F1 Games

What was the best F1 racing game?

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    And my Lego set O.o

    That’s so cool.


    Back in around 2000 I lost countless months of my life playing this…



    The video intro brings it all back. It was 99% official (apart from the usual Jaques Villeneuve pseudonyms) and actually quite challenging. The graphics were damn good for their day too. It also worked well with steering wheels.

    Later they released F1 Racing Sim 2 which also appeared on the Dreamcast. Graphics were improved but they lost the names, hence you were racing as “Michael Schmidke”.

    F1 Racing Sim by Ubisoft easily gets my vote and yes I would not be surprised if nobody else has ever heard of it!


    Yes Mike it looked just like Lego come to think of it! But as a kid, sitting behind the wheel of a race car ( even if it was made out of Lego ) rocked my world! :)


    @keithcollatine I wasn’t really meaning to nominate F-1 World Grand Prix II on the Dreamcast. It’s okay for what it was, but as you’ll see in the video below, it’s certainly nothing special, and not a patch in the N64 versions.

    John H

    As much as I’d love to vote for Revs later, I believe it was F3 (or something similar) and not an F1 game.



    It would have been brought up before…but did anyone else lose weeks from their life by playing F1 Grand Prix Manager 2?! That was a cracker.

    I’m sure if you look around some dark corners of the internet, someone will have it for download.


    @keithcollantine If only I still had it, I would surely be out the playing it today.



    I played only three games: F1 Challenge ’99-’02, F1 2010 and F1 2011 (5 if we count F1 2002 and F1 2009 which I only played for a matter of minutes). I’ll start with:

    F1 Challenge ’99-’02
    I enjoyed that game: 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 walkthrough, 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.
    The weather was consistent throughout the sessions (if it rained in FP1, FP2 was wet) and you could drive on a wet track with the sun.
    You could choose any race length from 5% to 100%, and any number of opponents.
    You could activate/deactivate settings and assists in-game, replays were saved automatically and you could capture screenshots.
    You had your engineer talking to you rather than a TV commentator, definitively a step forward in my opinion, although I often dreamt of having Ivan Capelli (who now is a commentator in Italy) as my engineer, to have a familiar voice.
    You could also swap to an AI view, during the race or in a replay, and see what he did.
    There were (on the PC version) further enhancements which were deactivated by default, and that you could turn on not from the game menus but from the player files, which included:
    Formation lap;
    Out-lap before a race to join the grid;
    In-lap after a race to return to the pits;
    Timer at the end of the race if it exceeds the two hours;
    Your own car seen in the mirrors;
    LCD options which gave engine/brake temperatures;
    Increasing/decreasing the probability of seeing a lightning in the rain;
    Smoke/rainspray/fire flowing over the cars;
    On board camera slightly rotating when turning;
    Up/down views as well as left/right;
    Allow all cameras everywhere;
    Increase/decrease time after which a stationary vehicle/debris is removed.

    Once, I had a bug for which all the engineer audio files were repeated in succession: I discovered the original plans had more precise damage factors, more types of mechanical failures, and generally more specific information regarding your own car or others’.
    In a few words, this game could have been awesome, but I guess these extra functions were abandoned due to the limited performances the computers managed at those times.

    I also played many mod[ification]s of the game: seasons 1978-2010, GP2 seasons 2005, 2008-2010… The graphics showed clear improvement, with HD liveries, tyres and helmets, and updated OSD and HUD (which I made by myself). There were amazing groups which modded the game and created incredibly realistic cars (some better than others) and especially the RH team which developed new menus (used in almost all later mods). I modified the game myself, updating the liveries and helmets, the menu icons and backgrounds, the loading screens, the track sponsors and textures, the driver/pit crew suits, the reflexes, the HUD as I already said, and so on. These mods, I believe, really gave an exact picture of the awesomeness of the game which, in 2003, was hard to express fully.
    There is in particular a 2010 mod which uses the cars from F1 2010 (Codemasters) and HD helmets (both design and actual shape – Arai, Bell and Schuberth) which is just amazing.
    The more I think about it, the more I prefer this game to F1 2010/2011, which, 7 years later, didn’t really show enough of an improvement.


