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March 25, 2010 5:56 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend me a GTA or Gran Tourismo-esque game... for the PC?

I've just finished playing GTA IV and Godfather II.

GTA was a superb driving experience with emersive weather, handling & lighting, and intelligent (ish) traffic. Godfather, on the other hand, was just painful and has really put me off buying games.

So, I need some suggestions for something that will satisfy my driving or racing cravings.

What I really want is something with a range of vehicles that behave in differing, vaguely realistic, ways; a large number of tracks or a large road network; and a relatively long gamepay.

Like GTA or Gran Tourismo, really.

Please help me and stop me bitching about Godfather to my long suffering wife...

Sadly I don't own a console, and I doubt I ever will - the idea of controlling FPS type games with twin joysticks is just wrong. That's why god gave us the mouse...
posted by twine42 to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Just Cause 2 came out this week and is available for the PC. It would seem to fit your specs.
posted by joelhunt at 6:07 AM on March 25, 2010

Burnout Paradise is a fun racing game, lots of different cars and trucks to drive. I don't quite remember if there is weather or not, though. And the driving is a bit more arcadey than GT, but it is still incredibly fun!
posted by Grither at 6:07 AM on March 25, 2010

Pick up an old XBox - not the 360, the original one - they cost about as much as a couple of PC games. Then get yourself copies of the Burnout games. They're incredible fun.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:10 AM on March 25, 2010

...or just get the PC games. But for me, the XBox versions are somehow more fun.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:12 AM on March 25, 2010

I just recently played the demo for Just Cause 2 (last night, you can get it from Steam for free to try out before you buy), and the driving in that game drove me nuts. Handling and everything was terrible... so much so that I preferred to run/walk most places. However, that was just the demo, and I only played once for about 20 minutes. Worth checking out for a GTA style game over just racing like Burnout Paradise though, if that's your bag!
posted by Grither at 6:12 AM on March 25, 2010

And you can also buy a 360 controller to use on your PC, which I hear makes some games (like Just Cause 2) a lot more fun/easy to play, since you have the analog joysticks, as opposed to the digital WASD keys. (small pressure means smaller acceleration, instead of just FULL ON/FULL OFF acceleration)

(dang, where'd that edit button go?)
posted by Grither at 6:14 AM on March 25, 2010

I enjoyed Mafia back in the day... it's basically GTA 30s. You'll need the online patch though as some of the missions (especially a race with roadsters) are practically impossible without it. There's a Mafia II coming this year.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:18 AM on March 25, 2010

Never played it, but Saint's Row 2 will probably satisfy your appetite... Even Yahtzee likes it.
posted by Jinkeez at 6:18 AM on March 25, 2010

I'm sure you know this, but GTA III is also available for the PC, and although it's always harder to walk back a step, it's more or less structured like GTA IV. Amazon's price for it today is $9. Also, the much less immersive, more crude (aesthetically) and cartoonish GTA I and II are free if you sign up for Rockstar's mailing list (you can unsubscribe after the downloads finish).
posted by Valet at 6:25 AM on March 25, 2010

I've been having a lot of fun playing Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights. It's probably the cheesiest game ever made (every single splash or loading screen has some scantily clad car-babe giving you come-hither eyes), but the driving is hella fun.

While it is racing format (not open ended driving) there's a big variety of events and tracks -- of particular note, the cars are all extremely varied (realistic?) in handling, etc. It's available on Steam for $14.99.

I was playing Saints Row 2 until I found this -- haven't looked back, the Saints Row plot was pretty awful and the driving really unfun/cartoony.
posted by wrok at 6:40 AM on March 25, 2010

Nthing Burnout Paradise. The car has the best handling of any arcadey-type racer I've ever played. Plus the awesome crashes make those mid-race screwups a bit less annoying.
posted by arcolz at 7:10 AM on March 25, 2010

You could always get GTA San Andreas, GTA Vice City, and GTA III for PC.
posted by asciident at 7:12 AM on March 25, 2010

Thanks for the suggestions guys...

Saints Row 2 and Burnout Paradise are both on their way from Amazon and I'll check out the Just Cause demo when I get home tonight.

To clarify, I guess - The GTA games are all very well played in my house. There's not any great need for the game to be a sandboxy game, so track stuff is more than welcome too!
posted by twine42 at 7:19 AM on March 25, 2010

I have Grid, which I am a huge fan of, the racing is fantastic, the game itself it gorgeous, the physics are great once you get used to them, and I am pretty sure it has weather. The developer has come out with a more recent game (Dirt 2), and that has been well received but I havent played it yet.
posted by BobbyDigital at 7:38 AM on March 25, 2010

Try Driver: Parallel Lines, it's $10 on Steam. The reviews weren't that good though, but I thought it was pretty enjoyable.
posted by querty at 8:05 AM on March 25, 2010

While it's certainly not perfect or new, I thoroughly enjoy Need For Speed Underground 2 for it's open road gameplay with no loading times. There are set races you must enter and win to unlock all the areas of the city, but for me the real draw is just being able to drive freely around the huge city. It's like GTA 3 but without cops or pedestrians and you can't get out and walk around. It features some of my favorite cars and it has extensive customization options for your ride.

It is pure gaming bliss for me; ultimate fantasy escapism. Goal-less play. I love that I can pull my car off at the mountaintop overlook and look down at the city and across the bay and see the industrial area, then nail the accelerator and drive without interruption down the mountain and through the city to arrive at the docks I was spying from the mountain 15 or so minutes later. Or tooling around the city endlessly on the beltway getting faster and faster, diving down the exit ramp to the airport, going up the onramps the wrong way, cutting donuts in the middle of downtown... and on and on.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:13 AM on March 25, 2010

There's a really old game called Midtown Madness. I used to play that for hours.
posted by jpcooper at 10:36 AM on March 25, 2010

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