Top Ten Horseracing Simulation Games


Once you’ve mastered the horse racing simulations, you have probably accumulated enough knowledge and expertise to try and cash in on it (and maybe get some of that money you spent on all those video games back).

There are horse racing events all year long, but one of the best opportunities to make some money is by betting on Cheltenham 2017 with Cheltenham Festival is the leading horse racing event in the UK, and this betting guide will fill you in with the rest of the information you need.

Horseracing may not seem to be the most obvious fodder for gaming fans, but horseracing is the second biggest spectator sport in Britain, behind football yes, but way ahead of gaming favourites like golf and tennis.

It wasn’t so long ago that if you wanted to experience the thrill of the races in your room then you just had to turn on the TV, or get out your ‘Win, Place and Show’ board game. Then, way back in the nineties, along came Final Furlong and we were off! The Namco arcade game, where you literally rode a small plastic horse, rocking and wiggling to spur your horse on to the finishing line, made arcade horseracing cool.

Things have moved fast since then. TV and film comes in high def and 3D, sound surrounds, and gaming is interactive and controllable. With new developments like immersive gaming (virtual reality) and augmented reality who knows how we’ll be gaming tomorrow? Just think about riding the bookie’s favourite in the Grand National as it happens, linking through to the live action and experiencing the thrill of the race through the latest gaming technologies.

Even today, riding a race on your console can get pretty exciting, and there are plenty of horseracing games to give you the racing experience without ever having to climb into the saddle. Racing games are huge in Japan, so some of these games are only available as imports which make them even more attractive as your gaming buddies probably won’t even have heard of them. Some of this selection is recent, some from the depths of gaming history and not always the latest version. Here are ten of the best of the horseracing gamers riding crop!

Melbourne Cup Challenge | Year: 2006

Format: PlayStation 2, Xbox and Microsoft Windows.

Melbourne Cup Challenge (aka Frankie Dettori Racing in Europe) is based on the Melbourne Cup and developed by Sidhe Interactive. There are multiple game modes including, career mode with auctions, horse breeding, training, and stable management, jockey challenge and betting. The graphics are very good with realistic horses and jockeys, weather effects, and accurately modelled international race courses.

G1 Jockey 4 | Year: 2006 

Format: PS2

Developed by Koei the G1 Jockey Series give gamers everything the horse racing fan could ever need. There are thousands of horses to choose from and a host of gameplay options, events and tweaks. The latest version even simulates reigns, by using a clip-on paddle that links the PS2’s analogue sticks together.

Gallop Racer 2006 | Year: 2006 

Format: PS, PS2 and PC

The clue’s in the name. Gallop Racer is all about the racing, providing the thrill of betting along with the simulation of the race itself. Created by Tecmo, originally for the arcades, it’s something of a classic. So far, there have been eight editions released in Japan, and six in America. Despite a slightly clunky interface, there are plenty of unlockables to earn, from horse breeds to entire cups. Compete for fame, glory and win big virtual bucks. It’s big in Japan and the anime-style art is fun.

Winning Post 7 Maximum | Year: 2007

Format: PS2 and PS3

Published by Koei Winning post 7 is horse-racing simulation with a big emphasis on cultivating a stable of thoroughbreds. It has international horse races and the ability to breed horses with those from overseas. So if you want to manipulate the lives of horses and become the wealthiest horse farmer in the world, this one’s for you.

Horse Racing Manager 2 | Year: 2005

Format: PC

Horse Racing Manager 2 is a sports management game developed by French studio Cyanide. With three game modes (stable, jockey and punter), it can be played alone or with other players. There are three types of races – flat, hurdles and even trot racing! With over 6000 horses and world famous tracks it’s almost as if you were taking the reins of your own stable.

Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer | Year: 2011

Format: Playstation 3, Wii and Xbox

From Tecmo KoeiI this is the spiritual successor to the Koei G1 Jockey series and Tecmo Gallop Racer series. Though unlicenced, the game makes use of real life courses by changing their names. It’s not for the casual gamer as it’s complex and requires dedication. It offers a variety of game types, including pre-set challenges and exhibition races. Players create their own jockey and align themselves with one of the various stable owners.

Stakes Winner 2 | Year: 1996

Format: Neo Geo AES

An oldie, but a goodie with an arcadey feel. A niche title on a niche system, Stakes Winner 2 is one of those games where you push one of three buttons to make your horse gallop fast, faster, or fastest. It’s about timing, as well as strategy, as you weave your way through the pack, snagging speed and energy power-ups while avoiding collisions and conserving your mount’s energy. You can choose from European or American circuits including the Kentucky Derby.

Winning Post World 2010 | Year: 2010

Platform: Xbox, 360, PS3 and Wii PS2

Winning Post World was developed and published by Koei and is the fifteenth game in the Winning Post series and the second game in the Winning Post World sub-series. Breed horses in your own farm, race them, hire trainers, buy from auction houses – the total racing world experience.

Starters Orders 4 | Year: 2010

Platform: PC

Starters Orders 4 is developed and published by Strategic Designs and is, if you are into these things, a very inclusive horse racing simulation. Financial gains through both betting and stable wins, very detailed horse attributes, robust training and breeding options, complete race simulations with optional direct jockey control featuring races from the Melbourne Cup to the Aintree Grand National!

Japan World Cup 3 | Year: 2012

Format: PC, browser

Hang on to your riding hat! Here comes the craziest horseracing game ever. It’s a DVD that randomizes pre-made scenes based on which horses are racing and how far they are down the course. Racing yetis, strippers fighting on horseback, stallions running around the track while performing ballet moves, giraffe morphing elephants, dolphins – time to forget everything you think you know about horses, racing and gaming. I don’t know what is going on but I love it… this is Japan World Cup 3!

What Mike Chester doesn’t know about horseracing could be written on the back of a betting slip. As a contributor to leading websites and forums Mike has gained a reputation as a writer who tackles the big issues in the sport head on.


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Nick Barnett

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