F1 Games

What was the best F1 racing game?

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    I’m planning a future article (and maybe a poll) on the best F1 racing game ever.

    Which F1 game did you enjoy the most? Post your nominations below. Remember to say which format you played it on, and give some information about why you liked it most.

    By ‘F1 game’ you can count any game on any format with an F1 car in it.

    Do post videos and images to show off some of your favourites below.


    Easy peasy, and I’m sure many of my fellow commenters would agree.

    Formula 1 ’97 on the Sony PlayStation.

    Developed and published in Liverpool by Bizarre Creations (Project Gothem Racing, Geometry Wars) and Psygnosis (G-Police, WipEout) respectively, for a second attempt at a licenced F1 game on a relatively new console with relatively new 3D graphics technology (for home consoles, at least), it was an absolute stunner.

    All the cars and tracks from the 1997 season, along with the driver lineup from the Australian round (barring Jacques Villeneuve due to his personal licencing – leading to the wonderful driver name “Williams Numberone”) the game had everything you needed. For the first time the series included marshalling flags, car failures, and you could even remove tear-off strips from your vison in the helmet-cam view when your visor got dirty, which it did. The game had all the proper television graphics from the 90’s F1 era. The giant yellow boxed with black text showing the positions (which I still miss to this day).

    Excellently excecuted commentary from both Murray Walker and Martin Brundle has left many of their one liners from the game’s script etched in my mind including Walker’s firery trousered scream of “HE’S GOING THE WRONG WAY!! In all my years of Formula One, I’ve never seen anything like it!”, along with Martin’s answer to everything: “You’re right there Murray!”

    There was even an arcade mode which let you powerslide your way round the tracks if the full on, 100% race distance 16-round Championship Mode wasn’t your thing.

    And then there’s the cheats. Rather than giving your car double the speed like most cheat codes would do, these ones changed the look of the game graphically. There was WipEout mode, which removed the wheels from the cars and made them float, along with adding a beam of plasma from the rear of the car. They even banked in the corners. it was like playing WipEout with F1 cars. There was Virtually Virtual, which removed the textures from the game and replaced them with solid colours. It was like playing na arcade game from the early ’90s. But best of all was the Talking Heads mode, which added a little Murray and Martin character to the screen whose heads flapped along Terrance-and-Phillip style in sync with the commentary.

    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 One ’97. So much so that it still gets a whirl in my PS3, certainly more often than F12010 ever did.


    Geoff Crammond’s Formula One Grand Prix on the Commodore Amiga. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_One_Grand_Prix_(video_game) The innovative pass and play multiplayer system was superb. Graphics out stripped any other game of its time, really pushing the hardware to the max. Physics engine again unbelievable considering nothing else came close. Considered to be the game that triggered the simulated racing experience genre of games, along with Indianapolis 500 around the same time.


    Formulaq 1 97 was probably my favourite and one of the best, Foermula One (95) was quite good too.
    2011 on my PC isn’t mega, although i have had to turn the graphics and stuff down a lot.
    98 was easily the worst game though


    EA Sports F1 Challenge ’99-’02 (on PC) was not too shabby


    I will never forget seeing the original ‘Formula one’ on the Playstation.

    I was amazed. The track actually looked like the real one. It had Murray Walker commentating. I was blown away. For that reason it has to be this game.

    Recently I dug it out and played it again. Even all these years later it’s still a great game, and yields massive satisfaction when you really nail a lap of somewhere like Imola.

    Mal Ross

    For me, it was Grand Prix 2 / Grand Prix 3 (Geoff Crammond again). The handling of the car with driver aids off and a steering wheel / pedal set in use was, in my experience, unrivalled. It felt like a real simulation, not an arcade thrill. Add to that the active modding community (of which I was a part) and it was just excellent. I still really miss designing my own tracks and would love for a game to give me that ability again (on PC).

    Or maybe I’m missing out and just don’t realise something already does?


