Let me explain something about this game. This game has a multiplayer that is NOT for the casual gamer. It is quite competitive, and it likes to display this competitiveness all up in yo' face. You WILL see that one dude (or multiple, I mean, they're everywhere) that can finish the track in half the time it takes you to finish it. I see this every other time I go onto this game.
The game has a steep learning curve that requires at least an hour or more in order to learn the basic physics of the game. After that, there are tricks that, once learned, can help you set better times in the multiplayer. (i.e. Left-CTRL braking & using a controller.) The tracks in this game play a major role in shaping your skills, as they are user-created. They can go from being pretty basic to being some of the hardest tracks you'll encounter on your time here.
I know very well that time makes all the difference in the multiplayer. In fact, it MEANS the difference. Times are what determine your position in a round, and the time is calculated in thousandths of a second, making photo finishes seem like nothing. You can set a record time in a single round, only for someone to beat you by .002. It really can be that close. There IS the odd tie, but it doesn't happen that often.
Now, you should go into this game knowing that you're not gonna win your first race by a long shot. Practice makes perfect. It blends in the arcade-style driving physics and fantasy environment with a competitve multiplayer that stands with some of the best. I've never been so involved in a racing game that isn't a sim. Trackmania 2 also has its own ladder system, which determines how well you do amongst other players worldwide. And we're not only talking worldwide, either. It can track official progress to as close as your own state (if you live in the US, that is). You have a number for everything, from server rankings, to single player rankings, to country rankings. The better you do, the more the number goes down, and the more accomplished you feel.
I recommend this game, because it makes the $20 you'll dump on this game worth the cost. Now, do mind, this was a game that was made BEFORE the UPlay era, so it doesn't require the UPlay launcher. Instead, it has its own launcher for launching titles, although it still is in need of serious revision.