Need a new racing game to play on your PC? Check out our list below of nine of the best racing games for PC currently available.
Racing games are a very popular genre, often being some of the industry’s most accessible games. This is because they typically run off of a style of play that is very inviting to people who want to play videogames, but who don’t want to necessarily commit a long period of time to completing extensive tasks or slogging through a long campaign mode. This is the reason as to why many of the most successful racing games are just as fun to play for single player mode as they are for multiplayer.
PC gamers also have a ton of racing-style games to choose from and, in this post, we’ve made a list of nine of the best PC racing games currently available for you to check out.
If you ask anybody about racing games, chances are they’ll mention Forza regardless of how acquainted they are with the genre. This is because the Forza series has been setting standards on how to make proper simulation games since the initial title launched in 2005, specifically aiming to get real-life car simulation to a science.
Each game that comes out in this series is critically acclaimed, with even the most recent game Forza Horizon 4 impressing critics and getting almost perfect scores across the board. The games also have large fan bases comprising of just as many experienced gamers as they do hobbyists. As of right now, you can find any of the Forza games on the Microsoft Store.
As one of the leading developers of some of the most groundbreaking racing games, Codemasters continually redefines the market by trying new things and innovating. In the Dirt games players can go head-to-head in some intense racing challenges, even being able to utilize cockpit mode to literally take a seat in their car. The events players compete in are typically timed and focus on off-terrain conditions and versatile scenarios.
The entirety of the Dirt series has been critically acclaimed and has a strong fan base, with some fans even preferring the improvements made with each game to the original titles. Even recently, Dirt 4 won some awards for Best Racing Game, further increasing the already dedicated fan base. You can currently find all of the games online in digital copies with newer copies costing about $59.99.
Project CARS 2
Project CARS 2 is a game that focuses on combining the various elements found in other racing games in order to give a truly versatile experience. In this game you can drive cars identical to professional racing cars just as easily as you can customize your own futuristic car, being able to take them through a variety of off-road or professional racing environments.
The game even won multiple awards for Best Racing Game and Best Simulation Game when it was released in 2017, a notable achievement that has garnered it a large fan base. You can find Project CARS 2 for $59.99 on the Steam store.
As one of the most unique racing games available for computer, iRacing takes a different approach to the more traditional formula of selling a game that includes single player and multiplayer modes that are typically bound to a specific device or local network. Instead, iRacing combines the more traditional elements of a racing game with the networking aspects that can only come from a strong community fan base, something that allows it to be appreciated by many. This manifests in iRacing being a subscription-based online community, more representing the type of environment of an MMO as opposed to a racing game that simply has an online component.
The game also wants to promote a very realistic view of what racing is, even going so far as to hold players to specific standards for racing that are directly lifted from real life racing regulations, something that allows players to experience a good portion of the real world standards. Though the game hasn’t received any awards, it did get a good deal of positive reception from the critics who reviewed it when it was released in 2008. There is also a strong fan base to this day featuring more than 75,000 active players, a good amount for an online community. Those who are interested in joining can either pay $6.50 a month or pay in advance for an entire year and only pay $4.59 per month, both of these payments being accessible through the game’s official website.
Part of the Need for Speed franchise, Shift 2: Unleashed focuses on some of the aspects of racing that are more gritty and less desirable in real life, such as crashes and other types of intense tests of endurance. This is achieved by emphasizing the neck-and-neck nature of racing, boosted by the games incredible and realistic physics engine. There are also a variety of different racing modes that players can immerse themselves in, such as muscle car races, specifically designed drifting courses, and other types of specialty driving.
This game was released in 2011 but still has a sizeable fan base, likely due to the popularity of its realistic engine and classic game play modes that are optimal for collaboration and competition. It didn’t end up winning any awards, but also wasn’t intensely disliked by critics either—reviews for the title were spread across the board, with some publications giving it a 66/100 and others giving it an 89/100. Currently you can find the game on the Steam store for $19.99.
With a focus on creating a realistic racing environment, Assetto Corsa allows you to engage in realistic, fast-paced races that put you behind the wheel of some of the most impressive recreations of cars you’ll find in video games. Though the game caused an incredible splash upon its original PC release in 2014, the user fan base has declined in recent years due to the popularity of other racing games.
Despite this declination in a consistent audience, though, the game continues to be critically acclaimed, with its name being thrown around when speaking about the most important and successful simulation games ever made. It didn’t win any awards, but it did make Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s list of the “25 Best Simulation Games Ever Made”, undoubtedly a testament to Assetto Corsa’s emphasis on realistic game play that mirrors actual racing standards. As of right now, the game can easily be found online for under $10 on a physical copy, with digital versions of the game typically costing around $19.99.
GRID Autosport is the ninth installment in the TOCA Series, a video game franchise developed by Codemasters that aims to focus on motorsport racing. This game focuses a lot on the speed involved with racing, typically allowing gamers to customize their car’s shape and focus on the amount of speed that they give off during each race. This approach to customization makes GRID Autosport one of the fastest racing simulators currently on the market, making an incredibly exciting game for all who play it.
As far as racing games go, this game was well-received, but not necessarily critically acclaimed. There were praises about the thoroughness and engaging aspects of the career mode, but the lack of multiplayer intensity hasn’t done the game any favors and has weakened its fan base over time since its original release in 2014. Right now you can find the game in physical copy or digitally online for a standard price of around $39.99 (i.e. on Steam).
As part of the Formula One franchise, F1 2018 is once again an installment based on the 2018 Formula One World Championship. As a result, it takes a very realistic approach to racing, focusing on maintaining and customizing engines and specific parts in order to ensure the player’s success, relying on the physics of the EGO Engine 3.0 to provide realistic game play. This is a really useful system to have as it pushes players to not only know how to effectively race, but hold them accountable for knowing exactly how their cars work, something that we believe is a very nice touch to what is typically a grab-and-go genre.
Since its released earlier in 2018, the game has enjoyed a healthy fan base, being just as accessible for those completely unfamiliar with racing games as it is for those who are experienced veterans. It has had a positive reception since its release but has not won any awards due to the 2018 awards season not being finished yet. You can find F1 2018 right now, available on the Steam store for $49.99.
As one of the most dynamic racing games available, Burnout Paradise brings players to a unique open world environment where you can compete in many different types of races, often involving huge collisions, incredibly fast speeds, and metropolitan terrain to navigate. This game has had a huge resurgence in recent years due to its popularity as a cult classic, even garnering a re-release on the Xbox One in 2016 (the first time the game had been released since its original debut in 2008).
When it originally came out, the game was critically acclaimed, even going so far as to win many awards and with many publications declaring it the Best Racing Game of 2008. Because of its status as an earlier classic title, Burnout Paradise is currently available as a downloadable title on many computer stores for about $19.99, the price that Steam sells it for.
If you’re looking for a new racing game to kick the tires on, the list above should help you find an option that will suit your play style. Whether you’re a budget gamer that is looking for a cheap option on Steam, or you’re looking for a split-screen style game that you can play with your buddies, one of the racing games above should satisfy your desire to hit the racetrack.