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Racing Games 101: Cars Vs Motorcycles, What Should You Choose?

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When we say racing games, we don’t just mean racing with cars. In fact, a lot of racing games have shown us that vehicles such as motorcycles, monster trucks, and even skateboards can give out awesome moves and make stunning turns in high-speed competitive fun. Of all these vehicles, though, it’s perhaps cars and motorcycles that make up a majority of racing games today. So, for anyone interested in trying out their first racing game, or looking for a great racing game – should they choose a car game or a motorcycle game?

Turns out, this choice has a lot to do with what sort of experience you want to have and what sort of machine you want to experience. Don’t fret, though, as this won’t be as confusing as you think. Here are some factors to consider when choosing between a car game and a motorcycle game:

Vehicle variety makes customization and modification a more personal

When we play racing games, we don’t just cherish the moments when we win. Rather, we want to make sure we win in the way we want to look at. And given how racing games can let us customize the look of our vehicles add a great deal of personalization to games. Imagine you can change how your bike looks and how it performs. Some car games even allow you to purchase parts and upgrades that can drastically improve your performance in matches. Thanks to these creative elements, racing games can be considered repeatable in their own regard.

1. If you’re looking for a variety of vehicles, then it’s Gran Turismo 6 that takes the cake. It holds the current Guinness World Record of having the most number of vehicles in a car game, with a whopping 1,200 playable vehicles. Aside from the game’s immense customization options for cars, players can enjoy trying out each of these vehicles in matches. Car games featuring many different cars in a single game has been a staple across the years, regardless of the console or platform. This means you can grab your old console or an emulator, boot up a classic car game, and still enjoy the variety of vehicle options they offer.  

2. Motorcycle games such as Ride 3 actually offer a wide variety of motorcycles to choose from – from modern sports motorcycles to dirt bikes and all sorts of machines for you to choose from. Added the fact that Ride 3 offers quite realistic physics for motorcycle games, you can rely on motorcycle games to add a bit of “flair” to your racing experience. Unlike car games, motorcycle games add that cool and stylish feeling to gamers, as it’s quite different seeing your rider move their body along a tiny machine at extremely high speeds.

3. Verdict: Despite the appeal of motorcycle games as a stylish “alternative” to car games, the sheer variety of vehicles you can try out with car games definitely takes the cake for this part of our debate. Car games like Gran Turismo 6 are just part of the wealth of vehicles car games offer, and each car game tackles these vehicles in different ways. And considering the fact that some car games also offer “performance upgrades” to their vehicles, using the same vehicle across different games can definitely spice up your experience. 

A variety of game modes add a great deal of flexibility and dynamics to the gameplay.

Most racing games don’t just have the usual “Race Versus AI” or “Multiplayer” mode where you can challenge AI and your peers, respectively. Most of the time, these racing games add many playable modes that make your experience with these games fun. These include “Time Trial” and “Challenge” modes that task you to beat a time limit or do a particular stunt. Some games also have a dedicated single-player mode for campaigns and stories. Including these many game modes makes racing games a lot more exciting to look forward to and play, especially since motorcycle and car games have different approaches to these modes.

1. Dirt Rally 2 and classic Sega Rally Championship are just examples of car games that explore the boundaries of the car racing genre. Both of these games are real games, but they hardly scratch the surface of the other game modes car games can offer. In the aforementioned two games, the focus is playing on a rally, meaning there are different environments to explore and try out. However, other car games have other game modes such as time trials, different challenges, and even the timeless campaign mode. Games in the Need for Speed franchise have these game modes in them, making them games that have other “smaller” games in them.

2. In terms of motorcycle games, it’s titles like Road Redemption that actually explore the boundaries of different game modes for motorcycle titles. In the case of Road Redemption, it’s the game’s entire premise that’s fun. In this post-apocalyptic game, you’re taking the role of a rider out there struggling to survive, competing with other riders for resources. Aside from being the typical racer, you can eliminate opponents by hitting them with melee weapons or even targeting them with guns and other weapons. Other games like Trials Evolution focus on performing stunts against other players.

3. Verdict: We’ve got to give a variety of game modes to motorcycle games here, as the number of game modes and unique concepts explored by motorcycle games as a genre gives players a lot of flexibility and versatility. Gamers who want to experience racing cars in a wide variety of situations can rely on motorcycle games to give them the kind of variety they need.  

