F1 2011 by Codemasters

Vote for the best F1 racing game series

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 2011 by Codemasters
F1 2011 by Codemasters

When asked to name the best F1 racing game of all time, F1 Fanatics nominated titles spanning 20 years of gaming.

But which was the best of all time?

Take a look at the most popular picks below and vote for your favourite.

Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series



Formula One Grand Prix (aka World Circuit) (PC, Amiga, Atari)
Grand Prix 2 (PC)
Grand Prix 3 and GP3-2000 (PC)
Grand Prix 4 (PC)

It’s hard to exaggerate how influential Geoff Crammond’s original 1991 Formula One Grand Prix series was on later F1 racing games. And, indeed, F1 game designers, who still refer back to the Grand Prix series as one of the finest example of F1 video games.

It was a somewhat idiosyncratic creation with an unusual physics engine and turn-based multiplayer system. But what was most endearing about the Grand Prix series was its sense of liberty – an aspect which feels refreshing if you fire up GP4 after spending some time in the more restrictive world of modern F1 games.

Here was a game you could treat as you please: as an easy arcade thrash with all the driving assists on, as a tricky simulation taking on a two-hour race at Monaco in the rain, or indulging in the mindless fun of 400mph closing speed crashes that split your car in two.

Surely the greatest sign of its lasting popularity it that people continue to play it and apply lovingly-detailed modifications almost a full decade since the last game was released.

And the intro music for the original game was The Chain. What more could you ask for?

It is just so much fun and so far, the most accurate F1 game I?ve ever played.

The physics seem to be unparalleled and the artificial intelligence actually provided close and exciting racing without being erratic and completely unpredictable (unlike the Codemasters games). With all of the assists off and the AI turned up to the max, it?s nail-biting stuff.

The thing I like about it is that if you make a single mistake and do something as simple as dropping a wheel on the grass, it?s the end of your race. It?s the only F1 game I?ve played where mistakes are correctly punished and the grass has the correct level of adhesion (basically none!). If you?ve not played it, you?re missing out.

Easily the best F1 game ever, in my opinion.

Formula One series – Bizarre Creations



Formula 1 (PlayStation, PC)
Formula 1 97 (aka Formula 1 Championship Edition) (PlayStation, PC)

Bizarre Creations only produced two Formula 1 games but the second of these – Formula 1 97 for the first-generation PlayStation – is surely the epitome of arcade-style console racing games.

Its colourful graphics and convincing impressions of the cars and tracks dazzled gamers. The pick-and-up-play simplicity it offered won it many admirers.

And the addition of commentary from Murray Walker and Martin Brundle – ITV’s F1 commentary duo at the time – cranked up the fun factor to 11.

Sure there have been plenty of F1 games released since with better graphics, physics, more immersive season modes.

But for whatever reason, none of these even come close to the sheer fun of playing Formula 1 97. So much so that it still gets a whirl in my PS3.

Grand Prix Legends


Grand Prix Legends (PC)

The awesome attention to detail in Grand Prix Legends’ depiction of the 1967 Formula 1 season was simply stunning, and more than made up for the fact that the game was excruciatingly difficult.

It was one of the first games to feature the full Nurburgring Nordschleife, and the Green Hell has never looked more fearsome than it has from the cockpit of a Lotus 49.

Grand Prix Legends was not a great commercial success for Papyrus, who had previously made IndyCar racing titles. But it has a hardcore following among racing simulator buffs and fans of historic racing in particular. Almost 15 years after it went on sale, the Grand Prix Legends community is still going strong.

Astonishingly, they have even modelled the 72km Targa Florio sports car track for it. And don’t miss this video of a true Grand Prix legend – Jackie Stewart – watching and talking about the game.

Not only it represents one of the golden eras of Formula 1, but it was so advanced when it was released. The graphics were pretty, the cars were astonishing, the sounds were epic, and the feel of the thing: on a class of its own.

Even nowadays it feels modern, nothing like the games of today. As if no one ever cared to design a simulator that accurate, and one has to remember Grand Prix Legends was released when PlayStation 1 was still the way to go for most gamers.

It?s without a shadow of doubt, the best F1 game I?ve ever played.
Fer no.65

F-1 World Grand Prix



F-1 World Grand Prix (Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Dreamcast, others)
F-1 World Grand Prix 2 (Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, others)

F-1 World Grand Prix, which first appeared on the Nintendo 64, is about as far from Grand Prix Legends as it’s possible to get.

But this short-lived series benefitted from some well thought-out and original ideas and is fondly remembered by many of those who played it first time around.

