Review: Nascar Heat 5 (Steam)

NASCAR Heat 5 challenges you to become the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion. Features all the official teams, drivers and cars from the three NASCAR National Series as well as the Xtreme Dirt Tour, racing on 39 authentic tracks.


  • Decent graphics.
  • 15263mb Download size.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Controller support.
  • Steering wheel support.
  • Four difficulties-casual, normal, hard, and expert.
  • Victory anthem-choose your right own in-game track to play in both on and offline modes.
  • Race modes-(like arcade mode) test session, challenges, championship, and split-screen.
  • In-depth character creator.
  • Four series-Nascar Cup series, Xfinity series, Gander truck series, and Xtreme dirt tour.
  • Quick race mode-pick a series, driver, and track.
  • Career-own settings like Assists, AI difficulties, and damage model.
  • Two careers choices-full start from scratch or custom start where you pick the series to start in.
  • 3 race sessions- practice, qualify, and race. You can skip between them.
  • Full damage model.
  • In career, you earn fans and cash based on performances. You work your way through the series.
  • Nine driving views including in-car and far.
  • Teams-join official ones or create your own.
  • Contract incentives-choose 1 of 3 incentives for bonus rewards.
  • 40 player online races.
  • Can tune and setup card to your likings.


  • A lot of menu clicking.
  • No real tutorial.
  • A lot of loading screens.
  • Little online activity.
  • Same game as last year minus a few additions but nothing of note.
  • No overall presentation and the hosts of races etc are just text-based.
  • No commentary.

  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10


I don’t watch Nascar religiously or anything but I have played many of the games before, Coming into Heat I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for, but I did expect a bit more wow or at least a colorful TV-like presentation to it all. The game is not like that as with no commentary or presenters it’s a very cold space. Sure you get a known name to be the face as boxes of text come on screen but that’s not an atmosphere. The driving is fine, you can tune cars and tinker with presets to get the handling just right but it’s nothing groundbreaking. By all accounts, it’s the same game as last year but with reskins and I’m guessing the changing of names as drivers move teams and despite not knowing that for myself, the game does feel somewhat dated and kind of rushed in a way. Menus are basic and straight forward, there’s no character or warmth to it all, driver creation is deep but not needed. No voice work for call outs and instead you get constant call-outs from your pit crew that is neither helpful or varied so that got switched off after two races. Nascar Heat 5 is a game that is fine for a quick fix or a gamer with little knowledge on the teams but anyone higher up will not enjoy the basic emptiness of it all.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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