Caring for horses and riding functions as more than a hobby for the people all over the world. Many put their hearts and souls into looking after these majestic animals. Similarly, horse racing fans often prove just as passionate. Like many sports, their fans often impress with knowledge gleaned from online betting tipsters and other sports media outlets. As such, creating a game capable of living up to the ante-post betting build-up leading into a giant race meeting, or the feeling of satisfaction when a horse appears happy in victory, can be a difficult task. However, that has not stopped some developers from tackling games aiming to delight even the most hardened race betting aficionado. The list below features a few games where horses receive the spotlight.
G1 Jockey Series and Gallop Racer
Those entering local bookie shops probably noticed horse racing fans also bet on virtual races. In theory, this presents a basis big enough to warrant a good horse racing SIM. In 1999, Koei realized this with the launch of G1 Jockey for PlayStation. Interestingly enough, the game has since seen multiple remakes and sequels. One of the great quirks of this game was that players could assume the role of jockey and move their controllers as if they were holding onto proper riding reins.
A similarly enjoyable and innovative game was Gallop Racer, which also excelled when it came to putting players right at the heart of the riding action.
Mobile Racing Games
Horse racing games for PC and console tend to be quite antiquated. However, the mobile market has a different take altogether. Mobile platforms feature a variety of horse-themed games. Many of them are free, allowing users to consider microtransactions. Some of the best horse games out there for handheld devices include Horse Racing 3D and Rival Stars Horse Racing. The latter is an in-depth homage to the horse racing world. Players do more than just ride thoroughbreds. The game allows them to try their hand at being a trainer and even an owner.
Cowboy culture and the Wild West recur thematically in games. Many of them provide the short but engaging riding experiences.
Cowboy Culture and Time Pieces
While games solely focusing on horse racing can provide lots of entertainment, there are some open world games which put horses in a sort of spotlight. While such games are not sports games per se, the do incorporate the sport of horse racing.
Just one of these is Red Dead Redemption, which allows players to channel their cowboy spirit and ride across vast swathes of Wild West country. Another fantastic gaming series that is packed with horsey goodness is the Witcher, in which the game’s protagonist, Geralt, does not go anywhere without his trusty steed, Roach. Both of which allow you to race your steed and upgrade them.
Perhaps the pick of the bunch when it comes to this variety of game is Ghost of Tsushima, where you assume the role of a vengeful samurai, who navigates mammoth game maps with the help of beautiful stallions. Another bonus of this game is that its horses are virtually indestructible, meaning anyone who gets squeamish when it comes to animal cruelty needn’t worry about something bad befalling their precious long nosed beast.