• Christmas Gift Idea: Car-Centric Video Games

There’s not a lot about Christmas that people can complain about. Maybe the time spent buying gifts is a little bit of a headache for some, but sometimes buying gifts is fun, especially if you know exactly what you want to get for a specific person.

This space is dedicated to people who love their video games, specifically those of the automotive persuasion. A lot of us know at least one person who is into video games, so finding somebody to appreciate a new game isn’t difficult. What’s a little tough is narrowing down the title of the game you’re going to buy. Each one has its own unique features so it’s important to understand what the recipient of the gift wants in a car game.

Is he into a mission-filled game with plenty of story lines? Is he into a game involving plumbers and princesses racing underwater or racing on an anti-gravity track? These questions need to be asked.

Fortunately, we’re here to give an insight on some of the best car video game available this holiday season. Hopefully, you get the picture on what each game has to offer, giving you slightly more understanding on what game to buy for your loved ones.

Click past the jump to read more about our car racing video game suggestions for the holidays.

Forza Horizon 2

Forza Horizon 2 Review Screenshots / Gameplay
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Forza Horizon 2 is one of the most detailed open-world racing games on the market today and serves a well-suited successor to the original Forza Horizon. The game is only available for the Xbox gaming consoles, so if you’re thinking of buying this as a gift, make sure the recipient doesn’t have a Playstation. Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, you can be assured that Forza Horizon 2 expands on the success of its predecessor with a diverse offering of gameplay options, including some new features like the Bucket List, the Co-Op Bucket Lists, and an online mode called Car Meets.

But Forza Horizon 2’s real calling card is its well-entrenched storyline that begins with another "Horizon Festival" before steadily evolving into a full-blown racing RPG with around three times more drivable area than its predecessor. A particularly exciting new wrinkle in Forza Horizon 2 is the addition of a dynamic weather system that increases the complexity of your missions.

As always, Forza Horizon 2 offers a full compliment of some of the most exclusive cars on the planet mixed in with some cheaper everyday rides. The former category boasts of some high-priced exotics like the Lamborghini Veneno, the Ferrari LaFerrari, the McLaren P1, the Koenigsegg Agera, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, and the cover boy itself, the Lamborghini Huracan.

If this is a game that’s on your radar as a potential holiday present, you’re picking a pretty good one for whoever it is that will be lucky enough to receive it in his or her Christmas stocking.

Mario Kart 8

Video: Nintendo Announces Mario Kart 8 Hits Shelves on May 30
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There’s a reason why Nintendo’s Mario Kart franchise has released eight installments since the original game was first released in August 1992. It’s been a 22-year run for the kiddie racing game, culminating with the release of Mario Kart 8 in May 2014.

Some adults may not be inclined to play the game, but rest assured, it’s one of the best ones on the market today. It isn’t as time-consuming as other games and it certainly isn’t as complicated. Plus, it’s probably the only racing game today that you can play with your kids, which makes it a pretty cool gift for family game time.

Mario Kart 8 continues in the tradition of the franchise by returning some of the game’s best features. The 12-player racing is back, ensuring some rollicking good times for all players involved. The always fun underwater racing also makes its return to the game. We still can’t figure out how this is possible, but it’s worth noting that plumbers, talking mushrooms, princesses, and a group of baby dragons are playable characters in this game. There’s nothing realistic about this game other than the fact that there’s a winner in every race.

In addition to the returning features, Mario Kart 8 also offers a variety of new additions to the game. We especially liked the anti-gravity racing, which again seams implausible in any other racing world except Mario Kart. The game also includes new characters like the Koopalings, Baby Rosalina, and Pink Gold Peach, and new items that can ensure success for your racer and doom and gloom for your rivals.

All the features aside, the game is arguably the most fun racing game in the market today. You don’t have to constantly worry about the state of your race car and you certainly won’t have to spend hours upon hours of your time to complete a specific mission.

All you need is a character, a racing vehicle, and maybe some Piranha Plants and you’re all set to go.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V Hits Next-Gen Consoles on November 18th Spyshots
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No game has taken an open-world, role-playing game to a whole new level quite like Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto franchise. The name of the game pretty much says it all. It’s the kind of time-consuming, action-adventure game that pretty much tosses away any form of human decorum and lets you live the gun-totin’, car-stealin’, girl-chasin’ lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

Grand Theft Auto V is the latest and greatest version of this world-famous franchise. The game was actually first released in September 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. But it wasn’t until November 2014 when the PS4 and Xbox One versions came into our lives.

GTA V’s single-player mode is arguably the best you’ll ever play this year. It lets you take control of three characters — Michael De Santa, Trevor Philips and Franklin Clinton — all of whom are criminals whose stories somehow interconnect with each other as the game progresses. I’m not going to dive into the gory details of the storyline, but rest assured, it has taken everything we loved about Grand Theft Auto IV and turned it into a spectacle of high action and high dramas. Throw in all the cars, bikes, planes, and helicopters you can steal and you have a game that should be on everybody’s wish list this Christmas.


Of all the new car racing video games to come out in 2014, Evolution Studios’ Driveclub is probably the one that best combines arcade and simulator games to create a realistic platform that gamers can thoroughly enjoy.

You probably would’ve guessed by now but the name Driveclub does give a hint on what kind of game this is. In the game, you join forces with other players to create your own team, or in this case, club. Together, you compete for challenges to earn fame points and the success — or lack thereof — of each member of the club contributes to the club’s overall status in the game. Driveclub is a lot more connected than other car racing video games and while that has its own set of pros and cons. the former definitely outweighs the latter provided you enjoy the company of your club mates and, well, you have a real good Internet connection.

Let’s be real. Playing Driveclub as a single player is nowhere near as fun and as enjoyable as playing it online. So the important factor to remember here is that the game is best suited for those who have the time to play while connected to his fellow club mates. There’s really no fun going about playing Driveclub as a lone wolf when the whole dynamic of the game is centered around being part of a team.

Since the game is published by Sony Computer Entertainment, Driveclub is only available in the Playstation 4 console. The good news is that if you’re feeling generous, there are actually Driveclub bundle packs that are available today. You’re going to spend a lot more for them because they come with the PS4 console. But if you really want to make a statement with your gift, the Driveclub bundle pack is a pretty darn good choice.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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