Nowadays, the racing video game industry is vast and exciting. It goes from basic everyday games that are more like arcade games than driving experiences to hardcore stuff like “if you do not know the manual stick, don’t even bother.”
Well, we’re here to settle once and for all what are the best racing games on the market.
Whether you like Mario Kart with friends, do some elusive simulation game, play something on your Game Boy Advance or just try to one-up each other in Need For Speed – you will find something for yourself!
Of course, we must disclaim that this isn’t the be-all and end-all kind of list, so keep that in mind while browsing. So, without further ado – here are our proposals!
Forza Horizon 5
- Release date: November 9, 2021
- Developer: Playground Games
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S
- Meta score: 91
The latest entry in the Forza Horizon franchise is widely considered to be among the greatest racing games ever. It has a vast and open world and many interesting game modes that other racing games can only dream of. It’s probably the first game that comes to anyone’s mind when you say – what kind of racing game would you recommend?
Well, why is it so popular? It is just that good! Whether you like some additional content like racing in a Buggy from the Halo series or you want to just drive around in a luxury kind that most of us will probably never experience – this is the best racing game to do it in.
And – it’s a bloody damn good racing game at that! With hundreds upon hundreds of cars, beautiful Mexico scenery, and a driving type that will be suitable for everyone – it’s a must-include whenever we speak about racing games.
Similar to the previous installments, it has a very interesting multiplayer system for cooperative gameplay.
It really is the best driving game to connect with your friends on the track. Because this game is so open, you can meet other players' “ghosts” on the roads and just hop on to their game to win a Grand Prix together.
Forza Horizon 5 has it all – universal acclaim, it’s a fan favorite, and honestly – if you’re a fan of racing games – you have probably played this one already.
Forza Horizon 5 is available at RoyalCDKeys.
- You can find races or just stroll around a vast and open world to explore.
- A ridiculous number of cars to drive, with 534 vehicles at the game's launch.
- Many customizable options – change the visuals and performance of your car.
- Multiplayer that lets you compete with other players on the map.
- One of the best handling in an arcade game.
- A lot of additional content, game features, and events from other Microsoft/Xbox games, e.g., Halo.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- Release date: May 2014
- Developer: Nintendo EAD
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii
- Meta score: 92
Probably the most played racing video game developed up to this day. And – one of the best among Mario Kart Series. In an amazing comeback in 2014, Nintendo managed to gather all the racing fans, get their opinions into Nintendo Entertainment Analysis or something and just create an awesome experience that will make you hungry for more and more.
It is a lot different than the original game you may remember from Game Boy Color, but it still is a racing title that captivates audiences around the world! And we’re still waiting for the new Kong Racing game. This time we get our favorite Mario Kart universe game in this racing game released to show us when the fun begins!
As usual, Mario universe characters get into the go-karts and try to go through the finish line while also hindering other players in their quest by gaining power-ups from item boxes. With four different difficulties, hang gliders and underwater racing – you’ll never be bored!
Especially because Mario Kart 8 brings anti-gravity racing to the table where players can drive on walls and ceilings. It’s so much fun!
Mario Kart is the best enjoyed with many friends surrounding you and trying their “real life” skills to throw you off your A-game. Like this cool move called – pillow throwing (always works!).
We can say it’s the best game to give someone who is not there yet when it comes to the whole racing world but wants to try something fun and arcade.
It’s a fast-paced action game with a time limit and probably – the best Mario Kart Game you can start your adventure with. Definitely worth trying!
- 48 courses from the Mario universe, and you can also find something from Zelda and many other games from Nintendo!
- Choose from 23 power-ups to smash your enemies during racing!
- 42 familiar characters from Mario World to choose from.
- Great party game, it’s as good for couch co-op as it is for only gaming – it’s funny, it’s exciting, it is everything you need!
Midnight Club 2
- Release date: 2003
- Developer: Rockstar San Diego
- Platforms: PC, Playstation 2, Xbox
- Meta score: 81
When talking about high-speed racing and arcade mode with some sick elements of driving through the city in your badass car – everyone thinks Need for Speed: Underground. And we will too, but for now – let’s not forget about this gem from the Midnight Club series, which is Midnight Club 2.
Of course, you may say that Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition is the game that made this series (with the extremely popular Playstation Portable version). However, in our opinion – it was the second game in the series that did the groundwork for the third installment’s commercial success.
For us, this one is the perfect game to experience some good racing with great sound! If you always wanted to drive some cool cars with even cooler sounds – you came to the right place.
Although the game has almost 20 years, it still rocks with so many amazing cars and cool designs that you just cannot miss out on this one if you’re a fan of racing games.
So, take this one to the street and create your one and only street rod to conquer them all! There are many different ways to finish those demanding time trials and races.
It may not be the most realistic of the racing games on the market, but the mechanics and different strategies of each driver competing with you will definitely make it worth the money!
