Computer gaming really began to mature in the 2000s, as hardware – both internal components and in the case of consoles, form factor – improved exponentially. It was the decade gamers came to expect something closer to photorealism, frame rates that didn’t cause seizures and the little box sitting below their television to graduate from Tonka Toy to a quality item. In terms of racing games, entries in the established Gran Turismo, Need For Speed and Test Drive series, among so many others, defined expectations and set standards that would go arguably unsurpassed even in the decade that followed and to this day. Here are the eight best racing games of the 2000s, which are for many, by extension, the best racing games of all time.
A point to note, the year-on-year F1 game releases are a deliberate omission. We’ve rounded up the best and worst before and the truth is, with the exception of a few highlights and a few real stinkers, they’re much of a muchness.