A GRID Series Retrospective: How the Franchise Put the Racing Genre on Notice

This has encouraged me to not only revisit that, but hunt down the other two games.

Not that I doubt this was the plan, but I felt obligated to leave this just in case: if you can, get the first game on PC. There exists a mod that will turn off the yellow filter, and it makes an already fantastic racer-and-so-much-more even better - well worth the hunt they added when it (and Grid 2) was yanked from Steam in recent years.

There is also a mod that adds the two DLC packs (one of which was available only on PS3. It was around 2010, it was a weird time for DLC) thanks to them being added in the Mac release, but as I'm not quite sure exactly how gray an area I'm already in, I'll leave it at the mere suggestion that this exists.

Just to land myself in even hotter water, if you do all of that and eventually find yourself thinking "yeah, all those DLC cars are nice and all, but I wish I could use them in the career mode".. keep an eye on the Grid 1 thread. Interesting things are happening.
I don't have the first 2, but I ended up playing Grid Autosport today. 👍
If this isn't spot on, it's within a breath of it. As a level headed person, all three games were indeed good, each had their ups and downs, and each are able to provide fun...

As one who counts the first game as part of my top 5 lifetime, all be it calmer than before, 2 and Autosport disappointed because the change in focus. Funny enough, Grid 2s online felt kinda like the first game, just more crash happy driving.

Well done article @Brend
I've had Autosport sitting on my PS3 for about two or three years at this point but have done maybe 10 laps. This has encouraged me to not only revisit that, but hunt down the other two games. That puts the total at about 10 you've convinced me to own, @Brend. :D

Ha, my apologies!
If this isn't spot on, it's within a breath of it. As a level headed person, all three games were indeed good, each had their ups and downs, and each are able to provide fun...

As one who counts the first game as part of my top 5 lifetime, all be it calmer than before, 2 and Autosport disappointed because the change in focus. Funny enough, Grid 2s online felt kinda like the first game, just more crash happy driving.

Well done article @Brend

Cheers man!
My two favorite things about Grid 1 was the soundtrack and the representation in terms of driver, cars and series. As mentioned in the article, the soundtrack is pure, unadulterated, quality. Every track adds to the experience, and not a single piece of music feels out of place. This playlist has I believe every track in the game, including the "final lap" versions of certain songs, where the music would amp up in intensity during the final moments of a race.

In terms of representation, I can't think of another arcade racer that is so accesiable and focused on fun, while also taking itself seriously in a non-cringey way. One minute, you're racing muscle cars on the streets of San Fran, Detroit, and DC. The next minute, your competing in drift tourneys against real-world D1GP teams and drivers, or doing "illegal" togue races against some of the most famous Japanese tuner shops. The minute after, you're competing in the WTCC against the works BMW team, or taking on the European Le Mans Series and its drivers. All of which culminated at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where you would compete against some of the most famous sports car team, like Pratt & Miller, Spyker Squadron, and Audi Team Joest. And it felt like you were actually there in a way. It didn't feel like you were racing to complete an objective, it felt like you were actually in one of the most prestigious races in the world, and that you were racing to prove that you earned your place amongst these top teams.

Race Driver GRID accomplished something that I've seen very few racers truly accomplish since: It was both action-packed and authentic. The physics, fictional track locations and performance balance between cars was noticeable, but did very little to break the suspension of disbelief. Every race felt like a real event, especially the licensed championships and real-world teams, and it really felt like you were another member of the highly-competitive world of international motorsport, rather than just racing for the sake of being the best, if that makes sense.

Well, that's more than enough gushing. Thanks for the article @Brend! You've really brought back a healthy dose of nostalgia for me!
I own all four titles. and GRID does have a special place in my heart.

Race Driver: GRID was and is an all-time classic. It simulated a very gritty/blockbuster aspect of motorsport, which it was all about capturing all of the exciting moments of watching a race, in that sense, there was a level of unpredictability going into each race cause sometimes you didn't know how it would end up. lol I loved the fact that Codemasters wasn't aiming to capture the Forza/Gran Turismo audience with it's car selection, only focusing on just pure race-tuned vehicles throughout its disciplines. GRID to me set the bar for how to do a motorsport focused career in a racing game that I did wish further titles kept some elements of it. I loved the tracks in this game, nothing like blasting through the hills of SF or the brightly lit streets of Tokyo around the Shibuya/Shinjuku area and at the same time introducing me to tracks like Jarma that should be in more games. I have a lot of great memories of the first GRID and it's in my list of favorite racing games of all time.

GRID 2: I liked everything about GRID 2 except the handling, just being way too arcadey and it took a while to get used to. I like that they expanded the car-list to include, tuners, sports cars, exotics, muscle, and hypercars as well as keeping elements of the original disciplines of the first game. I remember GRID 2 for it's glitz and glamor-style presentation with a career focused on working your way up to the WSR and building up a social media presence. It was very well represented in how the tracks are designed with all of the props, fireworks, grandstands and such. Playing it years later I have a better outlook, but I need to treat it as a purely arcade focused racer to play it. Still had some of that excitement as the first but I still prefer the Career and handling of the first game.

