A fight as tense as Subaru Impreza vs Mitsubishi Evo or 205 GTI vs Golf GTI, the fight between Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation has been red-hot for 20 years. Classrooms have become battle zones while something akin to the street fight from Anchorman is a common result of warring workplaces over which games console is better. And that's before we even consider the brilliant Nintendo Switch.
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Obviously, we're slightly exaggerating here, the console wars were never as cut-throat as the Evo and Impreza wars of the '90s and early noughties, but they are still rather heated. That's why we're going to put an end to it now and settle the score with our list of the best consoles currently on sale, with that all-important emphasis on racing games.
The best games consoles for car fans
Xbox Series X
Forza Horizon 5 helps it nab number one... for now
The latest Xbox is a real powerhouse and nabs our top console pick. The big techy news is that the Series X has an eight-core CPU, a 1TB SSD and 16GB of DDR6 RAM. For those not in the know, this means the Series X is twice as powerful as the already powerful Xbox One X.
All this means the Xbox is a quick machine. Loading times are sliced from previous generations and user requests are instantaneous. The power of the new console can be best showcased with the 'Quick Resume' feature which allows you to suspend one game while you play another without having to reload it.
What really sets the Xbox Series X as the best console you can buy is how good Forza Horizon 5 is. While it's true it's not exclusive to the Series X (you can find it on the Xbox One and PC), it looks absolutely amazing on the Series X. Mix in the fact it's fantastic to play, has a huge car list and varied terrain to race on and it helps secure Xbox as our console of choice right now.
|• Rapid performance||• No exclusives… yet|
|• Access to Game Pass||• So-so style|
|• Quick Resume||• Same old controller|
|CPU:||8x Core Custom Zen 2 CPU, 3.8 GHz|
|GPU:||12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs, 1.825 GHz|
|Expandable:||Yes, Seagate Xbox 1TB NVMe|
|Size:||151 x 151 x 301 mm, 4.4kg|
PlayStation 5 Console
We're just waiting for Grand Turismo 7 now
While it may look like a second-rate WiFi router, the PS5 is an extremely good choice for gaming. Like the Series X, the PS5 uses an eight-core CPU and features 16GB DDRD RAM. It also makes use of a 10.4 teraflop graphics processing unit for a maximum display of 4K UHD at 60.Hz
Basically, this means the PS5 is capable of loading a meaty game in a matter of seconds and the graphics will be absolutely stunning. In fact, the only thing that keeps it off the top spot is the lack of an exclusive racing game. But with how good Gran Turismo 7 is looking, come March it may be able to knock the Xbox off the top position.
|• Access to excellent PS5 & PS4 games||• It’s massive|
|• Rapid loading times||• Small storage memory|
|• Immersive controller and audio||• Small controller battery|
|CPU:||8x Zen 2 Cores, 3.5GHz (variable frequency)|
|GPU:||10.28TFLOPs, 36 CUs, 2.23GHz (variable frequency)|
|Expandable:||Yes, not yet released|
|Size:||390 x 104 x 260 mm, 4.5kg (disk edition)|
The quirky and innovative handheld option
Always the bridesmaid of gaming consoles, Nintendo's offerings are arguably the most fun and wide-reaching but often lack the meaty techy bits to actually compete with the big dogs of gaming consoles.
It's by far the most versatile option here, playable on the TV or as a handheld option. On a TV it can run at 1080p and the slide-out controllers mean that it can be used for split-screen fun straight from the box. While it can only be used by a single person and at 720p when in handheld mode, it's still a lot better than the Xbox and PS5 can manage (i.e. nothing). It also has Mario Kart, perhaps the best arcade game franchise of all time.
|• Portable console gaming||• Limited battery life (4-6 hours)|
|• Phenomenal game library||• Joy-Con’s aren’t super durable|
|• Innovative in all the right ways||• Nintendo games are ALWAYS expensive|
|CPU:||4 core ARM Cortex-A57, 1.02 GHz|
|GPU:||Nvidia Tegra X1|
|Expandable:||Yes, any microSD|
|Size:||101 x 239 x 14mm, 390g (with Joy-Cons attached)|