Go back to Ford Racing 2

Written by: Rik

Date posted: April 26, 2015

If there is a game called Ford Racing 2, then you might reasonably posit the existence of a game called Ford Racing. Not only does such a game, indeed, exist, but I happen to own a copy of it.

This was never my intention. A casual glimpse at screenshots on Mobygames had already advertised the fact that, even to the most dedicated follower of obscure racing games, it was likely to be an unappealing prospect. You can’t always tell if a game is going to be dull by simply looking at a few stills, but in this case, they’re absolutely representative of the kind of experience that lies in wait, should you boot the game up.

Somehow, though, the disc came to be in my possession, following an impulse purchase of Crazy Taxi on eBay. Evidently, at some point publishers Empire decided to give away copies of Ford Racing with other titles in their Xplosiv budget range (idle speculation on my part: they had a warehouse full of them get rid of – the bundle isn’t even advertised on the box, there’s a just a sticker slapped on the front saying ‘Free Game Inside’) and I was a lucky beneficiary. You’d expect the eBay seller to have made a big deal of the fact that the auction was for two games, not one, but – strangely enough – it wasn’t mentioned.

The Windows version was known as Ford Racing 2001, in the UK at least, and on first glance it does at least seem to represent a significant improvement over the 1999 PSX version, the Wikipedia entry for which states: “Reception: The game was poorly received, with The Official PlayStation Magazine asking why it was released.”

FR2001 isn’t awful, but it’s also not the kind of thing you’d play for more than, say, enough time to make a snap judgement about it for a short piece on your website. Unlike the upbeat arcade stylings of FR2, it’s a bit like a knock-off version of TOCA, except everyone drives a Ford. It is at least slightly more UK-centric than its sequels, though, and anyone who’s ever dreamed of racing a Ford Ka around a track against a field of other identical vehicles can certainly make that dream a reality, but for everyone else, it’s among the less interesting entries in PC racing history.

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