Gaming

A Guide to Cycling Video Games — Bike Hacks


The Best Cycling Video Games

Figure 1 There Is No Reason Why Video Games Can’t Embrace Cycling

Cycling doesn’t always seem to get a fair go when it comes to video games or the newer phenomenon of esports. There are plenty of titles available where gamers can pretend to drive the most powerful cars, motorbikes, or even jet fighters. But cycling fans have always been short-changed when it comes to replicating their love of bikes online.

Maybe it is the perceived lack of power and excitement with cycling? But, as we avid cyclists will know, whether it is road cycling or mountain biking, we enjoy a diverse and thrilling sport that is also very good for us. The least we could ask for is a good selection of games to play when we are not on our bikes.

With that in mind, we have brought together some of the best cycling video games currently on the market. Hopefully in the next few years, there will be more of a choice.

Tour de France

It is not really surprising that one of the best cycling-related games is based on the biggest event in the sport. The Tour de France series has been going for quite a while now and is an incredibly faithful representation, featuring official brands and technical gear.

All 21 stages and the classics are included and with the 2022 edition set to feature a revival of women’s Tour de France, it can be assumed that that will be reflected in next year’s edition of the game too.

Riders Republic

For a more fantastical, edge of your seat experience, the new Riders Republic game is definitely one to check out. This open-world adventure features plenty of different cycling disciplines to keep any fan interested – and is available across all the major gaming platforms.

There are a number of elements to the Riders Republic, but at the heart of the game is the career mode. Players are able to improve by completing a set of challenges and increasing their skills and earnings. You can also choose to race against simulated riders, ghost riders – which are actual racers imported into the game, or against other live players.

Pro Cycling Manager

Coming back to reality for a moment, Pro Cycling Manager is another title – like Tour de France – that has been released every year to reflect updates in the industry. In this one, you take on the role of the manager of a pro cycling team, from sponsorship deals to training regimes.

There are different modes to choose from and you can decide on concentrating on a single rider or managing an entire team. The graphics are very good and you should not be surprised if you get caught up in the whole process and lose a few days playing this game.

Descenders

Now for some off-road action. Descenders is a fast-paced cycling game that concentrates on downhill sports and all the excitement that the sport brings. Visually this game is stunning and gives players the chance to experience the thrill of mountain biking.

You can choose to ride with one of a selection of teams as well as build your reputation. You will need to pass checkpoints on the individual runs to go further in the game and become a legendary descender. The randomization of levels also makes this title more thrill-seeking than just merely learning a course.

a bike manuever

Figure 2 the Future of Cycling Video Games May Involve Actual Bikes

Zwift

Zwift is an e-sport more than a conventional video game and really took off during the lockdowns of 2020. Allowing players to ride in competitions and events, Zwift fast became popular with cyclists who were unable to actually go out on their bikes for long periods of time.

It is a little different from other esports in that it involves much more participation than mere viewing. But it also differs from the majority of cycling video games in that you set it up to your actual indoor bike and your pedaling is relayed into the events onscreen. Think of it as a video game version of Peloton – and possibly the future of online cycling.

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