8 videogame corners you must experience before you die

You have seen her from a distance, or been surprised when she suddenly sprung up at you out of nowhere. At first you'll take things slowly because you don't want anyone to get hurt, but once you get to know her, you'll start to push boundaries until you're completely out of control. And while the rush can often all be over in just a few seconds, you know she'll always be there for you the next time you come round.

Yep, there's a lot to be said for a great corner. So here are eight corners in racing games you simply must drive around before you die. Gotta drift 'em all!

Before we start, we should make the distinction between great corners and great looking corners. For instance, this:

Above: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Can't wait to drive around that! 

...turns into this:

Above: Oh. It's nothing like I expected. Boo! 

You'll find this little tease in Daytona USA's Dinosaur Canyon. As you come over the hill and look upon its sultry curves, you have to say 'wow'. But it's actually an optical illusion. What looks like being the most amazing sweeping corner you've ever driven through turns out to be disappointingly flat when you get up close and personal. Not only that, you simply cannot slide around it properly no matter how hard you jab the throttle and mash the gears. A huge disappointment.

So now you know what isn't a great corner, let's see what is:


Gran Turismo 2 onwards: Laguna Seca Corkscrew

This corner is amazing because it's REAL. And sure, I hear you naysayers whingeing and whimpering that it's actually two corners and therefore not a 'best corner' at all, but I say it having two corners just makes it doubly awesome.

It's probably the least noob-friendly corner in any racing game. Even drivers who never brake and so spend most of their time crawling along the gravel traps will approach it at mega speed because it's got a long straight before it. There's hardly anything that says 'brake now' as you hit the crest of the hill.

The apex to both corners lies behind the brow of the hill, so you're going in blind every time. To cap it off, the elevation of the road makes even that second corner satisfying to negotiate, as you clunk down onto it like some kind of… satisfying clunky thing.

Above: Those kerbs are making this Martini shaken, but not stirred


Dirt 2: London Battersea right-hander

The DiRT 2 Battersea right-hander was absolutely made for showing off. Firstly, most people don't realise they should be slowing down for it before they can see it. It's sneaky like that. So while they're shouting obscenities at the run-off area (which won't even let them back on with its solid wall), you can be blazing off down the next straight.

But it doesn't stop there. You can even use it to make enemies! (Erm… yay?) Why not show off by locking the hand brake to spin 450 degrees (that's right round, one and a quarter times, fraction fans), to emerge facing the straight after the corner and driving straight through. No-one likes a show-off, especially one who uses a corner to make them look stupid.

Above: That is one hell of a slide. Go ahead, get completely sideways - it's the only way to do it quickly


Sega Rally – Lakeside left-hander

Of all the corners in Sega Rally, the best is one actually the least brazen. Other corners say 'look at me, I'm awesuuuuuum' but this one just sits there quietly, pretending it's nothing special. But we know its secret.

The great thing is, you can almost get through it flat out. But not quite. Factor in the Lakeside course's incredibly harsh speed-sapping trackside walls and suddenly it all matters that little bit more. As a result, it's great fun to see how close to flat you can manage each time you encounter it. It does depend on your definition of fun, of course. I'd say it's somewhere between popping the foil on a jar of coffee and listening to girls talk about boobs.

Above: The fact it goes ever-so-slightly downhill is genius. Forget Einstein - these are revolutionary physics


Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec - Seattle chicane

This corner is pretty much the turn you make between corners. You tackle a 90-degree right-hander, only to realise you have to continue turning to meet the apex of the following chicane.

As if this masterpiece of track design wasn't awesome enough, you clatter over tram lines in the road as you slide into the chicane's first turn. The tyres struggle for grip as they bounce over the metal, the car moves up over those big kerbs like a poetic maelstrom of ecstasy and your brain makes approving tingly sensations just to make it clear that this is one hell of a corner.

Above: I'll admit, it doesn't look like much. I'd even go so far as to say it looks very, very dull. But it's not


  • suicidali - September 11, 2010 6:41 p.m.

