If you're anything like me, you'll see the numerous paid add-on vehicles for Rocket League (opens in new tab) and feel comfortable with the fact that your buggy already represents your personality in the world of car football. I'm not much of a decal or trail man in Rocket League, either. I've basically been driving the same Octane for the 200 hours I've played the game. I know hitboxes are a concern for competitive-minded Rocket League players, but I'll only worry about that once I'm even half-good in the air, and when I'm not having my arse handed to me by students who have both spare time and better reflexes on their side.
Anyway, I've often eyed the game's premium bodies and thought, what if instead of buying new and lovely PC games, I spent money on pretend cars? Today I live that fantasy, and rank all the Rocket League DLC cars, after a strenuous review process of driving them around in free play for up to several minutes. Please note this is based solely on their looks and/or default engine sounds, and not hitboxes, turning radius or anything technical that belongs in a spreadsheet. It therefore shouldn't be taken seriously in any way by anyone who wants to get good at Rocket League. I'm only okay at it, and have nothing to teach you.
1. Bone Shaker
I love the Bone Shaker. It's daft, audacious and yet knows what it's about—a fantastic Rocket League vehicle, based on a Hot Wheels car your mum probably stood on in your living room in the mid-'90s. I think it's the best one because it's extremely silly, and Rocket League is at its best when it's silly. It makes a solid engine growl, too, assuming that's the correct terminology (I don't have a driving licence).
2. The Marauder
I'm very fond of the Marauder, a beefy car that looks like something Indiana Jones would drive. It's like a cool version of the Takumi, which you'll find much further down this list. A decent choice for both car football and a post-apocalypse where you might need to go off-road to evade mortar fire.
3. Twin Mill III
I initially thought this was Psyonix's take on a classic Batmobile design, somewhere between Keaton's version and the more garish Val Kilmer/Clooney rides. Someone on Reddit pointed out it looks a lot like a penis from above, though, and that's pretty much the only comparison my brain will make now. Whatever you see in it, it's a nice design.
What if the front of a Harrier was snapped off and jammed on some wheels? Finally, a car that answers this question. I'm not sure how I feel about the acceleration sound effect, which sounds an awful lot like someone being tortured in a space flight simulator while the resulting scream is played through a synthesiser. I like the moon buggy-ish front wheels, and the way the hatch at the back opens when it speeds up is a lovely touch.
The engine is noisy, without feeling like it's got any real heft, but it's a lovely-looking sports car—for people who enjoy cars that go vroom real fast, but don't want to look like they're having a midlife crisis.
Would rank higher on this list if it was based on a better Batmobile, instead of the one that Batfleck used to machine gun people to death in Batman Vs Superman (serial murder—that's some vintage Batman). It's a shame we never got the Tumbler from the Dark Knight movies, although I suppose the intricate, futuristic design of this one makes it a better fit for Rocket League's rich fictional universe. It also loses marks because you can't customise anything except the primary colour, presumably because you'd have to wait for Warner Bros' brand and licensing team to approve it every time you add a witch's hat, pixelated shades or the ability to parp out musical notes while accelerating.
It looks and sounds like a little airplane, which immediately impresses. The engine noise mimics the flight experience so well that you can almost hear an infant screaming from the bulkhead seats while you're being served a foul chicken fajita for lunch. Not bad at all.
This spaceship-looking thing looks like something I'd build out of Lego, and I like to think I've got great taste in angled spaceship designs. That's why it's at number eight.
A little bit Mad Max, if Mad Max were for 12 year-olds, the Ripper has a slightly Hasbro look no matter what paint finish you give it. That said, I love the savage default engine noise.
10. '99 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
I'm no Fast and Furious fan, but I understand this thing from 2 Fast 2 Furious is a deep cut in lore terms, simply because that's far from the most critically acclaimed entry in this series. Someone at Psyonix must be a fan, I guess. It's pretty nice, I suppose, and looks like an entire era of PS2 racing games summed up in one image. The naming convention of this car is so convoluted that it might as well be a wireless mouse, so it loses a few points on that. Makes a good 'vroom!' sound, mind.
I don't even know where the shitting window is on this one. How does the driver even see? Is it through that little hole at the front? These obvious practical issues aside, I'd think this thing was rad if it was a contestant on UK TV dad-fest Robot Wars. It could shit up Hypno-Disc a treat. That said, the grumble of the engine makes it sound like it's about to conk out and cost you thousands in repairs.
12. Ice Charger
Even without having a driving licence, I know this Fast and Furious tie-in is a cool car. It looks like that one you could steal from the dealership in GTA 3, where you'd smash through the glass while driving away. The only thing that would improve it would be some kind of car-specific rocket boost sound effect where Vin Diesel barfs out one-liners about "family" every time you accelerate, which seems to be what those movies are about, probably. It does feel a bit too small when you're driving it, though. In Rocket League's distant future, they've moved beyond tiny cars, and this sweet ride is an antique.
13. '70s Dodge Charger RT
Another Fast and Furious tie-in, this looks cool but again feels rather petite in the world of Rocket League. I imagine if you like and understand real cars, or enjoy smouldering scenes of The Rock and Vin Diesel angrily examining each other, this is literally the best thing that's ever happened to you.
A nice-looking futuristic-feeling sports car, though the rounded edges don't do much for me, really. It reminds me of Sonic's car from Sega Racing Transformed, and I can't figure out if I mean that as a good or bad thing.
I'm getting Wachowski Speed Racer vibes from this shiny, modular-looking bad boy, which was a slightly better movie than the critics of 2008 had you believe. I'd probably take the Esper over this if you're after a more sci-fi design, though, and if you've only got a limited amount of cash to throw at pretend cars.
The 2001: A Space Odyssey of Rocket League cars, you can just smell the implied sci-fi world building all over it. That said, its engine sound is a kind of high-pitched cow mooing, and it feels so light that you could just imagine someone twatting it out of the way with a range rover in real life.
The last one I tested for this feature, and therefore the one I have the least opinions on. It sounds very efficient, like it runs solely on electricity instead of fossil fuels, though the small rounded top means I wouldn't take it seriously if I saw a rich man parking it at a supermarket.
Sounds aggressive, in a deeply dad kind of way, but reminds me of a shoe for reasons I can't really explain. It just looks like it's been squashed from the front and back.
Check out this Fisher Price-looking automotive fatty. I'm no fan, in all honesty. It's so chunky that it looks like a futuristic campervan for boring families. I imagine the back half is just the driver's living space, complete with built in toilet and even a small wine cellar. The little claws at the front do nothing for me, although it purs in a surprisingly satisfying fashion.
20. DeLorean Time Machine
Don't even with me right now. I listed the DeLorean as the game character I hate the most at the weekend, and I stand by that. It's the most obvious of the Rocket League DLC vehicles, based on a movie everyone has seen a million times—but it's the irritating, screech-y rocket sound effect here that makes it the worst Rocket League car. Every time I hear it I want to go back in time and convince John DeLorean to keep his job at General Motors, just so that decades later I don't have to hear this thing whizzing by in a virtual game of car football. Great movie, though.