I posted in the previous thread but bump limit and all that so I start a new.
Installed Patrician 3. It's like the Port Royal series only you suffer on the Baltics as a Hanseatic trader. Not really interesting.
Also installed NFS Underground. Due to frequent random crashes I stopped playing it almost instantly.
So I installed Underground 2. Better with an occasional crash or two. I feel the gameplay more enjoyable (I finished it a few times before, no surprises) but the soundtrack is awful. There are like only half dozen listenable songs so these run stale pretty fast. The choices are just turn off music altogether or drop something into the playlist of Rythmbox.
What's interesting: in UG 1 I can find the 'best' line pretty easily and from then it's like just pulling the car on a string. In UG 2 it's much harder. Maybe because the tracks are more varied and you cannot really practice those (unless you run around the town a lot). Still pretty easy to win.
I chose the Mazda Miata as the starter car for it's superior handling. I'm not sure what car to buy later and I'm fairly sure I could finish the whole game with the Miata. I searched for car comparison charts and it seems I'm right.