From the fiery arena of doom this generation has turned the racing game genre into a sole champion rises.

User Rating: 9.5 | Project Gotham Racing 4 X360
The PGR series has been close to my heart for a long time. During the early days of the xbox I was looking for a solid racing game for the console and PGR was essentially the only one available at the time. I bought it and ended up loving it. I anticipated PGR2 thinking it would be a similar game with better graphics and online. It wasn't. PGR2 still stands today as one of my favorite driving games of all time. Everything about the first PGR was improved upon and for the first time Bizarre truly found the right spot between simulation and arcade in the driving physics. PGR3 went a different route and while it is an enjoyable game it's not as excellent as PGR2 for many different reasons. Which brings me to PGR4.

PGR4 is the first PGR not developed under any time constraints. The first PGR was an xbox launch game, the second one part of the first wave of xbox live enabled titles ever released, the third one an xbox 360 launch title. This can be seen in many areas of the game, for example there's a plethora of new features introduced into the game. If PGR2 was the series first adventure into online gaming PGR4 is the real expedition, bringing a set of community devices almost rivalling those of Halo 3. There's screenshot uploading, a whole community webpage with all the statistics you could ever want and matchmaking. There's new gamemodes and FREE downloadable content, there's more cities than ever before in a PGR game rendered with an almost ridiculous attention to details. There's 2 full fleshed single player "campaigns" both long enough to warrant their own game.

In traditional PGR style the game also looks absolutely fantastic. While the cars and the environments all are up there among the graphical elite of driving games it's the lightning which really stands out. Again the attention to detail is astounding. The gameplay has undergone an actually fairly ambitious and drastic change PGR veterans will notice at once. It can be called a natural evolution continuing the change started in PGR3 or a complete overhaul compared to PGR2 but in the end it still delivers. The initial feeling of doubt is quickly swooped away.

For beginners of the series this is a game that might strike you dumbfounded as to what people actually see in it. For it is in the end the simplicity which lifts PGR over other driving game series. There's no tuning, limited painting of the cars, no story, no real "money" or experience acquired, no rewards thrown at the player to make him feel himself appreciated. One could go as far as to say the PGR series is one of the few if not the last driving game series relying completely on the very core of the experience it should deliver:

The "fun" of driving cars. And PGR4 delivers more than any other driving game I've played since PGR2, possible ever.