Milestone S.r.l. is one of gaming’s most consistent developers, delivering multiple worthwhile racing games each year. Its latest offering is Ride 5, which serves as a sizable, current-gen revamp and overall upgrade for the series. No longer held back by a foundation that was created in 2015, Ride 5 delivers one of the best motorcycle racing games yet.
The biggest improvement and selling point of Ride 5 is how beginner friendly it is. Some of the past Ride games were difficult to get into at first due to poorly implemented racing aids. However, Milestone has properly balanced both the aids and the career mode, allowing players to immediately be competitive in races from the very start. Turning assists off and moving to higher difficulty levels over time leads to a more even and rewarding difficulty curve that’s far more encouraging than constantly crashing and burning.
The four-part career mode is the bulkiest part of the game where racers can test their skills. There are over 200 events to partake in, ranging from time attack races to more traditional competitions. Over time, players will go up against 10 main rivals, which acts as a good indicator of how far you’ve come in the career leaderboard that spans over 150 riders. While the presentation isn’t always impressive and lacks an identity, this is a solid career offering that invested players will be able to put dozens of hours into.
With over 30 real and fictional tracks that span the globe and hundreds of real motorcycles to choose from, there’s a great variety on display. Iconic tracks like Daytona International Speedway and the Nürburgring are faithfully recreated. Milestone also gets to flex its muscle with some original offerings, like its Kanto course that has players riding the Japanese countryside past temples. All of these tracks show how it is a truly beautiful game that takes advantage of its current-gen-only status by having stunning visuals and dynamic weather effects.
Sports titles, however, sometimes can lack features when they go through a revamp. Thankfully, that isn’t the case here. The creation suite is impressive, allowing players to make everything from liveries to championships. Local split-screen multiplayer even returns — a first in the series since Ride 2. It’s evident that this wasn’t rushed, and Milestone took its time in actually iterating upon what fans have come to expect from the series.
Other small tweaks have made the overall experience much more compelling, as well. For example, online play now supports cross-platform play, which is always a great addition for more niche online titles and ensures that there’s always a match join. Endurance mode can also be played online, allowing masochists to do massive races that take multiple hours. Additional features are on the way, too, as the Race Director feature, which will allow players to alter the starting grid, set rules, and assign penalties to online races, is coming in a future patch.
Ride 5 Review: The final verdict
Ride 5 is yet another impressive offering from Milestone. By focusing on the current generation of hardware, the motorcycle racer isn’t held back and is able to live to its full potential. It all results in a great-looking experience that is easier to get into than ever before and is just as fulfilling to master.
Disclaimer: Our Ride 5 review is based on a PS5 copy provided by the publisher. Reviewed on version 1.004.000.