It might be five years old, but WRC: Evolved is still by and far and away the best 'real' rally game available, even bettering this years WRC on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in terms of delivery, style and execution.
WRC: Evolved not only features the complete 2005 WRC Championship, (including all the tracks, all the drivers and all the cars), but also features real dynamic weather effects as well as the impressive Random Event Engine. With this new engine developer Evolution Studios were able to kick up all kinds of events during the course of any stage; from warnings of other drivers crashed or stopped on each stage, wildlife suddenly jumping out in front of you, rocks tumbling from cliff faces, water spills from broken river banks, dust and debris kicked up by other drivers and all matter of obstacles for you to navigate as you blast your way through 16 levels of fog, snow, mud and rain at frightening speeds and at varying times of day and night. As with all the other WRC games over the years Evolved also has a co-driver who praises or scalds you depending on your performance and who, due to the random events found on each stage, is also quick to warn you of track events. The game also features real time damage and component failure which can hamper your performance; all of which adds to the sense of realism.
There is also a Rally Cross mode where up to 4 players can race in split screen mode but as good as it is it’s in the rally proper itself where WRC: Evolved really shines. The best bit? If you’ve still got your PS2, (as any good gamer should have), then you can pick it up on Amazon for about a fiver! Bargain.
Anyway, below is a video of me going at breakneck speed through the back roads of New Zealand in a Skoda Fabia. I’m playing the full 16 country season on professional level using manual/semi-automatic gears and from the cock-pit view. Hard as nails, (especially when you can only just see past the bonnet in thick fog and snow), but its great fun.