All the best racing and driving games to buy in 2020

From hardcore simulators, to family arcade fun, there are racing games to suit every taste on sale right now

  • Best Racing And Driving Games

    Get ready to burn virtual rubber from the comfort of your own sofa

    © Microsoft

    If all the talk of online esports racing has got you intrigued, or you simply need a new way to pass the time, these are the auto racing games you need.

    Our list of the top titles covers everything from serious motorsport simulators, through to casual racing adventures. There are also some more leftfield options if you have already tried some of the more obvious gaming choices.

    To avoid disappointment we have detailed exactly which games console or system you will need to play this collection.

    READ MORE: Your guide to 2020’s best video games consoles

  • Forza Motorsport 7

    Forza Motorsport 7

    © Microsoft

    Available for: Microsoft Xbox One, Windows 10 PC

    The latest game in the Forza Motorsport series for the Microsoft Xbox was launched in 2017. Developers Turn 10 Studios have continued releasing updates, adding more cars and challenges for players.

    With more than 700 cars and 32 different locations to race, Forza Motorsport 7 has plenty of options. Cars range from hot hatches through to NASCAR and IndyCar racers, with multiple customisation options.

    A single-player career mode offers challenges for solo players, and allows for the development of skills. An engaging online environment includes the ability to compete for cash prizes in the Forza Racing Championship.

  • Gran Turismo Sport

    Gran Turismo Sport

    © Polyphony Digital

    Available for: Sony PlayStation 4

    As an exclusive for the Sony PlayStation, the Gran Turismo series has now reached its thirteenth game. Gran Turismo Sport has been developed to maximize the power of the PlayStation 4, and is intended to accurately mirror circuit racing.

    Gran Turismo Sport was initially light on cars and tracks when first launched. However, a series of updates from developers Polyphony Digital has seen a greater number added.

    A constant internet connection is needed, as the bulk of Gran Turismo Sport involves online racing against others. FIA-certified championships allow the best drivers to compete on the global stage, and potentially find a career in professional esports.

  • GRID

    GRID

    © Codemasters

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    For those old enough to remember the TOCA British Touring Car games of the late 1990s, GRID can trace its lineage back to them. Made by Codemasters, GRID is focused on a variety of racing styles and progressing through a lengthy career mode.

    Although the list of cars may be smaller than some games, GRID ensures the ones that matter are included. This means touring cars and GT racers, plus classic muscle cars and drift machines. Expect close racing on a mixture of real-world and city circuits.

  • Dirt Rally 2.0

    Dirt Rally 2.0

    © Codemasters

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    Another Codemasters game with a noble heritage, Dirt Rally is the successor to the Colin McRae Rally series. Recent updates have even included cars used by the late legendary Scottish driver, making it perfect for anyone feeling nostalgic about retro rallying.

    Players can tackle rally stages on a mixture of surfaces across the globe, with dynamic weather and road conditions. Numerous setup options can be changed, and gamers need to take care to avoid terminal damage from too many excursions into the undergrowth.

    Circuits from the FIA World Rallycross Championship are also included, plus World Rallycross Supercars to use on them.

  • WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship

    WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship

    © BigBen Interactive

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

    For those that prefer their rallying to be approved by the FIA, WRC 8 is the official video game of the World Rally Championship. The game includes 100 competitive stages set across 14 different rallies, and includes junior championships along with the main WRC.

    As the thirteenth WRC game, the developers promise improved physics, dynamic weather effects, and a detailed career mode.

  • F1 2019

    F1 2019

    © Codemasters

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    If it is good enough for Formula 1 to use for its official Virtual Grand Prix Series, F1 2019 should be more than sufficient for casual playing at home. Featuring all teams, drivers, and circuits, this is an accurate representation of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship.

    Codemasters has also included the FIA F2 Championship, allowing for greater career progression as a virtual racing driver. Legendary cars, multiplayer options, and even integration with official esports competitions are included.

  • NASCAR Heat 4

    NASCAR Heat 4

    © 704 Games

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    NASCAR Heat 4 is the most modern stock car simulator, and perfect for some racing with the good ol’ boys. Based on the 2019 NASCAR season, four competitive championships are included in the game. Players can go from dirt track racing, progressing all the way to the top-level NASCAR Cup series.

    Paid downloadable content has seen new paint schemes added, plus extra challenges for players to take part in. Most important of all, should you win a race the game will allow you to do a victory burnout. Yeehaw!

  • rFactor 2

    rFactor 2

    © Studio 397

    Available for: Windows PC

    Should you want to take your racing to the next level, rFactor 2 increases the difficulty stakes significantly. Do not mistake this for a light arcade racer – rFactor 2 is the basis for serious simulators used by professional racing teams and drivers.

    Tyre wear, and even the buildup of rubber on the racing surface, are accurately modelled. Visual and mechanical damage are also part of the game, whilst the physics engine can model details such as chassis flex.

    A decent steering wheel and pedal setup will be needed to make the most of rFactor 2, along with many hours of practice and dedication.

  • Assetto Corsa

    Assetto Corsa

    © Kunos Simulazioni

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    Created by a team based next to the Vallelunga circuit in Italy, Assetto Corsa also pursues a serious simulation approach to racing. This means a steering wheel and pedal setup are advised again, with some players reporting it hard to use with just a standard gaming control pad.

