If you’re a fan of monster trucks yet didn’t pick up Monster Truck Championship when it launched on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC last year, there’s now a better option: picking it up on PS5 or Xbox Series X/S.
Just five months have passed by since we reviewed Monster Truck Championship on Xbox One. We liked it, awarding it a score of 7/10, or “Good”. Only its lacklustre multiplayer offerings let it down. Now playing it on PS5, the case is exactly the same. It’s perhaps not entirely surprising, but given how little has been done or added when bringing the game to next-gen consoles, it’s very disappointing considering there’s no free upgrade path for existing owners.
Monster Truck Championship is that very rare thing – a monster truck simulator. It’s still preposterous by nature – how could it not be? – but the more ridiculous elements found in the likes of the Monster Jam game series are thrown out the window. Instead you have serious drag and circuit races, as well as freestyle and timed destruction events that still have spectacle, but truly test your truck-handling skills.
The main draw is a single-player career in which you develop your own monster truck. You start out with a standard cab connected to four huge wheels that doesn’t perform all that well. Complete championships and sponsorship challenges, however, and you unlock a variety of upgrades to purchase, as well as the cash to do so. While the customisation options aren’t exhaustive, there are enough to really make your monster truck your own. You can tune up your truck, too, with separate settings for race and trick-based events.
Outside of the career, you can quickly create your own events against the CPU, throw your truck around in a training area, or jump into an online race. You can take your custom-made monster truck into all of those, too. But there’s not much to really keep you invested in the long-term.
On PS5, Monster Truck Championship has put its prettiest clothes on. Textures are more detailed, effects are more realistic, and the resolution is sharper than ever. I’d say it’s the best-looking monster truck racing game yet, but that probably isn’t saying much – let’s just say that your eyes won’t be disappointed, especially when you also factor in that it runs at 60fps. On console, Monster Truck Championship has never looked or played better.
It’s just a shame that that’s about where the enhancements end though. Purchase Monster Truck Championship on PS5 and you won’t gain access to any new content; hell, even DualSense support is pretty much a no-show. Your pad will rumble as you land jumps and make contact with other racers, but that’s about it. There’s little here to make this version feel truly next-gen.
Fortunately for Monster Truck Championship, it’s still the best monster truck based game available. The lack of meaningful upgrades in this next-gen version, and the lack of a free upgrade path, however, means that it’s impossible to recommend to those who have already bought it on PS4 or Xbox One – they’re better off making use of backwards compatibility unless they have money to burn. There’s just not enough here to warrant the double-dip.
Monster Truck Championship Review: GameSpew’s Score