Best Games Like Twisted Metal

Anyone who owned a PlayStation console during the late 1990s to early 2000s may remember Twisted Metal, a vehicular combat game that saw players competing in demolition derby-style car battles. The series is known for its gratuitous violence and over-the-top characters, namely its mascot Sweet Tooth, a murderous clown who drives an ice cream truck.

And while there hasn’t been a new Twisted Metal game since the PS3-era, the success of recent remakes and remasters has us hopeful Sony will someday revisit the series. Thankfully, there are still plenty of great vehicular combat games to explore, many of which are passion projects from smaller indie teams.

In this list, we’ll be highlighting the best games like Twisted Metal to play in 2020 along with the platforms they’re available on and show gameplay where possible.

Related:Best Racing Games 2020Best PS4 Games 2020Best Upcoming PS5 Exclusives 2020 (And Beyond)

Carmageddon has been around for roughly the same amount of time as Twisted Metal but never had the luxury of being backed by a big publisher like Sony. The latest installment, Carmageddon: Max Damage debuted in 2016 and is a remake of Carmageddon: Reincarnation for PS4 and Xbox One.

In it, players compete in a variety of racing events focused on causing as much destruction as possible. The game features an array of upgradeable vehicles modified to wield various spikes, chains, saws, battering rams, and flamethrowers. Throughout levels, players are encouraged to smash into pedestrians, other drivers, and even animals. While the game’s comedic tone and gratuitous violence may not appeal to every gamer, if you’re looking for something that scratches that Twisted Metal itch, then Max Damage is worth checking out.

If Carmageddon is a bit too chaotic for your taste, Wreckfest is another option that adheres to the traditional demolition derby formula. Released in 2018, Wreckfest is a spiritual successor to the FlatOut series that uses soft-body damage modeling to take vehicular combat to new heights.

The game sees you crushing, smashing, and ramming your way to victory across different modes. In a majority of racing events, the goal is to either come in first place or be the last car standing. This requires a careful balance of offense and defense since your vehicle is also vulnerable to damage.

As a product of modern game design, Wreckfest features tighter controls, superior handling, and overall better-looking graphics than any of its predecessors. If you’re having a hard time dealing with the outdated controls of older arcade racing games, give Wreckfest a try.

Also released in 2018, GRIP is a fast-paced combat racer that swaps out Twisted Metal’s edgy ‘90s aesthetic in favor of a futuristic sci-fi inspired setting. This makes a lot of sense when you factor in the game’s driving mechanics, which see you driving upside down on walls, ceilings, and just about anywhere else your tires can go.

While there aren’t any colorful cars or big personalities, GRIP features 30 vehicles of all shapes and sizes, many of which are inspired by antigrav vehicles from Wipeout and F-Zero. Just don’t expect them to still look sleek and shiny by the end of a race.

Similar to those in Twisted Metal, vehicles in GRIP are outfitted with ballistic and projectile weapons, ranging from homing missiles to fast-firing machine guns. Although races are a lot more structured than Twisted Metal or any of the other games we’ve mentioned, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to blow your opponents to smithereens.

Despite its cartoony graphics, Cel Damage is directly inspired by the Twisted Metal series in terms of both story and gameplay. In it, you play as one of 10 different characters who have been cast for an in-universe cartoon show called “Cel Damage.”

The show sees combatants battling in wheels-on-wheels combat for audiences throughout thirteen different arenas. The cartoon theme bleeds over into combat, with some vehicles sporting non-conventional weapons such as vacuum nozzles and portable holes in addition to more traditional weapons like chainsaws and guns.

Additionally, arenas are littered with power-ups that grant limited use items such as freeze rays, giant springs, and nuclear bombs. Cel Damage HD is a re-release of the 2014 original with updated graphics, HUD modifications, new weapons, and one new stage.

Diesel Guns is another arcade vehicular combat game whose inception was influenced by the Twisted Metal series. In it, you control a variety of high-powered death machines with unique stats and weaponry. The game places emphasis on vehicle and weapon diversity by introducing specific rules.

For example, the higher a vehicle’s speed, the more lethal its weapons become. In addition, each weapon in the game features an alternate firing mode that players can switch between freely. However, there are some other factors players should consider.

Diesel Guns is currently in Early Access on Steam, so it’s a bit rough around the edges. Still, the core gameplay loop is already in place. Additionally, while the game emphasizes its online multiplayer mode, servers are currently limited to Europe, with support for more regions planned down the road.

