The Ten Best Car Video Game Screenshots

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Representations of cars in virtual worlds have gone from crude raster drawings to a realm of dreamlike hyperreality. What once merely suggested beauty and power now shows a world beyond physical constraints. These are Jalopnik readers' picks for the ten best cybergame car pictures.

Quick note: We've scaled down some of these to fit our usual parameters; this is one of the times when it's worth it to go back to the QOTD post or through the name links to find the original mondo-sized images.


Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Turn 10


10.) Corvette C6R At A Different Riverside

Suggested By: BtheD19, Coyote Power

Why it's even better than the real thing: So why not drive your brutal, ultra-sensitive, not-street-legal race car to this pleasant scene in some small town? It's not just about the cars; the scenery received ample devoted attention as well. Rules of the road are thankfully disregarded, however.


9.) The Amazing Flying Lancia Sisters

Suggested By: Funda

Why it's even better than the real thing: In-game physics generators continue to close in on the chimera of absolute real-life action and reaction. So while you're flying in parallel with another Lancia rally car you can rest assured that your curve will follow an arc with a proper gravity influence and...oh, hell, c'mon, it just looks awesome.


8.) Ferrari F40

Suggested By: feather-throttle-not-hair

Why it's even better than the real thing: Quibbles? The paint is a touch too liquid; it's the gloss-surface equivalent of the problem that VR folks have modeling the human eye. Which is a minor point to make as you soak in the utterly obsessive detail that is portrayed here. (Those headlights!)


7.) The Prius And The Hummer Brigade

Suggested By: Ravey Mayvey Slurpee: MANUAL EXTREMIST

Why it's even better than the real thing: It's not all about tire grip modelling and surface manipulation; you gotta have some fun in there too. Who says that a race track must only see race cars? My money's on the Prius until he gets overconfident and tries to lap something that would as soon crush him.


6.) Corvette Vs. Corvette

Suggested By: Boxer_4

Why it's even better than the real thing: In real life it can be difficult to get desirable cars next to each other on a track. In a game it's just a matter of making the right selections. Two Corvettes forty-five years apart running side-by-side? Sure, and why not have it at Indy just for the all-American effect? Virtual reality at its finest.


5.) The Dime Vs. Everything

Suggested By: Desu-San-Desu

Why it's even better than the real thing: In real life you have to deal with bureaucratic silliness like discriminatory racing classes and handicaps and such garbage. Why not have it out and let things fall where they may? Especially after you've done God knows what to your humble little 510 to take it places that Mr. K could only dream.


4.) BMW Drift

Suggested By: 472CID

Why it's even better than the real thing: You've seen all those commercials with those "Professional driver on a closed road, please do not attempt" disclaimer warnings? Pshaw. Go right ahead and attempt all you want: burnouts, slides, assorted illegal silliness. Be careful you don't knock your Dr. Pepper over, though.


3.) Red Bull X2010

Suggested By: Funda

Why it's even better than the real thing: Most makers concentrate on replicating reality. If you're Adrian Newey and Kazunori Yamauchi, you do something completely beyond reality. The conceptual performance may be the main draw, but the design is something from a science-fiction treatment of racing fifty years from now. Unreal in the best sense, if not completely impossible — which makes it all the more tantalizing.


2.) Pagani Zonda R

Suggested By: B.Button

Why it's even better than the real thing: This shot would be close to impossible in real life. Onscreen it's a different matter. Gas-cloud representations aren't perfect yet, but they're close enough that you can almost feel the flash of heat here. Images continue to get more artistic and attractive; I'm convinced that in the time I'm writing this another dozen serious masterpieces will have been casually drawn up.


1.) The Neverland-Nürburgring Meeting

Suggested By: Gtuned

Why it's even better than the real thing: Really, it's about the cars — the ones you only see in magazines, the ones you dream about, the ones that are always going to be unobtainable. Here, they're very obtainable in a certain way, and even if it's just a bunch of glowing pixels there's a certain thrill to stacking up a half-dozen greats like it's your aunt's driveway at Christmas. We want to literally be there, like we always want to be in the best photos, and that's the greatest part.