360 racing enthusiasts, lend me your ears

So I’ve been given a few Xbox games and I’m not really sure what to do here. I’ve never really bothered with racing games too much in the past, I just dont’ have a good feel for them. Possibly because I’m trying to use the 360 controller, but I don’t really feel like investing in a wheel and pedal set for a genre I’m not really sold on. But anyway, to the point:

I’d just like to know which of these games would be the most, uh, fun. I’ve got PGR4, Forza 3, and Banjo Whatever Nuts and Bolts. OK, that last one I’m pretty sure isn’t actually a racing game but I’m told it has some racing elements so, yeah. Going purely by ratings it looks like Forza would get the nod, but I like reading your various reasons why you like a certain game, and I know there’s a bunch of you who play racing games. So please, I could use some informed opinions.

I’d pick Forza 3 over PGR4 any day (although funnily enough I’d swing the opposite way with the previous games). Forza just got so many things right in the latest game while PGR has gotten quite stale and very arcadey.

In that train of thought if your not that into racing games, your probably not interested in customization, etc. You may enjoy PGR more as it takes all that out of your hands, so while Forza 3 is the better game you might try PGR4 first. Especially if your not a car nut… YMMV

Nuts and Bolts… got nothing really to say here but I’ve heard good things about it from a few people.

Forza 3 is such a great racing game.

Those are all equally great. Though Nuts and Bolts is less equal than the other two.

Nuts and Bolts is really its own category. A very good game that rewards the amount of effort you put into it. So if you put in a little, you get back little. If you put in a lot, you get back a lot.

I’d pick PGR 4 over Forza 3. Forza is a great game, and it’s very accessible, but it is pretty stale compared to other racing games. PGR 4 is probably one of the best looking racing games on the 360, second only to the DiRT games, perhaps. It also starts off kind of boring, with a few standard races. But then they start mixing things up and getting into more interesting things like doing Kudos tricks to extend the time you get on the course, and various variations on that. The game is much more alive than Forza 3, I think.

Here’s an example. One of the courses that’s in both games is Nurburgring. Except that the one in Forza 3 is in the summer time, while the one in PGR 4 is in winter time, during the snow. Which one is more interesting? I personally think it’s the snow. No one has ever done that course in the snow before, and it’s quite a hoot.

Both games have good in-game cockpits. And really, I’m kind of being too harsh on Forza 3 maybe. It’s a good game. Next time they really need to spice things up a little though; maybe take a page from Need For Speed: Shift.

I loved PGR4 and got through the entire SP game with all silvers for the other mode. Forza 3 's campaign mode puts me to sleep by comparison. The AI is a bit screwed up - medium is too easy and hard is very hard. And the seasons drag on and on after the 3rd.

So obviously I’d pick PGR4.

Nuts & Bolts is great too, but not much of a racer.

I have all 3, and while Banjo and Kazooie NB is my favorite… it is definitely not a racing game. It is more of a vehicle creator game.

Forza 3 wins hands down. PGR4 is just really… small. I enjoyed the game, but it didn’t get a second glance from me after I got Forza 3. The community alone makes Forza 3 the winner. It is still being supported with DLC, there is an active community of car designers and tuners, and plenty of competition online.

I will admit that the Nurbergring winter race in PGR4 was awesome stuff. I loved that.

Forza 3 has just so much more content. PGR is a 20 oz bottle of delicious content, but Forza 3 is a swimming pool full of it.

Hahah. This is true. PGR 4’s campaign is relatively short in comparison, but it packs in a lot of varied content within a small space. Maybe that’s another reason to go with PGR 4 first? You’ll get done faster?

I do admit, I’m pretty impressed by the number of courses included in Forza 3. Even though I just finished Season 6 the other day, even on that day I still ran into a couple of variations on courses that I’d never seen before. (It was a variation of the map that came with the Forza 3 demo that I’d never run into before, and it was very different from all the other variations of that course).

Forza 3 is pretty awesome. Best racing game I’ve played in years, but I’m not as big of a racing nut as some in this thread probably are :)

Listen to Tom and I discuss the game: http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2009/11/18/qt3-games-podcast-eric-majkut-and-forza-3/

Test Drive Unlimited! Great blend of arcade/realism (with all the assists turned off), all of Oahu to drive around on with a nice blend of urban, country, and in-traffic racing, and quite the selection of cars and bikes.

Works quite well with a controller, too. Good sense of speed, maybe even better than Forza. On the other hand, it is a little older and doesn’t have super-fancy graphics or a rewind feature. :)

You know Eric, I had not yet listened to that podcast, I confess because I wasn’t terribly interested in listening to two guys talk about a racing game. But I will do so now.

Unfortunately I don’t have a free copy of this one. Not that I’m dismissing your suggestion out of hand, but I want to dip my feet into the games I have.

Anyway, this inspired interesting discussion as I had hoped it would, thanks everyone! No clear winner in the battle between PGR and Forza, when I thought Forza would walk away with it. This is fun!