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The Most Likely Features To Be Included in NASCAR 25

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What’s Happening?

After months of relative silence, as iRacing lays the groundwork for the next NASCAR video game, small hints are starting to drop. Fans are starting to flood iRacing with requests, to which Vice President Steve Myers lovingly said, some would not be realistic for a game release by 2025. Which of these features are the realistic ones, and which are more likely to be pushed back a few years?

  • For this list, we will separate different features into Tier Lists. Tier 1 will be the “Must Haves” for the game, Tier 2 the “Could Have, but Not Required”, and Tier 3 the “Unrealistic”. It’s important to note that iRacing has to develop the base first, and getting the fundamentals right is key for the first game.
  • iRacing bought the NASCAR license from Motorsport Games in the fall of 2023. The new game, currently titled NASCAR 25, is set to be released in the fall of 2025.
  • Fans are over the moon for iRacing to be releasing a new game. However, some are cautious about whether or not the game will be any good.

Tier 1: MUST Haves

These features will be in the next NASCAR video game in some way, shape, or form. They are all baseline features that iRacing has to get right.

Good Driving Model/Physics

None of the extra features in the game matter if the actual gameplay is bad. While it may not be as flashy as other features, making sure the game controls well with a good driving model and realistic physics will be the focus of this first game. It’s all about laying a foundation, and once this is correct, iRacing can add more depth to the game.

A Career Mode

Career mode is the most important single-player mode in a sports game. While this mode will probably not be as in-depth as other past NASCAR games, it will certainly be there. At the very least, having some sort of a “Hot Seat” type mode, or even upgrading a car should be included. However, this will probably not have the same features as games like NASCAR Dirt to Daytona.

A Paint Booth

For creative fans, a paint booth must be included in some form. It’s also important to allow fans to take their custom paint schemes into online modes, or even share them in some form. iRacing already admitted that “Trading Paints” won’t be quite the same if a version of it is included on the console game, but, a paint booth has to be there.

Functioning Online

NASCAR games have notoriously struggled with online gameplay. Thankfully, iRacing has plenty of experience with online racing through their iRacing simulator. While the online must be more catered towards casual players, it has to exist in some form.

Tier 2: Could Have, But, Not Required

These features might be included in the game. However, it’s likely fans will have to wait at least a game or two.

Lower-Tier Series

Lower-tier series has never been included in the first iteration of a NASCAR video game series. Even going all the way back to the Papyrus days in the 1990s, the Xfinity and Truck Series have never been included. However, iRacing does have experience with those types of cars through the simulator, so, maybe they could include it?

Owner Mode

Monster Games made perhaps the most iconic NASCAR career mode with NASCAR Dirt to Daytona. At some point, something like this will be in the series, but, probably not the first game. Owner mode was not a thing early in the NASCAR Heat series, and it wasn’t even available early in the EA NASCAR Series.

Ultimate Team

While Ultimate Team is a controversial addition in sports games today, as long as iRacing doesn’t sacrifice gameplay or single-player modes for it, fans will likely tolerate it. At some point, some form of NASCAR Ultimate Team might be included, but, the biggest hurdle is, how would it work in a NASCAR video game.

Tier 3: Unrealistic…For Now

These features are more pipedreams than anything. They have little chance to be featured in the game, but, they may come in the future.

Dynamic Weather

Formula One games have dynamic weather, and, now that NASCAR races in the rain on road courses and in the wet on short tracks, including dynamic weather is becoming important. However, NASCAR still doesn’t race in the rain on every track, so, that’s what keeps this away from being a must for now. However, iRacing just added rain to their simulator, so, this game could be included.

Story Mode

Again, this is a controversial addition, but, if executed correctly, it can be a nice feature. Still, the focus has to be on core gameplay, so iRacing has to get all of the basics down before moving on to a story mode. Still, having this included at some point could be a solid feature.

The next NASCAR video game is slowly starting to take shape. Maybe some surprising features could be included.

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Joshua Lipowski

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