Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Racing Game

Last updated on September 20, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Racing Games and dug through the reviews from 65 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Kinglink Reviews, The X Box Hub, True Achievements, WCCF Tech, Cubed 3 and more. The result is a ranking of the best Racing Games.

Best Racing Game

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Racing Games

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

XBOX ONE

Forza Horizon 4

Overall Take

Incredible GraphicsA gorgeous simulation racer with hundreds of cars and extra activities to keep things fresh

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Digital Trends, Lifewire, T3, Tech Radar, Tech Spot and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
" Enjoy a wild racing festival atmosphere as you seamlesly meet and make friends with other drivers. There's so much to see, experience, and unlock in this beautiful game-it'll keep the most dedicated racing fans entertained for a while."
Cons
"Some side events can be tedious.Multiplayer can still jump in and ruin your races"

XBOX ONE

Forza Horizon 2

Overall Take

Off-road ActionThis game combines the fun stunts of an arcade title with the high-end graphics and open world aesthetic of a sim game.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Game Informer, Game Revolution, Games Radar, Polygon, The Verge. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Online races are easy to access and perhaps the biggest focus of the game. The map is full of free-roam events you can enter whenever you like, and Road Trips are developer-created playlists of events you and participating racers tackle..."
Cons
"Could have some more tailoring for hardcore Forza players. No avatar customization."

XBOX 360

Need For Speed Rivals

Overall Take

Cops vs. ConsA fast and fun title that offers two ways to play

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Game Rant, Game Zone, Games Radar, Optics Gamer, Plugged In, Polygon and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" It’s worth pointing out that although NFS remains one of the most well-known names in the arcade genre, that doesn’t mean it sets an example that all should follow. As the technology powering the series has continued to improve, the..."
Cons
"The few reasons youre given to upgrade your car. Impact damage is dealt haphazardly"
  The Best Value

PS4

DriveClub

Overall Take

Fun and AffordableA wallet-friendly racer with face-offs and a challenge system for new experiences every time

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Car Bibles, CNET, Cultured Vultures, Game Informer, Games Radar, Metacritic and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Target and Walmart.
Pros
" All racing tracks found in this game feature may different challenges for every driver thus, no two individuals get the same experience. This racing game is designed for having a great time with your friends, and it is one you..."
Cons
"Weak damage and unsatisfying crashes"
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the racing games available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

65

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: BestReviews, Kinglink Reviews, The X Box Hub, True Achievements, WCCF Tech.

6,372

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Racing Games and also dug through the reviews from 65 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Kinglink Reviews, The X Box Hub, True Achievements, WCCF Tech, Cubed 3 and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Racing Games.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

XBOX ONE Forza Horizon 4

Our Expert Score
9.4
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.1
284 user reviews
Our Take

This game's breathtaking backdrops and detail-oriented cars make you feel as if you're in the center of the action. The open-world setting  (as opposed to a closed racetrack) is also overflowing with activities. Unparalleled car and driver customization add oomph.

What other experts liked
Enjoy a wild racing festival atmosphere as you seamlesly meet and make friends with other drivers. There's so much to see, experience, and unlock in this beautiful game-it'll keep the most dedicated racing fans entertained for a while.
- BestReviews
April 1, 2019 | Full review
The Forza Horizon formula is clear now: give people an open-world racing game with approachability, some real driving dynamics, good variety, and lots of fun. This iteration adds seasons and keeps pushing replay value. It’s a fast, fun, action-packed racing...
- Digital Trends
Forza Horizon 4 improves on its predecessors with a diverse set of changing locations like lakes, valleys, castles, forests, and other spectacular sights that take place all over Britain. Choose from 450 licensed cars from Ferraris to Audis, each with...
- Lifewire
February 27, 2019 | Full review
The upgrade, modification, and customisation system on offer in Forza Horizon 4 is also very detailed, with almost every aspect of most makes completely customisable (certain cars have more fixed specs, while others allow massive changes to be made).
The game overall looks absolutely fabulous, with the graphics and lighting picking out every weather and scenic detail. Playing the game through Xbox Live on Windows 10 on my mid-tier PC rig, everything ran rock-solid even in the heaviest rain...
- Tech Radar
September 25, 2018 | Full review
Visually stunning open world overflowing with activities. Features over 450 licensed cars. Stunning amount of detail and visual variety. Solid handling as ever with a huge number of vehicles to unlock. Online functionality creates the impression of a dynamic world
- Tech Spot
It's fun purely to drive, but also offers unparalleled customization for creative types, and an assortment of activities outside of being first to the finish line. It's approachable, but never watered down. Quite simply, Horizon 4 is whatever you want...
- Tom's Guide
September 19, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
the "Ultimate Add-Ons Bundle" is an expensive upgrade, but may be worth it for hardcore fans.
- BestReviews
April 1, 2019 | Full review
Some side events can be tedious.Multiplayer can still jump in and ruin your races
- Digital Trends
One slight issue was moderate pop-in at medium and long distance, with AI cars and roadside objects very obviously spawning in and textures sometimes struggling to load in time.
- Tech Radar
September 25, 2018 | Full review
Forzathon Live events are tedious. It takes a while, though repetition eventually sets in
- Tech Spot
Confusing progression system
- Tom's Guide
September 19, 2019 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

