Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) (PS2)
Racing 15 November 2005
The ninth installment in a legendary racing game franchise created by Electronic Arts company. After two Underground games, featuring illegal night street races, the franchise went back to its roots, combining ideas from the two most recent titles with classic elements. The player’s goal is to climb to the top of a black list of the most wanted drivers. Again you get to explore a huge virtual city, taking on different racing challenges. These include circuit, sprint, drag, elimination, time trial, speed challenge, and police pursuit. After completing enough of these you can challenge subsequent drivers from the black list. Apart from elements typical for the series, such as licensed cars and diverse soundtrack, the game features complex car customization, both in terms of appearance and performance.
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (PS2)
Racing 17 November 2004
A sequel to Need for Speed: Underground, a best-selling 2003 game from Electronic Arts, which changed the shape of one of the most popular car racing franchises. The game takes you to a virtual metropolis that thrives after dark. For the first time in the history of the franchise, the city is completely open for exploration. As you ride around its streets you can challenge the drivers you meet on the way or learn more about the favorite locations of the street racing community. The gameplay mechanics did not change much; rather, the developers focused on an even more detailed recreations of licensed cars and car parts used for tuning. The game’s graphics were noticeably improved, featuring all sorts of new visual effects. The soundtrack keeps equally high level, as usually featuring songs by famous artists across a wide spectrum of genres.
Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)
Racing 22 February 2005
The fourth installment of the best-selling racing series for the PlayStation consoles. With Gran Turismo 4, Polyphony Digital went above and beyond, included an astonishing number of 500+ models of cars made by 80 most important car manufacturers of the world. Each car was recreated in the smallest detail and can be significantly customized, both visually and mechanically. There were 100 racing tracks prepared especially for the game – some circuits are completely new, the rest are the updated tracks from the previous parts of the franchise. The backbone of the game is the simulation mode in which you gradually expand your garage, which can accommodate up to 1000 cars, with the money you earn. The game features a number of novelties, like the upgraded 1080i graphics and Photo Mode for making pictures during races and putting them in a special virtual album.
Need for Speed Carbon (PS2)
Racing 01 November 2006
The tenth installment in the bestselling racing game series originally launched back in 1995. The game lets you play as the main protagonist of the previous game. He returns to his home city only to find his domestic street racing scene taken over by rivaling gangs. As you take on new racing challenges, you take back your home town one district at a time. The game’s mechanics employ the well-proven solutions introduced by its predecessors, while introducing several new elements at the same time. Those include, first and foremost, canyon duels, which require much attention, as it is possible to run through the traffic barriers and roll down the slope. The other novelty is the team; you can assemble your own crew, and its members can aid you during races, e.g. by blocking your rivals. Additionally, the game features cut-scenes with real actors, several dozen licensed car models, as well as vast car customization options. Regarding the latter, Autosculpt module lets you modify almost any element of the car body.
Test Drive Unlimited (PS2)
Racing 20 February 2007
A new incarnation of the popular racing game series launched back in 1987 by Distinctive Software and Accolade. Test Drive Unlimited was developed by Eden Games, the creators of the V-Rally franchise, under the aegis of Atari. The main change in relation to its predecessors is the vast open world set on the faithfully recreated Oahu island, which can be freely explored. The players can undertake a number of various racing challenges to earn cash that lets them buy new vehicles for their garage. In total, there are over 90 licensed cars and motorcycles to choose from. In the game, we can modify our avatar by dressing him in designer clothes and even buy a new house with a bigger garage. The title features an innovatory multiplayer mode that, similarly to MMO productions, enables thousands of players to compete at the same time.
Need for Speed ProStreet (PS2)
Racing 13 November 2007
The 11th installment in the popular racing game series developed by Electronic Arts. In contrast to the previous parts of the game, this title completely abandons the idea of illegal races and transfers the action to professional racing circuits. Players take part in a number of challenges divided into four race variations: Drag, Grip, Drift, and Speed Challenge, in the latter the driver who reaches top speed wins. Successive victories unlock new challenges and cars. The game offers 26 licensed car models that can be customized with the Autosculpt system. The authors emphasize the recreation of crashes and the realistic damage model that influences the car’s performance. Fans of realism were given the option of turning off all the driving assistance, like power steering and ABS, which makes driving much more simulator-like.
Burnout 3: Takedown (PS2)
Racing 07 September 2004
A third installment in a popular series of console racing games, originally launched in 2001 by the British studio Criterion. Burnout 3: Takedown is the biggest game in the series, sporting an impressive set of more than 70 cars, divided into 12 categories, and 40 varied racing tracks on three continents. The list of game modes was also updated, with an overall of 9 single-player modes and 7 multiplayer ones, in which up to 16 players can take part. The biggest emphasis was put on the trademark of the Burnout series, the Crash Mode, which also underwent some changes and improvements. Among them, the most important are the ability to enable the afterburner in any moment of the race, the ability to control the vehicle during the crash to cause even more destruction, or pick-ups, increasing caused damage and increasing the final score.
Need for Speed: Undercover (PS2)
Racing 18 November 2008
After the slightly more realistic ProStreet, in which the players raced on professional racing circuits, the popular Need for Speed series returns to city streets with a traditional, arcade installment. Developed by a Canadian EA branch, Undercover puts a special emphasis on the storyline. As an undercover cop, the player has to infiltrate the ranks of a racing gang. To do so, they have to prove their worth in a series of driving challenges, including regular races, time trials, highway battles and outruns. As usual, the players receive a massive number of licensed cars which can be modified both visually, and in terms of their performance. The game's improved visuals and excitable soundtrack are complemented by cinematic cutscenes featuring mainly Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III) and Christina Milian - a singer.
