PC car games with in-depth car customisation?

I think as mentioned new Forza 4 is the best choice for you Unikorn. And if you ever want a game focused only on pure racing I still recommend Project Cars 2 - in my eyes one of the most immersive PC racing games atm. It has dynamic weather, fantastic graphics, laser scanned tracks and plethora of cars. Also is pretty user friendly, you can set it up to be arcade easy game or almost pure simulation. It also can be played with a controller or even K+M (altho the last one is not recommended).
 
I think as mentioned new Forza 4 is the best choice for you Unikorn. And if you ever want a game focused only on pure racing I still recommend Project Cars 2 - in my eyes one of the most immersive PC racing games atm. It has dynamic weather, fantastic graphics, laser scanned tracks and plethora of cars. Also is pretty user friendly, you can set it up to be arcade easy game or almost pure simulation. It also can be played with a controller or even K+M (altho the last one is not recommended).
Between those two I'd probably go for Forza. I tend to see cars as an art project.

Here's a picture of what I made many years ago in FM4 on Xbox 360:

 
I nominate Forza Horizon 4 as well. Drawbacks are heavily encouraged (required?) Dukes of Hazzard style driving, and the styrofoam walls, fences, lamp-posts, etc. YMMV.
 
Hmm, no mention of Assetto Corsa or Assetto Corsa Competizione (AC's sequel, currently in early access) ?
Color me surprised.
 
Hmm, no mention of Assetto Corsa or Assetto Corsa Competizione (AC's sequel, currently in early access) ?
Color me surprised.
I did not recomend Corsa as its not exactly a customize your car game but yeah, if you looking for proper sim, AC is amazing, but best play it with full pedals/wheel setup. Very hard and unforgiving car handling!
 
I did not recomend Corsa as its not exactly a customize your car game but yeah, if you looking for proper sim, AC is amazing, but best play it with full pedals/wheel setup. Very hard and unforgiving car handling!
With regard to visual customization other games probably have a little more to offer, yes.
That said, there's still a lot to tinker with in AC when it comes to looks.
The performance tuning of the cars in AC is certainly the stronger part of it, any would be race car mechanic will find plenty to do here.
AC is more on the sim side of racing games, agreed, but even then it can still be enjoyed with a slightly more casual approach.
Other than that, i'll gladly sign your recommendation of Project Cars as well.
I feel AC is perhaps the more accomplished game overall, but they're both good.
 
There is no customization or tuning in PC2 but it is the best racing sim in my opinion. But not what Unikorn is after.
I play PC2 all the time. There is a ton of in-depth tunning. If you don't adequately open your radiator your engine overheats and blows up. Gear ratios, suspension, every detail can be tuned.

It's also a fantastic game for those who enjoy VR.

But you're right it has no parts customization. You can't swap engines or buy a new exhaust system. It's race car tuning with some street cars thrown in.
 
I play PC2 all the time. There is a ton of in-depth tunning. If you don't adequately open your radiator your engine overheats and blows up. Gear ratios, suspension, every detail can be tuned.

It's also a fantastic game for those who enjoy VR.

But you're right it has no parts customization. You can't swap engines or buy a new exhaust system. It's race car tuning with some street cars thrown in.
How is it with a gamepad? My office space doesn't allow me to setup a wheel, so my only option is the controller. I really want to get this one.
 
How is it with a gamepad? My office space doesn't allow me to setup a wheel, so my only option is the controller. I really want to get this one.
I play PC2 with an Xbox elite controller...partly since muscle memory from the years on Xbox make it intuitive for me... but the controller options are pretty good with deadzone and sensitivity/saturation settings, even for the potentiometer triggers on the Xbox controller which makes controlling the throttle and brakes analogue instead of digital on/off like the PS4 controllers.

The controller mapping options are also fully configurable to your own preferences. If you have VR or a head/eyetracker...they work very well too. I use the Tobii 4C...makes a difference being able to look at the apex of corners instead of guessing where they are looking through a fixed letterbox view.
 
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I'll be honest.

Ever since I spent a day playing racing sims with wheels at a convention, I've never been able to take sims' seriously without one.

That's why I'm looking at the more arcade-physics games.
 
Thanks for the replies. Definitely going to pick up PC2 now! Does it have an engaging sense of career progression? I dearly love Dirt Rally for the raw driving experience and punishing event arc (it's aptly referred to as the "Dark Souls" of racing), but the progression is pretty dry.
 
I'll be honest.

Ever since I spent a day playing racing sims with wheels at a convention, I've never been able to take sims' seriously without one.

That's why I'm looking at the more arcade-physics games.
I'm not particularly fond of the full realism sim racing things...since I've never owned a wheel or felt into racing games enough I want a sim pit racing setup. PC2 gives the best of both worlds where you can customise it exactly how you like to play it. I like realistic enough to suit my tastes but arcadey enough that I actually enjoy playing it with the controller and sat at my desk :)
 
Thanks for the replies. Definitely going to pick up PC2 now! Does it have an engaging sense of career progression? I dearly love Dirt Rally for the raw driving experience and punishing event arc (it's aptly referred to as the "Dark Souls" of racing), but the progression is pretty dry.
The career mode is PC2's most attractive feature for me...I started the career mode racing Renault Clios in the Clio cup (big semi pro touring car racing scene in the UK)...moved on to GT5 with the Ginetta juniors then full fledged GT4 Ginettas, GT3, etc. In the career you get offers from different sponsors in varying racing classes offering driver seats with different cars/manufacturers as you progress...and so on. You can branch off into open wheel stuff, take part in invitational events run by sponsors in different racing categories...or just start a career in whichever racing class takes your fancy.

It's very similar to TOCA 2 and 3 in that respect...if you remember back to that series.
 
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