On this weekend in 1994, Jean Alesi planted his Ferrari 412 T1 on pole position for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. As a circuit, Monza has barely been altered in the past 2 decades. The first chicane has been reprofiled a couple of times, they added a fancy podium overhanging the finish line, and this year they sullied the great Parabolica curve with tarmac runoff, but generally the circuit has remained the same.
Video games, however have changed beyond recognition in 20 years. In this video we take a look at 6 racing games, driving 6 laps of Monza in 6 different Ferraris to see how far we’ve come since the days of flat textures and midi audio files. We begin with 1995’s Grand Prix 2 (featuring the 1994 season) and end with the latest offering from Codemasters, F1 2013. This is by no means an exhaustive list (it would be 90 minutes long with a whole race-worth of laps if it was), nor does it include any of the earlier games, but it certainly gives a taste of how racing games have advanced since they genuinely first started looking like the subject matter they were covering.