    F1 97 for the reasons Ajokay mentioned. We were all talking about the game last night too :)


    I loved Formula 1 97 on the PlayStation. It was fantastic. I now work with one of the developers who says it was a nightmare to develop (well, the previous version was, the 97 build was an iteration).

    I loved Grand Prix 2 as well. I honestly think F1 2011 is the best yet though. It lacks a little in atmosphere but when you’re hitting every apex and in the zone it’s incredibly satisfying.


    Not played F1 2011 yet but I thought 97 was a cracker and F1 2010 was cracking. The F1 cars in GT5 seem to be just a bit too twitchy for my liking…

    Showing my age now, and it’s certainly not the best ever, but Revs on the BBC Micro was afaik the first game to try and in any way accurately model the tracks. It came with just Silverstone originally, later expanded to include Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Oulton Park and Snetterton and I spent HOURS on it :-)

    And if you think the replacement name for Jacques Villeneuve in F1 97 was good, check out the cheesy names in this one… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revs_(video_game)


    Formula 1, the original for me, if you won the world championship, winning every race and the constructors, you got a special bonus track shaped like an F1 car!!!


    For me Grand Prix 4 by the fantastic Mr Geoff Crammond is by far my favourite F1 game, available for the PC.

    It featured the 2001 F1 season so it featured teams such as Arrows, Prost, Minardi and Jaguar at the back of the field. My dad bought Grand Prix 2 back 1996 I think which featured the 1994 season and I loved it so as soon as this came out I snapped it up quicker than you could say Enrique Bernoldi.

    The graphics were beyond anything I had ever seen and the realism was fantastic. I had started playing F1 games on the PS1 games such as the aforementioned F1 97 and the others in the series but they were always a little arcadey for my liking. Grand Prix 4 featured some really great racing and you had to look after your car and play the right strategy.

    The game is still played by many today thanks to the nature of the game build allowing anyone to create new liveries and even tracks for the game. I remember fond days playing the 2005 and 2006 seasons inbetween terms at uni when I had access to a PC. Unfortunately I don’t have a PC these days but I’d love to revisit the game at some point.



    Never played F1 ’97 as I never had a Playstation 1. I instead had a Nintendo 64, so my first F1 game was F1 World Grand Prix, which was based on the 1997 season.


    It is arguably the reason I first got into F1 in the first place (2002 was my first full season). I remember preparing myself for the German Grand Prix by racing around Hockenheim, then when I woke up and popped my VHS I’d used to record the 2002 German Grand Prix on the TV, I was shocked and completely disappointed I didn’t get to see a race on my favourite track through the forest.

    It was very ‘arcadey’ but it was so much fun and I finished the championship multiple times. It taught me about F1 and all of the tracks it visited. I seem to remember certain things happening in races as they did in the actual Grand Prix held in that year. For example, in Melbourne, I believe Irvine always retired a few laps in and Coulthard would be leading (if you weren’t yourself). It also had a fantastic “challenge” mode, where you had to complete certain tasks as they happened in the 1997 season, like nursing Damon Hill’s Arrows to the finish to win in Hungary, or playing as Irvine to help Schumacher in the Japanese Grand Prix.

    The other F1 game I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time playing is Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix 4. A few years ago I finally got a PC capable of running GP4 properly, and I have wasted days (if not weeks) worth of time playing that game. 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 AI actually provide 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. If it had online play, I’d never buy another game in my life, but alas, it was released 10 years ago. I wish Geoff Crammond would come back and publish a successor, because I’m really craving a decent F1 game that’s more like a simulator.

    Here’s a video I made last year of me playing the game. Please note that the driving is terrible and at the start of the race I was completely distracted by my cat entering my bedroom! It’s actually quite embarrassing, but here you go:



    Formula One 97′ is the only one I’ve played for hours and hours.


    I think I’ve got to go with Formula One for the PSone, mainly because I never got to play Formula One ’97! It’s a game I go back to time and time again, and by this point I’m pretty certain I can rattle off every driver who sat in a car in 1995!

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