Among the most popular was the series of challenges that invited you to recreate famous moments from the 1997 season – such as Damon Hill almost winning the Hungarian Grand Prix in his Arrows.

F-1 World Grand Prix was one of my personal favourites. It was a genuine, tough and satisfying sim on a console which didn?t do racers that well.

Formula One series – Psygnosis/Studio 33/SCEE



Formula One 99 (Playstation)
Formula One Arcade (PlayStation)
Formula One 2000 (PlayStation)
Formula One 2001 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 2002 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 2003 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 04 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 05 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 06 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One Championship Edition (PlayStation 3)

After the departure of Bizarre Creations, and following an unloved 1998 game produced by Visual Science, the Formula 1 series for PlayStation passed into the hands of Psygnosis, which later became SCE Studio Liverpool. Their series of F1 games endured largely because Sony eventually obtained an exclusive licence – bad news for F1 fans without a PlayStation.

Although they stood accused of churning out games that were little changed beyond annual updates to the cars, drivers and tracks, they did boast some popular features such as unlock-able bonus circuits.

Early PS2 titles were notable for including DVD season reviews that were far better quality than the commercially-available video tapes. There were also versions of some of the games for hand held consoles.

F1 06 on the PS2 is in my opinion pretty underrated?? it has pretty good gameplay and a very clinical feel to it, which I always appreciate.

EA Sports F1 games



F1 2000 (Playstation, PC)
F1 Championship Season 2000 (PlayStation 2, PC, others)
F1 2001 (Playstation 2, Xbox, PC)
F1 2002 (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, others)
F1 Challenge ?99-?02 (aka F1 Career Challenge) (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, others)

EA Sports’ series of F1 games is best remembered for its final instalment, which spanned four seasons from 1999 to 2002.

This proved a major hit with game modifiers, and has proved a popular platform for expansion. Unofficial packs have been produced for dozens of different seasons.

I enjoyed [F1 Challenge ?99-?02]: the graphics were quite realistic and the features were many.

You could drive the car in the pit lane; you could jump the start; you could lose a wheel and continue; you had all the sessions of a Grand Prix, a grid walk-through, mechanical failures, aggressive AIs (if you had a certain difficulty level ?ǣ admittedly, when you were alongside, they dived out of your way), AIs crashing, tyres wore out, fuel decreased, your speed increased as your fuel reduced and your traction decreased as your tyres wore out.



rFactor (PC)

rFactor was among the first of the modern generation of racing games where much of the content is community-created.

There is plenty in the way of modern cars and tracks but one pack created by users which stands out is the superb 1979 season.

Being free of commercial restrictions, you can do pretty much as you please with it. So if you want to drive a 1979 Ligier JS11 on a combination of the modern Monza F1 track plus the old oval – you can (see video).

With rFactor you can pretty much race any season of F1 you can think of and has great physics to match with great sounds and fairly good graphics as well

Codemasters’ F1 2010 and F1 2011



F1 2010 (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
F1 2011 (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC, others)

F1 2011, the latest F1 game from Codemasters, brings the official series bang up-to-date with modern features such as DRS, KERS and even the appearance of the safety car.

Taking advantage of the capabilities of today’s hardware and exploiting the benefits of the FOM licence including access data supplied by the teams, virtual F1 has never looked better than in the latest title.

It’s hugely popular among F1 gamers online – that much is clear from the number of threads given over to it in the forum. The latest edition permits up to 16 people to race simultaneously.

F1 2010 and F1 2011 are the games I?ve enjoyed the most. They are the games which I?ve been the most engaging for me.

The thrill of taking tenths of your previous laps (yes, I?m sad) was just great and something that wasn?t as enjoyable in past F1 games. The Collantine Cup has also vastly increased my interest in the game.

I?d say F1 2011 is the best I?ve played simply because it has a bit more than F1 2010. However there are still many small problems which stop the game from being perfect.

Vote for the best F1 racing game series ever

Which of these is your favourite F1 game or Formula 1 series? Cast your vote below and explain your choice and tell us which of them you’ve played in the comments.

Which is the best F1 racing game / game series?

  • Geoff Crammond?s Grand Prix series (25%)
  • Formula One series ?ǣ Bizarre Creations (5%)
  • Grand Prix Legends (6%)
  • F-1 World Grand Prix (3%)
  • Formula One series ?ǣ Psygnosis/SCEE (6%)
  • EA Sports F1 games (8%)
  • rFactor (9%)
  • Codemasters? F1 2010 and F1 2011 (38%)

Total Voters: 508

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“But what about…?”

