Cars 2: The Video Game

Common Sense Media says

Great combat racing, but loads of gunfire and explosions.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The boasting and trash-talking heard during races is never too harsh, but it's not very sportsmanlike, either. (Neither, for that matter, is the use of weaponry to knock out your competition.)

Positive role models

While this is basically a racing game, it's set within a world where the competing cars are secret agents. The races are ostensibly battles to save the world from a megalomaniacal villain. So the motivation is a positive one, but most of the characters are still somewhat braggy.

Ease of play

There are clear, in-depth tutorials to show you the ropes. And once you've learned them, all the controls (especially the steering) work very smoothly.


During "battle races" players can pick up weapons like missiles, laser cannons, and gatling guns to use against their opponents. There is a good deal of realistic gunfire noise and fiery explosions at times. During the regular non-battle races, you can still earn bonuses by forcibly smashing into other cars. Cars that are hit often flip through air, but they always respawn and continue the race.

Not applicable
Not applicable

The game is a tie-in to the new Cars 2 movie. You can also link your video game profile to your account in the World of Cars Online game, which has an optional for-pay membership.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

You can connect the game to your account in the World of Cars Online, a massively multiplayer online game. That online game involves chat with other players, but only through pull-down menus or preset dictionaries.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Cars 2: The Video Game is a combination racing/action game, in which the car characters are cast as secret agents battling to save the world during their races. Players use weapons like missiles and machine guns to shoot their opponents and blow them off course. They are also encouraged to side-bash opponents to knock them off course. There are several deathmatch-style "Hunt" levels that don't even involve racing. The characters are all cartoony automobiles, of course, but the sounds of gunfire and the explosions are more realistic.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

This game takes place after the movie on which it is based; and the cheeky autos of CARS 2: THE VIDEO GAME are still working as undercover spies. Through a series of races, set in a variety of global destinations, they battle the forces of the evil Dr. Z, who is plotting to take over the world. The game features a number of traditional races that are all about getting to the finish line, as well as weapon-filled \"battle races.\"

Is it any good?


The mix of spy-gadget combat and fast-paced racing action in Cars 2: The Video Game is a really cool way to translate the secret agent them of the Cars 2 film into video game form. While the fighting aspect feels a bit intense for young kids, it's presented in a way that is easy to pick up and incredibly fun and exciting for players who are old enough to handle it.

The game looks and plays great. There are loads of ways to earn nitro boosts during a race -- jumps, stunts, backward driving, taking out opponents, etc. -- and using those boosts for last-minute surges to the finish line can be wildly suspenseful. There's a nice big selection of cars from the get-go, and by the end, you'll have a staggering amount of characters to choose from. Multiplayer is a blast, too (even if, perhaps, a bit too literally).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence in the game. Do all the guns and explosives seem appropriate in a game based on an animated family film? Does the fact that the characters are cars lessen the impact of the violence?

  • Does the violence in this game feel more or less realistic than similarly-formatted games like Mario Kart?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Disney Interactive
Release date:June 21, 2011
Topics:Cars and trucks
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence (Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of Cars 2: The Video Game was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old June 24, 2011

Extreme combat racing follows the movie's main storyline!

Love it! Awesome! If you like the movie, then you'll love the game. Lots of gunfire, explosions and weapons are used. The game's storyline is almost the same as the movie. The game actually takes place after the movie. Some levels in the game don't even have to do with racing. Some have to do with hunting down "bad guys". Some also have to do with surving an attack by collecting "batteries" to keep your "shield" activated. There is also one multiplayer game called "Disruptor." The object of it is to collect "bombs" to place in the opposing team's base, to destroy it. So as you can see, it's not just a racing game. It's a spy game. Kids 10 and up can play. Anyone under 8 might find it either too hard to play, or too violent. The game has simple controls. The Wii version gives a more realistic driving experience by letting you tilt the Wii remote to steer left and right. Therefore, it is a little bit harder to steer. Although, that isn't the only control you can use. You may also use it with the nunchuk or the classic contoller. You can even use the Nintendo Gamecube contoller. If you are looking for a good action racing game, then this is the way to go.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Kid, 12 years old June 30, 2011
Kid, 10 years old July 3, 2011


It's Glitched at the end.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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