NASCAR Arcade Rush Review (PS5): More Right Than Left

NASCAR Arcade Rush: A Unique Spin on Stock Car Racing

When it comes to NASCAR games, some people dismiss them as simply being a series of left turns. While that may be true for simulation stock car racing, there’s actually a lot of depth to explore. However, NASCAR Arcade Rush takes a different approach altogether. This arcade-style game features plenty of right turns and doesn’t resemble the actual sport in the slightest.

The Reimagined Race Tracks

The most exciting aspect of Arcade Rush is the reimagined versions of 12 real race tracks, including Daytona and Michigan International Speedway. These tracks draw inspiration from the cities they’re based on and aren’t afraid to get a little ridiculous. For example, Homestead-Miami Speedway features a giant ring of fire that you can jump through. The tracks truly elevate the game and inject a sense of excitement into what would otherwise be a solid, yet unremarkable, racing game.

The Lack of Depth in Gameplay

One drawback of the game is its lack of depth in terms of gameplay. While there is a turbo meter that allows you to gain speed and boost strips on the track that offer rewards, there is no drifting or other gameplay mechanics that could have added an extra layer of complexity. Considering that the game aims to be an over-the-top version of NASCAR, it missed an opportunity to dream bigger when it comes to gameplay.

Incorporating Pitting as a Gameplay System

There is one unique gameplay system in Arcade Rush that deserves recognition. Inspired by actual stock car racing, the game incorporates pitting. Each race consists of only three or four laps, and pitting is purely optional. However, slowing down and going through the pit lane will completely refill your nitro gauge. It’s a gamble, as you can also find boost strips that provide a small amount of nitro. This addition adds some strategic elements to the game that it sorely needed.

Staying Power and Additional Content

With only 12 tracks, the game lacks staying power. While you can level up and unlock various customization options, such as a Tron-style vehicle, there isn’t much incentive to keep coming back. It would have been more engaging to unlock real-life NASCAR legends as racers or throwback vehicles, but instead, the game only offers generic drivers to compete against. Time trials and online play provide some replayability, but they don’t offer a compelling enough reason to keep playing in the long run.

NASCAR Arcade Rush Review: Final Verdict

NASCAR Arcade Rush lives up to its name by delivering a fun, non-simulation racing experience. It offers reimagined versions of iconic racing tracks in the USA. However, it may not be exciting or outlandish enough to fully capture the attention of the average arcade racing game fan. Similarly, it falls short of being a must-own game for die-hard stock car racing enthusiasts. Instead, it finds itself in middle ground where those who enjoy both arcade racing and NASCAR will have a good time, but may eventually move on to other games.

  • Pros:
    • Fun driving
    • Lots of customization options
    • Colorful levels based on real tracks
  • Cons:
    • No licensed drivers
    • Gameplay is a bit too simple
    • Relatively sparse content

Disclaimer: This NASCAR Arcade Rush review is based on a PS5 copy provided by the publisher. Played on version 1.001.000.