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Virtual Wheels: Motorcycle Games to Play

How would you experience a Kawasaki Ninja H2R touch it milestone 400 km/h top speed without buying it, worrying about the insurance, maintenance, speed traps, scratches, fuel, or potholes? How about trying to get hold of a Yamaha R1 and going to a scenic road to compete with a bunch of friends in a checkpoint race? Even if you can afford to buy an Aprilia RSV4, can you throttle it through your neighborhood without giving a scare to the sleeping cat or the elderly? Feels like an amalgam of dreams and nightmare, doesn’t it? Well, don’t be thoroughly disappointed as we think esports might be the saving grace here!

Lately, Esports has been growing at an explosive rate especially taking into account how Coronavirus has restricted ones from venturing outdoors. Never had anyone guessed that an era of competitive motorsports on keyboards would come but it is here and booming beyond belief. For the layman, Esport is a competitive sport using video games. Saying that Esports today has various genres of games for anyone to participate in. What’s more, is that there are waves of official tournaments on national and global levels with humongous giveaways in both monetary and kind format. High-speed internet connections, super processive hardware systems along with realistic graphics have already been driving the last two generations crazy.

A petrol head is truly one in every aspect and at we are unconventional than the rest in every manner. We are here to embrace every form of the true biker inside you. Hence rather than torturing the polar bears in real life, you might be well off spending some time honing your skills in the virtual world. So we composed a list of all the games that a true biker should definitely try to kill some time. For this article we will strictly stick to the games which are only or primarily 2-wheeler based, ruling out titles such as Crew 2, Burnout Paradise, and more of that kind.

  1. Ride 3:

This can be termed as the Need for Speed of motorcycle racing. With around 230+ licensed motorcycles and 30 tracks, you can be spoilt for choice. The intricate details, game engine, graphics, and gameplay mode really make this one of the best two-wheeler games in the history of gaming. Having a range of modifications to choose from (both visual and performance-based), the game is allowing one to personalize each and every vehicle as per taste. The career mode is a good way to engage newbies and helps them grow step by step as the gameplay might need a bit of adjusting to even the pro fingers. Crash imitations are pretty properly done especially the ragdoll effects of a biker in a crash. Once you get a hang of it, Ride 3 certainly seems a worthy effort by Milestone SRL. Special mention to the night racing format which is beautiful and every bit the most realistic take ever seen on a game of this genre. Watch out for Ride 4 coming out at the end of this year.


Platforms: PC, PlayStation, and Xbox

  1. Moto GP 20:


Having the longest legacy of hardcore motorcycle racing game, Moto GP video game series has been in existence since the year 2000. Various famed developers such as Namco, THQ, and Capcom in the past have produced fantastic examples of the same but the latest game by Milestone SRL goes up a notch. Firstly, one must understand that this game is oriented towards people with clinical enthusiasm for this motorsport. Some notable examples are like the tire wearing feature as you race on, the aqua planning effect which causes the traction to decrease if the track is damp, how you need to know the right speed and point to enter and exit a corner otherwise can make you end up in greens resulting in a crash and so much more. The team management, research, and feedback system to each and every part of the bike and the same resulting in actual changes the next time you race the bike being at the player’s disposal makes this game insanely detailed. Intelligently obsessed about tarmac-based motorcycle motorsports is what you seek? This is the one to go for.


Platform: PC, XBOX, Playstation, Nintendo Switch

  1. GP Bikes:

A very different take on a motorcycle game. On the first glance, the factors like one motorcycle per category, dinosaur graphics, unlicensed bikes, a pretty basic website with not much to offer and a studio by the name of PiBoSo which is absolutely alien to any gamer out there; might make one think this to be a school boy’s attempt at making a motorcycle game. Honestly though if you spend some (painstaking) hours and end up mastering the controls, you would learn that this game is not about the textures of the grass or crowd simulation but focuses on the actual physics of how many angles, braking, and throttle would you need in real life when you are entering a corner on the Philip Island GP Circuit. When was the last time you had a community developing open-source mods (such as bikes and tracks) for you to install in your game and play it? If you live through this barebones format, you will certainly find this spectrum engaging enough then even Moto GP 2020 doesn’t have on offer as a freeware.


Platform: PC

  1. Road Rash:

This is a flashback for the 90s kids. It was probably the first proper motorcycle game for many people, as back then computer games were a miracle concept. Electronic Arts (EA) created this dream game themed about wacky and funky road riders who were racing each other on bikes with traffic obstacles and had landscaping worth enough to ruin your momentum if you bash into it. The icing on the cake being that you can thrash your opponents and even the chasing policeman by either kicking them or beat them up with weapons such as a baseball bat, chain, or a baton. All in nothing serious but pure fun. Remember the nitrous cheat code which would send your bike rocket out of the screen at times? The succeeding Road Rash II and Road Rash 3 were delivering the same response back in the day. Though do checkout Road Redemption which is the latest reboot of Road Rash, if flying over buildings and hitting a fellow rider with a baseball bat is what you are looking for!


Platform: Sega Genesis, Amiga, Master System, Game Gear, Game Boy, 3DO, Sega CD, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PC 

  1. MX GP 2019:

The official flag bearer of motocross bike racing and yet again it comes from the garage of Milestone SRL. The game does a good job of mimicking the rider movement of a real motocross rider. For instance, it demands proper skills like leaning back on the brakes rather than locking them up along with the need to raise the rider’s body upwards while you are approaching a corner. Details such as mud grooves, which is the footprint made by the tire of a bike when it moves through loose soil or sand, is such a delight to look at. How multiple mud grooves made by the competitors up front cause bumping enough to disrupt braking while approaching a corner is an instance proving how serious the developers were into rendering a realistic experience. Another refreshing take is the actual sponsor names like Monster Energy, Pirelli, and Maxxis which adds a hint of realism to the whole equation. A small number of options but licensed motorcycles give this game a few more brownie points. Since the career mode is not really a deal-breaker, having its own track editor does actually give a different sense of freedom to people who are really passionate about motocross. An open-world option by the name of the playground arena is also a nice touch. 90’s kids would relate this to the nostalgic era of the Microsoft Motocross Madness.


Platform: PC, Xbox and PlayStation 

Saying all this, Esports has yet to find its way to motorcycle racing. Not a lot of motorcycle games offer a good multiplayer format. Problems also surface by the fact that only a couple of studios have been serious enough to push it which is why Milestone SRL has our respect. Almost only 30% of the budget against any other car racing game being developed at the same time might be the biggest reason why the push still feels incomplete. Another problem might be how the game mechanics need to be a lot more detailed than for a car in a car racing game. In a car racing game, the car acts as just the wholesome body which needs to be coded for movements whereas in motorcycle racing two different kinds of coding (one for the rider and the other one for the bike as such) are needed and that too in conjugation. Esports definitely has the power to push the envelope in the bike racing arena too and we hope in future there would be waves of gaming stations with players competing in a motorcycle game rather than Dota or Warcraft.

Now you have another reason to stay off the streets without getting bored. Tag your friends and see who is the best by challenging them in your favorite game from the ones listed above. You got the safest way to crack open throttle and dance around bends today. Go for that apex now!

Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by it's author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it's owners.

The views and opinions expressed on this web site are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Steve Gerweck, the GERWECK.NET staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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Motorbikes India (MI) is an online magazine about motorcycles in India. Motorbikes news, articles, clubs & events, routes, insurance, finance, maintenance & safety. We welcome contributions, from anyone that is enthusiastic about biking. If you are part of a motorbike club in India, please be sure to keep your club info and events up to date in our clubs section.

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