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It’s time to sit behind the wheel of every popular racing car in the world and beyond! Get ready for breath-taking, competitive races against AI or your best friends with our guide and selection of the best racing games on the market. From realistic simulators that recreate authentic driving to bombastic, action-packed arcade games, we have them all! Discover a wide selection of Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC racing games. Be faster! Be quicker! Be the winner!
What are the kinds of racing games?
There are 4 kinds of this type of game. Take a look at each of them here:
- Arcade racing games. The popular arcade-style games, as you can expect from this name, were born in arcades. These kinds of games feature fast-paced, competitive driving against AI or other players. Arcade-style racing games have a lot of various graphic effects that make these games very memorable and fun;
- Simulation racing. For those who want something realistic, simulation racing games are the best choice. They recreate various processes of real-life driving, are slower, more grounded, and focuses on realism;
- Kart racing. This sub-genre is known for fun action. It offers various obstacles in races and power-ups that you can grab and use during competitive races against your opponents. This is the most unrealistic, and probably the funniest kind;
- Futuristic racing. In this type of game, the player takes control of various innovative vehicles and drives them in futuristic environments. Often including combat elements, it’s probably the most sci-fi kind of car racing game.
Best series of racing games
We present to you the most notable and attention-worthy series. Take a look at them and choose your favorite!
- Need for Speed. This series was born in 1994. Made by Electronic Arts, and later by Criterion Games, Need for Speed is known as the leading franchise of arcade-style games. The series has a lot of installments and a huge legacy. It’s also known as one of those car drifting games series. Everyone knows NFS. Yes, your dad included!
- Gran Turismo. Driving simulator games created in 1997 by Polyphony Digital, Gran Turismo is not only the best car driving game series but also always exclusive to Sony hardware. Learn how to drive various real-world vehicles – get ready for the best racing simulator games with GT!
- Forza. For a long time, the series, created in 2005, was exclusive to Xbox platforms, but later became available on other systems. The newer Forza games are set in huge open-worlds, where the player has to compete against opponents in breath-taking races;
- Burnout. A series created by Criterion Games in 2001, Burnout is known for a feature which lets you crash your vehicle in other racers or environments. Ram into your foe and hope for the best with Burnout games!
- Twisted Metal. This series is something else. Created in 1995 by SingleTrack, Twisted Metal is all about action! The player takes a car, chooses a weapon, and drives to battle. In Twisted Metal games, you have to destroy your opponents in various ways. Explosions and other effects used creates a bombastic atmosphere, full of hatred and fury;
- Assetto Corsa. Created in 2014 by developers Kunos Simulazioni, Assetto Corsa is a surprisingly popular simulation racing video game with support for extensive customization.
A brief history of racing games
Take a look at the most important events of this genre’s history:
- The 1970s. The earliest racing video game to be released dates back to 1972, with the release of the first video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey. It included a game called Wipeout, where the player moves a dot around a race track that is outlined by an overlay placed on the television screen. In 1973, Atari released Space Race, and the following year presented the first driving video game in the arcades, Gran Trak 10, which presents an overhead single-screen view of the track in low-resolution white-on-black graphics.
- The 1980s. Pole Position, developed by Namco and released in 1982 is considered arguably the most important racing game ever made. It sold over 21,000 arcade cabinets in the US by 1983, and again became the highest-grossing arcade game of 1984. Since the mid-1980s, it became a trend for arcade racing games to use hydraulic motion simulator arcade cabinets. However, it wasn’t until 1989 when the critically acclaimed Indianapolis 500: The Simulation first saw the light of day: that’s when the world saw what is regarded as the first true auto racing simulation on a personal computer;
- The 1990s. In 1993, Namco released Ridge Racer. Its 3D polygon graphics stood out for the use of Gouraud shading and texture mapping. The following year, Electronic Arts produced The Need for Speed, which would later spawn one of the world's most successful racing game series and one of the most successful video game series.