The best cars in gaming

Batman standing by the batmobile in Arkham Knight, a close-up of Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal, and players in a Warthog from Halo Infinite, left to right

Cars, those cursed monstrosities that rule the roads instead of civilian paths, they sure are beauties, aren’t they? Yes, they are weapons in the wrong hands, but they are also a mechanical marvel. All those moving, intricate parts that zoom you through the place. Games are also a bit of an engineering marvel, so cars are a good match!

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However, games are all fiction, so you can have as many cars as you want! But why limit yourself to what is humanly possible? That is boring. No, there are plenty of boring car games out there, but this article is going to celebrate the fun ones. Those who are not alone to feel good but look good. Those who feel like they can’t exist anywhere else.


Twisted Metal is currently experiencing a resurgence, although perhaps not in the way many people might have wanted. While a live-action series is on the way at the time of writing, fans really want another entry in the dark demolition derby deathmatch series. Dreams are nice to have.

None of the Twisted Metal games really let you customize your vehicle, but choose from a selection of unique vehicles. They’re beautiful creations, bringing that scraped-together feel of something like Robot Wars into vehicular destruction. Who doesn’t love an ice cream truck packing extreme heat from a flaming clown?

7 Rocket League – Rocket Cars

When Rocket League came out, it was like a revelation in gaming: sports games didn’t have to be boring. Perhaps an extreme statement, but when the alternative is an annually numbered entry, Rocket League feels special. The rules are as an outsider sees the rules of football. Two teams, you get the ball in the other’s goal. Oh, and you’re a rocket-powered car.

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With the number of collaborations and content packs Rocket League has, it’s pretty hard to pick a single “best” car. They are all great! Jumping across the field with a quick punch, driving around the walls to chase someone and doing tackles in the air in cars that look like the kind you might have played with as a kid is just ridiculously fun.

6 Mass Effect – The Mako

Bioware is known for its RPGs, from Baldur’s Gate to Dragon Age, but Mass Effect has a special place for its incredibly well-realized companions you spend such a long journey with and beautiful aliens. The crowning glory of the entire series is, of course, the Mako, planet rover extraordinaire.

Now you could say that the Mako is strictly speaking not a car, but a rover. The point is, this is a video game, and you drive it across the surface of planets, so whatever, it’s a car. That clumsy move is infuriating, but part of its charm. Roaming a distant planet while your team chatters and you stagger trying to shoot down obstacles in your great white vehicle is wondrous.

5 Mad Max – The Magnum Opus

While Mad Max may be more recently remembered for the Tom Hardy movie, it actually started way back in 1979 with the very first movie. Since then it has become a huge media machine and even stretched to video games. The Mad Max 2015 from Avalanche, the developers of Just Cause, is arguably the best, hiding a shiny core behind that grimy exterior.

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What might initially be looked down upon for a drab world and derivative combat and a style sorely lacking compared to the film released so close, it shimmers brightly in its vehicles. The Magnum Opus is Max’s favorite vehicle, the core of the entire game. You spend it constantly upgrading, customizing, swapping weapons and paint jobs. It’s a rough machine, but it’s yours. And it helps that vehicle combat is really immersive.

4 Halo – The Warthog

Halo as a series has a complicated history, especially after Bungie. Starting in 2001, it showed how far first-person shooters could go with knowledge and depth of gameplay, while revolutionizing the way FPS was played on consoles. Of course, it also has a wealth of incredible vehicles.

There are so many vehicles in Halo that play so differently, individually or as a team, but none surpass the Warthog. The sheer joy of running through the map, one person haphazardly floating around while another fires the machine gun, and the last one in the passenger seat desperately trying to aim. It’s the stuff teenage late nights are made of.

3 Mario Kart – Mario’s Kart

Mario is not a pleasant person. He has the appearance of someone who knows how much fame they have and how much power they have, but tries to be modest about it. If its name is attached to something, it will sell – no matter what. The man is a plumber by trade, but his greatest fame is through kart racing. He doesn’t even do it need no longer be a plumber!

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So yes, again, a kart is not strict a car, but if you take away the last letter, it sounds the same and does the same, so really it’s not a big deal. Link will bring a motorcycle instead of a kart anyway. However, the thing is Mario’s kart, although somewhat generic in design (despite the rather egocentric giant “M” on the front), it’s also iconic. The striking red paintwork, the steering wheel far too small for his gigantic hands, and so on.

2 Batman: Arkham Knight – The Batmobile

Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham games are now historic. They are literally the stuff that modern games are made of. Don’t have a unique combat system of your own? Just use Arkham battles, apparently! Amazingly, they improved on all the core principles in the sequel. Somehow they did it even more in Knight with the introduction of the absurdly detailed Batmobile.

Arkham Knight has plenty of its own pitfalls to recognize, and the Batmobile is part of that. However, if you look at it separately, the design is impeccable. A mechanical monster that changes from car to tank with ease, an industrial workhorse that rips through the streets of Gotham, leaving behind only smoke and debris. It’s showy and violent, just like Batman.

1 Final Fantasy 15 – The Regalia

Final Fantasy is a very legendary franchise, and oh boy is FF15 a legendary entry. It’s an almost unfair point to argue at this point because that game was never going to be what it originally was and the developers were just making the best of a bad situation. What’s most impressive, though, is that they’ve taken an incredible journey about a bunch of guys who travel the world, which is what Final Fantasy is essentially all about.

This joyous journey takes place across the vast land of Eos in your far too royal Regalia. It’s such a surprise that the Empire keeps attacking you. In reality, the Regalia is just as much of a companion on that journey as the rest of you. You tune it, bring it over land and sea and eventually even through the air. You cultivate an attachment to that damn car that no car should be entitled to. It’s such a good car it’s even in FF14 as a mount!

NEXT: Games where you drive huge vehicles