26 years of Formula 1 PC games: A retrospective
Every year millions of fans are fascinated by the Formula 1 which is the perfect basis for a game. Since 26 years corresponding games have been released for PC. PC Games Hardware takes a look back.
Since 1950 the FIA Formula One World Championship has been taken place every year. The race on fame, glory and money captivates millions of fans. The motor sport, the drivers, teams and racetracks have created an ongoing myth.
In Germany the Formula 1 war extremely popular in times of Michael Schumacher and everybody was watching TV when a race was broadcasted. Formula 1 on PC had its peak around the turn of the millennium. Several games were trying to attract the customers' attention at that time.
Formula 1 games: Highlights
The probably most popular PC title is Goeff Crammonds Grand Prix which was developed by Microprose. It offered up-to-date graphics and was on a high level concerning realism and driving experience. Ubisoft, Eidos as well as EA were working on a racing game series at that time, too. Developer Papyrus which had been known for American racing series even dared an experiment and released the extreme difficult simulation Grand Prix Legends. The game offered old school racing cars and the legendary Nordschleife.
In addition to racing games several simulations around the topic Formula 1 were published. There you had to lead your racing team to the top. One of the most popular simulations was Pole Position of the German developer Ascaron. Some simulations are even available for download for free now. Grand Prix Manager 2 from 1996 in the English and XP compatible version is one of them.
Formula 1 games for PC
Formula 1 PC games have been developed since 1983. The release intervals have been very unsteady, though. Since 2003 no PC game has been released. EA cancelled the yearly update with F1 Challenge 09-02 in 2003. But racing game specialist Codemasters now announces F1 2010 which is based on the Ego Engine and eagerly awaited by fans.
At the moment Formula 1 does not seem to attract that many people any more like it did a couple of years ago - the reason being the changes within the regulations and the leave of Michael Schumacher.
Formula 1 games for Playstation
For the past years Sony Computer Entertainment has regularly released Formula 1 games for Playstation 2 and 3. A couple of years ago the series was also released for PC. Besides the PC games several console titles attracted attention. Representative for lots of those games we would like to mention Sega's Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II. Since we actually concentrated on PC racing games you might miss one or the other title. We did not forget them but could not find any screenshots. Whereas the most important games of this genre are represented in our picture gallery.
Now join us on our tour of 26 years Formula 1 history in PC games and enjoy reminiscing. In case you would like to know more about racing games please refer to the PCGH Special: The evolution of cars in PC games and Need for Speed in the course of time: 14 years of cars and babes compared. Now fasten your seatbelt and don't drive too fast.
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