    F1 2010
    The graphics are excellent. The cars and circuits are perfectly modelled, however you can’t drive in the pit lane, you can’t jump the start, you spin too easily and can’t control the car, you can’t turn on/off the driver labels in-game, which would be great when you want to see who a certain driver is but take them off immediately as they ruin the visual, you can’t lose you rear wing/rear wheels, there are no mechanical failures, AIs aren’t aggressive, AIs seldom crash, the engineer tells you less things, you can’t swap to an AI view, you can’t drive on a wet track unless it’s raining (water should remain on the track if it has rained even hours after it stopped), the weather is inconsistent throughout the sessions, penalties are mostly ridiculous, the HUD is barely readable when overlapped to the sky, and there are numerous bugs, some of which fixed, some completely and some only partly.
    However the menus are great, the multiplayer works well, the career is perfect with contract offers. I mostly look at the aesthetics therefore I like the game, but I believe F1C was better.


    F1 2011
    Although an improvement from F1 2010, with better handling, braking zones, less glitches, more aggressive AIs, an improved HUD, there are still most things that I don’t like, i.e. all the bad things I said about F1 2010 above and that haven’t changed.
    The menus are worse, in my opinion, multiplayer is great but rankings are horrible in that you can lose points if you fail an objective (which can be due to bad luck).
    It has the Safety Car though, which boosts it in my rankings. It is better than F1 2010, but not quite as much as I’d want.


    F1 2002
    I played it very little, as I had F1 Challenge and that’s all I needed. The graphics were similar to F1C but the cars were poorly designed and rendered.
    There was, though, an option called “Driving School”, which gave you a certain time to beat on certain tracks in order to receive a medal, driving a two-/three-seater car from the lower teams (this was re-introduced in F1 2011, where you receive medals for beating lap times on some circuits).

    F1 2009
    The graphics looked like they were for the PS1, the cars where out of proportion (I remember the incredibly small steering wheels) and the overall experience very poor (certainly you can’t achieve much on the Wii, but they chose to do it). Luckily I never bought the game.

    F1 97
    I only saw videos of that game, but it’s hard to judge it objectively over a decade later. The game was certainly enjoyable and not bad for the time, the commentary was nice and the OSD (although it never disappeared, from what I have seen) gave important information.

    Gran Turismo series
    I am not an expert of the series, but I saw the F2007 and F10 in the later games and found them astonishingly good. However, I like a game where I can drive all F1 cars, on all the circuits of the season, so it’s not my kind of genre.

    Lee Harrison

    Grand Prix 2 will always be the best because of the nostalgia factor. First F1 game I ever played, then found out how easy it was to mod and I’d probably still play it now if it worked on my pc, I actually miss it still, after all this time. That’s the best thing about GP2, it had you coming back for more. On most other F1 games I’d eventually get bored and stop playing for a while. Not on GP2.

    The first PlayStation F1 game I bought was F1 98, which was ok. By the time I got given F1 97 by a mate (madman) I was still well into GP2 and more modern games so never really played it much. I eventually bought F1 Challenge 99-02, which was the closest thing to GP2 in having the longevity, mainly because of the online play and F1C is where I started racing in online championships. Now I play rFactor and, if you don’t take into account nostalgia, it’s far and away the best racing game out there. Until rFactor 2 comes out.


    Grand Prix Legends absolutely needs to be on the list and if I can nominate iRacing, that deserves a spot, too.


    It has to be GP2, it was awesomeness defined.

    Did anyone ever play “Power F1”? It was based on the 1995 F1 season and was alright (I certainly played it a lot) if a little bit too “arcade-ey”.

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