Racing Classics You Can't Play Anymore

Racing Classics You Can't Play Anymore

Racing Classics You Can't Play Anymore

The video game industry can be incredible at times, but also ruthless. As new games are released, older ones sometimes have to move over to make way.

This is ever true with racing games. Especially in franchises, older titles are delisted regularly to encourage players to pick up the latest entry. Because of this, however, some absolute gems are driven away into the racing game archives.

Here are some incredible racing classics that you can’t play anymore.

Forza Horizon 4

First up on this list is the newest entry to the retired racers. It was recently announced that after nearly six years of the Horizon Festival in Scotland, Forza Horizon 4 will be delisted by the end of 2024.

This brings an end to one of the best open-world racing titles in recent years, with FH4 still drawing players back even after the release of Forza Horizon 5 in 2021.

Racing Classics You Can't Play Anymore Forza Horizon 4
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As of June 25, all DLC for FH4 is no longer available to buy from digital stores. This includes Steam and the Microsoft Store. Players will still be able to buy the full game until December 15, when it will forever be unavailable for purchase online.

Physical copies will still be able to be bought, and the servers will remain online even after the end of 2024, but no new content will be added to the game from now on. This includes the Festival Playlists, which will be disabled from August 22.

Considering the game will still be playable, it’s a bit of a stretch to include it on this list. But considering Forza Horizon 5 is approaching three years of Mexican racing, and with rumors of Forza Horizon 6 being just around the corner, time is fast running out for Scotland’s branch of the Horizon Festival.

The Crew

At the time of writing, The Crew is unavailable to both buy and play. However, that may change in the near future.

Released back in 2014, The Crew is an online-only racing title developed by Ubisoft Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections. The game puts players in a scaled-down recreation of the mainland USA, with players free to explore 48 states.

Racing Classics You Can't Play Anymore The Crew
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The map is so large in The Crew, that it takes 45 minutes to drive from coast to coast. The single-player campaign takes up to 20 hours to complete, seeing players infiltrating criminal groups while racing across the country.

The Crew’s online-only status is both its best and worst feature. Being able to race in the open world with friends is a big plus, but the game relies on servers being online in order to remain playable. As you can imagine, this was the game’s downfall.

December 2023 brought the news that Ubisoft was shutting down The Crew’s servers. This renders the game unplayable, with no offline mode patched into the game before the servers went down.

All hope isn’t yet lost, however. A group of modders have managed to create a working offline server emulation mod for The Crew. This tricks the game into believing it has an online connection, allowing racers to play the game once again.

Hopefully, this breathes new life into the game, with players able to continue their progress racing through the USA. Despite The Crew spawning two sequels, these being 2018’s The Crew 2 and 2023’s The Crew Motorfest, there’s still a dedicated fan base currently locked out of playing the original.

Driver: San Francisco

It’s been 13 years since fans last got behind the wheel as undercover cop John Tanner. Driver: San Francisco is the fifth, and so far most recent, entry in the Driver series, taking players to the streets of California’s third largest city.

Racing Classics You Can't Play Anymore Driver: San Francisco
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Driver: San Francisco brought the Driver series back to its roots, replacing the ability to get out of vehicles with the innovative Shift mechanic. This is where players ‘shift’ from one citizen to another, with Tanner taking control of their body and vehicle.

Driver: San Francisco was declared a success, joining the list of racing gems. The game's fully licensed vehicles and music were a key selling point, however, it is these elements that ultimately led to Driver: San Francisco’s demise.

When the licenses for the vehicles expired, Ubisoft announced that Driver: San Francisco would be delisted from all stores. This occurred in December 2016, with the game no longer purchasable. An online petition was launched to try and save the game, but this has so far proved unsuccessful.

Race Driver: Grid

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Developed by Codemasters, Race Driver: Grid is the first entry in the Grid racing series. Race Driver: Grid is the spiritual successor to the much-loved TOCA series, allowing players to create and run their very own racing team.

This includes signing sponsors to fund the team, hiring a teammate for certain events, and of course, driving the various cars the team buys along the way.

Racing Classics You Can't Play Anymore Race Driver: Grid
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Credit: IMDb

Race Driver: Grid introduced a lot of popular features still used today. Along with the ‘create a team’ concept, the game also pioneered the Flashback game mechanic. In this instance, players can rewind the previous ten seconds of racing, potentially avoiding a collision or spin-out.

A mix of real and fictional tracks was included in Race Driver: Grid spread across Europe, the USA, and Japan. The game also includes several different types of events to compete in, ranging from GT championships to demolition derbies.

Race Driver: Grid has spawned four sequels, with the most recent being 2022’s Grid Legends. Sadly, as with most games from the 2000s, Race Driver: Grid has been delisted from digital stores. This happened back in December 2023, along with its sequels up to 2019’s Grid. This means the only game in the series players can still get behind the wheel of is Grid Legends.

Honorable mention: All Codemasters’ F1 games before F1 22

Yearly racing titles see an endless conveyor belt of new releases replacing older entries, and this is best demonstrated in Codemasters’ F1 series. With F1 24 released last month, Codemasters moved to delist several older games from F1’s back catalog.

Racing Classics You Can't Play Anymore
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This saw all F1 titles up to and including F1 2021 no longer available for players to buy. Sadly this includes F1 2020, arguably the best F1 game released in recent times.

Players who already own these games can continue to hop on for some racing. This includes reliving the first season of Braking Point, running the very first My Team career mode, or hopping into a classic F1 car for some laps of Paul Ricard.

The delisting is all to do with licenses. Game developers will only license assets for a set number of years, meaning once the license expires, the game can no longer be sold to fans.

Therefore the days of classic cars in F1 seem to be long gone. Eventually, the servers for these games will also be shut down, with multiplayer and Podium Pass perks lost forever.

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