Trackmania Series (2003-Present)
The Trackmania series of games started with the original game back in 2003. It was developed by a then-completely-unknown French developer called Nadeo. The game features three different cars, each with their own unique handling characteristics, and own environments, with completely different track sets and obstacles. You primarily race against the clock, and when you do play online, there is no collision with other cars, so the clock is still your only real enemy.
Trackmania Sunrise came next, and it too, featured three (brand new) cars, each with their own handling characteristics and environments. Very much a basic sequel by the numbers, but Nadeo really took it up a notch with the number of tracks, and a brand new Platform mode, somewhat similar to the Scramble Mode in Rollcage Stage II. You have a start and finish, a number of checkpoints in-between, and the goal is to get to the end point with as little resets as possible, on increasingly difficult tracks.
With the growing popularity of their games, and a budding eSports scene, Nadeo released a new game with a new car/environment based loosely on F1 styling. They were ultra fast, had incredible handling, and looked the part. The new game would be free too play, and featured car skins for each country. The result was a massive following and a huge community of racers, mappers, youtube creators and later on streamers. There is also a thriving eSports scene that still carries on to this day.
Trackmania Nations earned Nadeo the credibility and recognition that caught the attention of Ubisoft. They were eventually purchased, along with the rights to the Trackmania series.
In Trackmania Nations, user made tracks are created with the built in track editor, and pieces of the track are placed on a sort of grid pattern. Track size is limited to a 32x32x32 area within the stadium of Trackmania Nations for a very long time, which would essentially allow for total count of 32,768 blocks at most when making tracks. That seems like a lot, but when you’re designing a track and want to do something in long stretch, 32 blocks can feel very limiting. That didn’t stop people from making crazy creations, however.