2021 had a lot of major games delayed and pushed back into 2022. That meant that some of the racing games that have been released have been rushed. There have been some great games this year, but also some poor ones. You have to take the rough with the smooth, as they say.
If you're looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for a gamer friend, these are definitely five you should avoid at all costs. So, with that in mind, here are five of the worst racing games of 2021!
#5 - Bus Simulator 21
Just because you can, it doesn't mean you should. That's a phrase you can definitely apply to Bus Simulator 21. Some of the simulator games like Farm Simulator 22 are niche but good at what they do. Bus Simulator hasn't reached that level though. In fact, it's fallen way short of what we've come to expect from Astragon.
There is definitely a market for this type of game, even if it is a small one. There will be some people that love this game, but the vast majority will find it boring. Mechanically speaking, it's not a poor game by any means, but its dull graphics and clunky framerate definitely won't help endear BS21 to the casual player.
#4 - Street Outlaws 2: Winner takes all
We've detailed at length about how amazing the old Need for Speed games were. Part of the charm behind their success was down to the street racing element to the setting and story. However, Street Outlaws 2: Winner takes all proves that you can have a dead rubber of a game in this environment.
This is a title that passed a lot of us by and not without good reason. The graphics showcased in the still like what's shown above look great, but that's a cutscene. The cold and sobering reality of the gameplay is a very different one. Despite being available for PlayStation 5, Street Outlaws 2 looks worse than some PS3 games.
Why we couldn't have proper street racing instead of just drag racing is beyond us. And let's not even get started on the voice "acting" you'll be hearing through the repetitive story mode.
#3 - NASCAR 21 Ignition
When racing NASCAR stock cars in a third-party game like iRacing or Gran Turismo is far better than the official game, you know you've got a problem. In our reviewed for NASCAR 21 Ignition, we stated that there are few redeeming qualities here. Ignition was meant to reignite the series, but instead all it did was fan the flames of our frustration.
To its credit, when you're in the mid-pack and dicing at over 200 mph, this isn't a terrible game. However, that's as good as it gets, as Ignition has one of the most basic career modes around. Getting to the circuit as well is a painful endeavour, as the menus are slow to load and extremely clunky even on a top-end gaming PC.
We may get a good NASCAR game one day, but this definitely isn't it.
#2 - GENSOU: Skydrift
Every Japanese arcade racer wants to be Mario Kart, but all fall short. GENSOU: Skydrift, though, falls flat on its face. Despite being a title available on PS5, the graphics are dull and wouldn't look out of place on the Nintendo Wii.
There's a decent variety of circuits on offer, but they're all lacklustre and ones the average gamer could design if given an hour or two. Power-ups are a thing, but you don't pick them up, you accrue them through driving and drifting. As for the drifting itself, it's nothing to write home about.
The single-player mode is also one of the most basic you can find. If you hadn't heard of GENSOU before, don't go chasing after it.
#1 - Taxi Chaos
Choosing a starting point for the inadequacies of Taxi Chaos is almost as arduous as enduring playing the game itself. The developers have attempted to emulate the Crazy Taxi of 20 years ago, but have somehow failed to replicate it. The gameplay is incredibly repetitive and boring, you'll have lost interest after your second pickup.
The graphics aren't terrible, but the map is a very lazily designed one. To make up for the lack of a proper soundtrack, the devs have attempted to fill the void with dialogue. Unsurprisingly, that didn't work, and Taxi Chaos also has almost no replay value.