The Perfect NASCAR Video Game

In my last article, I talked about what NASCAR NXT needs to bring the NASCAR video game franchise back into the spotlight and good graces of the gaming community.  This time around, I'm gonna take away all the restrictions that we know exist in the gaming world.  This is going to be what I believe would be the perfect NASCAR game.  I'll go over the different features I would put in this game if money, sponsors, and time were not an issue.  NASCAR games are what helped make me a fan of the sport, so this will be a fun dive into NASCAR games.

Basic Layout

I think simplicity makes a strong game.  If everything is easy to find and laid out in a way that is simple for gamers to understand the game will feel more fun.  In my opinion, older games such as NASCAR '09 had this figured out the best.  A simple listing of different game modes that a player could scroll through and select what they want to play.  The home screen of a game should be welcoming to the player, so perhaps some background gameplay footage of cars going around the track, drivers celebrating wins, and hardcore wrecks would be fun to see.  The game mode layouts would look like this: Race Now, NASCAR: Time Machine, Career Mode, Multiplayer, Extra Modes, Paint Booth, Driver Stats, and Options.  Some of these modes may not look familiar and I'll explain each of these more in-depth soon.  Overall, the home screen would have a simple format that is welcoming and simple for both the young, upcoming racer to the hardcore veterans of NASCAR gaming.

Race Now

This is the simplest of all the game modes that this game would provide.  However, Race Now would be split into different subsections.  First, a player would find the Exhibition Race mode.  This would be where a driver could hop in random races and just battle the AI at their own leisure.  Second, would be the Split Screen mode.  This would allow players the opportunity to battle their friend against the AI.  Test Sessions would follow this, allowing players to get out on the track and test setups.  Like NASCAR Heat 5, players would be able to tinker with the tire wear, fuel mileage, and AI difficulty when testing.  Finally, Season mode would found here as well.  Season mode would be relatively the same as it is in NASCAR Heat 5, but a few changes would be made.  Custom schedules would be available once again.  Also, players would be able to fully customize the playoff format (Winston, Chase, Playoff.) Players could determine how many drivers can race, how many make the playoffs, and how many get eliminated.  Season mode would be a way for players to have total control over a NASCAR season and be as crazy as they wanted to be.

NASCAR Time Machine

This mode is probably the one that has the most people scratching their heads.  This mode is very similar to Showcase mode in the WWE 2K series of games.  This would take the player back in time to different eras of the sport.  There are multiple ways to go about this game mode, but I would go all in on this game mode.  Separating the sport into the last five decades of the sport, the game would allow players to play as old school drivers in key moments of the 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000's, and 2010's.  I would implement cutscenes that shows footage of old races.  Players could watch battles from Richard Petty and David Pearson to Dale Earnhardt and Terry Labonte to Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.  The possibilities would be endless.  That's not all though.  In this mode, players would be able to unlock items such as tracks, firesuits, and paint schemes from back in the day.  This would give players a reason to check this game mode out.  It would give older players a chance to relive some of their favorite moments and newer players a look at what NASCAR used to be.

Career Mode

Career Mode is arguably the most played mode in NASCAR games.  This is the mode where a player can suit up and begin their own journey through the ranks of NASCAR.  There are a lot of ways to go with this but the way I'm gonna go gives the player the most options and customizability.