Physics changes the game in terms of matches and thrill.

One of the most important aspects of racing games would be its adherence (or lack thereof) to real-world physics. It’s this that helps make either a car game or a motorcycle game “realistic” and it’s achieving this feeling of realism that can attract players to these games. Car game physics often make cars look clunky and heavy, making turns and even straight roads challenges to look forward to. Meanwhile, motorcycle game physics can be more complicated, given motorcycles have to balance the weight of the driver and the vehicle against gravity and the surface of the ground. This leaves a lot of openings for making tight turns and even jumps more thrilling.

  1. Of all racing games out there, it’s perhaps Project Cars that tackles physics in car games in the most realistic manner. Advertised as being exquisitely detailed and developed with the help of professional racers, Project Cars features various motorsports and different levels of physics. This makes players experience just how hard it is to even start their vehicles, and all the more so experience how difficult it can be to maneuver high-speed cars in races.  
  2. Motorcycle games seem the more interesting of the bunch in terms of physics, especially considering motorcycles tend to be more “sensitive” with regards to how they interact with their environment. When motorcycles make the right turns, they do so by making sure the vehicle and the rider are in perfect unison with respect to their environment. This is why games like Ride 3 are considered one of the most realistic motorcycle games of all time, as it better tackles the sensitivity of these controls.
  3. Verdict: We’ve got to give physics in racing games to motorcycle games, as it’s much more difficult to maneuver motorcycles especially in extremely realistic games. This can make the racing experience much more worth the while, considering the feeling of awesomeness whenever we see our own motorcycle make tight turns, get extremely low, and even perform amazing flips. 

Multiplayer modes make races more satisfying and enjoyable for crowds.

One of the most amazing elements you can find in both car games and motorcycle games would be their multiplayer modes, as it’s multiplayer that allows you to showcase your customized vehicles and have fun messing around and defeating your competitors. A lot of car games are comprised of multiplayer modes that add a lot of variety and uniqueness to racing games, as instead of AI, gamers actually have to compete against themselves. This makes customizing cars much more exciting. In the case of motorcycle games, despite the lack of a lot of variety in their titles, the multiplayer aspect of having to race in a small and high-speed device is definitely something players can be looking forward to. 

  1. If there’s anything to say regarding multiplayer in car games, The Crew is definitely a game in this list. A lot of players say this game heralded the “CaRPG” subgenre, where cars have different “classes” and “skills” in games. The Crew, as the name suggests, is a predominantly-multiplayer game, featuring team-based races where every member has a different role. Aside from this game, multiplayer in racing games remain very straightforward and extremely fun. Multiplayer modes allow local play or even online play via game networks, allowing you to challenge players worldwide.
  2. Motorcycle games also don’t lag in the multiplayer scene, thanks to their diverse multiplayer offerings. MotoGP 19 comes to mind when it comes to motorcycle games with unique multiplayer settings, especially thanks to the game’s ability to let players design their own races with their own parameters. This adds an entirely new dimension to races and can make things extremely unique for every match. 
  3. Verdict: Car games take this round for multiplayer modes, especially since the variety of car games out there means there’s a variety of multiplayer options for players to choose from. Despite the many motorcycle games with multiplayer options, one could argue more gamers are familiar with car games, meaning you’ll most likely be able to meet a player in even the older car games. 

Cars vs. Motorcycles in Games: It’s about the appeal and the thrill

With the above points in mind, you might notice that cars and motorcycles make racing games appealing. Both are actually capable of helping you get the most thrilling in the most exciting matches, regardless if you’re racing against AI or against your friends. And the added flexibility and dynamism of selecting your own vehicle and customizing them for your wishes creates a huge amount of personalization capable of making unique experiences. 

So what’s our verdict?

We’ve got to give this debate to car games. This doesn’t mean motorcycle games are bad, though! But if you’re looking for a racing game subgenre with a lot of titles available, you’re definitely safe with car games. Both subgenres offer much customization, interesting physics, and even fun multiplayer. However, it’s car games that give you a healthy amount of games to try out and enjoy without making the genre feel a bit repetitive. 

How do you feel about the great debate on cars and motorcycles? Do you think the points we’ve made above have sense? If you agree with some of our points, do share your thoughts in the comments. And if you disagree with some of our points feel free to explain your side as well. Remember, it’s all about having fun and having the best experience as racing games!


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