As voting for the Golden Joystick Awards 2012 enters its final weeks, we take a look at each of the individual categories. Today is the turn of Best Racer category.
Best Racer shortlist:
Who are we voting for?
Matt Cundy (UK Editor): Driver: San Francisco. I can only admire the never-say-die-attitude of the Driver series. The first game was a classic, for sure, but Driver 2 was a stinker, Driver 3 was a stinker, and Driver: Parallel Lines wasn’t bad enough to be an actual stinker but was painfully average (which isn’t much better than being a stinker anyway). So what a surprise when Driver: San Francisco arrived and was immense fun thanks to the freedom afforded by the ability to ‘shift’ at will between any vehicle/driver on the huge map - a smart game mechanic and also an ingenious way of getting around the problem of not being able to do getting-out-of-the-car sections.
David Houghton (UK Associate Editor): It's Driver for me too. Maybe it's because I wasn't expecting a vast amount from it, but D:SA was the sleeper hit of the year for me. Aside from handling like a dream, the sheer amount of creative gameplay and narrative diversity afforded by the shift mechanic is immense. Rather that being a simple open-world in which to do a bunch of repetetive missions until the game ends, San Francisco is a living, breathing ecosystem, brimming with people, adventures, and branching stories completely unrelated to Tanner's main quest, and the ability to freely play God with all of it on a whim makes Driver rather bloody enchanting to explore.
Justin Towell (UK Content Editor): Gotta be F1 2011 for me. It's just superb. I'm glad the tyre wear scaling has been taken out in the new version as it sucks in F1 2011, but that's pretty much the only thing that's annoyed me in the whole year I've been playing it - and I've played it a lot. The suspension improvements over F1 2010 made for a more enjoyable game as attacking the kerbs no longer resulted in an instant spin and the career mode is riveting if you tell yourself you're not allowed to restart a race. Hardcore heaven.
Those are the racer games getting our votes, but what about you – who are you voting for? Tell us in the comments.
Head to Golden Joystick Awards to vote. Voting closes 22 October. The Golden Joystick Awards 2012 take place 26 October.