The 50 Best Game Series on iOS: Real Racing

Firemint’s Real Racing series has an analogue on consoles: It’s the iOS version of Playstation’s Gran Turismo. Both series are genre-defining, incredibly realistic racing simulators that show off the power of their respective platforms. And just as Gran Turismo has grown up along with the hardware, Real Racing has done the same. Today we’ll take a look back at all three entries in this groundbreaking iOS series.

Real Racing


When it launched in 2009, we were taken aback by the level of detail and customization in this racing sim, which far surpassed anything else on the App Store. Part of the game’s success came from the controls, which let you tilt to steer, without having to worry about brakes and acceleration. Real Racing also included a first-person cockpit view, years before it was introduced to the mobile Need for Speed games. This was an easy choice for our Game of the Month in June 2009, and we couldn’t wait to see what Firemint did next.

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Key Quote: “As ambitious as anything in the App Store, Real Racing kicks the powersliding trend to the curb and substitutes it for intelligent application of the gas and brakes.”

Real Racing 2

Firemint’s follow-up to Real Racing did not disappoint. The success of the first game led Firemint to secure licensed vehicles for the sequel, from carmakers like Ford, Honda, Chevy, and BMW. Real Racing 2 also featured online multiplayer for 16 drivers, a first for the system. The graphics took advantage of the new Retina display, and the controls used the gyroscope feature, which made this a cutting-edge game for the very newest iOS devices. For a lot of gamers, Real Racing 2 was the height of the series.

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Key Quote: “Real Racing 2 is the showcase racing game on the iOS platform. Not only is it a more attractive package over its outstanding prequel, but the sharp focus on being a legitimate simulation racing game takes it to a new plateau.”

Real Racing 3

After EA acquired Firemint, they made some major changes to the Real Racing series for the third game. Now, instead of a one-time purchase of the full game, Real Racing 3 would be a freemium game. You could download the app for free, but to hurry along repairs to your vehicle, you’d have to spend some in-game currency. Even though many players balked at this new business model, Real Racing 3 has been financially the most successful game in the series. Astonishing visuals with a high level of detail, such as headlights rendered behind transparent glass, made Real Racing 3 a great game to download just to show off your powerful new portable device.

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Key Quote: “Our hearts tell us that the business decisions made to suck iTunes accounts dry from purchasing in-game currency and wait-busting gold coins should never be advocated… All things considered, we’re going to side with our hearts on this, as perceived value does play a big role in a recommendation. The reality is that Real Racing 3 is a high-profile business experiment gone wrong.”

Tomorrow’s featured series fights like a dairy farmer: The classic Lucasarts series, Monkey Island.

This article is part of a series about the best games on iOS, 2008-2013. You can read the rest here.

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