Where’s iRacing? What about Grand Prix Manager 2? How could you forget Super Monaco GP?

If your favourite F1 game is not listed above either it didn’t get nominated or it wasn’t popular enough.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

190 comments on “Vote for the best F1 racing game series”

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  1. Having played most of games listed, I have to say iRacing, even though is not popular enough doesn’t mean its not the best

  2. To me F-1 World Grand Prix on Nintendo 64 was the first F1 game worth wasting time on. SCEE:s Formula One series were great but nothing beats Codmasters F1 series – they have many things to improve, yeah, but all in all I´ve never played better F1 games even if you don´t mention the DRS and KERS functions that also add pretty much to the gameplay.

    When it comes to GP Legends, rFactor and the early Grand Prix games they are too unforgiving – It´s not that hard to drive a F1-car. Anthony Davidson himself commented on that while working with Codemasters on their latest games.

  3. Crammonds F1 is “for sure” (as all F1 drivers seem obliged to say during any interview) the best F1 game, however it took it’s lead from Crammonds earlier incarnation “Revs”. Initially for the BBC micro, Revs was developed with the testing assistance of David (brother of James) Hunt and was the class of its field when released by a significant distance. I presume it’s inclusion here is omitted as it was an F3 car.

    I still remember my fastest lap (1:24.8) around the old Silverstone.

    Tricky to master but with tremendous feel it had an unusual steering mechanism that had you using the space bar to add lock when turning (left or right) which was something of an acquired taste.

  4. I thought GP2 by Geoff Crammond was fantastic. These days, games seem to be eye candy first, then gameplay.

    I got into Grand Prix Legends, which is a mega challenge and probably the ultimate racing simulation. To win feels an achievement, plus you raced on the long version of Spa (8.7 miles) and the Nurburgring. No Tilke tracks here!

    There is still an active community and the game has been modded pretty significantly, and although graphically, is dated, it has a soul, which is missing from modern racing games.

    1. I think it’s the only game I’ve played that had the original version of Spa in it. Are there any others?

      1. @keithcollantine If you count the conversion of the GPL track to rFactor, and ISI’s detailed scratch-made version for rFactor 2, then yes.

        1. @SouthPawRacer That sounds like fun!

          I was curious to know if it’s appeared in any other “on the shelf” games.

          1. Check out iRacings laser scanned Spa, with their FW31. Incredible quality. Head n shoulders above any version of the circuit.

          2. @keithcollantine Well, technically, the rFactor 2 version is off the shelf, because it comes as a default track with the game. :)
            “Off the shelf” may not be the right term for it though, because the game is not available on disc.

  5. The only people who are not voting for rFactor are those who have not played it ;)

    1. @infy Well-put mate. Who doesn’t want to drive a modern F1 car at Nords or Laguna Seca? rFactor is the ONLY game that allows it, and it’s a simulator to boot. :D

  6. I had the most fun with all the mods for F1 Challenge, so I chose that game, i played it for 7 years, so it had to be my choice.

  7. rFactor hands-down for me.

      1. count me in.

  8. I would have voted for Geoff Crammonds Grand Prix series as it was the big F1 game that suddenly brought all the main elements you wanted in an F1 game, but instead I went for Grand Prix Legends.
    We all look at the the Grand Prix series as bringing in setups and multiplayer and a damage model etc… However, it was 3 years earlier that Papyrus had released “Indianapolis 500: The Simulation” (1989) on the PC and it was from this that the benchmark of setup and damage model was set. Papyrus went on to make Indycar Racing (1993), that was a great sim and took all their knowledge to give us GPL many years later (1998)
    GPL was the first F1 game / sim that you really had to have a steering wheel. No longer could you just jump in and drive, like other games as there were no driving aids. You needed you ease your way in. When you finally got it right it was supreme and the satisfaction was immense. However, GPL would not be the great sim we remember without the huge amount of dedicated modding work by the community that still follows it today. GPL although well over 10 years old is still playable today on the latest PC and looks as great as a modern game. It truly set a benchmark that others are still trying to replicate.

  9. Still has to be F-1 World Grand Prix on the N64 for me. Fun and accessible, it was still nails hard if that’s what you wanted, and captured what the fans want better than pretty much any F1 game. The Challenge mode in particular was the reason to play the game, and I’m baffled as to why Codemasters don’t have a similar feature in their games, even if it were released on DLC.

    Both Bizarre (RIP) and Geoff Crammond also made great games, but the two Codemasters games have been frustrating experiences, particularly given how amazing they could potentially be. Hopefully F1 2012 will fix some of the bigger problems.

