As winter reduces the frequency of your trail riding experience, is it a great incentive to explore the best mountain biking video games out there.
For those who pine for some digital singletrack relief here are the best mountain biking video games options to immerse your technical riding imagination.
More potent graphic processors, better screen resolution and increasingly intuitive controls have delivered a new generation of mountain bike games that entertain, instead of frustrate.
Best mountain biking video games
- Descenders – PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Mac OS, Windows, Linux
- Shred 2 – Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, Windows, iOS, Mac OS
- Lonely Mountains – Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, Mac OS
- Zwift – Windows, MacOS, iOS, Apple TV, Android
- Pumped BMX – Windows, PlayStation 3/4/Vita, Wii U, Xbox One
- Bike Unchained 2 – iOS, Android
‘View Deal’ links
You will notice that beside each console is a ‘View Deal’ link. If you click on one of these links then mbr may receive a small amount of money from the retailer should you go to purchase the product from them. Don’t worry, this does not affect the amount you pay.
Sony PlayStation 5
Sony PlayStation 4
Current mountain biking video games
Two of the most notable current multi-platform titles are arguably Descenders and Shred 2.
Available on: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Mac OS, Windows, Linux
Although its name might be rather generic, there is nothing pedestrian about Descenders. With its procedurally generated worlds, the technicality of each descent remains challenging and fresh, preventing repetition and boredom.
A multiplayer element has been added, but Descenders perhaps works best for the solo architecture its gameplay was originally intended to support. You only get four lives per descent, so there are consequences for a succession of bad crashes. If you expend those four lives before reaching the finish line, you’ll have to start over to master a particular stage and progress.
Additional lives can be earned by boosting huge airs (you are rewarded for hang-time), not braking and landing many backflips. There are eight terrains, offering a tidy diversity of riding locations. Riders are also allowed to go very off-piste, if they think the virtual French lines will make them quicker.
Descenders sets you a combination of objectives. The procedurally generated stages throw enormous technical features your way, whilst your mission might include achieving a specific top speed, going brakeless of certain sections or hitting some huge features with a technical trick.
The game has realistic consequences, as the intensity of your crashes deduct points.
Mastering the flow of pumping and counter-pumping is key to having a good Descenders experience. As the game’s specific stage missions might require you to hit high-speeds and achieve long hang-times off its jumps, you need to expertly manage momentum.
The only lacking element, especially for bike geeks, is the lack of in-depth mechanical customisation or upgrade options.
Available on: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, Windows, iOS, Mac OS
If you are a fan of freeride superstar, Sam Pilgrim, you might be familiar with Shred 2, in which Pilgrim is the lead character. True to form, this game is focussed on slopestyle type riding, with 40 levels and relatively lifelike riding and trick physics.
Pilgrim’s current sponsor, Haibike, is involved as the virtual frame brand for Shred 2, offering many bike options. There is a hardtail jump bike, dual-suspension mountain bikes, a minibike and some radical experimental geometry triple-clamp fork hardtails and DH bikes.
The gameplay allows for a huge number of trick variations. If you have always fancied your chances at landing flips and tailwhip combos, Shred 2 will deliver the closest thing to a fantasy Rampage meets extreme slopestyle feel.
Each stage has specific features which can be tricked. If you hit the biggest lips or drops, with outrageous 360s or flips, you are rewarded with an increase in points. Once you are confident with the controls, Shred 2 give you a lot of latitude for landing tricks backwards on nearly impossible gradients, before punishing your ambition with a wipeout.
You are scored on the technical difficulty of your trick repertoire and Pilgrim’s involvement with the development clearly shows, as Shred 2 offers every possible slopestyle manoeuvre you can imagine. Additional points are awarded for ‘tweaking’ your tricks mid-air and achieving substantial hangtime. The competitive worlds include big mountain, downhill, slopestyle and street terrain.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, Mac OS
“Just you and your bike – take it on a thrilling ride down an unspoiled mountain landscape. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash – all the way from the peak to the valley!”
Available on: Windows, MacOS, iOS, Apple TV, Android
“I want to hate it, but I keep pedalling” – indoor training gets interactive with Zwift’s new mountain bike courses – How to keep riding with Zwift mountain biking.
Pumped BMX Pro
Available on: Windows, PlayStation 3/4/Vita, Wii U, Xbox One
Yes, it’s not mountain biking but it’s definitely worthy of your time.
Bike Unchained 2
Available on: iOS, Android
If you don’t mind your mountain bike gaming experience to be limited purely to a mobile device, there is little to rival Bike Unchained 2. Great terrain diversity and the opportunity to upgrade your frame and components, with relatable brands and products, make this the mountain biker’s virtual game of choice.
With most mountain bikers having become intuitively adept at using a Smartphone’s haptics, you’ll find Bike Unchained 2’s gameplay easy to master, whether racing for the fastest downhill time or stringing together the most tricks on a slopestyle run.
Black Friday TV deals
- John Lewis – not the cheapest but provide unbeatable warranties
- Very – particularly good for mahoosive tellies
- Currys – impressive range of budget to premium
- AO.com – a safe bet for decent no-nonsense quality TVs
- Argos – stock will dpeend on where you live but well worth checking out for total bargains