Somehow I had not come across this series before. Trackmania is a fun arcade driving challenge on crazy tracks. There are no mods, no weapons, no anything that disturbs pure driving and stunt challenge.
It reminds me of quite a bunch of older similar titles. More than 10 years ago there was Stunts – one of the best arcade/stunt simulations ever and fun to play even 10 years later, regardless of how immensely the technology has gone forward. Then there was Indy 500 and TM Nations with its stadium setting feels also a bit similar to it. There was also another title even older than Stunts, whose name I can’t remember, where you had to hold spacebar to keep racing across high-rise tracks with big jumps with EGA/CGA graphics. :)
So Trackmania brings it all back. TM Nations is made specifically to promote the Electronic Sports World Cup 2006 and features heavy ESWC and Nvidia ads across the game, but nothing really annoying. Your mission is to drive across crazy tracks in a stadium setting, either in practice mode alone or in network with others.
I also tried the TM Sunrise demo. Somehow the graphics and look’n’feel were worse for me than with TM Nations, but it has a wider range of cars and settings. The tracks and stunts are similar.