Take the chance to be a couch potato car bogan. TimeOut's game reviewers check out some of the latest car games on the market.
Gran Turismo 6
Platform: PlayStation 3
Does PlayStation have a more recognisable franchise than
, and does this 15th anniversary update steer it back on track? Yes, with some buts.
I thought I was becoming a great driver, but beating Team Oracle US-type odds in almost every race came too naturally for comfort. Either that, or I just don't get Bathurst. I conquered that beautifully recreated mountain on my first go.
The AI is too friendly sometimes, and that's hard to accept when you want to compete against the best rather than fight your own attention span.
The physics aren't satisfying, with handling feeling less like grunty motorsport and more like kicking shoeboxes around a go-kart track, but as a pure arcade experience GT6 is a success.
After each career placing, you'll get upgrade credits, which is a mercy since your first car would have church picnic grannies laughing at you. Credit allowances may come like a stingy drip-feed, but using micro transactions to quickly advance to a top-tier concept car is a balance-threatening tactic.
Gran Turismo 6 is a grand undertaking, with 1200 cars each rendered in exquisite detail and accompanied by motorgeek trivia. Add a range of authentic and imagined tracks, play modes ranging from classic sprints to a lunar buggy round and the final product (and yet unfinished - beware the update patches of more than 1GB a pop) is simply enormous.
It is potentially the best bang-for-your-buck Playstation 3 title available.
- Troy Rawhiti-Forbes
Need For Speed Rivals
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Ever had a problem with a boy racer? Here's your chance to commandeer a pimped-out police car, chase down those pesky speedsters and exact your revenge.
Welcome to the world of Need For Speed Rivals, the 20th instalment of the franchise that dates back to 1994, which this time pits boy racers against police in a visceral gaming experience.
Your first choice is to choose sides. Players can choose either a cop or a racer for their career mode, before taking on the mean streets of Redview County - an online, open world environment comprised of a whopping 160km of roads.
After some basic training, you'll need to start building your career, winning street races, chasing speedsters, and knocking opponents off the road to complete missions and unlocking new cars.
It's a compelling, hair-raising ride that you don't want to play just before bedtime. It boils down the cops vs robbers chase sequences from last year's Grand Theft Auto V into a nutshell, ramping up the intensity and engagement levels in the process.
Yes, Rivals is a much less serious prospect than rivals such as Forza and Gran Turismo, and with such a huge map you will get lost on occasion.
But you won't get bored. With sublime graphics, a hard-hitting soundtrack and slick, seamless online environments, Rivals gives players the kind of addictive adrenaline rush boy racers probably seek out.
Just make sure you calm down again before you climb into a proper car. You don't want to take the Need For Speed attitude on the road with you.
- Chris Schulz
Forza Motorsport 5
Platform: Xbox One
This takes the motor-racing genre to the next level. Making the most of the Xbox One's capabilities,
boasts phenomenal graphics and mind-blowing attention to detail in both the cars and the tracks.
But it is addition of the Drivatar AI system that really sets the fifth edition of the franchise out from its predecessors and rivals.
The system collects data on each gamer who plays and generates a Drivatar who races like you - whether it's hitting the apex perfectly or braking too late. When you race you come up against other players' Drivatars and, like you and I, they're imperfect.
The sometimes erratic nature of opponents gives the impression you are racing against real people, rather than simply AI drivers.
For the best Forza experience, remove the driving assists and apply damage for edge-of-your-car-seat racing. Hit a wall or nudge an opponent and feel your car's handling suffer as a result of damage to your suspension or brakes. As your car careers towards the bumper of another vehicle you'll find yourself tensing up as you brake to avoid heavy contact, otherwise you'll be hobbling to the finish line. It's intense.
There is a rewind feature, which comes in handy every time you misjudge a turn and end up in a paddock, although it does feel a tad like cheating.
To top it all off, Forza has a nice tie-in with hit car-show Top Gear, with event introductions from hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond and the opportunity to take on the "Stig" on the show's test track. This touch will be popular with the show's fans and petrolheads alike.
- Paul Harper