Car Games To Buy
There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when considering the best racing games you can play right now. In this ranked list, we've got simulation racing games, arcade racers, and everything in-between. We have tried to keep this collection of the best racing games focused on the games available on current and last-gen consoles; while there's some absolute classics available in the retro archives they can be a little difficult to find and play these days.
car games to buy
So whether you like kart racing or racing sims, games that just let you go really fast, or experiences that are a little more chaotic by nature, there should be something for everyone in our ranking of the 20 best racing games.
About a decade ago, racing games seemed to be a genre on their way out - arcade racers like Blur and Split/Second weren't selling, great studios were closing and even mainstream series like Need for Speed were struggling to get the attention they once had. Outside of a Mario Kart or a Gran Turismo, it seemed the days of the big-ticket racing game, and of the genre as an exciting mass-market draw, were over.
Happily for racing fans, things now look much better. Forza Horizon made driving games cool again, indie studios have resurrected the joys of the 90s-style arcade racer, the PC simulation racing scene is more competitive than it's ever been, and Codemasters has ridden a successful stint on the Formula One licence all the way to an incredible $1.2 billion acquisition by EA, which shows just how highly racing games are valued now.
Here we present our picks of the best racing games to play right now - mostly modern, because this is a genre that tends to improve with technology, but with a classic or two that has stood the test of time thrown in. As usual, we're focusing on games that are easy to find and play on current hardware. To break things up a bit, we've divided out list four sub-genres: open-world racing games that combine racing and exploration over a large map; arcade racing games which are all about immediacy and fun, and less about realism; motorsport games based on licensed real-world sports; and sim racing games which concentrate on the authenticity of the driving experience.
It started out as a spin-off from the Forza Motorsport circuit-racing series, but Forza Horizon has now become the main event: a beautiful, uplifting series of racing games for everyone set across huge, real-world-inspired maps. Horizon 5 - which also features in our lists of best Game Pass games and best Xbox Series X/S games - brings the formula to Mexico in another loving package that includes the sprawling campaign, knockabout multiplayer, moreish car collection and festival good vibes we expect from Horizon games. Horizon 5 doesn't introduce much that's new (beyond the excellent co-op mode, Horizon Tour) but refines everything that the previous game did, and has a much better campaign structure for sorting through the ridiculous amount of stuff to do. The visuals are absolutely spectacular, too.
Given that the series would soon return to its familiar slump, it's easy to forget that, for a brief period with Criterion at the reins, the Need for Speed games served up some of the best driving experiences around. Hot Pursuit's crunchy combat and wide-open roads drilled into everything that makes Need for Speed great, and this remaster only reinforces the impression that this was a high watermark for the series. We await Criterion's fresh stint at the helm with baited breath.
You can gather a few friends and play any Mario Kart game, right back to the 1992 Super Nintendo original, and be guaranteed a good time. Every game in the series boasts refined arcade handling, tricksy courses, a lovable cast of characters and a capricious cruel streak that can turn any race on its head. No wonder these are the best-selling racing games ever. The latest, Mario Kart 8 - the Deluxe version of which features in our list of the best Switch games - might be the best Mario Kart since the very first, with superb local and online multiplayer, a rewarding solo game, deep customisation, luscious visuals and a banging live-band soundtrack. The ongoing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC support that comes via the unexpected but welcome Course Packs only make this all the more essential.
There are plenty of retro racers around that play like cover versions of past classics, but Art of Rally is something a bit more subtle and original than that. It pays tribute to the golden age of rallying with its toylike, unlicensed car designs, and to a lost era of racing games like Micro Machines with its unusual top-down camera. It's definitely an aesthetic, and a very stylish one at that. But what makes the game so fun is the surprisingly deep handling model that makes it a better recreation of the sport than you have any right to expect. Originally launched on PC, but now available on Xbox and Switch.
