Many Motocross games usually follow the arcade stereotype where the controls are simple and you can perform unreal acrobatics in the air. MXGP is the exact opposite. It is a grounded, realistic, simulation racer that doesn’t try to impress you with flashy tricks, but rather dig its hooks into you with skillful racing. While there is some fun to be had, there isn’t enough within MXGP to keep you around for long unless you are a big Motocross fan.

Visually the game does quite well with the tracks, bikes, and riders. They may not be the best graphics I’ve ever seen, but seeing the metallic flash on the bike is always wonderful feeling. It is only matched by the roaring of the engines, which is always music to my ears.

MXGP comes with all the standard modes you expect to find in a racing game. Quick race, Championship, online, and career. Quick race allows you to jump right into a race and get going. Championship play as a rider and go through the MX1 or MX2. Online let’s you test your skills against other players, and I had some fairly intense races in this mode. Career you will be spending a majority of your time. You make an unknown racer and work your way up through the circuits. It’s fairly easy in the beginning, but the difficulty scales up as times goes on.

mxgp motocross

You get to design what your character looks like, and choose what team you want to be a part of. You can tweak your bike in the pit and have a lot of control over how you want your bike to race. You will spend a lot of time outside of the racing, but there isn’t enough to really keep your attention for long. There are a lot of menus and you’ll start to skip through the pretty quickly without really caring for the information. Howeve,r racing well and earning recognition for it gives you a great sense of progression. Starting as a nobody and getting to be among the best feels very rewarding. It’s not a simple or short trip to get there, but that’s all part of the fun.

The biggest positive of MXGP is the basic gameplay, which is exactly what should be the best part about the game. It felt a little awkward at times, but a majority of the time the racing felt smooth and satisfying. You need to use both analog sticks to control your racer. The left stick does all the standard turns, and the right stick leans the rider. This is necessary for making sharp turns and saving valuable seconds on each lap. It’s not as easy as it seems either, and will take some practice to nail down the timing right.

What I genuinely enjoyed is how the track changes with each lap. With each turn you dig into the dirt and shift it slightly. When every racer does that each bend can look vastly different at the end of the race compared to the beginning. You need to be aware of these sudden changes or you can find yourself taking a hard spill.

That’s the beauty in simulation racers after all. It isn’t about the big flashy moves or staying at your vehicles top speed the entire time. It’s all about the little nuances that are buried within the game. Mastering a simple turn feels as rewarding as maybe landing a double blackflip in another title. Learning how to properly accelerate, break, and lean at the right moments to get the best lap time is exhilarating.

mxgp race

The issues surface when other riders start getting involved. Whenever any altercation occurred with another rider, I was always the one to get the disastrous results. Luckily, the A.I. doesn’t go out of their way to knock you off, but in a tight turn with lots of riders you will always be the one that goes flying. While that is annoying, I can live with it. The issue is how unnatural it all seems in a game that is pushing realism. The rider tumbles awkwardly as if the rag-doll physics have been cranked all the way up. You are then placed back on the track as a flashing beacon, and this correction can occur even if you drive off the track for less than a second.

By far the most awkward and clunky part of MXGP happens when crashing into another rider. It feels completely stiff like you may have well scraped up against a wall. They hardly move as you either bounce off or fly off your bike. Even when I went off a jump and landed on their back, the A.I. acted like nothing happened. I slid off their back like they were a rock and kept on racing. There needs to be better interaction among the racers.

MXGP is a well-rounded simulation racing game for Motocross fans. This doesn’t mean it is an excellent game that you must own. This is for a certain niche of gamers that are fans of Motocross and are looking for something a little more realistic than the other arcade Motocross games out there. I had fun with MXGP, but it didn’t go above and beyond. The racing basics were fun, but the game doesn’t get much deeper than that. I didn’t enjoy my time outside of the racing in any of the menus, and the racing didn’t hold my interest long enough that it made me want to race for hours on end. Serious Motocross fans may enjoy this game, but for everyone else there is something better to spend your time doing.

This review is based off a review copy of the Playstation 3 version of MXGP: The Official Motocross Video Game developed by Milestone S.r.l.

Getting Lapped | MXGP: The Official Motocross Video Game Review
  • Nice Visuals
  • Fun Racing Mechanics
  • Realistic Dirt on Tracks
  • Awkward Interactions with A.I.
  • Frustrating Crashes
  • No Entertainment Outside Racing
7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author

Neil has had a passion for video games ever since the Atari entered his life so many years ago. He's been writing about them for over two years and sees no end in sight. Reach out to him on twitter @nconnors13