dedicated to the series, rather than simply race the vehicles of the top level dirt series on platforms like iRacing.

Fittingly enough, iRacing has played a major part in this console-exclusive racer, as the platform published this game which uses many of its own car and track assets. With iRacing influenced physics and handling too, this new title was a dream come true for fans.

WRC Generations

KylotonnPS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox S|X, Switch, PC

The final game on the list is also the final WRC game that will be released by Kylotonn before the WRC licence moves to EA from next year.

As a result, WRC Generations is not just a virtual simulation of the 2022 WRC season and the new hybrid Rally1 cars, but the game serves as a celebration of the series as a whole, featuring cars that span multiple eras of the sport and including many playable rallies that were not even featured on this year’s calendar, including Wales Rally GB, Rally Mexico and Rally Deutschland.

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You say

What was the best motorsport game released in 2022?

  • Other (specify in comments) (5%)
  • WRC Generations (8%)
  • World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing (0%)
  • SBK 22 (0%)
  • NASCAR Rivals (0%)
  • Moto GP 22 (8%)
  • Monster Energy Supercross 5 (0%)
  • GRID Legends (5%)
  • Gran Turismo 7 (33%)
  • F1 Manager 22 (18%)
  • F1 22 (23%)
  • Dakar Desert Rally (3%)

Total Voters: 40

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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19 comments on “What was the best motorsport game released in 2022?”

  1. With scripted behaviour from other teams and a non existent car interaction mechanism, F1 Manager is a sham of a management game.
    There is more depth to a 2p slot machine at the arcades.
    It pains me to even see it mentioned.

    1. Have you played it Kringle?

      I avoided it as my ‘standards of realism’ were sky-high and I felt it would only be worth my time once it had come down in price and been significantly patched. I’m not surprised by the reviews it has had; I always worry when the fascia looks immaculate that the depth, which is what the fans want, is missing.

      With regard to F1 2022 – I have avoided the last couple of iterations as there is little progression and the driving physics are openly mocked by the real world drivers – still I think the developers give it a good go for the casual racer.

  2. If it was actually available to purchase, Gran Turismo would be a pretty easy pick. But since they’ve decided to only release it on one platform, and that one platform is nigh on impossible to buy – it doesn’t make for a very good Christmas recommendation.

    So while it’s a bit of a ‘gamepad on the couch’ type of game, F1 2022 makes a good case for itself as the go-to pick for a bit of virtual racing. MotoGP 22 also has pretty solid reviews, but motorcycle games aren’t hugely popular in (online) gaming.

    1. Gran Turismo is available on PS4 and looks beautiful. I haven’t seen it on PS5, as like you say they’re very difficult to get ahold of. But it is worth a buy on PS4, its not perfect but its still great fun on a console thats is certainly getting on a bit.

      1. I got it on PS4 as well… Good enough, don’t care about graphics. But kinda missing something.. somewhere. I don’t really understand what happened to GT after #4. Still, the best racers out there are decades old. I would rather go back to Richard Burns Rally, Project Gotham Racing 2, TOCA race driver 2 or the WRC series on PS2 rather than play any of the above menioned games. Kylotonn has been making the worst rally games for ages.. F1 games are the same games every year with the exact same bugs.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          11th December 2022, 20:28

          You must have missed the news, the F1 game added cushions and rugs that you can buy with real money to decorate your driver’s house. An absolute game-changer.

          Never again will I buy a racing game until I know for certain that they’ve got a section dedicated to soft furnishings…..

        2. Still, the best racers out there are decades old.

          The core audience for racing games isn’t very big, and to appeal to more people developers (especially those owned by large publishers) have to add stuff that causes the development costs to skyrocket. Which then requires even more gimmicks to appeal to even more players. But there is only so much you can actually add to a racing game without making it, as @petebaldwin notes, something else entirely. GRID deserves some credit for trying to weave an actual storyline into their game. I haven’t tried it, but at least in theory it’s a nice change from the more usual strategies.

          Less easily explained is the lack of titles on PC that come close to replicating the comprehensive and curated online experience offered by GT Sport and GT7 on Playstation. On PC only iRacing is somewhat comparable, but that comes at a prohibitive cost and pricing model that tries to nickel-and-dime players at every opportunity. PC has been the home of online games for decades, yet racing games still mostly rely on privately hosted servers with little in the way of permanent accounts, statistics, rankings, and cheat-prevention.

