DiRT 3 is a racing simulator that differs from its rivals because of unusual races and a huge variety of cars that includes modern sports models along with retro cars. Instead of fancy stadiums, the game offers you to drive through snowy landscapes of Finland and dirty roads of London's suburbs. In the career mode, you need to compete with other racers to gain the interest of sponsors. The higher your rank becomes, the more cars become available.
While DiRT 3 and the series in general is famous for its responsive controls and simple physics that make these games easy to master for newcomers, DiRT 3 features a quite challenging new mode - gymkhana. In this mode, you need to perform different tricks in a limited time period, such as drifting, jumping or spinning around. Gymkhana rounds are unskippable to progress in the career mode. Another key feature that highlights DiRT 3 is flashbacks - the mechanics that allows turning back time if you made a mistake during the race and driving a certain piece of the track again.