Unlike other games on the list – it’s purely for fun, especially in single-player mode! So – check it out! See if you can beat this city!
Midnight Club 2 is available at RoyalCDKeys.
- Drive through the night streets of Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo.
- It’s not your usual racing – find a shortcut and go straight ahead before the others get there.
- One of the best soundtracks in the racing game that can rival the one from Need For Speed Underground, with different sets for each country.
- Infiltrating the secret society from all around the world has never been as fun as in this case.
- Remember to not get caught! Cops are lurking out there, and if you’re not doing everything you can to avoid them – you may get in trouble.
Need For Speed: Heat
- Release Date: November 2019
- Developer: Ghost Games
- Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X
- Meta score: 72
And here we are, the Lil Jon of underground racing – The Need For Speed series! With the previous Midnight Club from 2003, it was only fair to show something more modern. And – Need For Speed: Heat is all that!
If you think about racing video games, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Need For Speed, especially when it comes to the Underground series, one of the best racing games ever made. It’s a game released in the early 2000s that people are still in awe about, so the stakes were high.
The new one brings an amazing career mode about which we’ll talk a bit more later, and many cool online multiplayer features like “ghost cars” of players you can race by agreeing on that.
It has an amazing soundtrack with artists like Kendrick Lamar or French Montana, and the whole illegal street racing fad was such a cool concept. Like – really, Electronic Arts outdid themselves with this one.
Need For Speed: Heat is going back to the roots of racing games with classic hot pursuit and amazing customizations that all street racers and pros will enjoy (you can literally change the engine of the car you like from other cars!).
More? Well, there is a story for you to follow, drift, drag, spring, and all other racing modes you like. The story itself isn’t half bad either.
There may be a little less of half-naked women on one track, but – they made a really interesting intrigue that many of you will probably find better than recent Fast and Furious movies (spoiler alert – it’s not ALL about family). You follow a disgraced racer caught by the police (but in reality, you are a secret sleeping agent). You find out about the corruption in the higher echelons of the Police Department and…well, let’s not go all out with the spoilers.
This is the new “classic” Need For Speed experience we’ve all been waiting for. With critical acclaim, so many positive reviews, and million copies worldwide – you really can’t go wrong with some Heat. It’s a racing game to conquer them all!
We just hope they will stay on track with the next one as our favorite Electronics like to do stuff differently sometimes.
Need For Speed: Heat is available at RoyalCDKeys.
- Amazing selection of cars – from luxury, through rally and sport.
- It’s Need For Speed – the greatest racing franchise ever!
- Back to the roots with customization options – bigger spoilers, neons, and many, many more!
- Great police AI opponents – you really feel like they hate you with every star you gain.
- Cool multiplayer where you can race with or against your friends on the map.
- Cool story about corruption, illegal racing, and, in the end, love!
Assetto Corsa: Competizione
- Release date: December 2019
- Developer: Kunos Simulazioni
- Platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
- Meta Score: 77
So, with fun titles out of the way – let’s dive into something bad, ugly, and tremendously demanding – Assetto Corsa: Competizione! For some reason, all these racing games with some seriously high octane and hardcore elements are from Italy. Is it a coincidence? Well, you tell me.
Anyways, from one of the most demanding racing games of all time – here comes the sequel to end all the dreams of becoming a real-life driver in this simulation mode game.
It’s hard, vast, and so satisfying if you master it like rarely any game on this list. Tryharding was never this fun!
Assetto Corsa lets us in on what it means to be a real racing driver. The number of details in the driving experience is really out of this world. The engine, the tires, the wind, you have to take everything into calculation when getting into one of those crazy cars.
And those cars are crazy! Especially with an additional package from Alfa Romeo, with some Ferrari engine-fueled cars, you get to experience some first-hand experience of driving an absolute rocket!
Of course, top speed is not as important as acceleration on the track, but on those long straight lanes, you will definitely feel if you have enough.
Assetto Corsa: Competizione is really a game made from and for the fans of racing and cars. You can see the passions coming through those beautiful models of cars and tracks, on a level you will hardly see anywhere else. It’s a dream come true for any fan of this amazing sport.
So – if you want to polish your skills and try something really demanding and satisfying at the same time – Assetto Corsa is the game for you.
It will probably be a rough start at first, but after some time, you will surely get the gist!
Assetto Corsa: Competizione is available at RoyalCDKeys.
- Amazing driving simulator for those wanting something more difficult.
- Beautiful, photorealistic graphics, especially when it comes to the cars.
- Great attention to detail in handling the supercars.
- It takes a lot to master, but when you do – you will never stop playing!
- Release date: July 2022
- Developer: Codemasters
- Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S
- Meta Score: 81
And here is another simulator. This time – it’s even more stimulating! The whole franchise is worthy of being on this list, but if we’d have to pick just one, let’s go with the latest release.
So, F1 is a series of games that is set around the great and exciting world of Formula 1 racing. It’s also the official game of the sport, so you can expect the licensed tracks, cars, teams, and even players.
