If you’re anything like me, you harbour fantasies of racing against Valentino Rossi, taking on Dougie Lampkin or flying high over a motocross course but a combination of age, a lack of talent and the pressures of the real world mean that TV is about as close as I’ll ever get.
However, you can get a taste for that action from the comfort of your living room if you invest in any of a number of video games.
Technology nowadays means that the clunky graphics and ludicrously unreal mechanics of old-school video games are largely a thing of the past. Depending on the format you’re playing on, the visuals can be almost photo-realistic and the physics of gameplay can include damage and realistic handling limits.
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There is a wide range of games available, across a range of platforms, from circuit racing to motocross and the latest home consoles to smartphones, to allow you to indulge your deepest fantasy.
Here are what are reckon are some of the most interesting games around right now.
1. MotoGP 2021 (PS4)
MotoGP21 features the full range of official teams, riders and liveries for the 2021 MotoGP
We've played this game and found the tutorial mode, controls and rider aids can be tweaked to suit any level of ability - not something you could say about previous iterations, which kind of threw you in at the deep end. Still, it's challenging enough to make getting a podium, let alone a race win, feel incredibly satisfying.
This new version includes a managerial mode, where you hire key team members and approach the season strategically, the ability to choose your own riding style, realistic physics that include tyre and brake wear and fuel consumption and if you drop your bike, you have to pick it up again, losing time in the process.
Also available for PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X, Nintendo Switch
2. Monster Energy Supercross 3 - The Official Videogame
While the world of Supercross might be something of a niche to many UK bikers, itu2019s hugely
Racing on either 250 or 450cc machines from official manufacturers and teams, players can choose between career mode and quick races, pushing yourself on the dirt, or taking the battle directly to your friends with online gameplay.
If you don’t fancy a race, you can also head to the series’ largest-ever test area; allowing you to fine-tune your riding skills, pull cunning stunts, or simply free roam.
Also available for Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch
3. Ride 4
More of a racing/riding simulation than a game, Ride 4 put you on hundreds of bikes and at dozens
There’s a career mode that could get you called up to test bikes for manufacturers or an endurance-race scenario with real strategies to affect the outcome.
Available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, PC
4. Dakar 18
Heavily discounted due to the fact that this is the official game based on the race from three
The graphics are reasonable and the physics a bit questionable but it’s a fun romp through the deserts of Argentina, Peru and Bolivia following your GPS to various waypoints (if you’re on a bike – the car co-drivers are a bit late on the navigational instructions). Play online against riders from around the world or offline for fun.
Available for Xbox One, Xbox X
5. Isle of Man TT: Ride on the Edge 2
The legendary u2013 and infamous u2013 Isle of Man TT may have fallen foul of the Coronavirus
The game has a selection of official and while the graphics appear very nice and a faithful reproduction of the 38-mile circuit, the physics could be better, according to player reviews online.
6. MXGP2020 (PS5)
Mud, sweat and glory is the tagline for the official game of the 2020 MXGP Motocross championship.
You can also free-roam to gain experience and have some fun. Play online or on your own or become a race director – the choice is yours.
Also available for PS4, Xbox One, PC
7. Valentino Rossi: The Game
A slightly older option in this list, but certainly one worthy of note. Released in June 2016,
Competing in the MotoGP season, players can also re-trace the steps of Rossi’s career, as well as explore his famous ranch, where he still carries out much of his training. For a Rossi fan, this is well worth a purchase.
8. Road Redemption
Released in 2017, Road Redemption is your chance to let off some serious steam; taking part in
Challenge up to 10 of your mates online, or enjoy four-way split screen multiplayer from home. There’s also a campaign mode, if you fancy causing some destruction on your own.
Also available for Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.
9. Trials Rising
Compete all over the world in this challenging trials epic u2013 letting players stamp their
With official sponsorships from the likes of KTM and Fox Racing Gear, players can customise outfits and bike liveries, as well as build unique tracks.
On top of this, there is also a 'tandem bike' mode in multiplayer, which sees two riders contributing 50% of the power and balance whilst riding together on one bike. Get set for plenty of thrills, and plenty of spills!
Also available for Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.
10. Dirt Bike Unchained
Powered by Red Bull and running on Apple or Android mobile devices, this addictive game offers a
11. Traffic Rider
From the same people who developed the successful Traffic Racer, Traffic Rider is a road-based
The objective is to make as much money and score as many point as possible, with dubious techniques such as riding against oncoming traffic scoring higher and earning you more money. An interesting diversion if there’s noting on telly or you have a bus or train journey to while away – just remember the headphones.
12. Bike Race
A frankly infuriatingly addictive game, this pits you as a stick man on an off-road bike working