    1. I have but two things to say right now:

      1) I’m amazed how popular F1 2010/2011 are proving. I was expecting some support from those who haven’t experienced the classics, but I think I speak for many by saying that I believe many of us will be slightly miffed if it wins (which is looking likely so far).

      2) I’m depressed how little support F-1 World Grand Prix is getting. I guess too many people experienced the Dreamcast version!

  10. Crammonds F1GP series were fantastic. They really are the only F1 games that I have happily sat through a whole season of playing. F1GP4 still looks awesome – and still plays a better game than even the latest Codemasters versions.
    Codemasters stole a few years of my life when they released Grid – but their F1 games leave me thinking they kinda missed the boat whith gameplay….

    F1GP series FTW.

    1. Yep, have to agree here. I forked out for every F1-type game that came out for the Amiga looking for something that Crammond’s original finally delivered. Full 3D? ALL the tracks? ALL the cars? elevation? full races? pit stops? set-ups? multi-player? damage? full championship? It was a dream – there was nothing that was comparable, and it was only ever bettered by Indycar Racing 1/2 imo. I couldn’t get into the console games – fun, but all too arcadey.

      GP3 & 4, and GPL came along a little too late for me, I tried to find the time to dedicate to it, and loved GPL when I managed to do so, but it never held me in a slack-jawed and goggle-eyed trance at 4am like GP1 & 2 did. I’m blown away by the vids from rFactor, but I know I’d have to force myself to sit down with it.

  11. F1 2010 are awful.
    Both are full of bugs. The car setup is completely illogical and the physics and damage is awful for a game for this generation of gaming.

    1. *sand f1 2011

  12. Iracing is clearly king

  13. Voting F1 (Bizarre) but last night’s epic race and a very Schumacher/Barrichello-eque overtake almost made me vote Codemasters.


    That was the culmination of an incredible 7 minute chase: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dLt0jjWTmsg#t=2054s

    Fantastic racing with the fellow racers I’ve met through F1F.

  14. It would be codemasters games, if it wasn’t for the total and utter joke that is its production value’s… thanks to codemasters giving the dev team bearly any time to make a proper product.

    1. I like this one better!

      1. Yeh ive seen that one, awesome vid :]

  15. Glad my nomination got to the list :)!

  16. i hink f1 2010 was amazing, massive step up from the rest, f1 2011 is good but there is something about f1 2010 which i soo loved, i was hooked on it for ages.. great game

  17. Sorry, but who is doing the demo of F1 ’97? They clearly can’t drive!

    1. Yep, they even got overtaken by Larini !

  18. Voted Grand Prix Legends, of course.

    As ever, it’ll never be recognised by gamers and fanatics because it’s just not popular enough. I’ve played a game of every series (except Bizarre creations) and none of them catch the essence of F1 better than GPL.

    I hope people give it a go after this post. Many would be surprised… and Papyrous (or whoever owns the rights right now) should remaster it and add online playability.

    1. What’s left of Papyrous now make iRacing. It’s brilliant and suggest you give it a try out!

      1. @ajokay: but I have to pay a monthly suscription which I cannot afford!

        Plus, I cannot keep up with the speed of technology. So my PC runs on coal compared to modern machines :P.

    2. I second that. And I wrote a similar post as well. :)

  19. From F1GP on my monochrome laptop (the spray effects in wet weather looked amazing!) to GP4, the Geoff Crammond series has to win hands down, the fact that a lot of the F1 tracks in rFactor are ports of GP4 tracks shows how well they were done (or lazy people are xD).

    What I really liked is the fact there was a rolling scale of difficulty, so the 10 year old me could play and enjoy F1GP just as much as adult me enjoyed GP4 with a wheel and some shades of difficulty between. The ability to hot-seat multiplayer was brilliant too, though the network play could drop sync so easily… That said, I’m pretty appalled at what Codemasters consider adequate net play in this day and age, I mean even if they just added hot seat it’d be an improvement…

    I liked GPL but I have nowhere near the skill required to get much out of it.. The only other one I tried out of the list is F1 Challenge 1999-2002.. Cool that it was built for multi-seasons, but I could just not get into it… Think some of the console based ones looked so ugly as well, considering GP2 (and GP3 for some of them) was so old and still looked a damn sight better.

    I think the problem with F1 2010/2011 is the atmosphere is just like being in a vacuum… Weirdly GRID actually had quite cool atmosphere so I don’t know how they managed to get it wrong. That said, despite my bashing, I love playing both games, just they could just be so much more!

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