It would not be inaccurate to make a statement that the genre of racing video games has a wide appeal to probably the largest of audiences. Unlike action video games which often include elements and themes like war, guns, and blood – something a portion of people might find controversial – the best racing games are more versatile and can create the same kind of thrill and adrenaline rush without a direct display or focus on violence.
For this reason, racing games are popular among gamers from varying groups of the age spectrum. They serve as a great gift choice both to children who enjoy the excitement and feeling for freedom racing games provide as well as adults who often find the premise of these games at least somewhat relatable because of a necessity to own a car.
The abundance of these games is large and to make your choice easier we offer to take a comparative look at some of the best racing games currently on the market, among which are such notable racing titles like Need for Speed: Heat; Forza Horizon 4, The Crew 2, GRID and Wreckfest. So, buckle your seatbelt as you’re in for one hell of a ride!
Selection of vehicles
Some of the racing game series like Need for Speed have run for decades returning with new iterations every year. Throughout the years, the theme of NFS games have varied widely and the latest installment in the series – NFS: Heat – returns to the street racing approach, right back from the golden age of the series. Along with that, we see the comeback of some of the best racing games’ cars like the iconic BMW M3 GTR from Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005), Eddie’s 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R from NFS: Underground or Rachel’s 2003 Nissan 350Z from Underground 2.
With over 450 licensed rides Forza Horizon 4 also has no shortage of iconic cars. Examples include Aston Martin DBR9 which is famous for its frequent appearance in the latest James Bond movies, Chevrolet Corvair Monza, Toyota Supra and most of all – the downright insane Bugatti Chiron which is famous for setting the world record when it reached 400 km/h in 32,6 seconds! Only the best racing games make your car feel like a damn spaceship!
A wide selection of licensed cars is also featured in 2019 remaster of GRID which also includes rides from the earliest Fast & Furious movies. These include Japanese tuner culture legends like the Mazda RX-7, Nissan Skyline, and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI. Without a doubt, the game features a large variety of as well as sexy german exotics like the Audi R8.
Tired of cars?
While Wreckfest doesn’t feature licensed cars, dedicated gearheads will be able to recognize the real-world inspirations behind the fictional car designs present in the game. Volvo 249 Estate, Honda CRX, Mark 1 Escort are among the examples, but only the best racing games allow you to death race with buses, harvesters, lawn mowers of all things and even a motorized couch!
However, hardly anything could compare with a selection of vehicles that can be found in The Crew 2. Cars are just one category of transport you’ll be using in The Crew 2 as you’ll also be cruising land, air, and water with a large selection of motorcycles, monster trucks, speed boats, stunt planes, and helicopters. All these vehicle options have straightforward and responsive controls so you can forget about PTSD-inducing helicopter rides from GTA V.
Tracks vs. an open-world sandbox
Best racing games come with the best maps and tracks! Some of these titles have a set number of closed circuits which are unlocked as you progress through the main campaign while others are more open-world and encourage exploration along with a variety of different side-activities. Need for Speed: Heat; Forza Horizon 4 and The Crew 2 are open-world sandboxes of this type, while GRID and Wreckfest offer a more defined in-game medium for your racing experience.
This time around Need for Speed series takes us to the Palm City, a fictional location based on Miami, Florida. Along with racing the player will engage in challenges, side-quests and cop chases – the latest being the gameplay element that makes NFS one of the best racing games out there. Stay sharp, as the anti-street racing task force of Palm City is not a joke with 5 heat levels, suicidal rhino cars, and modified police Corvettes.
If you’re not in the mood for the war on roads, enjoy the natural beauty and shifting seasons of Forza Horizon 4’s open-world countryside, it’s based on real locations in Great Britain! You’ll be able to visit various in-game representations of UK among which are England, Scotland as well as Wales. Sometimes this game is called an “online shared world racer” as you can seamlessly shift between multiplayer and single-player modes and participate in co-op events with other drivers.
The ambition of the best racing games – to recreate a real-world experience – is also present in The Crew 2 as the title features an in-game representation of the United States. Explore iconic USA locations from New York to San Francisco using a large variety of vehicles as you traverse land, air, and water. Meanwhile, GRID 2019 is not an open-world game like The Crew 2 or titles discussed previously, but it also features immersive tracks from real-world locations such as Shanghai and Sidney’s motorsport park in Australia.
The action of Wreckfest is also limited to tracks and won’t have you roaming in an open-world sandbox. However, what places Wreckfest among the best racing games is the fact that open-world elements are not necessary to get the most out of this experience. In fact, the more crowded Wreckfest tracks are, the better. The main theme of the game can pretty much be summed up as a deathmatch with cars. Expect absolute mayhem in tracks which include rally roads, upside-down death loops and ramps that give the entire game an overall impression of a humongous skatepark – just for cars.
Distinct gameplay elements and features are what make the best racing games memorable and the titles in question are setting the standards for the entire genre. Need for Speed: Heat offers detailed car customization options which include neons (just like Underground games did back in the day). Heat intentionally avoids a dynamic day and night cycle to allow the player to choose between sanctioned racing activities during the day or street racing induced with police chases at night.
The rich open world of Forza Horizon 4 includes an abundance of activities and opportunities to enjoy the massive amount of content that is available. The dynamic season system creates season-specific challenges and events. Not to mention the possibilities of finding repairable broken-down cars in the open world!
What makes The Crew 2 one of the best racing games is its insane transformation feature which gives the gameplay a unique feel. You can transform your vehicle in the middle of the ride! Fly an airplane and seamlessly turn it into a speedboat or even a monster truck! GRID 2019 also drops the sense of realism for a more arcade-like racing game experience.
Wreckfest is already an over the top display of crashes and destruction just as its title implies. The player will get the option of choosing between two interesting difficulty modes. Normal difficulty mode will give you the freedom to act a little crazier with your car, while the realistic difficulty can leave your car without a wheel – the slightest mistake can cost you an entire competition.
Enjoy the best racing games at a cheaper price!
Even though these games belong to the same genre, each of them boasts a unique identity and is certain to match different tastes. Wreckfest is like a gladiator ring for cars, Need for Speed: Heat brings back the early 2000s nostalgia of tuner and street racing culture, GRID undergoes a phoenix rebirth in 2019 bringing modern gameplay features back on track, Forza Horizon 4 surprises with a staggering amount of content in an open world of in-game UK, while The Crew 2 has you blasting through the USA while seamlessly switching between different vehicles of land, air, and water. Did we catch your interest? All the above-mentioned racing titles are available on the Eneba store! Pay less – play more and enjoy the best racing games out there!