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The WORST NASCAR Console Video Games of All Time

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While great NASCAR video games make great memories for many, bad video games can create some not-so-fond memories. Unfortunately, NASCAR video games are not an exception. Here are the five worst NASCAR video games of all time.

5. NASCAR Heat 5

This game can be best described as a copy-and-paste. With Motorsport Games essentially buying out 704Games in 2019, the focus shifted to the first NASCAR game developed by Motorsport Games. In order to have something out the year prior, they updated the rosters of NASCAR Heat 4 and made NASCAR Heat 5.

Nothing new of note was introduced. However, the game is still played to this day thanks to its successor, and that successor also made the copy-and-paste nature of this game all the more difficult to swallow. Add to that, the disaster of the Next Gen update put this game in a bad light.

4. NASCAR 08

Generally speaking, the first NASCAR game on a new console generation tends to struggle, and this game was no different. NASCAR 08 was the first NASCAR video game released on the seventh generation of consoles, and it was just not good. The PS3 version only got a 4.9 user score on Metacritic, while the Xbox 360 version got a 5.2 user score.

The game had a decent amount of depth with both the Car of Tomorrow and the Gen-4 car in the Cup Series, and it also included both the Xfinity Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. However, a strange career mode and a bad driving model made this game not well-liked on the new console generations. There was also the bewildering omission of manufacturers on the COT cars as well, and EA soon lost the NASCAR license following just one more game.

3. NASCAR The Game: 2011

NASCAR The Game: 2011 was the first NASCAR game that was developed by Eutechnyx and published by Activision. It only garnered a 4.1 user score on the Xbox 360 and a 4.6 user score on the PlayStation 3 on Metacritic. The game skipped out on a lot of depth that had become standard in the EA Sports NASCAR video games.

The career mode was just a single-season mode with no money, contracts, hiring and firing crew, or anything that resembled a typical NASCAR career mode. The game was also a mess online at launch with all of its’ bugs and glitches. The driving model was not bad, but the actual racing both offline and online left a lot to be desired.

2. NASCAR Heat: Evolution

Many were happy to see that the old developers of NASCAR Dirt to Daytona would be returning to revive the NASCAR Heat franchise. Unfortunately, a 4.2 user review on Metacritic shows how this game was received at launch. The online mode was a mess with no private lobbies and a very strict timer once a second person joined the lobby.

The physics were also terrible as well, and the driving model was completely unrealistic. It was not exceptionally buggy or glitchy, but it was poorly designed. Thankfully, 704Games and Monster Games got their act together with the successive NASCAR Heat games.

1. NASCAR 21: Ignition

If you thought NASCAR Heat Evolution was bad, then NASCAR 21: Ignition set a new low for NASCAR gaming. At launch, the game was completely unfinished with multiple game-breaking bugs and glitches. Again, the online mode included no private lobbies, so online play was as clunky as ever.

Add to that, Motorsport Games continued to push back the development of a new NASCAR game. It got so bad that they had to release a DLC update on NASCAR Heat 5, which was released four years earlier just for some new content. The game has been basically abandoned by this point, and, hopefully, now, we can say there is nowhere to go but up.

Well, let’s hope that no more NASCAR games are added to this list. With a “substantial announcement” reportedly upcoming about NASCAR console gaming, maybe this list will remain the same for years.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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