The Best Racing Games for PS4, Xbox One and Switch
For almost as long as there have been video games, there have been games about driving fast. It's not hard to imagine why: Driving is one of those truly universal pleasures, and whether your preferred vehicle of choice is a tube-frame kart or an exotic supercar, there's a racing game out there you're sure to enjoy. From party favorites like Mario Kart to punishingly realistic simulators like Project Cars 2, here's our list of the best racers on every platform.
Forza Horizon 4
The Horizon Festival embarks for the United Kingdom in the fourth iteration of this beloved arcade racing series. However, Forza Horizon 4 is less of a racing game and more of an automotive sandbox, teeming with various event types, stunt missions and even a new team-based multiplayer mode that encourages drivers to work together to achieve common goals in a competitive, ranked setting.
And then there's the world, which transitions between the four seasons from week to week for all players around the world. The British Isles are a very different place to drive in the winter compared to spring, and because there are no walled-off areas of Horizon 4's lush and lively world, you'll need to put the game's diverse car roster to good use just to discover everything the map has to offer.
MORE: Forza Horizon 4 Review
The only rally game officially licensed by the FIA World Rally Championship, WRC 8 features all the drivers, teams and locales in the real-life series, as well as its junior feeder categories, WRC 2 and Junior WRC. But WRC 8 is more than a branded product — it has an immersive dynamic weather and time system that throws new conditions and challenges at you midway through a stage, as well as a remarkably deep career mode that sees you managing your own rally team, hiring and firing personnel and managing your winnings to invest in and bolster different areas of the operation. We do wish the physics were a bit more communicative, though WRC 8 is still a blast to drive on the edge. Much more than a bare-bones simulator, this is an all-encompassing, content-packed rally experience for those who love the sport, and our favorite rally title of the generation to date. (Yes, even more so than Dirt Rally 2.0.)
Credit: Bigben Interactive
Assetto Corsa Competizione
Although other simulators might be bigger or deeper, Assetto Corsa — initially developed by a small team of just five people at Italian outfit Kunos Simulazioni — is probably the one most renowned for its accuracy. The latest release in the series, Assetto Corsa Competizione, retains the series' benchmark handling, but shifts focus to the Blancpain GT3 category of racing. Strap yourself in with a proper racing wheel, and no simulator feels more natural or rewarding to drive. Some gamers might be put off by the limited content and restriction to one particular motorsport discipline. However, for those who prioritize quality over quantity, and maybe even wish to improve their driving in real life, it remains the last word in authenticity.
Credit: Kunos Simulazioni
Dirt Rally 2.0
Dirt Rally 2.0 returns the series focus to where it all started — rallying — with a cheeky nod to Codemasters' legendary Colin McRae Rally 2.0 thrown in for good measure. But the sequel to 2015's beloved Dirt Rally hardly rests on its laurels. The Ego engine that underpins all of Codemasters' racers has been upgraded for 2.0, resulting in some of the most lush, lifelike environments you've ever seen in a rally title. This entry marries those amazing stages with a handling model that feels just right — responsive enough to let you throw the car around, but still loose enough to keep things interesting. We wish Codemasters didn't do away with Dirt 4's excellent single player campaign design, but that aside, 2.0 sets the gameplay benchmark for the genre.
Criterion Games' 2008 combat racer must be pretty special to come back a decade later and earn a spot on our list. Burnout Paradise was a revelation when it released, and there's a very good reason why it's gone down as a cult classic: It's simply the most fun you can have on four (or two) wheels. Paradise took the formula perfected in Burnout 3: Takedown and expanded it to an open world teeming with spaces to discover, epic jumps to clear and collectible billboards to smash. It was a game you could fully enjoy alone and somehow came even more alive when you were running amok with friends in free roam. And its diverse soundtrack (which returns in full in Remastered) only enhanced the action. Seriously, what better driving music could there possibly be than Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend"?
There are no shortage of racing games involving automobiles and even go-karts, but far fewer devoted to our two-wheel toting friends. Enter Ride 3. Billed as Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo for bikes, and reminiscent of cult-classic motorcycle sim Tourist Trophy, Ride 3 boasts more than 230 rides and 30 tracks that run the gamut from purpose-built circuits like Japan's Sugo and Italy's Imola, to beloved ribbons of tarmac like California's Snake mountain pass, to hallowed grounds of motorcycle racing like the Isle of Man's Billown Circuit and England's legendary Cadwell Park. There's a rich career mode that invites players to explore varied riding disciplines and styles, as well as an extensive selection of customization parts and options allowing you to design your dream bike. Riders: your paradise has arrived.
Credit: Milestone S.r.l
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
There's a reason Mario Kart 8 Deluxe set a record last year for the fastest-selling game in the franchise. The original Mario Kart 8 debuted on the Wii U, where it was hailed as an all-time great kart racer, although it found a very small audience on Nintendo's doomed last-gen console. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch carries over all of the earlier version's DLC and brings back Battle Mode, a mainstay of previous games in the series. Between its astonishing track design, buttery-smooth gameplay at 60 frames per second and 1080p (when docked) and the ultimate challenge of the F-Zero-fast 200cc mode, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the wildest thrill ride Nintendo has ever produced.
Gran Turismo Sport
The benchmark for sim racing dating all the way back to the days of the original PlayStation, Gran Turismo finally arrived on Sony's latest hardware last fall in the form of GT Sport. While previous titles in the series adopted a car-PG approach, GT Sport is a more modern experience centered on competitive online multiplayer. That's not to say it's any less visually stunning or satisfying behind the wheel — Gran Turismo has long been a technological tour de force for Sony's hardware, and GT Sport carries on the brand's legacy for painstaking realism and attention to detail. And although it's hard to believe, the game is still receiving monthly free DLC two years since its release.
