Blazerush and rFactor - Quality racing on a budget
Essentially a party-game you'd be playing with your friends and a few beers, Blazerush plays like a cross-between Micro Machines and Mario Cart, though it always retains that 2/3d top-down isometric style of the Micro Machines franchise and the camera is always moving forward - so be at the front of the queue or fall off the back of the screen and explode. This particular riff on the genre has been well plowed - Wasteland Warriors being on obvious one, but this has smaller tracks and less annoying camera angles - and here it's been polished to perfection (for what it is) and is just as enjoyable in quick bursts on your own as it is with friends.
It shouldn't be too much of a surprise - this title was originally developed as a downloadable title for the Xbox 360, and it shows. It's very slick, responsive, looks nice and plays well. And you can fire homing missiles at people and blow them off the track it's a blast. It's designed to be picked up and played in quick bursts, but I've put more than a few hours into it. It's difficult at first, but once you realise that different cars are suited to different types of tracks and you understand you need to use actual tactics sometimes, it's a lot of fun.
Usually being sold on Steam at around the £6.99/$9 mark (slightly too expensive in my view) it's currently in a bundle that makes it an absolute steal, especially considering that it comes with a few other games. Over on Bundle Stars it's only £1.89/$2.69.
At this price it's worth buying just for this one game (and inMomentum is also supposed to be decent) but then I noticed rFactor.
rFactor is exactly the kind of game you look at in a bundle and dismiss immediately. It's from 2005 and I'd never heard of it before and would assume it was junk. But take a look at the Steam page and it's a different story. Apparently more than capable of taking advantage of your modern graphics cards (if you're the kind of person who is prepared to put their time into tweaking such things) it has an extremely active community due to how easily moddable it is, with an absolute mass of tracks and cars available to download for free. The streets in your neighborhood? Someone's probably made a track out of those. Huge multiplayer races are still being hosted on independent servers (just search through the comments section for all the information you need). Handling, especially with a wheel - apparently, is supposed to be great. If you can't afford Assetto Corsa and you're prepared to spend some time sprucing it up, you might just have found yourself a bargain alternative.