DIRT 5 strips away the more serious elements of the franchise and puts all its eggs in one, arcade cabinet shaped, basket. At times a riot, in other areas a little repetitive and lacking in finesse, it nevertheless delivers on the concept of an adrenaline-fueled off-road racer. It's a game that makes you sit forward in your seat and savour the joys of jumping a Dakar Rally Peugeot 3008 over a ravine.
Monster Truck Championship bravely tries something new and very nearly succeeds. The movement of the trucks is difficult at first, yet ultimately rewarding, but what's built around the driving is sparse and unimaginative. I could see this developing into a fun sequel that rewards patience, but this first effort is a little rough around the edges.
Motorcycle fans will gorge themselves on Ride 4's 250+ obsessively detailed motorcycles and one of the best track lists to be found in a modern racing game, but the pizzaz needed to keep playing is sadly missing and the career gameplay can be duller than counting your own eyebrow hairs.
Project CARS 3 suffers from a case of mistaken identity. Once you adjust to the new direction, you can get into a fun flow of ticking off objectives, drifting around hairpins and purchasing upgrades. However, while the series' existing platform means you get a great variety of circuits, cars and weather conditions, it also shackles this game from being a great arcade racing experience.
Fast & Furious Crossroads is a melting pot of ideas, none of which have had time to mature. Poor vehicle handling, weird pacing, unloved online multiplayer, inconsistent visuals, the list goes on. All of those Facebook comments lambasting the trailer for 'PS2-era graphics' are wide of the mark. It's PS2-era physics, dialogue and level design too.
Including all of the NASCAR license must be a mammoth task, and while Heat 5 is an improvement over its forbearers, the overall feeling of the game is that of a vacuous slog. With no obvious USP other than the volume of cars and tracks, or magic new features that other racing games should take inspiration from, NASCAR Heat 5 is a perfunctory depiction that's enjoyable in small doses but runs out of tyres once you get past the initial stages.
With a career mode lacking in substance, strange bugs and a limited set of content, Assetto Corsa Competizione is hard to recommend. Perhaps in 2021, with a slew of patches and DLC expansions it will be in a better place, but for now, Assetto Corsa Competizione is a superlative solo driving experience trapped in a flawed video game.