Driving game for 360 or pc where you can drive around aimlessly?
June 11, 2011 10:09 AM   Subscribe

Anyone have a recommendation for a driving videogame with a mode where you can just drive around aimlessly? No objectives, checkpoints, cops, chases, races, don't have to kill anyone or anything, etc.

Looking for something on Xbox 360, though a pc game that's undemanding hardware-wise would also suffice.

Would be nice if it has both city-street and rural-highway driving.
posted by aerotive to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
While Burnout Paradise does have races, it is pretty open world, and you can choose to enter events at your leisure.

Quote from the review:

From the game's outset, you're given free rein over a massive chunk of land encompassing fictional Paradise City and its outlying countryside. And oh, what a world it is: Whether you're careening through desolate urban alleys or rocketing across a rickety railroad trestle, the game looks nearly flawless and runs at a buttery-smooth clip. In fact, Paradise creates such a convincing and exhilarating sense of speed that the very act of traversal provides a rewarding thrill. And Paradise City offers so many cleverly hidden secrets to discover (Super Jumps, shortcuts, gas stations, targets to smash, etc.) that you need not even tackle the 120 instantly accessible events to get lost in the engrossing metropolis. This is a genius move: Casual players can have a blast while merely exploring the world, unfettered by the consequences of crashing or losing a race.
posted by zabuni at 10:15 AM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

L.A. Noire will let you drive around and in case you get bored you can go catch some random bad guys.
posted by jasondigitized at 10:20 AM on June 11, 2011

posted by crayz at 10:22 AM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Test Drive Unlimited is also in this vein, with the entire island of Oahu.

Both games I mentioned are easy enough to buy on the Online marketplace, and they are both $20.
posted by zabuni at 10:25 AM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

A little old, but Streets of SimCity was just like this.
posted by moonroof at 11:06 AM on June 11, 2011

burnout paradise is exactly this. you only get into the events you choose to, otherwise it's just a big open world you drive around in. you might have to beat some stuff to get better cars, but i think you can also buy the cars.
posted by nadawi at 11:13 AM on June 11, 2011

Need For Speed Carbon (and probably the versions since)
posted by rhizome at 11:38 AM on June 11, 2011

Once you beat the first part of Just Cause 2 you can just drive around. You might have to kill something every once in a while, but there are a lot of roads and vehicles to drive. I liked drive dune buggies around in the desert.
posted by thylacine at 11:51 AM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

I used to play Driver (on the old Playstation) exactly for this reason. There were cop chases, but only if you had ran a red light, ran into someone, or were driving on the wrong side of the road in sight of a police officer. I had a lot of fun just driving around trying to follow the rules of the road.
posted by SollosQ at 12:32 PM on June 11, 2011

Driving around Just Cause 2 is like taking a tropical vacation. The game map is enormous. Multiple islands and cities, plus motorcycles, helicopters and airplanes. LA Noire has a very realistic world, but it's just city driving. Burnout Paradise is good if you like to drive a large-ish world fast. If you just want to leisurely drive around a tropical paradise on a tuk-tuk for hours, Just Cause 2 is the game for you. Bonus: A Size Comparison of Massive Open World Video Game Maps.
posted by jeffkramer at 12:51 PM on June 11, 2011

You don't say why aimless driving appeals to you, but you might consider a bus driver simulation. It does have missions (bus routes) and objectives (bus stops) but the gameplay is so low-key (Signal your turns! Wait at red lights! Brake slowly so passengers don't fall out of their seats!) that it's actually quite relaxing. Not for you if you want to rip up some scenery. (In Japan you might find the frighteningly realistic arcade version Tokyo Bus Guide DX.)
posted by drdanger at 1:02 PM on June 11, 2011

Midtown Madness has a "cruise" mode...the game is pre 2000 though.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 1:13 PM on June 11, 2011

Fitting the areas of jeffkramer's maps shows exponential growth at 57% per year. The entire surface of the earth will be available for play in 2040. Yes, I do have too much time on my hands.
posted by drdanger at 1:25 PM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fuel by codemasters has the biggest traversable area of any game ever made, and there's a nice mod for it. You can pretty much drive around for hours on either a bike or cars and ignore the races.
posted by hellojed at 1:27 PM on June 11, 2011

Im surprised that nobody has suggested anything from the grand theft auto series. Anything from GTA 3 on is exactly what you are looking for. It DOES have races, crime, objectives, etc.. But you dont have to participate in any of it.

I would point you specifically to GTA San Andreas because it has a HUUUGE area to explore, with several city areas as well as country, rural back roads. Tons of different vehicles too. Most of my time with the game was spent just driving around exploring. Does not require an expensive computer either.

You can also check out San Andreas Multiplayer for extra fun. People expand on the maps and make all kinds of cool stuff.
posted by Esefa at 1:40 PM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Monster Milktruck?

The original Formula 1 Grand Prix games could be put in a mode that you were indestructible, and could drive the other way around the tracks from the rest of the cars. Once you'd offed them all in head to head collisions, you could turn around and drive leisurely around the track and eventually "win". It was very relaxing.
posted by scruss at 2:03 PM on June 11, 2011

Seconding nadawi's recommendation of Burnout Paradise. Drive as much as you want, compete in a event at any intersection.
posted by GurnB at 2:16 PM on June 11, 2011

Need for Speed Underground 2 has a big open overworld where you can just drive around endlessly.
posted by BeerFilter at 2:46 PM on June 11, 2011

Like Esefa said, you never NEED to engage in "quests" in the Grand Theft Auto series. You can drive around calm as a cucumber. Out in the country areas it's quite lovely to just go tooling across the fields.
posted by carlh at 3:30 PM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, lots of suggestions to consider & try out. I will start with Burnout Paradise.
posted by aerotive at 7:48 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

+1 on Carmaggedon. Drive like a bat outta hell all over the terrain. You don't "have to" interact (as in, kill) any of the other players in the game, but it's a helluva lot of fun.
posted by wkearney99 at 11:12 AM on June 12, 2011

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