Best iOS Racing Games
Best iOS Racing Game: Asphalt 9: Legends (Free)
The graphics are as eye-popping as some of the automotive tricks you'll pull off in Asphalt 9: Legends, the latest arcade racing game to join the Asphalt series. The game takes care of turns and acceleration, leaving you to focus on managing nitro boosts and drifts, pulling off tricks and getting to the finish line before the competition. You'll get the usual assortment of cars from Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and others that you can unlock and customize as you rack up wins and achievements on the race track.
Grid Autosport ($9.99)
If you’re looking for a more straightforward racing sim that doesn’t hassle you with timers, energy meters, and other free-to-play shenanigans, then Grid Autosport is the one for you. Featuring sleek console quality graphics that take full advantage of the latest iOS hardware, Grid is a racing fan’s dream, offering more than 100 different cars across a variety of disciplines and race modes, from street racing to endurance and touring cars. A variety of control schemes (including controller support) and scalable difficulty means you can tune the experience just the way you want, making the game accessible for the casual gamer or just crunchy enough for the racing sim fanatic.
Mario Kart Tour (Free)
Mario Kart makes a solid leap to the iPhone with Mario Kart Tour. Many of the beloved courses from earlier versions of the game look just as compelling on the iPhone's screen (though you only have the option of playing in portrait mode). Mario Kart World Tour also incorporates real-world cities into the racing fun, after giving them some Mario-esque touches. The controls for steering and launching missiles at your rival racers are easy to master (some devotees of the console version might find them too easy), so getting from the starting line to the winner's circle takes little time. Our biggest complaint with Mario Kart Tour is an overly aggressive approach to in-app purchases, though we've found you can enjoy the game just fine without spending a dime.
Asphalt Xtreme (Free)
Asphalt Xtreme takes the action off the road, with players racing through canyons and dunes in a variety of game modes. Players will be able to go behind the wheel of a variety of vehicle classes, from dune buggies to pickups and monster trucks, with licensed automobiles from big names like Jeep, Ford, and Dodge. In addition to the five game modes and hundreds of career events and challenges, Asphalt Xtreme also features a live multiplayer mode with up to eight racers going head to head on the track.
Real Racing 3 (Free)
Maybe it’s showing its age a little bit, but Real Racing 3 remains an excellent free-to-play driving sim that lets you take the wheel of a host of real-world cars as you drive around gorgeously rendered real-world racetracks. Numerous game modes — including time trials, standard races and the Time Shift multiplayer mode — offer varied challenges to players, with updates continuously adding new content such as new cars and racing events.
MotoGP Racing (Free)
If motorbikes are more your thing, check out MotoGP Racing ‘18, a free-to-play racer that has you zooming through real-world race courses on top of some of the fastest racing bikes in the world. You’ll need split-second timing on the brakes and throttle to blitz past the opposition. With your winnings, you can mod and improve your bike’s performance in the field, or even unlock your favorite racers.
Motorsports Manager Mobile 3 ($3.99)
The latest entry to this motorsport strategy game adds GT and endurance racing to the mix, as you manage your racing team to victory. It's up to you find winning drivers, negotiate contracts and invest in the kind of research and development that gives your team better rides; you also handle race tactics and pitstop strategy. Other additions in Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 include the ability to vote on rules changes, invitational tourneys, and dynamic AI teams. And if you've dreamed of racing in Monaco, this edition finally brings that venerable course to your iPhone.
Need for Speed: No Limits (Free)
Need For Speed: No Limits is a free racing game that delivers short but intense races as you blast through an underground street racing circuit. Drifting, drafting and smart use of nitro are necessary to win, with victories earning you parts to modify your cars or blueprints that unlock new machines. NFS: No Limits features a variety of in-game and premium currency systems, as well as a fuel system, though daily challenges allow players to earn premium currency without resorting to in-app purchases.
Riptide GP: Renegade ($2.99)
Take to the waves in Riptide GP: Renegade, the latest installment of Vector Unit's Riptide science fiction jetski racers (and one of the top 10 games on the App Store in 2016, according to Apple). This game features a single-player career mode as well as online and local multiplayer races. As a disgraced racer, you must make a name for yourself in the illicit racing circuit while slowly climbing your way back up to the top. Riptide's stunts mechanic encourages players to take risks on big jumps to build up a turbo gauge, and players can collect a variety of different racing craft and unlock new skills, stunts and character models.
Absolute Drift ($2.99)
Absolute Drift brings sleek, top-down drifting action to iOS devices. Players engage in a variety of drifting and gymkhana-style challenges as they slip and slide through more than 30 different courses and three game modes. You can engage in drifting and gymkhana courses, or simply explore the maps in a free roaming mode, collecting and customizing six different cars, each with varied handling characteristics. In addition, payers can view their local replays, drive against ghost cars, and take on extras like custom events, Drift Line Challenges, and Midnight Events that will challenge their mastery of both car and course.
AG Drive ($2.99)
Dive into a sci-fi future and defy gravity in AG Drive, a sleek arcade racer that delivers fantastic vistas and action-packed races. You'll take on a rogue’s gallery of the galaxy’s best drivers as you zip through impossible architecture in your antigravity drive powered vehicle. AG Drive offers a variety of game modes, from time trials to elimination laps, and winning races will unlock more events as well as points to purchase or upgrade your vehicles.
CSR Racing 2 (Free)
CSR Racing 2 combines some really sweet graphics with some neat urban drag racing gameplay. Since players compete in flat-out drag races, you don't steer, so the game is won by precise starts, perfectly timed gear-shifts, and meticulously tricked-out cars. What could just be a drab series of taps is paired with slick graphics that show off the high-performance cars and environments. Players can work through a single-player campaign, as well as head-to-head online multiplayer battles against others. It's not just about the street racing though: players can also go all out with car customizations, tweaking the paint job, rims, interior trim and technical elements such as gear ratios and tire pressure.
Unpossible is a stylish infinite driver that takes you to a neon-lit scifi cityscape where you hurtle down a circular rail while spinning around and dodging obstacles in an attempt to last as long as possible. The Simplicity game mode gives you an easy introduction, but increasingly difficult Futile and Ultra modes offer significantly more challenging, downright “masocore” experiences.
Horizon Chase (Free)
Taking inspiration from coin-op and console racing games like Rush and Out Run but with a modern mobile sheen, Horizon Chase takes you on a third-person perspective arcade race through racetracks around the world as you jockey for pole position. The game features 73 different tracks to race through, across 32 different cities, with 16 upgradeable race cars to collect.
Traffic Rider (Free)
For a more arcade-style take on motorcycle driving, check out Traffic Rider, a first-person motorcycle game and entry in Apple's Best of 2016 list that has you bobbing and weaving through congested traffic. Traffic Rider is all about hair-raising near-misses, with players scoring extra points or bonus time for dodging past cars and trucks, with bigger bonuses for dodging oncoming traffic. Points earned can be spent to upgrade your ride or purchase newer motorbikes. A career mode lets you play through a variety of missions and challenges, while Endless, Time Trial and Free Ride mode offer different ways to play.
Why we love Racing Games
There's a reason the Fast and Furious franchise does as well as it does. Racing is exciting. It's almost as if the need for speed is ingrained in our DNA. And racing games are a natural extension of that. The best of those games make you feel the wind in your hair and get your adrenaline pumping through awesome graphics and smooth gameplay. From hyper-realistic racing simulators to arcade smashfests and everything else in between, here are our favorite mobile racing games for iOS devices.