Eutechnyx honks their own horn declaring this NASCAR reprisal as the “Most Realistic NASCAR game ever developed.” So as we head into the first turn, we will see if NASCAR 2011: The Game is “NASCAR Revolutionized” or simply running on four flats.

The first attribute I noticed about NASCAR 2011 is how efficiently it draws you its focal point, the racing. Ironically enough, the repetitious style of racing is also the main draw of the sport. Sure, I was a little concerned on how Eutechnyx could make "turning left" fun, yet it wasn't long before my concern faded. Pushing through my trepidation, NASCAR 2011 became immensely entertaining. Having the blistering fast stock cars locked into this rotation takes more than driving skill, and like any NASCAR racer can attest, competing at this level takes mental strength, physical stamina and a lot of patience on top of everything that makes a good driver. Thankfully, only a handful these apply to playing the game.

How the whole ordeal starts by having the player select a driver to represent you before you head into the main game. Over 40 of the top drivers including Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Even some lady drivers are present, welcome the lovely Danica Patrick and Jennifer Jo Cobb. Alternatively you don't have to play as a pro you can select “player one” and create your own legacy. From there you will select your car of choice (Dodge, Ford, Chevy, or Toyota) name, team, and nationality. This kicks you into the main menu (a creative choice of a pit) with the main gameplay options listed (career, single/multiplayer, and driver/car/game options.)

More options are present when heading into each race with several adjustments that can be made in the “assists and setup” pre-race menu. This allows you to customize your default set up for each track, concentrated on your driving style. The options are "Rookie" (basically everything is on full,) "Racer" (less TC/AB assists,) "Veteran" (less SC assists,) "Pro" (hardly any assists beyond 1/5,) "Legend" (all assists off,) and lastly a "custom" option, if you want to make your own set up. Broken down you have your steering, AB (Braking,) ABS (Prevents wheels from locking,) SC (Helps stability,) and TC (stops wheels from spinning) assists to rate between 1 and 5.


Advancing to the car menu will bring up the ability to view, slap on a paint scheme (most need to be unlocked,) design your own theme (although this section is very limited) along with the ability to tune-up your ride. More than a simple tune-up, you can adjust your settings on each track. Again, this is more suited for the hardcore/enthusiasts, but one that makes a world of difference when diving into the lengthy career/season mode. Adding more immersion, but honestly not enough, is the driver options which gives you an overview of your drivers details, video tutorials, and a look at the collectable pins available to unlock during the game (there are 269 of these) along with the numerous collectable “accolades” that you can snag. The “legends coins” are related to in-game achievements and will no doubt keep you busy if you're looking to complete the entire game.

Merging with the accolades are "invitational events" that pop up as you earn in-game XP from the career mode. These come in the form of “Legends Challenges” that have goals such as catch and draft marked drivers, “Gauntlet” challenge – race in 2 round earning points for finishing high, “Eliminator” challenges – survival race against the clock, “Solo Thunder Laps” go solo to beat a set of lap times. Again, any extra unlockables and challenges are welcomed and will help you get more out of the NASCAR experience, if you're not warned out already.

The career mode, which is the main attraction to NASCAR (aside from the core racing) feels unfocused. The career mode is basically set up as a straight forward series of races, which is fine, but it does little to keep the player invested in the game; and possibly worse, once you finish one season, its over and you have to start all over. Really, how hard would have it been to make the career continuing into another season? it only seems logical. Beyond this unfortunate fact, a more focused, or even an added story element like other racing games (GRID) would have been interesting touch to keep you around for more than a single season. Aside from getting more points and ranking up and completing challenges, NASCAR 2011 became a little stale, which is a shame since the core mechanic of racing is so much fun. It's a trade off, one that NASCAR fans will probably be disappointed in. More owner, career progressions options please. Building a team, starting from scratch, earning sponsors, all great aspects that could be added in the future.

Online things aren't as smooth as I expected, however, if you have a strong group of interested friends then you could find some enjoyment here. Without friends, the long start up times and abundant amount of novice players will probably drive you away. Seriously, what's with all the pile ups? Adding more frustration fuel the leaderboards are pretty weak and could have used more support. Honestly, the online portion of NASCAR 2011 feels rushed (like some other aspects of the game) and can't compete on the level of most other racing games.


Feeling rushed out of the gate, NASCAR 2011 is functional, not flushed out. The poor online set-up and the lack of a "real" career progression will likely keep you from returning the track once you have worked your way through a season of racing. While its list of features disappoints, the actual racing is spot on. NASCAR 2011 will get your adrenaline pumping, but on a grand scale, NASCAR 2011 feels like a small sampling of what could have been. It's time to go back in the pits and maybe with a little more tinkering, NASCAR will be able to claim a winning spot.

  • when your behind the wheel, NASCAR feels great
  • some extra challenges help to keep you engaged
  • lots of customizable options for each track
  • celebration animations are severally weak
  • career mode could of been more focused
  • online department is lacking
Quote: "Feeling rushed out of the gate, NASCAR 2011 is functional, not flushed out."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 04.11.11

Similar Games: GRID (8.4) | NFS Shift 2: Unleashed (8.6) | Forza Motorsport 3 (9.5)


The Game




US Release
March '11



Player 1-2
Online 2-16
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content