Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
Buy On
  1. Despite the improvements made to this year’s title – including a noticeable bump in graphical quality – it still doesn’t have all the corners dialed in yet. AI cars take better racing lines than in 08, but they still don’t show near enough variety or smarts to pit at different times, take rim-riding race lines, or avoid plowing into each other during a caution.
  2. It has plenty of star power and lots of different ways to play. However, it doesn't really have much in the way of innovative automotive gameplay, which really hinders it from being a must-own title.
  3. 80
    Players who were burned by last year's NASCAR game should feel quite a bit better with 09. Although I personally miss the "Total Team Control" feature from a couple of years back, the new Rep and Career mode is compelling enough to keep you coming back for more. Solid graphics, solid racing, solid features.
  4. Very similar to the other games in the series, albeit with more polish. If you wanted more of the series’ past experiences, NASCAR 09 delivers that and then some – but not with the same level of amazement the series once had.
  5. Yes, there are still some big licensing issues, and the AI still makes the same odd, boneheaded moves, but overall, NASCAR 09 is extremely playable, and should satisfy console gear heads looking to climb the ranks and make the chase.
  6. NASCAR 09 may not be an extremely pretty game to look at, but it's certainly not ugly. What it lacks in eye-candy, it makes up for a solid NASCAR experience that enthusiasts of the sport should really enjoy.
  7. NASCAR 09 is far better game than last year’s...but it still a long, long way from what we’ve seen in "NASCAR 06," which I still think was and still the best NASCAR game ever.
  8. NASCAR 09 adds some notable additions such as Rep points and the Sprint Driver Challenge mode, but the core gameplay has not changed much at all.
  9. NASCAR 09 doesn't change the pace of the popular motor sport racing series. However, EA Sports deserves praise for the inclusion of two handling styles, Pro and Normal, which make the game more playable than previous releases.
  10. NASCAR 09 isn't a tremendous step forward for the series, but it's a solid effort.
  11. NASCAR 09 is a step in the right direction, but it’ll still be another year or so until the NASCAR franchise becomes a must-own to those other than diehard fans.
  12. While it is an improvement in almost every aspect from controls to options, it still isn't close to what fans of stock cars want to see from their beloved franchise.
  13. Overall I enjoyed NASCAR 09 for a fair few hours, but I got bored after around 6-8 hours of play.
  14. Yes there are a lot of features that really make this game fun and interesting but there are a lot of other racing games that will hold your interest longer and are more entertaining.
  15. 60
    There's no denying that serious stock car fans that own an Xbox 360 or PS3 will enjoy hitting the track with this racer; it's just a shame it doesn't crackle with the personality the real sport has been known for.
  16. It's hard to recommend the PS3 version though. With its slow frame rate and other graphical glitches it's nowhere near as polished as the Xbox 360 game, making this yet another port that hasn't been given enough care and attention.
  17. I hate to break it to fans of the sport but NASCAR 09 is not the be-all and end-all video game experience. This year's edition is decent but it doesn't stand out in any way and it doesn't really raise the bar of expectations.
  18. For the most part NASCAR 09 seems like a solid racer, and I guess it does a good job of simulating the real life product. It is rather boring though, as even if you are a petrol head at heart you can only have so much fun going around, and around and around.
  19. 59
    There’s nothing special about this one. NASCAR 09 comes across less as a tribute to the drama, intensity and flair of one of America’s favorite sports, and more as a delivery system for advertising.
  20. 55
    NASCAR 09 is a competent shot at an enjoyable NASCAR videogame experience. Unfortunately, it falls short in too many ways and fails to develop over previous instalments in any meaningful manner.
  21. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Admittedly, NASCAR 09 packs enough performance to avoid outright embarrassment, but you'll need the blind devotion of a diehard NASCAR fan to overlook the game's disappointing lack of polish. [Aug 2008, p.73]
  22. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Another below-par racer that makes turning left every five seconds exactly as exhilarating as it sounds. [Sept 2008, p.103]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. BruceBadgley
    Jul 20, 2008
    I have pretty heavy, hands-on NASCAR background, and this game is as close to spot on as anyone has come to date. By far the best effort EAI have pretty heavy, hands-on NASCAR background, and this game is as close to spot on as anyone has come to date. By far the best effort EA has made in this series. Ignore most reviews, as the reviewers are usually biased because of their dislike for constent oval track racing. Full Review »
  2. ErikJohnson
    Jun 11, 2008
    This game is extremely fun. I bought into last years game, personally I was dissapointed with it. Mainly because the controls were very hardThis game is extremely fun. I bought into last years game, personally I was dissapointed with it. Mainly because the controls were very hard to pick up and play with, without investing alot of practice time. This year provides very easy to pick up controls, its extremely easy and fun to stay with the pack and challenge other drivers. The graphics are very nice, daytona could not look more life like. The online play which features up to 14 players is outstanding. Currently ive partaken in an online race with 5 other players, I experianced no lag and the driving was intense! I'm working through the driver challenges at the moment, and I have to say they are alot of fun thanks to the new controls this year. Last year featured the same sort of challenges. But now when you complete a few challenges a current nascar driver challenges you to beat him on a track. Before the challenge against the driver, a little video clip is provided with the driver throwing down his challenge to you. This is a nice little touch which adds to the overall realism of the experiance. Overall, I highly recommend this game to any fence sitters that were unhappy with last years edition. With refined controls and stellar graphics, this years nascar release is the best I've ever experianced. This game rivals the sprint driving experiance that you can partake in at real life races. Full Review »