Busting the boredom: Your guide to the best video games for bikers
Have you ever dreamed of sitting on a packed MotoGP grid - surrounded by the greatest motorcycle racers in history? Or lusted over the thought of pushing the latest bikes on road and short circuits across the globe? Of course you have.
While that may only be a reality for the select few, motorcycle video games can offer the next best thing – with a smorgasbord of options for the latest consoles serving up everything from world championship grand prix thrills, to arcade road racing excellence.
There’s even post-apocalyptic, bike-based shooters and challenging trials experiences to be had and to help you download or purchase the right one for your needs, MCN has compiled this handy guide.
Put simply; this is the Gran Turismo of motorcycle racing games. Launched back in November 2018, it still takes the top-spot for all-round motorcycle racing console gaming – allowing you to play on everything from supermotos, to adventure bikes and classic four and two-stroke racers to the latest slick-shod superbikes.
Players can choose between over 230 bikes from 30 manufacturers, before customising them for better performance and handling with accessories from well-known brands like Arrow, Akrapovič, OZ Racing and more.
Races take place on both short circuits and road racing favourites; meaning you can push your BMW R1200GS around Macau one minute and attempting to tame a British Superbike-spec Ducati Panigale around Oulton Park the next.
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The latest in a long-line of official MotoGP games, this year’s offering sees players take on more of a managerial role in career mode, making decisions on team members in the garage and bike development, plus (most importantly) racing the bike against the current roster of Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP stars.
Much like MotoGP 19, the 2020 edition also houses historic challenges, allowing players to experience everything from John Kocinski’s snarling 500cc two-stroke Cagiva, to Shane 'Shakey' Byrne’s Aprilia RS Cube.
If you’re not satisfied playing as the official line-up of racing stars, there’s also plenty of customisation options; allowing you to create your own rider, liveries, helmet designs, race teams and more.
TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
Take on the infamous 37.73-mile Isle of Man TT course in this latest road racing epic on a series of modern and classic machines; including Davey Todd’s BMW S1000RR superbike and Steve Hislop’s yowling 1992 Senior TT-winning rotary Norton.
The ideal racing game for the lockdown period, spend hours attempting to master the world’s most famous road racing course and challenge your mates to beat your lap times.
Plus, if you want a break from the Isle of Man, there are also smaller road races to tackle, as well as an immersive free roam setting to test your bike’s set-up or simply blow out the cobwebs with a high-speed thrash.
Monster Energy Supercross 3 - The Official Videogame
While the world of Supercross might be something of a niche to many UK bikers, it’s hugely popular in the US. Why not take some time out and get to know the sport with Supercross 3?
Racing on either 250 or 450cc machines from official manufacturers and teams, players can choose between career mode and quick races, pushing yourself on the dirt, or taking the battle directly to your friends with online gameplay.
If you don’t fancy a race, you can also head to the series’ largest-ever test area; allowing you to fine-tune your riding skills, pull cunning stunts, or simply free roam.
Valentino Rossi: The Game
A slightly older option in this list, but certainly one worthy of note. Released in June 2016, this is a game that sees The Doctor’s love of two and four wheels collide; allowing you to race the then latest YZR-M1 MotoGP bike and Yamaha R1M superbike, as well as take part in car drift and rally challenges, plus sideways flat track action.
Competing in the MotoGP season, players can also re-trace the steps of Rossi’s career, as well as explore his famous ranch, where he still carries out much of his training. For a Rossi fan, this is well worth a purchase.
Released in 2017, Road Redemption is your chance to let off some serious steam; taking part in vehicular warfare in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Rated 18, this is very much a Road Rash for the modern era and while it might not be a game for the motorcycle racing purist, it could provide some great value entertainment.
Challenge up to 10 of your mates online, or enjoy four-way split screen multiplayer from home. There’s also a campaign mode, if you fancy causing some destruction on your own.
Compete all over the world in this challenging trials epic – letting players stamp their two-wheeled authority on everything from the Eiffel Tower, to Yellowstone National Park.
With official sponsorships from the likes of KTM and Fox Racing Gear, players can customise outfits and bike liveries, as well as build unique tracks.
On top of this, there is also a 'tandem bike' mode in multiplayer, which sees two riders contributing 50% of the power and balance whilst riding together on one bike. Get set for plenty of thrills, and plenty of spills!