I'm pretty disappointed that you guys almost forgot to mention TDU2 with the new releases and pretty much didn't talk about it or give any input. I guess you really had to be fans of the first one to understand. A lot of people loved the first game (it was one of the first few racers on the 360 besides the launch titles), they explored the hell out of it and wanted more. We thought a sequel would never see the light of day until it was announced a little over a year ago. I gladly pre-ordered the game 6 months ago when GS first advertised they would have the Casino DLC. I picked it up on release day and almost got a gutted copy b/c the clerk said people had been picking it up all day and they only had 4 copies left.
As soon as I played it, I realized it was almost completely different than the original, but contained subtle cues and nods to the first game. From the start, the driving was less stiff and felt better. Then my mind was blown when I was given the option to choose b/t 3 distinct driving options ('arcade', sports, hardcore) I had been playing Forza 3 and GT5 for the past month, and it was nothing like them. Rather, I was reminded of NFS: Hot Pursuit with the way the vehicles drove in the fully-assisted 'arcade' mode. The fact that there is a story line (why did we all come to hate story lines in our racers? with TDU2, its a breath of fresh air it seems..) and that your character can quasi-walk around (you're really just moving the camera) is a really neat addition over the first. There is way more to explore and achieve, and an off-road vehicle and track selection just seals the deal.
Cheapy, I thought you would have at least tried this, being the biggest fan of racers on the show. If you're getting stuck in NFS:HP, then I don't see why you wouldn't try this, as its the freshest thing. Hell, even at a $50 price point, I would consider buying you a copy just so you could spend 2 minutes on it the next time