Because there is no “AI” to race with in iRacing, I spent a lot of time racing in the rookie MX-5 Cup series. That and, to be honest, the way that iRacing has the iRating/Safety Rating/licensing set up is kind of addictive. And, on top of that, every race week in your series there is a race every hour, and I never had a field smaller than 10 cars. It really makes for a compelling racing experience. These people are all real. And, much like with rFactor, the “feeling” was indistinguishable from real life. Well, I can’t say that for sure. There’s no sensation of motion or heat or smells. I’ve never had a standing start in a real race in real life, caged up and belted up and helmeted. I kind of had that when I competed in Formula Drift, but that’s still very different, and was, I'm ashamed to say, more than a decade ago.
Despite all of that lack of realism, I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t sweat like a pig, have a pounding, racing heart, and feel like it was all really happening.
And, when I won my first race, it was super exciting. Sure, I only won because a bunch of drivers crashed out in front of me. But it don't matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning's winning. And I got my D class license with that win, too!
If I had to choose between these two titles, I would have a very, very tough time. They both are excellent, both have their advantages, and both have their disadvantages. It really depends on what you’re after.
If you are looking for a title that will let you pull an unimaginable amount of levers, that is extremely customizable, and that can be made to look extremely, extremely realistic, then rFactor 2 is potentially for you.
If you are looking for constant online racing action against real people at any hour of the day or night, with a well-defined progression and multiple series to pique your interest, then iRacing is potentially for you.
All I can say right now is that I’m glad I have both.