There is an official career mode where you can become one of the greats like Hamilton, get into some historical cars or even become a crew member and see everything from “the other side.” As they say in today’s F1 community – it’s all about the cars, and boy, those cars look amazing.
F1 was always an incredibly detailed simulation, emphasizing how your car is performing.
Also, it’s one of the few games with two modes you can switch between – arcade mode and simulation, which is really cool if you’re new to the whole thing. With so many difficulty levels allowing players to choose from, your can really understand why gamers around the globe chose this game year after year.
If you want to be a racer – there is no better palace to start.
Of course – we have to mention the multiplayer mode, AKA fan favorite! You can race with your friends or compete globally with some of the best drivers in the world! Just remember – it’s not about a single race. It’s about the whole season, so enter your championship mode carefully!
F1 22 is available at RoyalCDKeys.
- The realistic driving experience of a real Formula 1 car.
- Amazing, photorealistic car design.
- Licensed game with all official logos, cars, teams, and sponsors.
- One of the more interesting multiplayer features with thousands of players around the world and an authentic lineup from the real F1 racing; compete against other players to get on top of the list!
Gran Turismo Sport
- Release date: October 2017
- Developer. Sony Computer Entertainment/Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Platforms: Playstation 4
- Meta Score: 75
As in other games, we’ve decided to put one of the most exciting games from the franchise on our list rather than the whole series. And we could really put a whole lot of Gran Turismo games here, Like the incredible Gran Turismo 2 or 3.
When it was initially released in 2017 by Polyphony Digital, the whole racing world just stopped…and logged on to Gran Turismo Sport servers. It was a jump to the future when it first came out, and to this day, it’s a golden standard of multiplayer racing experience.
By stepping off the need for the vast amount of cars that you can drive and focusing on the online experience, developers managed to unlock a motorsport masterpiece.
This felt like a competitive world, full of other racers just set on getting you with their team and ability. There really wasn’t anything like it back then. Even now, it is a great game to experience for how well the multiplayer structure is crafted.
As we stated previously, the worst thing about this game is that they decided to cut down on the number of cars that the series was known for, which was the game's only real vice. You couldn’t drive those prototype cars from the 19th century, unfortunately. In its place, they were able to create a competitive space with a limited and balanced number of cars for players to enjoy. And for that – chapeau bas!
And we just cannot miss out on the whole driving experience! It was really out of this world, honestly. From the critic's perspective, the best thing about it was just how precise the handling was. It felt as if just pushing the button a little harder could change the race's outcome.
- Realistic driving experience in Sport Mode and something for everyone in Arcade Mode.
- An incredible online competitive mode in FIA Gran Turismo Online Championship where players from around the world can compete with each other.
- VR support for a maximum immersive experience.
- Still a Gran Turismo game – you really can’t go wrong with this series.
- 7 categories of cars – from your everyday racing car to never released concepts – everyone will find something for themselves here.
Of course, the list could go on and on, but those are the most important games and franchises that created the current experience. There are many, many more great racing games, but if we would stretch out this list – you’d probably go as far as half of it. We do though feel obligated to include some honorable mentions, as those are some crazy fun games as well!
Wave Race is an extremely fun driving/swimming game where you compete on a jet ski against other jetski enthusiasts. It’s fun, it’s colorful and it was so addicting back in the day. Really worth mentioning as the Godfather of jetski gaming.
Forza Motorsport (series)
It really is worth mentioning that despite the recent popularity of Forza Horizon, it all started with some simulator-based game. And – they are still awesome! You should really check them out if you enjoy some Forza Horizon and wanted something a bit harder.
We’ve decided not to put Burnout games on our list mainly because it’s more of a Road Rage Mode experience or an accident simulator with elements of racing. But it’s still a lot of fun. Although, I guess that being a driver in Paradise City would probably be a nuisance. But really, the whole Burnout series is worth recommending. Whether you choose Paradise or Burnout 3 Takedown – you will have some fun for sure.
F-Zero GX was one of the most popular games back in the day. Those tunnels are still in gamers’ dreams. Futuristic racing is never as good as in the case of this gem. Well, except for maybe one title…
Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer
Who never played this one should really be disappointed. It is probably the best Star Wars game there is. Driving those ships was extremely fun, and you could customize them as they had different skills and everything.
And also – you get to play as a young Vader, man, that’s incredible. What could really beat this game, and WHY THERE IS NO SEQUEL?!
Thanks for joining us on this trip through racing games. We saw some great franchises there, some classic games, those more on the fun side, those that are more demanding.
Overall – there are a lot of choices for you to consider and a lot of question marks around your head. If so – you can always visit Royal CD Keys for some recommendations.
Check out sales or some new games on the platform and find your new favorite racing game! Just remember to drive responsibly in the real world and create total mayhem in the e-world! This world is yours for the taking!