This arcade style, city-navigation, character driven, jumptastic racing game is the only game I have with mouse steering and I miss it in every other driving game. And a lot of tight streets in the cities of this game require the detailed and quick steering a keyboard can never offer. Maybe the people who are buying hardcore driving simulations already have a wheel but certainly mouse steering should be standard in any game looking to appeal to a broad audience. Because the controls in Midnight Club 2 are simply superb, the game mechanics and driving feel are perfectly balanced for fun and a challenge.
To start off you might be just holding down the gas the whole way, but eventually with extremely power cars and navigating the city, the driving does feel like actually racing through a living city, just one designed for lots of jumps and high speed cornering. Some cars you will use the brake, others the handbrake instead, but getting around fast is genuinely enjoyable. And with each car having its own style, you get to chose how you'd like to play. The cars get better as the game progresses, making it part of the game to drive a few different cars or seeing how far your favorite car can get you. Once you finish the story, you can start over with all the cars unlocked.
You get three cities that each have unique neighborhoods with nice feel to them, but more importantly, huge jumps and long curves and straights for racing. The traffic can get in the way a lot of the time, but you can avoid them by going through the jumps or hidden sections of town that cut around underground, making learning the map sometimes a necessary frustration, and sometimes a ton of fun.