Open-world racers are fun, but what makes them perfect?

There is nothing better than driving past beautiful scenery and speeding down fun, inventive tracks when diving into a racing game. Open-world racers have become more popular over the past 20 years thanks to the stunning locations and limitless possibilities we have whilst exploring.

 From Burnout Paradise to even Grand Theft Auto, many racing fans prefer these games over sim racing. With new-gen introducing more enhanced graphics, developers could capitalise on this by designing gorgeous maps for gamers to race around for years to come. But what makes them so good? We went exploring to find out.

Vast limitless maps

A vital factor in an open-world racer is the size of the map. Games such as Forza Horizon 4 and Test Drive: Unlimited took advantage of a gamers passion for exploration by designing maps that had endless roads and terrain to find. From rocky mountains to sleek, winding streets, a successful open-world game gives the drivers everything. Who doesn't like spending hours unlocking the entire map? It holds a special place in many gamers hearts.

forza horizon 4 map
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Open World: there is no better feeling than exploring a new map.

Having a map with limitless possibilities is what creates a good open-world game. Going too big can affect the realism of the world, but sometimes like with Forza Horizon 4, it works to their advantage. Checking out what each section of the world has to offer is a very addictive quality of these games. Having too much or too little to do can affect the experience a player has.

Do you like driving down the open road by a gleaming beach or the canopy of a stunning forest? If so, then there are many open-world racing games you can jump into and explore. From the tropical Hawaiian island of O'ahu in Test Drive to the scaled-down version of America in The Crew 2, many games get their open-world perfect.

Variety of Cars

When hopping into your chosen open-world title, being able to have complete control over what cars you can explore the world in is a massive bonus. Whether you want to be speeding down a winding slope in a real-life supercar or causing mayhem in any of the Burnout: Paradise custom vehicles, having an exciting amount of variety is essential for an open-world racing game.

burnout paradise remastered
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endless choice: a good open-world game gives you variety on what cars to drive

Certain cars are exclusive to certain games, but this can benefit the experience. When loading up Burnout: Paradise, one of the highlights is using cars unique to that title. It creates a feeling of diverseness that's spread to more than just the map. Burnout: Paradise is a great example.

If you care about the cars more than the world, then the developers must give you free will when choosing what to drive in. this heightens the experience of an open-world game and improves the game tenfold.


Having a stunning map to explore and a vast selection of cars to drive is vital, but both are pointless if you can't customise anything. Customisation is essential to a successful open-world game. It gives the player endless possibilities to replay the game and gives it a long-term lifespan.

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Character: Gta is a good example of endless customisation.

 You could design unique races or put whacky clothes on your character. A successful open-world racer includes all of this without neglecting the racing. GTA Online is a fantastic example of this. Whilst not directly a racing game, it gives you fun, exciting customisation but doesn't neglect its crazy racing. It shows off an open-world title done right.

There are many other classic examples of open-world racers that incorporate the defining features for an open-world game. Open-world games can be as thrilling as they are fun. With new titles such as Test drive Unlimited Solar Crown coming soon, there are endless possibilities to what we could see happen. All we can do is wait. 

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