GRID Autosport: To me this was Codemasters saying, "We messed up on GRID 2 and we're trying to make up for it with the next title." And going that focus on actual motorsport and building up your experience in each discipline. I liked it at first but didn't play it that much back in 2014, but five years later, Im now liking Autosport even more. I like the fact that each disciplines events had their own kinda structure such as Touring Cars having two race events based on your qualifying position. Qualifying acutally made the career feel more authentic and immersive for me and I really got into it. The car and track list was a greatest hits selection of the first two games with some new content added. I now love racing in Hockenheim in other games thanks to Autosport. lol The struggles for me came in the Endurance races where I get the setup based on time, but I do think they should've included pitstops just for that discipline hence I stayed away from that for the most part. I enjoyed doing the Street Races and Open Wheel races the most. lol The handling is more focused on trying to capture that original games handling model, but the cars felt very floaty in all disciplines, which is one thing I appreciate about the 2019 reboot not being as floaty as Autosport. The downside is that Autosport didn't have that sense of Unpredictability that I found in GRID and a little in GRID 2 but what I did get was some good battles and good racing in general. Autosport couldn't capture the magic that we got in Race Driver: GRID but to me this was a solid racer of the last generation and still offers solid racing playing it nowadays.
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RDG was a gem. It was the first game I finished on PS3 way back in 2008. Looking back on it now physics weren't that special but coming from PS1 straight to HD it was miles ahead of anything I've ever experienced before. The career mode and presentation was also top notch. You really feel like part of a living breathing motorsport world. I still remember not being able to beat Ravenwest in the shootout in the Koenigsegg CCX at La Sarthe, and rage quitted and downloaded a completed game save instead (back when game saves were not tied to your accounts) :lol:

GRID 2 I would have to disagree with the author. Physics was not it's strong suit. It's woefully inconsistent and to be fast you have to enter corners at ridiculous slip angles, Ridge Racer style. I adapted to it and was quite quick back in the day but there are still moments where I can't predict what the physics is going to do at the limit. Career mode and presentation is still top notch however it was much shorter than RDG (and this is when you start to see Codies cutting corners).

GAS came out barely a year later. I always see this as an "apology" game for GRID 2. Basically the same car and track list with an understeer patch to the physics engine. Career mode, despite long, is now completely devoid of personality however and it feels like a complete chore to complete after RDG and G2. I wasn't really impressed by it, though people who missed G2 seemed to find it adequate.

GRID 4, the current game, from what I've seen seems to be GAS Remastered with a couple of new cars and tracks (though total list is smaller) and still the same soulless career mode. I feel it could be a fun game, but not at the price of a new AAA game, especially with all the DLCs (sorry, held back content) Codies are planning. It could be a fun diversion for a month, but it's definitely not a long term game I feel.

Ultimately I don't think anything will ever top RDG because sequels tend to never live up the the hype of the "first one". Also Codies seem to be moving more and more towards the extreme racing presentation than professional TOCA feel with added grittiness of the first GRID. It's a shame because if they do it properly I feel they can make a really good more casual counterpart to PCARS (sorta like Forza and its Horizon sister). As it is, I feel it's just another quick cash grab by Codies, and will be quickly forgotten in a year as they move on to the next endless sequels of DIRT and F1 games.
Impeccable writing here, as per the norm...

I own all 3 games on my PC. The original is a game that I am tantalisingly close to completing (just completed the Phillips Open Wheel World Championship), and a game I have enjoyed immensely. GRID 2 was the first game I ever felt post-game depression with: I invested so much time into that damn game, and its stupid story: I made up personas and backstories for the AI racers, and had a fierce, game-spanning rivalry with Bruno Silva. My Koenigsegg got a tyre puncture in the final lap of the final career race, and I remember wildly diving across the line to beat Kirkwood in the championship standings by 2 points. Autosport is one I recently got into, a few weeks back, when it was just under two pounds on Humble Bundle. Currently just unlocked the first GRID Grand Slam :) Really enjoying it so far, but not as much as the other two games.

GRID is IMHO the best Codemasters series (yes, that includes TOCA Race Driver and the Scottish engineer) to ever be released, followed by F1 and DIRT. The original GRID was and still is a seminal player in the racing genre, and a pinnacle of arcade/simcade perfection. GRID 2 got a bad rap, but was ultimately a fantastic game that I sunk many hours into. Autosport continues to delight and surprise me as I go through the motions.

Overall, I love the GRID series and will steadfastly hold by it until death do us part, even as the new game seems to be 🤬.
Ian Livingstone's OST is also fantastic, really nailing the drama of the pre-race start, or a last lap tussle for the lead.
One thing I’m thankful for is that GAS is also available on iOS. If you want a decent racing experience on your iPhone, that’s the one. It has controller support, but even the tilt steering and pressure sensitivity without it is pretty decent.