Now that the PS4-exclusive Gran Turismo Sport has raced its way onto store shelves, the competitive storm that has been brewing all year is now bursting at full throttle—the showdown between the racers. Forza Motorsport 7 vs. Gran Turismo Sport vs. Project CARS 2; while I can understand the comparisons being made between all of these high-profile titles, I can’t help but come to one conclusion: 2017 is a great year for any racing game fan.
While the racing genre has always been rather big in the gaming industry, it’s not very often that we get multiple big-budget racing titles coming out one after another. All three of the aforementioned games released consecutively, thus opening the argument floodgates between fans on different platforms. All I’ve seen is constant back-and-forth bickering as to which one is the best. Here’s how I see it: why fight?
Project CARS 2, Gran Turismo Sport, and Forza MS7 are all racing simulators, but their execution is different. Each of these titles offers their own take on the racing-sim genre, thus making comparisons between them a little askew. They don’t all have the exact same vehicle and track roster, neither do they all have the same racing mechanics. True, they all claim to provide an authentic, true-to-life racing experience, but that’s subjective.
I think it’s great to have a variety. Since these three titles have noticeable differences from one another, it’s left up to us, the players, to decide which one we like the most. Gran Turismo Sport emphasizes the realism of motorsport to the point of offering it’s most skilled of players a chance to earn a real FIA license. Forza Motorsport 7 has a strong focus on not just racing but also building a car collection filled with a large variety of vehicles. Project CARS 2 tackles the genre with a very complex system meant to tickle the fancy of real drivers.
Which driving experience is the best? That’s subjective.
The differences between the three leave players to decide which ‘flavour’ of racing-sim they enjoy the most. Some might prefer the rich detail of Gran Turismo Sport or the incredibly technical and complex offerings of Project CARS 2, and still, others will enjoy the more approachable and all-inclusive nature of Forza Motorsport 7. On that same note, each of these racers also has their own set of shortcomings. For instance, Project CARS 2 is so complex that some players might be confused. GT Sport does not have an offline component, so playing without an Internet connection is currently not possible. Forza Motorsport 7’s massive roster of vehicles has a lot of entries that seem out of place and come off as padding. These are just a few of each of these titles’ flaws, but you get the point. Taking both the positive and negative factors into account, it should be easy to see that having a variety of titles is a good thing since we’re not locked into just one studio’s vision of what they consider to be the ‘best’ experience.
This competition is definitely nothing new. The Gran Turismo series has been around for 20 years at this point, and Forza is 12 years into its career. So this grudge match has been going on for a while. Project CARS is still fairly new to the scene, but its ambitious nature has led to many comparisons between it and the two aforementioned veteran franchises. Even so, the way I see it is that each of the studios behind these titles has strong points and weaknesses. As they continue to release more games, they can all learn from each other to improve their own style, thus leading to better experiences for us, the players.
Beyond these ‘big three’ releases, racing game fans also get to enjoy other offerings like DiRT 4, Redout, F1 2017 and Gear.Club Unlimited just to name a few. 2017 has a solid line-up of new titles to add to the genre, which means there really shouldn’t be any fights. With such a nice selection of different experiences to dive into, stop wasting time arguing over which one is the ‘best’. There’s a wide range of different vehicles in the real world. No doubt you may like one while your friend prefers another. Does that make either vehicle a bad choice? No, it’s just preference. The same applies to the variety of racers that 2017 has given us. Regardless of which one is your favorite, just shut up and enjoy the ride!