The Shift series (in my own opinion) hits the perfect balance between realistic driving physics and a fictional but enjoyable racing game. Besides the fact that the graphics here are the best you'll see on the PS3 and the sound both during racing and in the menu is amazing, this title has been developed for players who prefer to use the basic PS3 controller.
For instance - when the car loses grip, the bonnet bumps up a little, the controller rumbles slightly, you hear the road noise drop away and you are given equal feedback when you brake and/or maneuver the car to catch the road again. I have not experienced this kind of immersion in any other racing title, most racing simulators require a steering wheel setup to receive any feedback.
Bundled with night racing, helmet cam, intricate car tuning and fun crash/car damage simulations this game requires your complete focus and attention. Unfortunately this game tries to do too much. The physics only apply to about half the cars during career and you will notice that putting a V10 Viper engine into a Toyota Supra creates a completely stupid vehicle that doesn't handle or perform correctly. When it becomes a requirement that you log your lap times, corner speeds, top speed at end of straits, car stability and recovery times after bumps; it's hard to overlook the comical and nonsensical way that some upgrades affect your vehicle. The super-cars were also disappointing, I expected them to be really fast and handle well but I was mistaken.
If that doesn't bother you then, this is an exciting race game that allows you to buy all your favorite cars, paint them, upgrade them, race them and crash them