The Xbox 360 era is arguably the greatest generation that Xbox has ever had. From classic RPG titles like the Fable franchise to epic action titles coming from Gears of War, the Xbox 360 truly had an amazing library of software throughout its lifespan.


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The crowning achievement of the Xbox 360 racing genre was the fantastic Forza series. A wonderfully crafted series of simulation racing games that went head-to-head with the Gran Turismo franchise on Playstation. Spinning off from the simulation racing Forza provided, gamers got spoiled when the Forza Horizon series burst the doors down for the arcade racing scene.

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7/7 Forza Horizon 2

Easily forgotten Forza Horizon 2 took the foundations of the original game and expanded upon them to bring the series closer to what they play like today. Forza Horizon 5 the latest in the series had an incredible open world that received wide praise and was a bunch of fun.

Forza Horizon 2 was a cross-gen game released on both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One consoles. Having such a fantastic arcade racer on the Xbox 360 was nothing short of miraculous. Participating in the amazing-looking festivals in both France and Italy truly was a great send-off for the franchise on the 360 generation.

6/7 Midnight Club Los Angeles

Midnight Club was an amazing arcade racing franchise from the minds that brought players Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne and Red Dead Redemption to name a few. Superb handling and an open-world setting truly made Midnight Club stand out from the crowd.

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Racing around the streets of Los Angeles in this open-world arcade racer was extremely fun. Cars could be customized and tuned up just to players’ liking. The races felt solid and fair while exploring the city was an absolute treat. A crying shame that Rockstar hasn’t decided to revisit its racing series with a new entry in the franchise.

5/7 Split Second: Velocity

Released in 2010 by Black Rock Studio, Split Second: Velocity is one of the most unique racing games ever to be released. Split Second: Velocity has a detailed graphical style that still holds up today, using a TV show style to tell its narrative, the game truly tries to stand out from the crowd. The elements all come together to make Split Second: Velocity feels like one of The Rock’s latest Hollywood action movies.

The idea the team at Black Rock Studio had been to focus on the environment around the player’s vehicle and not just the vehicle itself. Terrain can change as players drive through the track, with various elements like falling rocks or crashing airplanes all designed to give an extra challenge and create a living feel for the maps.

4/7 Blur

Project Gotham Racing and Metropolis Street Racer are the franchises that came before Blur from developer Bizarre Creations. Controls are very challenging as under steer is heavily used along with drift to retain speed around corners and around other players. It was unusual to have such difficult controls considering the kart-based foundations that inspired Blur.

Blur is a strange game, a hybrid of arcade racing and Mario Kart. Realistic looks and environments combined with special power-ups was an unusual blend to see when shooting off rockets and other weapons at opponents are usually kept to the cartoonish karting world that the mascots reign supreme in. Blur never received a sequel to this day, but perhaps with its unusual mix-up of elements from other racers, being a single-entry franchise suits the title best.

3/7 Ridge Racer Unbounded

The Ridge Racer franchise is a track-based arcade racer. With the release of Ridge Racer Unbounded from the speed kings over at Namco in 2012, the developer’s Bugbear Entertainment were trying to revitalize Ridge Racers‘ core gameplay which had become unchanged and a bit stale over the years.

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Destructible environments and an urban setting made for a very different entry into the racing franchise. Taking Ridge Racer foundations and combining them with the elements from games like Burnout and Split Second, made for an interesting entry to the series.

2/7 The Crew

Certain things go into making an Ubisoft Game these days. Almost a genre in itself, Ubisoft Games take open-world elements, side missions, and unlockable landmarks for fast travel and tie them together across huge maps. The Crew is Ubisoft’s standard open-world game template applied to an arcade racing game.

With an action movie-like story and a wide-open world to explore, The Crew was a cross-generation title that stretched the limits of the Xbox 360s abilities. A connected feeling multiplayer experience that would only come to fruition in the sequel title and a weird Ubisoft open-world feeling was spread throughout the entire DNA of The Crew.

1/7 Need for Speed Most Wanted (2005)

The Need for Speed franchise is perhaps the only racing franchise that besides Need for Speed Shift, has kept true to its pure arcade racing roots. Need for Speed Most Wanted is the subtitle for two Need for Speed games, this one is the 2005 version.

Need for Speed Most Wanted from 2005 was the first iteration of the series to release on the Xbox 360. With huge improvements in graphics and the customization options, the arcade roots shine through. Often forgotten about thanks to the release of the other Most Wanted releasing in 2012, the original is still a fantastic entry to the long-running franchise.

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