Road Redemption is a spiritual successor to the Road Rash series that introduces a couple of changes, most notably a roguelike-structured single-player campaign. Gameplay focuses on racing down procedurally-generated highways on a motorcycle while battling groups of enemies.

Combat in Road Redemption is a mix of both close and long-range, with the player able to grab, kick, and counterattack as well as shoot SMGs, shotguns, and rifles.  The game also features dozens of melee weapons, including pipes, baseball bats, pool cues, and the occasional wrench.

 All of the above can be used to deliver a satisfying blow to your enemy’s head that will either momentarily stun them or knock them clean off their bike. Every hit you land in Road Redemption feels meaty and tactile, resulting in gameplay that feels as visceral and addictive as Twisted Metal.

Rocket League has come a long way since its 2015 release and currently stands as one of the most popular esports of today. As one of the few online games to offer cross-play support across all platforms, the vehicular soccer game has gained a massive following that developer Psyonix is committed to keeping.

This is great news for fans of Twisted Metal who might have never played it or assumed from its visuals that it was just for kids. In reality, matches can get quite intense, especially when playing with a full squad.

If you’re looking for a unique arena-style game with tons replayability, Rocket League is an excellent choice that boasts simple controls, car customization, and a thriving online community. You can even pick up an exclusive Sweet Tooth vehicle if you’re playing on PS4.

Switching from 3D to 2D, Bloody Rally Show looks to combine top-down arcade racing with the hyper-violence of reality TV. In it, you play as a driver for a show called “Bloody Rally Show,” a racing program set in a dystopian world.

Your goal is to keep viewers coming back by drifting, boosting, and blasting away the competition. Like Twisted Metal, there’s plenty of gratuitous violence and over the top dialogue thrown in to really sell this idea of it being a show.

If you’re a fan of customization, Bloody Rally Show allows you to import your own images and apply them as a decal or paint job on your car. Additionally, there’s a track creator and a built-in console that lets you mess with the game logic and physics.

Developed by Redline Studios and published by Atari, Crashday: Redline Edition is a re-release of the original 2006 PC racing game Crashday. It features a new UI and a host of graphical improvements that make the now 14-year-old game feel much more recent.

At its core, the game still plays like the original. Players pick their vehicle of choice and enter into one of 30 tracks to compete in a variety of races, stunt shows, and wrecking matches. There are seven game modes in total, each focusing on vehicular combat using missiles, machine guns, and straight-up car crashes.

Players can design and share custom tracks as well as take advantage of mods from the Steam Workshop. If you’re looking to recreate Twisted Metal’s single-player experience, you can always opt to battle AI-controlled enemies.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme is another combat racing game that takes a few cues from the Twisted Metal series.  In it, players start out with underpowered heaps of metal, slowly working their way up to powerful sports cars by winning races and surviving hellish arena battles.

As you progress in the game, new modes, tracks, and vehicles become available. The single-player campaign will take you roughly 12 hours to complete, but there’s also online multiplayer. Considering the game was released in 2013, expect to go up against AI-controlled bots most of the time.

In terms of combat, each vehicle has two weapons that it can swap between to fire small or big rockets. Gas Guzzlers Extreme may not have all the bells and whistles you expect in a modern game, but that only adds to its old school arcade combat racing appeal.

Despite being a narrative-driven open-world game, 2015’s Mad Max actually has a lot in common with Twisted Metal when it comes to its vehicular combat. When you’re not busy completing story missions, you can just cruise around the game’s irradiated open-world picking fights with rival gangs.

The car combat consists of hooking on to enemy vehicles using a harpoon gun, blowing them up with explosives, and when all else fails, ramming into the driver’s seat at high speeds. The entire time you’re also tasked with monitoring your car’s positioning, fuel, and damage meters. 

Along with random battles throughout the wasteland, there are also convoy side missions that essentially function like car boss battles against tougher enemies. The game also boasts the ability to customize just about every inch of your murder machine through unlockable upgrades and cosmetics.

Considering fans of Twisted Metal don’t have much to hold on to these days, it’s nice to see a game like Destruction AllStars get announced, especially for a platform as highly-anticipated as the PS5. While it’s clearly trying to appeal to the Fortnite audience, there appears to be enough substance to AllStars’ vehicular combat to keep players coming back.

In it, you play as one of many “dangerous drivers” who compete in explosive car-based battles in arenas throughout the world. Each character has a unique personality that’s reflected by their vehicle of choice. There’s the usual fare of turbo boosts, deadly crashes, and massive explosions, but the ability to exit your vehicle and cause mayhem on-foot is what sets AllStars apart. Just pray you don’t get yourself run over before you can make it back to the driver’s seat.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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