PS4 DriveClub

Our Expert Score
7.5
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
521 user reviews
Our Take

This title finds a comfortable middle ground between simulation and arcade games. Face-offs create a race-within-the-race for fresh fun with every track. The challenge system is also well-designed.

What other experts liked
All racing tracks found in this game feature may different challenges for every driver thus, no two individuals get the same experience. This racing game is designed for having a great time with your friends, and it is one you have never experienced before. It highlights the importance of teamwork,...
- Car Bibles
March 4, 2019 | Full review
It's still fun to play: I enjoyed many of the single-player racing challenges, and found the achievements hard to pull off. Collecting stars from the races -- sometimes placing third or better, other times outperforming a challenger on the track in drifting -- and leveling up trigger extras, including earned...
- CNET
October 7, 2014 | Full review
Driveclub is the best PS4 racing game as it finds a comfortable middle ground between being a sim and an arcade racer, as well as having content for days at a time while still also boasting some of the most gorgeous visuals seen on the PlayStation 4. Change the weather...
- Cultured Vultures
March 15, 2019 | Full review
All the races (including the 12-car multiplayer) feature face-offs. These require you to beat someone else's score in average speed, correct racing line, or drifting over a discrete portion of the track. Face-offs are DriveClub's distinguishing feature that keeps things fresh by offering a race-within-the-race. They change from lap to...
- Game Informer
October 7, 2014 | Full review
The challenge system in Driveclub is superb. Complete any event and you can use your time and ghost to set a challenge. You can aim the challenge at a single person, or a single club, or widen the entry list to allow for other people to have a go. You...
- Games Radar
June 26, 2015 | Full review
The races look great, but DriveClub's main hook is its smart, multi-level progression system. Any time you're in an event, regardless of whether single or multiplayer, you'll notice points flashing across your screen for various skillful actions — passing a competitor, drifting, completing a section of a race without going...
- Polygon
October 7, 2014 | Full review
Online races are equally competitive, and it’s easy to push some cars just a little too far as you try to pass a friend or beat an on-track challenge.
- Push Square
February 19, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Poor quality game visuals. Technical issues wit. H weather display settings. Tedious pursuits.
- Car Bibles
March 4, 2019 | Full review
Weak damage and unsatisfying crashes
- Games Radar
June 26, 2015 | Full review
The music selection is lacklustre – and disabled by default – which makes for some dull backing tracks.
- Push Square
February 19, 2019 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. XBOX ONE Forza Horizon 4

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 10

2. XBOX ONE Forza Horizon 2

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 7

3. XBOX 360 Need For Speed Rivals

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 10

4. XBOX ONE Project Cars 2

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 6

5. XBOX ONE Forza Motorsport 7

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 10

6. XBOX ONE Forza Motorsport 5

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 10

7. XBOX ONE DiRT 4

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 7

8. XBOX ONE Forza Motorsport 6

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 8

9. XBOX ONE ONRUSH

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 8

10. PS4 DriveClub

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 11

Our Racing Game Buying Guide

There’s no doubt that you’ve seen car commercials where the car moves at top speed through mountain roads or races through the desert. As the commercial ends, tiny print at the bottom of the screen appears: “Do not attempt.” 

Most of us would never try to drift around an airplane runway at night, but why should stunt drivers have all the fun? Racing video games can give you the same thrills and chills without the risk.

