Flatout is a Demolition Derby racing game released on OG-Xbox, PS2, PC, and later the Xbox 360. It's could be considered a spiritual successor to the Demolition-derby series of games, mostly developed by Bugbear Entertainment.
It's focus is on semi-realistic driving physics with an emphasis on crashing into foes (with, Explosive results). It has aggressive AI (as you'd want in a derby game) that will give you a nice challenge. There were three games and one imposter released from 2005 - 2007 and again in 2011. A spiritual successor is in the works as Bugbears Next-car-game/Wreckfest with an alpha released in 2014 and full release slated late 2015.
Flatout dropped onto the PS2, Original Xbox, and PC in 2005 (North American release anyways, Euro-poors got it in '04) to moderate praise for it's collision physics. Not just physics on the cars but the objects you'll inevitably crash into. Damage model is represented well with dents showing up where you're hit and severity.
Also of note in terms of physics is the ragdoll of the driver which is used in minigames such as darts and bowling and was a major focus of the advertisement campaign.
It features 16 cars with five liveries between them to race in various Podunk water-burgs and various arena's.
Flatout 2 was relesed in '06 on the same consoles as the first. As should be of all good sequels Flatout took the original recipe and added a pinch of salt and Cayenne pepper. While Demo-derby racing is still featured, you can take it to the streets of. Some city. Also you get to drive cars that could possibly be registered with the DOT. They are split up into three classes: Derby, Race (which is weirdly second-tier), and Street, all of which can be upgrades in various ways.
The ragdoll physics also got improved and you'll notice your driver (or someone else) go sailing after a particular nasty crash during a race (where Flatout 1's ragdoll stuff was contained to the minigames). You can also manipulate your impromptu cannonball, but be careful as as you'll slow down, reducing your distance which can be a hindrance in the minigames.
Car selection is vastly improved over the first thanks in part to the separate classes.
Flatout Ultimate Carnage
Now here's the thing. While the Flatout games look great, they DID come out on rather old consoles (at least in terms of computers, 5/6 years for the PS2 version). So Flatout Ultimate Carnage came out on the Xbox 360 in '07(A mere 2 years instead) and the platform change shows, damn that's pretty.
Graphics aside the game is an update to 2 with extra tracks and two new cars. Also revised crash physics, additional game-modes, and a different soundtrack.
IF you want a Flatout game then this is the one to pickup. Unless you want to play multiplayer on the PC. It uses the now dead GFWL and unlike the previous two does not feature LAN. Just be advised. Singleplayer's fine and is sutibly lengthy with four champion ships for the three classes and a final race for each class. It can be had in a bundle with the previous two games for 50 bucks on steam. Along with the failure too
Flatout 3: Chaos and Destruction (Of a series)
Flatout has been Bugbear's baby and is basically what they're know for (Don't try and be a hipster and throw out Glimmerati as an example). But they sort-of went silent after '07 with the release of UC and a port of Sega Rally Revo on the PSP. They only popped back up with the release of Unbounded (Which was less then stellar). But in the interim between '07 and 2012 some basicly unknown shovelware development team made a 3rd game. All the parts are there, they're just bad though. The AI, physics, and collision detection (Which is pretty fucking important in a racing game, perhaps more then people realize) are all bad. And it's the kind of souless "shitout-in-a-day" bad. Never intentionally purchase this game by itself.
Not as generic a title as Flatout but weirdly not as catchy. Anyways, Wreckfest is Bugbears return to games after years of dormancy, and haven been awaken by Bamco they set out to prove they've still got it.
It was first shown under the working title of "Bugbear's Next-car-game" (look they're good at making games, not titles) doing what really any sane people would do. Taking the BeamNG physics engine and using it for sick demo-derby races. It was released as a tech demo in 2013 and entered alpha in 2014 with release slated for late 2015. It's meant to bring back most everything related to racing from Flatout (the dartboard is decidedly gone except for the tech demo physics playground). It's currently in Alpha with 5 cars (WITH UPGRADES!), some race courses to drive on, 5 arenas to smash in, and both LAN and Online multiplayer. Keep an eye on it if you liked the previous Bugbear developed games.
Test Drive: Eve of Destruction
Test Drive went from flashy sports cars to cars straight from the junkyard.
It's has a a nice selection of cars that can be basically upgraded and painted (you may even recognize some of them). You can only bump each category once so you won't be driving the starting car at mach-1 end game and features a basic Mario Itasha where you can chose any number of colours and nozzle size (how large the brush is). But you are limited to various sections of the car (Sides, hood, roof, trunk, and front fenders), can't change the base colour of the car, can't paint over pre-applied stripes, and can't change where your exhausts pops out of. Meanwhile the opponents can and have great liveries all over their cars. Also only a shitty metal instrumental plays while painting.
It also has plenty of modes (Gauntlet involves you driving a hearse against EVERYONE, Flagpole race, Suicide race, ect., ect.) to keep the long career fresh. All while being referred to as Wrong Way Willie or Mr.Fist by an enthusiastic announcer. It's a great game that's greatly under appreciated.
Demolition Derby Series
Before there was Flatout there was Demoliton Derby. Frankly it should have it's own page for how many games there are and how good they are. Just though I'd bring it up really, since it fits.