Highlights for those who don’t want to go through all that:
I’m not sure I own anything else that is a racing game. I see nothing racing on my Epic or GOG account(I own less there).
I do like rally…are these games the modern-ish version of Colin Mcrae? I played Colin Mcrae 2.0 on the PSOne back in the day and it was fun. I’m aware of his death, so I get that series did not continue.
How old is your son and why do you think he’d like racing games?
I do not doubt you, just asking to get an idea where he is at. Nascar vs Rally vs Formula One vs demolition derbies (or something like Need for Speed Hot Pursuit), Sci-Fi (such as TrackMania)…so much to choose from when it comes to racing.
Personally, racing games have never been my thing but I like them ok. What I have found is people who like racing games tend to really dig one kind or another and are so-so on the rest. No right or wrong to it. Just individual taste.
Also, Grid 2 is no longer available on Steam I don’t think. I am guessing you still have it cuz you bought it but, if he got into Grid, you’d have to find something else if he wants to move on.
In your case I guess start with Dirt 3 and Grid 2 since that is the choice for racing games.
You’ve got lots of other stuff in your library that is great (Terraria just had its final, big update and is a great one for kids and adults). Psychonauts is a real treat too. I know, those are not racing games but they are great games you have.
I have enjoyed most of those games but for different reasons.
Unlike Dirt 3 and Rally, Dirt Showdown is a goofy racing game with Ken Block-esque “gymkhana” and a lot of handholding, obstacle-course racing, and a focus on spectacle.
Grid 2 is the weakest one of the lot, in my arrogant opinion. Codemasters has been cranking out games that try to wrap up the pagaentry and spectacle of racing but went generally light on car physics. But if you want a real smorgasbord of racing for a younger car fan, you could do worse than this.
I’d like to suggest adding “Wreckfest” to the list if you can score it at an acceptable price. You race cars, yes, and there’s more attention to car dynamics than the Grid series. But really, as the name suggests, it’s okay if you go smack into opponents. There’s an elaborate physics model for car deformation so you can get some real crumpled messes which are still amusing to look at. There’s also some demolition derby modes where the whole point is to go smack cars together. (Somebody may mention BeamNG, but this is more racing-with-a-side-of-physics, as opposed to physics-with-racing-as-a-side-dish.)
I’ve been trying to look at your list but Steam is having Difficulties as of this writing.
I liked Grid 2. I thought the story was fine and the races/tracks were great. There was enough repetition just in the story mode to get to know the tracks well and it wasn’t impossible to win a race. Aye: very loose physics but not as loose as an arcade racer.
Like Need For Speed Heat, which has been getting solid reviews since it was released.
I’ve heard some good things about Project CARS 2 but I haven’t played it yet.
Project Cars 2 is pretty simulationist. It expects you to have a proper wheel and pedals, but you can turn on enough assists and dial the AI difficulty to a sweet spot to make the single-player stuff the right level of challenging for you.
It, and its predecessor, struggle with multiplayer almost entirely because of the UI. My little weekly racing group switched over PCars 2 this week, and I struggled to sort out a race to have all the parameters I wanted. But we did have fun, despite it.
Haven’t played the ones on your list but if you want some other suggestions, here’s what gets my motor running… Real World Racing - top down racing Gas Guzzlers Extreme - not too hard, has weapons BallisticNG - Wipeout style Road Redemption - Road Rash type