Rallying is the coolest form of motorsport. It may not have the budget of F1 or the automotive carnage of NASCAR, but the dramatic slides and the beautiful scenery perfectly complement the white-knuckled audacity of carrying major speed over unpredictable terrain. No game better captures that than Art of Rally.
Created by Dune Casu—who also made Absolute Drift—Art of Rally is a PC game best thought of as a stroll through the best years of rallying. With a minimalist art style and game structure, Art of Rally‘s campaign takes you chronologically through the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, and a bit of the Nineties. You’ll drive line-drawn simulacra of the Austin Mini, BMW E30, Lancia Stratos, and Subaru 22B to navigate utterly stunning environments.
Don’t be fooled by the art, though. This is no pedal-to-the-metal arcade game—no Mario Kart drifts or Need For Speed approachability. Dial back the assists and you’ll find a learning curve that’s more Forza-esque, requiring delicate throttle and lots of countersteer to manage long sweeping drifts. It’s nearly impossible on a keyboard, so I’d suggest plugging in a controller.
Get that down, though, and you’re rewarded with a flowing, stress-free driving experience. There’s no dramatized battles, no wheel-to-wheel hair-raisers. This is a game that comes from a place of deep respect and affinity for the sport—its goal is to bring that joy to others, not to bombard you with challenges and sensory overload. Progressing in this game isn’t really about unlocking new cars or storylines, it’s about learning to flick off effortless drifts and perfect handbrake turns as you glide through delicately beautiful scenery. It’s not about browbeating your way to the top, it’s about mastering the art.