Dylan Coyle
By Dylan Coyle on October 01, 2022

Gamer's Delight

I am a huge gamer.

My first-ever console - if you want to define this as a console and not just a handheld - was the Gameboy Advanced SP. I think it was in 2003 that, during my birthday celebration down at the shore in Sea Isle City, N.J., I was gifted the blue clamshell device along with a copy of Lion King 1 & 1/2 for the system. I played that thing to death. But that wasn't the system that made me fall in love with gaming.

No no no, that was the Playstation 2.

Imagine this: It's Christmas Eve of 2006. The large CRT - or tube - TV is on playing warm Christmas music next to the fireplace. It's nighttime and the snow is lightly falling. Everything seems so pristine and calm. Except that, well, my huge Italian and Irish families have converged in celebration. 

Yeah, I grew up with a pretty loud family.

My aunt had a gift for me. I opened it up, and it was a copy of Stitch: Experiment 626 for the PS2. I was confused because I definitely did not own the console at the time. The next day, Christmas, I opened up my new PS2 that was given to me by none other than the man himself, Santa Claus. I guess he and my aunt had a conversation?

There was also another present wrapped right next to the system. It was a small, DVD-sized case. It was obviously a game. This specific game would partially lead me down the path I grew to love in both the virtual world and real life: racing and sports.

I started unwrapping the gift. I saw the first word on the title of the box: Cars. I was thrilled to finally see what would serve as the gateway to my video game geekiness.

It was the video game for the Pixar movie, Cars. 

But y'all thought it would be the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars game from 2002, didn't you?

I'll be honest, I did not grow up with that game. I started getting into dirt racing as I grew up, so I played it a lot on emulators.


What a legendary title. Ratbag Games really knocked it out of the park with the physics, real-life drivers, tracks and overall feeling of the game, especially considering the era. The career mode was fantastic. It allowed you to keep a budget and sign sponsorships. You needed to race out of the local divisions and into the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.

Most of all, it was just fun.

Ratbag actually made another title for dirt racing fans following the 2002 Sprint Cars game called Saturday Night Speedway. It shared much of the same physics with the former title, except this time it included Late Models and Midgets. Lots of the same tracks, but no licensed series. It got nowhere close to the same kind of love that the Sprint Cars title had, but it definitely deserved praise once again. 


There were a few other games that came out on the PS2 with dirt racing featured prominently. Sprint Cars: Road to Knoxville and Sprint Cars 2: Showdown at Eldora both hit shelves for the console, but the physics were not nearly as grounded as Ratbag's titles were.


There would be no World of Outlaws video game from 2002 until 2010's World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars game. Published by THQ, it was developed by the same group behind the Knoxville and Eldora games: Big Ant Studios. It was released for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.


To say this game was a lot different than the 2002 title would be an understatement. Handling was much less immersive as the cars were tougher to grasp how to drive them. The graphics were underdeveloped compared to some of the titles coming out at the same time. It didn't have that many unique modes. Its career mode was lacking depth. 

It's a shame that it wasn't more of a complete product and it didn't try to be different than the 2002 game in positive ways. 

That leads us to 2022's World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing game created by iRacing. For the first time in video gaming, the World of Outlaws Late Models are included in an Outlaws game. Almost all full-time drivers across the Sprint Cars and Late Models are represented. The career mode is deeper than ever before, as you rise through the ranks driving 305, 360 and 410 Sprints, crate and super Late Models, street stocks, and more.


I don't mean to sound like a broken record of marketing jargon, but this game legitimately feels like the creme de la creme of World of Outlaws video games. The racing is fun, there's a solid amount of licensed tracks and a bunch of fictional tracks that return from former efforts of Monster Games' library, and the variety of different beasts you can drive all give it a polished feeling.

Overall, it's a great base to add on to with DLC like UMP Modifieds and Big Blocks, both of which are coming soon.

The three World of Outlaws video games create a great look at just where the brand has grown from in the last couple decades. From a niche cult classic in 2002, to an underdeveloped 2010 release, continuing with the new and fulfilling 2022 Dirt Racing title, the Outlaws have grown to a point where the brand's multiple series are all deserving of being included in a racing series. Heck, back in 2002, the Late Model Series wasn't even around! 

I'm excited to sink more hours into the game. If anyone wants to be beaten by me, add my Gamertag on Xbox: OutlawLover2022.

That's not actually my Gamertag. Add my real one: DylanRCoyle.

Coyle out.

Published by Dylan Coyle October 1, 2022
Dylan Coyle