Nascar Heat 5
Top Critic Average
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.
Gameplay was a strength of NASCAR Heat 4, and that has been augmented for NH5. The play is so much fun, it helps to compensate for some of the presentation issues, and what I’d describe as a lack of creativity in other areas.
NASCAR Heat 5 is a step backward for the series, but still delivers some tense and rewarding racing.
Just enough newness to make it worth playing, and it remains the most complete, enjoyable package for NASCAR fans.
Hardcore fans are the only ones that will want to suit up for this iteration.
Although not awful, NASCAR Heat 5 feels like a rehashed version of its already underwhelming predecessor. The small quality of life improvements do not make up for its disappointing lack of any meaningful innovation.
The evolution of the NASCAR saga has taken a step forward with this Heat 5.
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NASCAR Heat 5 doesn't offer up anything new, but what it does offer is a solid, enjoyable racing experience, and it does that very well.
Moving all development in-house for 704Games may be beneficial down the road, but for NASCAR Heat 5, it enabled minimal changes.
The career mode is deep and fun, and when I add in the online options, season options, newly tweaked paint booth and new user interface, I'm mostly satisfied. For a short development cycle, NH5 delivers a lot of longevity, and even more importantly, a lot of fun on the track. This is a title that, even for the fringe racing fan, should see a lot of time in your rotation well into winter and beyond.