Today’s titles have unbelievable graphics that make you feel like you’re right there, speeding through gorgeous settings featuring British castles or rolling Irish hills. Realistic, dynamic weather and thoughtful soundtracks add an extra layer of shine on the latest games. 

There are two major sub-genres of racing games, and most players prefer one or the other. Simulation racers are designed to be as realistic as possible. The cars respond with physics that mimic real-life driving in an open-world setting. (Open world means that you’re not limited by a closed racetrack. You can drive off-road and you’ll never hit a wall where the graphics end.) Some people find these games more difficult to play, but diehard car and racing fans love them. The Forza Horizon series has some of the most popular simulation racing games

Arcade-style racing games put less emphasis on realistic controls and focus on creating the most enjoyable race possible for a general audience. You’re usually confined to a track, but the games are loaded with extras like weapons, boosters and ramps for trick jumps. The controls are usually easier to pick up. The Mario Kart series is one example of arcade-style games. 

Some games straddle the line between simulation and arcades, with ramps, missions and off-road activities hidden throughout an open-world environment. They usually have unlockable levels and fun extras to keep you playing. 

Both simulation games and arcade games have more options for cars, drivers and customization than ever before. You can choose from hundreds of vehicles, like Ferraris, Audis and Beamers. Online playing expands your gaming world, connecting you with friends and challenging players across the globe.

Now that you’ve got a solid grasp of racing games, zip on over to our Tips & Advice section to help you choose the perfect one.

DWYM Fun Fact

Racing games, or “racers,” have come a long way since they were first introduced in the 1970s.  The first car-based racing game was Atari’s “Gran Trak 10,” released in 1974. It was a single-player, black-and-white game where users raced a car around a dotted racetrack. 

The graphics weren’t much to look at, but players were wowed by the game’s included steering wheel, gear shift and pedals. You earned points by passing through certain parts of the course, and you played against a countdown timer. A black box in the center of the course represented an oil slick.

Despite the rudimentary graphics and sound effects, “Gran Trak 10” was tough to master. Spinning out and crashing into the side of the track were almost inevitable. The game was still an arcade favorite, and some lucky players across the globe still have the full arcade boxes as collectibles.

The Racing Game Tips and Advice

  • First off, consider what gaming system you use before you buy. Most games are built to run on multiple systems, but there can be subtle differences between the controls and features from console to console. Make sure that you’re okay with any user differences on your console. 
  • Next, you’ll want to think about whether you’re looking for an arcade racer or a simulation racer. If you want to pull off high jumps, drifts and other tricks while you attack your fellow racers, look for an arcade racer. If you’re more concerned with realistic driving in gorgeous outdoor settings, a simulation racer is the right pick. 
  • The controls in some games are easier to pick up than in others. In general, arcade-style games have simpler controls and are friendlier to general interest players or kids. Simulation-style games rely on accurate physics, so their controls will be closer to an actual driving experience. They’re better for older players or serious racing game junkies.
  • Customization options abound in modern racing games. Some games let you modify every detail of a car down to the lug nut, while others just let you switch colors or models. Drivers can also be modified, or you can choose from a roster of professional racers. Pick a game with plenty of modification possibilities if that’s something you really want.
  • Today’s racing games offer far more than laps around a track. Face-off races, where you challenge other players online, can create a new challenge every time. You can also play against your old times in some games, or earn new cars or abilities if you master tricks or beat off-road challenges. Choose a game the type of add-ons that will keep you playing.
  • Racers take place almost entirely online. The type of server that each game has will affect how quickly it loads and how well it performs. For the fastest experience, look for a game that has a dedicated server. That means that the server is only used for gameplay and doesn’t waste bandwidth on other things like connected e-commerce stores. 
  • The speed of your home internet will also factor into how quickly your game loads and how smooth your experience is. Check out how much bandwidth each game requires and make sure your current Internet plan matches. 

About The Author

Abby Stassen
Abby Stassen 

Abby Stassen has a bachelor's degree in English language & literature from the University of Michigan. She's been writing professionally for over a decade, and she's been covering electronics for three years. Electronics can save you a lot of time and add some fun to your day. Abby is a gadget-head who scours endless online reviews and product specs to recommend the best electronics you can buy. She also loves testing her own purchases at home (especially video games). If a set of headphones or a new tablet makes its way into her heart, you'll also see it in one of her online pieces.