andrewelmore and I thought I was going against the grain by claiming W3SE was the best entry! Most wipeout fans I know claim 2097/XL as “the best”, but I’ve never really agreed with that. I much prefer the feel of the handling in 3, and I love the risk/reward mechanic of consuming shield for extra boost.
I bought Pure immediately upon launch and loved it, and spent countless hours in the Wipeout HD packaging together of Pure and Pulse. Mechanically, I dislike the addition of the barrel roll - it turned the whole game in to a hunt for the smallest bump or angle to get just enough air to sneak another roll in. Sideshift was interesting at least, but I still think my ideal would be the w3 handling model with the full set of newer tracks.
I adore Zone mode, however.