This lush package is currently the best way to play the iconic, futuristic PlayStation racing series - the original ultra-fast anti-grav racer, and still the best, even if the PS3 and Vita entries remastered here (HD, Fury and 2048) are not quite of the blistering calibre of the original PlayStation games from the mid-90s. They are still gloriously slick, fast and beautiful, retaining the clean and cool sci-fi aesthetic that has always set the series apart from its brasher competitors.
Some other games have attempted to replicate the madness and majesty of the Isle of Man's 37.73 mile long road course - who can forget riding on the back of a sheep in Sega's characterful if clumsy 90s arcade effort? - but none have lent into it with quite the sense of purpose of Ride on the Edge. KT Racing smoothed out some of the bumps for this sequel, while importantly staying true to the bumps and bends of the course itself, making for a racing experience that stands alone and manages to do justice to the great event.
Few futuristic racing games have reached the thrill-a-minute heights of the WipEout series, and Omega Collection truly fired the critically acclaimed PlayStation mainstay into a shiny new age. Bringing back 26 reversible tracks, 46 unique ships, and nine game modes from WipEout HD, WipEout Fury, and WipEout 2048, this PS4 remaster offers a face-melting sensation of speed with 60 frames per second visuals and a PlayStation VR mode to put you directly in the cockpit of a top of the range anti-gravity machine.
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Like I said in my list of best Xbox racing games, this list is by no means exhaustive. It's a collection of just the best driving and racing games for PlayStation consoles that I've personally played and enjoyed. I've played all of these games on the PS4 Pro -- because the PlayStation 5 is still so darn hard to find -- but all of them are also playable on PS5 and some even feature bespoke PS5 versions that take full advantage of the new generation's extra horsepower and haptic DualSense controls.
As I mentioned, this is by no means an exhaustive list and, with the next generation of consoles now pretty well established, I expect to rediscover enhanced versions of my favorites as well as a few new additions to this list. And for more picks, check out our list of best racing games for Xbox -- most of which are cross-platform titles also available on PlayStation consoles. Have fun and drive safely... or go all out, full send; they're just games after all.
More arcade-style racing games are usually built around controller play and may not benefit from a wheel or, in some cases, may play worse due to poor implementation. For these types of games, stick with the tried and true PS4 DualShock 4 or the PS5's new DualSense controller -- maybe even pick up a second one for player two.
Blur took real cars and real locations, but then crammed them full of Mario Kart-inspired power-ups and more neon lighting than an 80s themed nightclub. The result was a game that had two major sources of satisfaction: legitimately rewarding handling and the air-punching joy of clattering your mate with the game's legally distinct equivalent of a red shell. It shouldn't have worked but it absolutely did, like the chocolate covered pretzel of racing games.
Ernest Hemingway is famously quoted as saying that there are only three sports, bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering and that the rest are merely games". We'd be curious to know what old Ernie would have made of Rocket League, which is a bit like his beloved motor sport but instead combines kerosene-powered cars, a giant football and literal explosions when you score. Not enough dead bulls for him, probably.
While in the end this year's F1 championship served up some brilliant races, the official game dishes them up every time you hit the start button. F1 2019 might be the culmination of years of incremental improvements but that's exactly the reason why it's also one of the best racing games around.
The video games industry is filled with countless genres and categories of awesome games from which to choose, but some of the most popular are racing games. Driving a wide variety of vehicles at speeds ranging from glacial to hypersonic, meticulously tuning and customizing every ride to exact specifications, going head-to-head with other racers from all over the world, and exploring beautiful worlds and tracks are all part of what makes racing games special. Fortunately, Xbox is an excellent platform for racing fans. Here are the 10 best racing games for Xbox right now.
Not all racing games are created equal, and many cater to entirely different categories of players. Are you looking for the most realistic simulation racer possible? An off-roading adventure? How about a casual yet expansive open world? There's a lot to think about, so we've compiled the absolute best of the best for any racing game fan. Some of these games have even risen to be considered on our list of best Xbox games. 041b061a72