          1. I’m really not convinced that racing games, wether its sim or arcade, are a niche product. It was a niche in 1996. Not anymore in 1997. GT games alone have been selling at least 4 million copies for each entry over the years, sometimes over 10 million. Over 80 million in total. Add to that all the other franchises that have coexisted with them on various platforms and you got a pretty decent market I think. If publishers think that they are making a game for a niche, then most of times it will indeed not be a good product in the end, people will not buy it, and in turn this only makes them believe they were right. you only have to make one really good game and it will sell. But it feels like they have just, all together, decided that it isn’t worth making a really good racer. Look at From Software and what they have done in little over 10 years. They have transformed a niche hardcore RPG market into one where they sold Elden Ring to over 20 million people in a few months. Because these studios are passionate about their work. That said, there is one thing that is out of developers and publishers hands, and that is good damage models/realistic physics. Its not that they can’t make it work, Wreckfest has shown us it is possible. But car manufacturers actually don’t like to see their cars being damaged or having technical problems, which obviously happens all the time in real racing. One day we’ll gte something really great again, let’s hope its not too far away.

  3. On a side note, what’s the best platform for racing games? PC or PS?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      11th December 2022, 20:24

      It depends what you want from a sim. More arcady games like Gran Turismo, Forza or F1 2022 are great on consoles but if you want a realistic sim, PC is the better option in my opinion.

      I don’t have a good PC and have to lower graphics settings to get something that works well but I’d personally much prefer to have a race on iRacing or AMS2 than something like Gran Turismo or F1 2022 so am happy to take the hit.

      When I have a race, I want the majority of the people I’m racing against to take it seriously, to not swipe into me when I’m overtaking and to drive the correct way round the circuit and I find that 90% of the time, I get that on PC.

      1. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Well put

    2. If you want games, the consoles have – by far – the better options. Both Xbox and Playstation (if you can get one) have very well rounded series in Forza (split between the more serious Motorsport and the nonsensical fun Horizon titles) and Gran Turismo respectively, and crucially, partly thanks to to their pay walled and closed online system, very well sorted and accessible multiplayer sections.

      That said, you’ll find some of the PC games/sims offer a better, more convincing and – as always – much more customizable experience. This has downsides, as with more options comes a more splintered community. Customization leads to endless versions of similar products, with all the usual online mismatches that follow. Not to mention cheating. There simply isn’t a PC game that offers the kind of accessible curated multiplayer that GT offers on Playstation. However, if you want to put in more effort (and money) and can accept having to schedule some bigger races, titles like iRacing, Automobilista 1 and Assetto Corsa Competizione do offer a more comprehensive experience than you can get on consoles. Especially if you have the hardware to put all that to good use.

  4. Gran Turismo is just gorgeous and fantastic for the PS5, but a bit annoyed with the constant beat everyone from the back of the grid mechanic.

    My vote is for F1 22, by far the best outing of an official racing game for some time.

    1. Cuz the AI cant race… thats why they do that… basically youre on a time trial all the time.. it gets boring.. i was playing ACC (with a controller, not wheel yet…) started like 12 and finished like 7 and i felt wayy better than going from last to 1st in one lap or two in GT

  5. To include an Android game, I’d like to give a shout out to Rush Rally Origins by developers Brownmonster. For a top-down phone racer it has some highly satisfying physics and the difficulty levels are a proper challenge.

  6. Luke Longnecker
    12th December 2022, 5:00

    My favorite motorsport game of 2022 is definitely KartKraft.


  7. I recently bought MOTO GP 22.
    Boy that’s one tough game. I always tried to get the taste of the motogp games, but i find myself so frustrated, that I don’t even give it a chance.
    Just this weekend I was playing the game mode MotoGP Academy, Phillip Island, took me around 200 attempts to finish it. It’s so different to car games, but it’s a huge challenge. And just learn how to brake and not crash is super hard. Poor Jack Miller, if he felt anything from all those crashes I had during my 200 attempts, he would be in the hospital by now.
    But overall, love the game, just need to invest more time into getting my grips with it.

  8. playstation361
    13th December 2022, 6:12

    Gran Turismo 7

  9. iRacing is missing from the list, and i know its not a new game but it adds new content and features every year. It tops my list anyways

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