I forgot how much I like driving games. Playing "Shut Up and Drive" reminded me of the arcade game "Outrun". I think the attraction of a good racing game, like any game really, is it transports the player to a place they will probably never visit. That is to say, the seat of a high performance race car. Driving a car is actually a mundane task and like most people, I have been behind the wheel of my own car, and wished I could just blow by everyone
Although the sounds and the graphics are not realistic, our imagination gets captured within racing games and we are competing as if the situation were real. Racing games can be pure fantasy as well. For example, Mario Cart is one of the most popular racing games ever and it's premise is completely far-fetched. Who can imagine a race scenario between people, dinosaurs, apes, etc in small go carts could be so compelling. Nintendo tapped into something powerful when it allowed the players to use special powers they could collect which are designed to keep everyone in the race.
Racing each other has been part of our collective experience for ever. Ancient Greeks created the olympics, every kid races his brothers and sisters, to the door, etc It is only natural that racing games are popular with us as well