OnRush is a team-oriented combat racer that borrows as much from modern hero shooters like Overwatch as it does from the likes of Burnout and Blur. However, there's no conventional racing in OnRush. Rather, your duty is to score points, deliver ruthless takedowns and drive through checkpoints for your squad.
The aim differs depending on the game mode. Switch, for example, starts all contenders on bikes with a number of lives, before moving them up to heavier vehicles every time they're destroyed. The last team standing wins. Another mode, Lockdown, is kind of like Domination in Call of Duty or Battlefield, with all drivers trying to occupy a zone for as long as possible to take it for their side.
OnRush was developed by the team responsible for Driveclub and Motorstorm, before the studio was shuttered and moved house to Codemasters. That means you can expect jaw-dropping visuals and handling with pinpoint precision — not to mention one of the most thrilling multiplayer racing experiences you're likely to find this generation.
Horizon Chase Turbo
If you grew up with sprite-scaling joyrides like Out Run and Top Gear, you're going to love Horizon Chase Turbo. This is the latest incarnation of a retro-inspired racer that originally debuted on iOS and Android, but has just made its way to PS4 and PC. The Turbo release throws in even more send-ups of legendary vehicles, as well as a modernized interface and enhanced low-poly graphics that would look perfectly at home in the arcades next to Sega's Virtua Racing. There's even a four-player mode to teleport you and your friends to the heyday of couch multiplayer. But you could argue Horizon Chase's best feature is actually its soundtrack, which was composed by Barry Leitch — the very same man behind the original Top Gear's score more than 25 years ago.
Credit: Aquiris Game Studio
Sega Ages: Out Run
Yu Suzuki's landmark driving title paved the way for practically every racer on this list, and now Switch owners can enjoy the finest version of it thanks to M2's essential Sega Ages series. The latest release of Out Run is more than a mere port of the 1985 classic, adding online leaderboards, a reorganized world map, variable time and difficulty levels and optional tuning parts that can make your ride much more thrilling to drive. There are also a handful of new songs inspired by the legendary score of the original, written using the very same technology that powered Sega's arcade boards over 30 years ago. Sega Ages Out Run is a love letter to a racer that inspired a litany of pretenders, that is still every bit as addictive today.
Wipeout Omega Collection
If you pine for the days when The Crystal Method was considered the height of electronic music and in-game advertising was hip and cool rather than grating and obnoxious, the recently released PS4 remaster of the last two games in Sony's classic anti-gravity racing franchise is right up your alley. Wipeout Omega Collection combines Wipeout HD from the PS3 (along with the Fury expansion) and Wipeout 2048 from the PS Vita into one package, and caps it off with an updated soundtrack. While a truly new entry — or at least a remake of one of the more beloved PS1 installments — would obviously be better, Omega Collection is certainly preferable to no Wipeout at all.
Forza Motorsport 7
In terms of scope, there's no other racing game that does what Microsoft continues to do with its Forza Motorsport series. With 700 cars, Forza 7 contains the largest roster of any racer of this generation. Add to that a laundry list of customization features, a redesigned career mode, and 32 tracks ranging from fictional fan favorites like Maple Valley to historic locales like Monza and Le Mans, and there simply isn't a bigger racing experience in the world right now. Did we mention it looks absolutely stunning in 4K on Xbox One X?
Driveclub may be the oldest game on this list, but it's still one of the finest achievements in the space this generation. Sony's multiplayer-focused arcade racer eschewed Forza Horizon's open world for a more linear experience, with excruciating attention to detail and the most stunning locales you've ever driven through. Partially inspired by the earliest Need for Speed titles, partially a reincarnation of Microsoft's old Project Gotham Racing games, Driveclub was a stripped-down ride that absolutely nailed the basics, from its still-unsurpassed weather effects to an incredible sense of speed, rewarding handling model and gorgeous visuals. If it's bells and whistles you're after, look elsewhere. But if you simply want to get out on the open road, no game does it better. Just be aware that the game will be delisted from the PlayStation Network this summer, and its multiplayer servers will shut down in March 2020.
Project Cars 2
Developed by the same team that gave us Need for Speed: Shift, Project Cars 2 is a sim with a focus on real motorsports and a variety of disciplines, from open-wheel, to sports cars, to classic touring cars. With the widest selection of real-world circuits out there, a variable weather system that can actually simulate all of the game's tracks in different seasons, and a single-player campaign mode that follows the progression of a real driver's career, Project Cars 2 is the racer of choice for those who dream of turning their passion into a full-time profession.
Credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment
If you prefer Captain Falcon to Mario, you'll love Fast RMX. A Switch exclusive expanding upon Fast Racing Neo on the Wii U, Fast RMX is an F-Zero GX sequel in every respect but its name. Just like the GameCube classic, it's a technical masterpiece with outrageous course design, punishingly difficult AI and tremendously fast on-track action. The phase-switching component adds a wrinkle of depth to the gameplay, which forces you to learn the game's tracks even better than you might have memorized Big Blue back in the day. Nintendo doesn't seem to be interested in F-Zero anymore, but fortunately, Shin'en Multimedia's effort is an excellent stand-in.
Credit: Shin'en Multimedia
I can't view the top 3 slides b/c of your stupid click slide method. Why not use a carousel or something less prone to bugs?Reply
I’m a big F1 fan, so F1 2017 and F1 2018 are great choices for the ps4 and Xbox one. I have an old Xbox 360, and I often play Forza Motorsport 3. It’s a 2011 game, and I love it. I personally enjoy Mario Kart 8 on switch, it’s fun for friends, but I wouldn’t want to play it alone.Reply