Racing games often don’t get the recognition they deserve in game award shows. Rather than having their own category, racing games are usually shoehorned with sports titles like FIFA.
This year’s annual Game Awards in Los Angeles was no different, but one of 2022’s biggest racing games came out on top.
Gran Turismo 7 wins Best Sports / Racing Game at The Game Awards 2022
Gran Turismo 7 took home the award for Best Sports / Racing Game at The Game Awards 2022. Notably, this is the first time a Gran Turismo game has ever won an award at The Game Awards.
Polyphony’s PlayStation racer beat other major sports franchises nominated for this award including FIFA 23 and NBA 2K23, as well as the indie title OlliOlli World. F1 22 was the only other racing game nominated for the award.
GT7 was also nominated for Best Audio Design but was beaten by God of War: Ragnarok.
Last year, Forza Horizon 5 took home the Best Sports / Racing Game award. Forza games typically come out on top in this category, with Forza Horizon 3 and Forza Horizon 4 also winning in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
But with no new Forza games out this year, Gran Turismo 7 stole the crown.
A work in progress
Out of the other games nominated in this category, GT7 taking home the award isn’t surprising. It’s one of the biggest racing game franchises and GT7 marks the first numbered sequel in nearly ten years. But whether it deserved to win is debatable.
GT7 was set to be a return to glory, but the game attracted negative publicity at launch thanks to its dubious use of microtransactions that nerfed the in-game economy.
Despite this, GT7 still has issues and feels incomplete. Eight months on, the single-player campaign still feels underdeveloped and custom multiplayer lobbies are still unstable.
GT7’s graphics and driving physics are the best in class on PS5, but the game isn't the complete package many players were hoping for. With that in mind, GT7 was not a worthy winner.
Racing games need more recognition at The Game Awards
This raises a wider issue too: racing games need a standalone category at The Game Awards. With Gran Turismo, Forza, and F1 played by millions of players, the genre is popular enough to warrant more recognition.
By combining racing and sports games in the same category, some of 2022’s best racing games such as F1 Manager 2022, WRC Generations, and Need for Speed Unbound were sadly overlooked at The Game Awards this year.
If NFS Unbound was released earlier, it would have been interesting to see if it would have beaten GT7 at The Game Awards this year.