FlatOut 2 (PS2)
Racing 30 June 2006
FlatOut 2 brings a continuation to a "brutal" racing game developed by Bugbear Entertainment. The original game combined regular racing competition with unlimited destruction - both cars and environmental objects could be damaged and / or destroyed. In FlatOut 2, the creators focused on extending the scope of mayhem the player witnesses, thus the only real challenge the player can encounter in this game constitutes of making it to the finish line in one piece. What's more, the crashes and car damage are visually even more impressive than in the original FlatOut, thanks to the improved graphics and an upgraded engine behind the in-game physics. The game offers 16 fully customizable cars, as well as 8 drivers differing in driving style and attitude towards opponents. FlatOut 2 brings both single player and multiplayer experience, for up to 8 players in the latter case. Additionally, Destruction Derbies were also included, similar to the original game. In Rag Doll events the player will "ski jump" or drive through fiery rings for example.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (PS2)
Racing 09 July 2001
The third installment in a series of popular racing games developed by Polyphony Digital since 1997, originally for the PlayStation console. The titular mode constitutes the main part of the game - the player participates in subsequent racing challenges, earning adequate licenses and money, which can be spent on new cars and parts for them. The game offers over a hundred licensed car models belonging to the world's most famous brands. Each of the available cars can be customized to a substantial degree, for dozens of parts can be replaced and the player is allowed to experiment with different car settings. Racing takes place on asphalt tracks (majority of them appeared in the previous installments) and completely new gravel sections. As usual, the game does not lack realism in terms of the driving physics. Additionally, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec offers new, incredibly detailed visuals, which constitutes a major improvement since the release of the installments for Sony's previous-generation consoles.
Burnout Revenge (PS2)
Racing 13 September 2005
The fourth installment in the bestselling series of arcade racing games, the main selling point of which is causing spectacular traffic collisions. Developed by Criterion Games, Burnout Revenge contains the essence of all the previous installments. The game offers an extensive single player campaign, World Tour, which includes locations based on real-life cities (for example, Detroit, Tokyo, and Rome), a split-screen mode, and a network multiplayer mode. The proven solutions of the game’s predecessors were enriched by previously unavailable game modes and an improved driving model, which perfectly captures the feeling of speed. The list of novelties is complemented by a new, even more spectacular damage model and an improved graphical layer, powered by the engine borrowed from the Grand Theft Auto series. Additionally, Xbox 360 version offers even more spiced-up visuals with increased resolution, and a dedicated network mode.
TOCA Race Driver 2006 (PS2)
Racing 21 February 2006
The largest and the most extensive installment yet, belonging to a series of racing games developed since 1997. Known as TOCA Race Driver 2006 or DTM Race Driver 3, the game offers an extensive career mode, which casts the player in the role of a virtual driver capable of participating in 35 different championships related to various car classes. What is new is an ability to go through the driver's career focusing on one type of races only and gradually gaining access to faster cars. However, the player can choose to play in the World Tour mode from the very beginning, though it may come with some difficulties. As usual in the series, racing takes place on faithfully recreated tracks and the players receive dozens of licensed cars with different parameters. Apart from subsequent improvements in terms of the graphics, the game offers modified driving physics and an upgraded system of car damage. The player-controlled car can be now damaged by overheating, engine fade or tire burnout.
Gran Turismo Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva (PS2)
Racing 17 July 2002
A spin-off to the Gran Turismo series, essentially a narrowed-down version of Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, focusing on car models exhibited at motor shows in Tokyo, Seoul, and Geneva. The game offers around 100 highly-detailed cars. Competition takes place on the circuits borrowed from the third installment, albeit with an inclusion of a new track in Tokyo – R246 – known primarily from the previous parts of the Autumn Ring series. Gran Turismo Concept introduces some changes in gameplay – this time you can only obtain licenses and drive in a slightly revamped arcade mode. The game drops the options of buying and tuning cars – new models are unlocked with new licenses. The game was released in three different versions: 2001 Tokyo, 2002 Tokyo-Seuol, and 2002 Tokyo-Geneva. They are set apart by contents and difficulty level.
Need for Speed: Underground (PS2)
Racing 17 November 2003
The seventh installment in the legendary racing series developed since 1995. Created once again by EA Black Box, the game brings revolutionary changes to the series, focusing on illegal street racing, popularized mainly by The Fast and the Furious movie. This time, apart from usual races, the player can take part in several racing events, such as drifting competitions or drag races. The game offers a wide set of licensed cars popular among the illegal racing aficionados. The game stands out with a wide array of car customization options it delivers - the player can buy licensed car parts produced by the most popular real-life manufacturers. Money is an important aspect of the game, because the player spends the cash they earned in races to buy new cars and parts. Need for Speed: Underground features a diverse soundtrack as well. The player can listen to a variety of genres, such as rap, techno, or metal.
Burnout Dominator (PS2)
Racing 06 March 2007
Another spin-off to the popular Burnout racing series. The game was created by EA's internal studio, specifically for owners of Sony consoles (PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable). As compared to the franchise's previous installments, Burnout Dominator is an unusual game, because it lacks one of the series' hallmarks, namely the Crash Mode, which never appeared before. Instead however, the creators offered four completely new modes, including Maniac, Drift Challenge, Near Miss Challenge and Burnout Challenge. What is more, the burnout effect which was not present in the third installment returns here - it allows the player to activate boost after executing sufficiently dangerous maneuvers. Burnout Dominator does not offer many racing tracks, for it features twelve in total, located in 8 different parts of the globe. Also, the game lacks an online multiplayer component. The only form of multiplayer competition included here is the split-screen mode.