    I've driven all but 2 of those corners... Good choices, all of them... I should be on Sega Rally or Outrun right now...
  • TheBoz - September 11, 2010 2:45 a.m.

    What about Nascar or similar games, there is no corner more satisfying than on an oval when you cause a pile up and come to lap everyone within half a minute. Still a tactic I use in Forza 3 and has to be done. Priceless.
  • TheBoz - September 11, 2010 2:39 a.m.

    Not 1 from Forza 3, I am shocked, but more surprisingly what about the original Colin McRae or the immensely fun Speed Busters which had obstacles like Jaws and a T-Rex. I would say Megarace, but all the corners were practically the same, but even to this day, they are unique and nothing anything like them at all. Shame on you especially with not mentioning Colin McRae.
  • TheWebSwinger - September 10, 2010 10:03 p.m.

    This is an odd... I'm actually just gonna... Hm.
  • Wolverine08 - September 10, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    wonder what Jeremy Clarkson would make of these
  • philipshaw - September 10, 2010 12:20 p.m.

    I thought this was going to be about corners you go to die in games but mabye that is because I have been playing Dark Void and that happens a lot
  • joshin69 - September 10, 2010 9:54 a.m.

    Oops, OK there is a dirt2 corner but still not the right one
  • joshin69 - September 10, 2010 9:13 a.m.

    Nothing from dirt2 not even the Ohio track?
  • hayisforhorses - September 10, 2010 8:42 a.m.

    Good list, though i would mention grand prix legends not simply for one specific corner. Just the fact that the game was so insanely hard that completing any corner at speed in those rocket powered caskets was an achievment.
  • JakeyBaby - September 10, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    Justin, of course I have some to add, fellow racing gamer! :D Rage Racer, Mythic Coast. The hairpin at the bottom of the hill along the coast is amazing. That same track has a few good ones up it's sleeve. Then of course, WipEout HD Sol2, turn 2-3. Stunning view and the barriers removed, so it adds a danger element to keep you on your toes.
  • tacehtselrahc - September 10, 2010 7:28 a.m.

    The 130R corner at Suzuka in Forza 3. It's a fast left hand turn that you can take flat out, but once you're through it you have to watch not to miss your braking point for the chicane.
  • elpurplemonkey - September 10, 2010 7:25 a.m.

    Thanks to all these corners, I now feel the need to keep playing Split Second.
  • Spybreak8 - September 10, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    Damn I love that Dirt 2 pick but no Mario Kart pick here? Good read though since I enjoy racing games. Gotta add GRID on there though but I guess F1 2010 works since it's the same corner.
  • blocpartier - September 10, 2010 6:37 a.m.

    What about the last turn on Sebring on Forza 2? You lose a lot of grip from that turn because of all the bumps and the high speed straightaway you just came out of.
  • yagirlfriendsfavoriterapper - September 10, 2010 12:04 a.m.

  • SweatyCrease - September 9, 2010 9:33 p.m.

    Loving the geekdom of this article. I think the first/second corner on Midfield Raceway, a beautiful long double apex that begs to be drifted. Oh, and the corner at the top of the hill in Monaco is a tricky little bastard. The last corner of Tsukuba is kinda cool too.
  • GR_JustinTowell - September 9, 2010 9:23 p.m.

    @Montag - good call! VR has some corkers and that's a fine suggestion! And @Wrapdump, that corner is cool, but it would've been better with banking :)
  • QWERTYCommander - September 9, 2010 9:11 p.m.

    Do kart racers count? If they do, then why isn't Mario Kart Wii's DK Summit in here? Or, for that matter, almost any corner in Modnation Racers.
  • wrapdump - September 9, 2010 9:02 p.m.

    I still think that you should have gone for the final sweeping bend of the Desert Course for Sega Rally, love that corner.
  • Montag - September 9, 2010 8:54 p.m.

    Virtua Racing has a big right left after the bridge on Big Forest, That was the first time I remember drifting a car through a corner to get round it at top whack

Showing 1-20 of 41 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000