Which Racing Title Got You Into Sim Racing?

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There's no standard path into sim racing, and we want to hear about your entry point into our niche hobby.

Ask around your favourite sim communities, and you will hear a variety of stories on how people got into the hobby of sim racing.

Depending on your age, you might cite titles like Gran Turismo 1, Grand Prix Legends, GTR2 or Grand Prix 4 as entry points into the sim world. Or perhaps newer titles like Gran Turismo Sport, iRacing or Assetto Corsa.

Each of the aforementioned sims likely offered something different than most of us had tried in a racing title before. Each demanded more of us as players than their contemporary racing games, eschewing the format of simply using a more powerful car to win a race in favour of a requirement for intelligent driving and an understanding of the mechanics and physics of the car.

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Many of us were simultaneously humbled and fascinated by the experience in these titles. The humility of knowing that you need to improve as a driver in order to win races is coupled with the fascinating and often addictive nature of knowing that those improvements will be answered with rewards on the virtual track. The onus often shifts from the capabilities of the car to the skillset and knowledge of the driver.

Or perhaps it was the appeal of being immersed into a motorsport series rather than chucking a series of supercars around fantasy circuits. The challenge of trying to match the accomplishments our real world racing heroes is also a common reason to dive into sim racing.

So, what game title brought you into the world of sim racing? What was the first racing sim you played, or the one that sparked a new passion for you? Let us know in the comments.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604


Speed King by Mastertronic and F1 Spirit by Konami back in the 1980s

Speed King was my first motorbike sim back in 1986 on the MSX computer. And yes and that time the engine sounds were really realistic lol.

REVS on the C64 - it was identical to the BBC micro version shown below

By Geoff Crammond, it was the precursor to the famous Grand Prix series.

Education and work got in the way thereafter, but I picked up sim racing again with the original F1 game for the PS1

And then followed a game that needs no introduction - Gran Turismo.

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Stunts 4d (if that was even a sim??), followed by a the great f1gp. How many hours with childhood friends were wasted on that one... :) With a wheel Raceroom, followed by ACC...
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I've always loved racing games. The first one I got was super monaco gp on the master system 2. First sim would be was gran turismo. Loved that game and part 2. For there time and the system they were on they blew me away. GTR and GTR2 will always be my favorite sims. They really introduced me to what proper sim racing could be.

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Mike Smith
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