F1 24 review – a podium finish

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The 2024 F1 season is well underway, and Codemasters are back with the latest game in the F1 series looking to capitalise on the sport continuing to grow massively in popularity. But with a yearly release bringing inevitable questions on how worthwhile each year’s game is, it remains to be seen how well F1 24’s major updates to Career Mode and realism manage to answer them.

The biggest change is certainly the overhaul of Career Mode, which has had the most significant upgrade for many years. First things first, while you can still create a custom driver, players can now also opt to play as a real F1 or F2 driver. Not only that, but certain icons of the sport are available, letting you take control of the likes of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher – a little odd, but definitely a nice option for those who want it.

F1 24 review: Ayrton Senna in the driver select screen for Career Mode.
Icons like Ayrton Senna are now playable in Career Mode. Image captured by VideoGamer

As you play through a season, your Driver Rating changes dynamically. Good performances on the track will see your rating increase, leading to your driver’s skills increasing, gaining advantages such as upgrades to your car’s parts or extra resources being allocated to you over your teammate. Optional mid-race challenges  grant a big boost to your ratings, and offer an extra dimension that makes each race unique.

Another new addition is the Challenge Career Mode. Don’t pay much heed to the name, as this is less of a Career Mode as it is a collection of scenarios and challenges. You’ll be presented with a set of goals to complete, and receive points for completing them, with higher difficulties resulting in higher points.

F1 24 review: Max Verstappen on the Challenge Career menu screen.
Challenge Career Mode lets you compete for high scores with other players. Image captured by VideoGamer

Come the end of each Challenge Career Mode, and the number of points you’ve earned will see you placed on a leaderboard. It’s a great touch and lets players who perhaps aren’t too keen on playing online still compete  with friends and strangers alike. It’s also a mode that encourages repeat playthroughs, aiming to push that score higher and higher each time and is definitely worth checking out.

While the improvements to Career Mode are a major plus, it’s disappointing to see Braking Point fail to return. The story mode has been one of the most engaging aspects of the past few F1 titles. And while I understand that it’s a major undertaking for the Codemasters team, hence why it’s currently releasing in every other title rather than in each consecutive year, it’s hard not to feel like F1 24 is seriously missing out by not having it.

F1 24 review: A Mercedes car preparing to round a corner behind Max Verstappen.
Handling in this year’s game is smoother and more realistic. Image captured by VideoGamer

The most realistic driving yet

As for the driving itself, Codemasters are promising their largest update to physics and handling yet with their Dynamic Handling system and changes to the aerodynamics of each car. Different cars now handle differently, which is much more apparent when driving assists are turned off. Where one might excel around tight corners, another may require a bit more effort to corner effectively.

While this is unlikely to have much bearing on casual players and F1 fans, it’s a very welcome change for veterans of the series. These changes create an extra level of challenge for players, but for players who take the time to truly master the mechanics the skill ceiling is significantly higher, and it’s rewarding to see your efforts translate directly into faster times.

F1 24 review: A McLaren car rounding a corner on the Spa circuit behind Sainz, Verstappen and one other driver.
Belgium’s Spa is one of four tracks to receive a major update. Image captured by VideoGamer

While the new physics and handling systems are the height of Codemasters’ push for improved realism in the game, it’s by no means the end of it. Four tracks – Silverstone, Spa, Jeddah, and Lusail – have had major updates to make them as close to their real-life counterparts as possible.

And it’s not only the tracks that have had the update treatment; all liveries have been updated to reflect those of the 2024 season. Furthermore, audio samples have been taken from real races in past years to add driver voice lines to the game. When playing as the likes of Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen, you’ll now get a few choice voice lines at certain points in the race to add a new layer of immersion.

For those who play for the graphics, F1 24 is unsurprisingly the best-looking game in the series so far. Each car looks slick, and I never tired of checking out the new liveries as I passed by during a race. And as for the environments, it’s hard not to be distracted by how good some of the tracks look, especially when it comes to spectacular night races like Singapore.

F1 24 review: The cockpit of a Ferrari F1 car behind Max Verstappen in the Singapore Grand Prix.
Night races are always a sight to behold. Image captured by VideoGamer

The driver models have had a big update and are significantly better than in previous years. They still don’t look amazing, especially compared with the models in other major sports series, but given that you don’t see their faces while driving, it was never really something that bothered me. You still can’t customise your custom driver in Career Mode and are stuck once more choosing from a set of soulless puppet people. Again, it’s not the end of the world, but it would be nice to finally get that option.

One question that it’s impossible to ignore when it comes to yearly releases like the F1 series is: does it change enough to warrant a new game? If you’re a Career Mode fanatic, then this is likely the F1 game you’ve been waiting years for, but aside from these additions, there’s not a huge amount else.

F1 24 review: A group of F1 cars beginning a race at the Japanese Grand Prix.
This year’s roster is the same as in F1 23. Image captured by VideoGamer

There were no driver changes from last year’s game, so no new roster for players to check out. The driving changes are a nice touch, but are unlikely to have much impact for many casual fans, while the players that would get the most out of them would perhaps be drawn to more hardcore sim racers than the F1 series anyway. And then once you include the fact that players will have to wait until next year’s game at a minimum for the next instalment of Braking Point, you start to see that F1 24 is somewhat lacking.

Don’t get me wrong, F1 24 is by no means a bad, or even average game, and if you’re a fan of the series, you will absolutely have a great time with it. The new changes there are meaningful, especially for veterans of the series who enjoy getting to grips with the deeper mechanics. But if you’re a casual player just looking to jump on and do a few races now and then, F1 24 may feel less like a brand-new title, and more like a $70 update to a game you already own.

Reviewed on PC. Code provided by the publisher.

About the Author

Alex Raisbeck

Alex is a Guides Writer for VideoGamer. He is an indie gaming obsessive with a soft spot for Zelda, roguelikes, and Football Manager, as well as an unhealthy relationship with his backlog.

F1 24

  • Release Date: May 31, 2024
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): Racing
F1 24 review: A group of F1 cars driving on Belgium's Spa circuit.


F1 24 delivers a long-awaited overhaul of Career Mode and new physics and handling mechanics to deliver the most immersive experience to date, but falls a little short of being a truly worthwhile reason to upgrade from last year’s game.
8 Huge improvements to Career Mode Physics and handling updates add realism Solid visuals for cars and tracks Fairly little new content overall No Braking Point mode this year