Like all car nuts this Christmas, I'll be faced with friends and relatives buying me crap
because it's got cars on it or is related to cars in some way. Still, if you can't stop this from happening, you can always eBay the unwanted items and put the proceeds towards a bargain in the sales.
Here are the five car games you simply cannot live without in 2013:
1. LittleBigPlanet Karting (PS3)
One for the big kids, LBPK is essentially Sony's mascot title LittleBigPlanet grafted onto the cutesy karter ModNation Racers, with the best bits of both. A posterchild for the "Play. Create. Share"
ethos, LBPK allows you to customise everything, including tracks, and share them online
to distribute the lunacy. With a token effort at a storyline not getting in the way of fun, it's a game you can dip into whenever you feel like and discover over and over again.
Best price - £25
2. Forza Horizon (XBox 360)
With all the obsession with realism between the big console releases, it's nice to see a slightly less serious approach. Horizon retains much of the visuals of the canon titles but takes the car list away from the track and out into a fictional open-world environment. A simplified physics model leads to a different feel for the game and the on-disc DLC is a bit of a dampener, but Forza Horizon puts the fun back into the realistic driving genre
Best price - £28
3. DiRT Showdown (360/PC/PS3)
Showdown harks back to the days of what racing games used to be like. An obstacle and jump-filled arena is your race track and a baying crowd is your reward. If you tire of that, there's a Block-esque gymkhana mode and when that's done with you can just smash the hell out of everything
. It's as deep as a gravy boat and mature as a tadpole - but it doesn't pretend to be anything different.
Best price - £15
4. GT5 Academy Edition (PS3)
GT5's the venerable relative now, with 2 years under its belt, but it still continues to surprise. On top of the 1,000 cars the base game has to offer, the Academy Edition gives you most of the DLC - including the magnificent Spa-Francorchamps - for free, a voucher for GT-branded clothing and entry to an exclusive competition that could see you as guest of honour at the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours. All at the third of the cost of a regular new game!
Best price - £16
5. Need for Speed - Most Wanted (360/PC/PS3/Vita)
The Need for Speed franchise has been top of the "arcade" racer tree for nearly 20 years and Most Wanted is the latest addition to the family. Gamers who enjoyed Driver: San Francisco will find a lot of familiarity with MW, featuring real cars, open world city streets, deformable environments
and point to point races where the player can choose their own route. MW also features a unique cross-platform competition mode allowing you to play on one machine and continue your progress on another...
Best price - £25 (£20 PC)
This is a guest post by Andrew Evans, UK reporter for GTPlanet.net