F1 2009 review

Will F1 on handheld qualify for our affection?

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Crisper-looking than the Wii version

  • +

    You can play for ages

  • +

    An all-encompassing 2009 season experience


  • -

    Lacks smoothness to the controls

  • -

    Not better looking than past F1 games

  • -

    Not entirely an authentic experience

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So, if F1 2009 on the Wii has been created for father-son gaming and presented in a fashion that caters for the differing skill levels of both, F1 on PSP is obviously for the motorsport fan on the move. We’ll assume that it’s a particularly long journey if you’re attempting the full 70+ laps…

However, whereas F1 2009 was fairly unchallenged as a racing simulator on Wii, what is essentially the same version on PSP doesn’t have quite such an easy ride. For a start, the PSP is home to a decent number of racers – most obvious being Formula One 2006. And, while time has passed since the last official F1 racer, we can’t really say that the experience has moved on significantly.

Of course, you get Hamilton, Button and Brawn, Abu Dhabi and a Singapore night race but the gameplay is much as it was three years ago when Sony had the license for the game.

To be fair, F1 2009 does have a greater degree of accessibility, weather effects and the choice for a terrifyingly full fat, hardcore experience. Then there are the bite-sized challenges too, but the visuals (although crisper than the Wii equivalent) aren’t overwhelming and the control system can’t quite offer the smoothness a game like this requires. F1 cars are twitchy at the best of times – it couldn’t possibly make us yearn for trigger buttons or a force feedback wheel any more…

Like the Wii version, F1 2009 on PSP is an authentic companion to the 2009 season that features all the elements you’d hope for. Still, for a more satisfying racing experience, save up for the F1 car in Gran Turismo PSP or dig out an old copy of Codemaster’s own TOCA Race Driver 3 Challenge and try some of the single-seater races.

Nov 23, 2009

More info

DescriptionUltimately, it’s an acceptable racer rather than a mind-blowing one. Still, Codemasters has never been under any illusion about F1 2009’s purpose; as a pick-up-and-play racer that daddy and his younglings can use together and as a fan-calming appetizer before the ‘real’ thing next year.
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"3+","3+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)