For millions of people, a video game is what exposes them to the vast and rich world of cars for the first time. Regardless of what title a kid choses, that game and the cars in it can make an impression that lasts a lifetime.

Something like Need for Speed: Underground can show how satisfying it is to have a car personalized specifically to one’s own tastes while dominating the street scene. Gran Turismo can introduce players to thousands of cars they had never seen or heard of while taking them to new tracks they never knew existed. The Formula 1 games can immerse players in the high pressure but glamorous world of the pinnacle of motorsport. And iRacing provides an experience so realistic that it makes you pay a bunch of real money to get punted off track on lap 1 by a Spaniard who thinks they’re the next Fernando Alonso.

No matter what experience players get immersed in, somewhere along the way they’re bound to form some attachment to a car as a result. As a lifelong gamer myself, I can say for sure that my impressions on real cars have been influenced, sometimes subconsciously, but how I’ve experienced them in games. If I see a car that I only knew about because of Gran Turismo 4 I will lose my shit in public. And when I see a Group C car in the flesh, my experience driving them in Project Cars 2 gives me a greater sense of respect for the machinery and the brave souls who flung them down Mulsanne at 240 mph.

So how about you? If you can still remember favorite car from any game you’ve played, sound off.

The story behind that Bentley…

The most recent car I came to love because of a video game is the Bentley Continental GT3 Evo courtesy of Assetto Corsa Competizione. It’s pictured above wearing our gorgeous Podium Hunters eSports livery by Racebox and our own Abe Wozniak. I got back into this simulator recently and rejoined an old league I used to race with. In searching for a car to learn intimately and stick with for the season, I was convinced to try the Bentley.

“No way this big ass thing is gonna be any good”, I thought to myself. “I’ll be like the Ever Given attempting to negotiate some of these tight and technical tracks”, I said with a tone of misguided confidence.

Well it turns out it’s one of the best cars in the sim. It’s such a pleasant car to drive at 10/10ths because it doesn’t fuss or fight back as long as I drive it right. It just does what I want it to do. It feels great out of the box with minimal setup adjustments and it’s fast as hell to boot. It’s a car that I could drive all day and never get tired of. The fact that it’s this good while also sticking out like a luxury super yacht in an America’s Cup race is what makes me love it so much. I love my Boatley.