Recommendations for a multiplayer racing game?
April 16, 2004 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for a multiplayer (LAN) PC racing game. Preferably something that has a pretty straight-forward interface that we can jump in and start having fun with right away.
posted by NsJen to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total)
you might have to bite the bullet and get a console if you fancy off-the-shelf gaming
xbox live should sort you out
posted by Frasermoo at 4:47 PM on April 16, 2004

Four or five years ago, I was involved with a group of guys who played Sports Car GT. Although, to REALLY have fun, you need a steering wheel, it was (is) an underrated game, it had depth, and the physics were a nice compromise between full on reality and arcade style.

I think it's one of the best racing sims, and the multiplayer is easy to get going.

Hmm...I'm gonna have to dig it out....
posted by grefo at 7:26 PM on April 16, 2004

I have been playing Sierra Nascar Racing 2002 and 2003 for years and it sounds like what you are looking for. You can race multiplayer on a LAN, simple interface, you can add AI cars if you want. You can also totally tweak out your car or have everyone run with the same setup. You can also run single player or multiplayer online. There are several really good racing leagues out there.

The 2003 version is only $9.99 at Target. As an added bonus, you can download trucks and trans am series mods for the game for free.

I cannot recommend this enough. Please contact me at the address in my profile if you want more info.
posted by sciatica at 8:17 PM on April 16, 2004

It's not a pure racing game, but copies of Carmageddon2 are cheap and it supports multiplayer. There's also smashing into each other and running over pedestrians (and cows, and mimes).

The various older NeedForSpeed games are also pretty good in multiplayer, in my limited experience. You might need no-cd cracks for some of them though.

Both of these games support new cars and new tracks, with some fiddling.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:31 PM on April 16, 2004

Star Wars: Episode I Racer was pretty fun and LAN capable, if memory serves.
posted by ODiV at 9:59 PM on April 16, 2004

if you're feeling nostalgic there's always death rally.
you can probably pick up a copy on an abandonware site.
posted by clockwork at 10:33 PM on April 16, 2004

Are you interested in a slightly older game that still has good 3d graphics, or would you like top of the line racing?

One game that never fails my interest is Need For Speed 5: Porsche Unleashed. Not only would this game be cheap in stores, but it is still available on warez sites, if your like me and cant afford software. (what an asshole)

Do you want a newer game? Need for speed: Underground is all about ricers but its pretty good. Newer game, still on the front shelves. You need good machines to play this game well, 64MB video card is pretty much the base to actually make the game look good.
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:45 AM on April 17, 2004

For networked gaming, I'd go with one of the Papyrus sims: NR2003 or Grand Prix Legends. Only problem is that they can be pretty tricky to drive.
posted by salmacis at 6:00 AM on April 17, 2004

ZSNES for Windows, a Mario Kart ROM, and Netplay? Up to 4 players. I've been playing Super Bomberman on it over the Internet with no noticeable lag - it works really well. And you can play any SNES game you can find online. I'm sure there are at least a few decent racing games for the SNES. (Personally, I really don't like Mario Kart, but everyone else does.)
posted by whatnotever at 11:04 AM on April 17, 2004

Big Red Racing. Good luck finding it though.

And all the advice pointing toward the Papyrus sims is way off, since the poster is looking for something with an easy learning curve for a party experience, and the Papyrus games exist to make "go fast, turn left" seem complicated.
posted by NortonDC at 11:20 AM on April 17, 2004

if you're feeling nostalgic there's always death rally.


thank you for mentioning "Death Rally"

I recall playing that for HOURS at my friend's house back in high school (we had two computers connected by via NULL MODEM! -- at the time, there were three computers sitting in his room; the one he used regularly, the beater, and the one that ran his BBS. I remember thinking "MAN! THREE COMPUTERS IN ONE ROOM! THAT'S NUTS!" heh.)
posted by fishfucker at 11:27 AM on April 17, 2004

NortonDc, point taken about NR2003 being a sim, but it can be run in Arcade mode, which has extremely forgiving physics. That mode can be easily run without a wheel. At any given time last year there would have been hundreds of 12 year olds on the Papy servers having tons of fun.

There are also several dirt track games that work on LANs, like Dirt Track Racing 2. That and a couple of the sprint car games are usually in the jewel case bargain section.

If you can get a hold of any of the Carmageddon series, I can second ROU_Xenophobe's recommendation. Although the racing will become secondary to mowing down people and performing cunning stunts.
posted by sciatica at 2:40 PM on April 17, 2004

If you can get a hold of any of the Carmageddon series, I can second ROU_Xenophobe's recommendation.

Really, I'd stick with 2. Carmageddon 1 is a dos game with some issues that doesn't look so hot, even run in 640x480, while Carm2 is a nice-enough DirectX game.

Carmageddon 3... the less said the better. It should list Gentry Lee as a coauthor, it's so freakin' bad.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:43 PM on April 17, 2004

Seconding Star Wars Episode 1 racer. It was really a tediously dull game, come to think of it, pure racing and nothing else. Pretty tracks though, and it was just fun. There was LAN multiplayer, not sure if it did more than two players though.
posted by fvw at 3:59 PM on April 17, 2004

Response by poster: Great suggestions gang, thanks! Picked up Sierra Thunder 2004 today 'cause that's what Target had on the shelf but I'm not too sure about it yet ... I'll be working through the list you guys provided for a bit until we find just the right one for us.
posted by NsJen at 7:38 PM on April 17, 2004

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