One of my fondest memories of grad school was holed up in an office late on Friday night, playing Mario Kart 64 on a projector with friends with a glass of scotch at my side. "Drinkin and Drivin", we'd call it. I hate racing games, I'm terrible at them, but the various incarnations of Mario Kart have done a fantastic job of making a light arcade racer where anyone has a chance of winning, whether skilled or new. Also I knew playing as Peaches I was awesome, so even if my power slide failed and I ended up in last place "I'm the Best!".
Enter Blur, the new arcade racer by Bizarre Creations. (You may know them from such games as Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, Geometry Wars: Galaxies, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, Geometry Wars: Touch. Oh, and Project Gotham Racing 1, 2, 3, and 4.) As the mocking ad above suggests, it's basically Mario Kart with grown-up fancy drifter cars. Same basic fast racing action, same kinds of powerups to even the playing field. And a thin veneer of RPG leveling up and achievements to keep the game interesting for time.
It's really fun. Like I said, I hate racing games, but Blur's random enough that if I lose I blame bad luck and if I win I'm sure it's because of my skillz. It's not as much playing fun online with strangers as playing with my drunk friends, but it's still pretty good. The only sad thing is their game release timing is awful. Despite good reviews there's not much buzz; the leaderboard only shows 35,000 players on Xbox and the most I've seen online at once is 2000. So not a huge hit, at least not yet. But a solid game and lots of mindless fun.