Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Ishani Aziz
Codemasters really are, well… Masters when it comes to F1 Racing in the virtual world. They began their journey into F1 with the Wii and Playstation Portable game; F1 2009, and moved to more popular consoles between 2010-2022. Their games have added something new every time - and I have played all of them through the years. The 2009 console in particular gives a nostalgic feel. Let’s look at how the Codemasters F1 games rank (excluding the online games)...
1st: F1 2010
This game in my opinion was just pure perfection for Formula 1 - it had quite a harsh penalty system for making contact with the AI, and a very interesting career mode where you would be forced to start with a backmarker team and work your way through the grid. Teams would only offer players a contract if you behaved accordingly in the press, and didn’t crash often. Both the driving and the atmosphere was realistic and I hope we get more of that in the new F1 Life (introduced with F1 22).
2nd: F1 2020
10 years later, another groundbreaking game hit our screens, with F1 2020. This game introduced Zandvoort; a brand new track. It also introduced MyTeam, which has been an excellent addition to the career mode, as playing year after year with the same teams was bound to get a little stale after a while. This game does suffer from not being completely faithful to the actual F1 season however, and we missed out on tracks like Turkey, Portimao and Imola in 2020’s F1 game.
3rd: F1 2021
Not too far behind, is F1 2021, which finally added Imola and Portimao (although oddly not Turkey). Bringing back Imola was great, and Portimao was an enjoyable new challenge after the F1 games followed quite a formulaic approach for a few years.
4th: F1 2016
This game was groundbreaking for Codemasters - it has a fresh career mode, new graphics, new car models and damage, and a whole new game engine. Not to mention the excellent soundtrack (arguably the best among F1 games). This game was the first one in the new era of consoles that really captured people’s attention.
5th: F1 2011
A slightly controversial choice to place F1 2011 above others, but I find this to be a rewarding version of the games. It has a rather interesting AI and penalty system. You can just throw the car into a corner and make it stick. I will also never get over the fact Adrian Sutil’s AI drove backwards at Canada, taking my friend out and allowing me to win the race.
6th: F1 2009
F1 2009 has some redeemable aspects that are often overlooked. For example the career mode emails. This career mode begins by you having to test between a Toro Rosso and a BMW Sauber at different tracks. Personally, I find the nostalgia of this game comforting, and this game gets too much criticism, especially with it being the Codemasters’ first F1 game.
7th: F1 2019
The 2019 game was the one I paid least but it remains groundbreaking in many ways. It introduced Driver Transfers and massively upscaled the graphics. 2019 also has a short story mode which was a welcome change that was unfortunately dropped by 2021.
8th: F1 2017
F1 2017 brought classic cars back, but aside from this the game is identical to F1 2016 in terms of career, graphics and engines. Additionally, the classic cars were better done in the other games and as such this is the game I have played the least.
9th: F1 2013
But who could forget our last journey before the Turbo Hybrid cars? 2013 was a strange one, because classic cars and tracks were both kept but the career lacked anything new. Overall F1 2013 felt underwhelming.
10th: F1 2018
F1 2018 was equally underwhelming. It felt like an effort to reinvent F1 2017 and 2016 but didn’t have the capacity to step up the graphics like F1 2019 managed to. For that reason this game is nothing special.
11th: F1 2012
I think many will disagree with me on this, and that’s absolutely fine. I struggled to enjoy the style of the driving in this game, and the career mode was just so similar to 2010 and 2011. However, I do think that perhaps this does deserve to be higher on the list, so let me know in the comments down below.
12th: F1 2015
Of the games I firmly dislike, F1 2015 is definitely included. The only good thing to come out of F1 2015, was the YouTuber Championship with Tiametmarduk, Aarava, Matt from WTF1 and Noble 2909. There wasn’t even a career mode in the game, and too many glitches make this game very underwhelming and frustrating, something you never want to revisit.
13th: F1 2014
F1 2014 is undoubtedly the worst. Codemasters actually made a 2014 season in the 2015 game because the official F1 2014 was so disliked. The cars would understeer heading into a corner, and oversteer on the way out - it was like trying to drive a shopping trolley-. The graphics were identical to F1 2013, but the classic cars and tracks were scrapped so there were no redeeming features.
Honourable Mention: F1 Race Stars!
MarioKart but with F1; F1 Race Stars is a strange yet absolutely incredible experience. Although, too many controllers have been broken with this game for me, as sometimes drivers would come out of nowhere and steal your points, which was always demoralising.
With this list in mind, let me know if this was an accurate take on the F1 games!
If you’d like to give me any feedback - or just talk pure racing - then please leave a comment below, or you could get in contact by following my Instagram:
And if you’d like to check out a video I made about the 9-time MotoGP champion and legend, Valentino Rossi, then follow this link:
Finally be sure to check out the second episode of the Divebomb Power Rankings Podcast:
Thanks for reading guys, means a lot!