    A strict racing focus means the cars included are predominantly true competition machines. Downloadable content includes numerous classic Ferrari F1 cars, plus Le Mans racers and more. Exact replicas of real-life race circuits are matched with a handful of fictional tracks.

  • Assetto Corsa Competizione

    Assetto Corsa Competizione

    © Kunos Simulazioni

    Available for: Windows PC

    Developed from the original game, Assetto Corsa Competizione is an officially licensed simulation of the 2018 and 2019 Blancpain GT Series. Cars have been accurately modelled, whilst tracks have been scanned by lasers to ensure a pinpoint recreation of them.

    Both Sprint and Endurance races from the Blancpain GT Series are included, along with the Spa 24 Hours race for the ultimate challenge. Although initially only available for Windows PC, the developers have stated a version for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will follow later in 2020.

  • Project CARS 2

    Project CARS 2

    © Bandai Namco

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    Project CARS 2 promises that “every turn on every track” will feel different each lap, and that even the angle of the sun will have an impact on surface conditions. These are bold claims, and demonstrate the attention to detail included in the game.

    Players can race on tarmac, dirt and even ice, with a roster of 60 circuits said to be the biggest included in any console racing game. Intended as a detailed simulation, experienced gamers recommend the use of a steering wheel and pedals here.

  • TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2

    TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2

    © BigBen Interactive

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    Having just been released, TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2 is the newest game on this list. Replicating the entirety of the 37-mile long Isle of Man TT Mountain Circuit is an impressive feat alone, and Ride on the Edge 2 aims to recreate the drama of the annual motorbike event.

    Just like the real TT race, the difficulty curve for Ride on the Edge 2 is steep. Players should prepare for plenty of mistakes and crashes as they attempt to learn the seemingly endless number of corners and crests.

  • Ride 3

    Ride 3

    © Milestone

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    Should your motorcycling interests focus more on collecting a garage packed with an eclectic array of bikes, Ride 3 may be for you. Intended as Gran Turismo but for bikes, Ride 3 allows players to choose from 230 different bikes, covering supermoto to superbikes and even classic cafe racers.

    Tracks are a mixture of real-world and fictional creations, with road racing also included. Developers Milestone have indicated a new game, Ride 4, is due to be released in 2020.

  • Forza Horizon 4

    Forza Horizon 4

    © Microsoft

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows 10 PC

    The other side of Microsoft’s Forza empire are the Horizon range of games. Designed to offer a massive open-world environment based on real locations, the emphasis is firmly on fun. Forza Horizon 4 is the latest version, and sees the action taking place in Great Britain.

    Drifting around the streets of Edinburgh, smashing through dry stone walls in the Lake District, or drag racing on a beach in Northumberland are just some of the options. The car choices range from mundane to mental, with a hefty dose of customisation included, too.

    Recent downloadable content has included the Lego Speed Champions add-on, using brick-based recreations of real cars. It is as silly as it sounds, but big fun.

  • Gear Club Unlimited 2

    Gear Club Unlimited 2

    © Nintendo

    Available for: Nintendo Switch

    An exclusive for the Nintendo Switch console, Gear Club Unlimited 2 gives players the chance to race through four diverse environments. More than 50 licensed vehicles are included, with a major focus on modern supercars and hypercars.

    Four-player split-screen racing is included, whilst players can also form their own clubs to race in. A story mode is also present, and players can customize their cars with unique liveries.

  • The Crew 2

    The Crew 2

    © Ubisoft

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    Roaming across a scaled-down recreation of the United States, players in The Crew 2 can race on land, sea, and even in the air. Such diversity means a roster of cars and motorbikes are joined by stunt planes and speedboats.

    Ubisoft has released additional content for The Crew 2, including hovercraft racing and a demolition derby mode. Expect arcade fun, rather than simulation realism, here.

  • Need for Speed Heat

    Need for Speed Heat

    © Electronic Arts

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    Released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Need for Speed franchise, Heat also makes use of an open-world racing environment. Set in a city environment modelled on Miami, Florida, players follow a story mode that includes illegal street racing and outrunning the cops.

    Car customization is also a major part of Need for Speed Heat. Players can use a separate smartphone app to personalize their cars before uploading them into the game.

  • Grand Theft Auto V

    Grand Theft Auto V

    © Rockstar Games

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    Almost seven years after being released, and with more than 120 million copies sold across the globe, Grand Theft Auto V is still one of the most controversial games ever made. With graphic violence and a dark sense of humor, GTA V is certainly not a game to share with the kids.

    Aside from the massive open-world environment, GTA V does include a host of racing options with its extensive online mode. The cars included may not be officially licensed, but many will still be instantly recognizable.

    In a crazy world, GTA V offers the ultimate escapism experience.

  • Wreckfest

    Wreckfest

    © THQ Nordic

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    If the idea of competing in banger races and destruction derby events gets your motor running, say hello to Wreckfest. Detailed damage modelling will see every bump and bash affect your car in a realistic manner. The results of gigantic crashes will certainly need more than auto polish to repair.

    Originally started through crowdfunding, the developers of Wreckfest later turned to a pre-order system to raise money to complete the game.

  • Car Mechanic Simulator 2018

    Car Mechanic Simulator 2018

    © PlayWay

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4

    Instead of ripping cars apart, Car Mechanic Simulator has an emphasis on putting them back together again. The game has been influenced by the host of TV shows that see garages transform abandoned cars into show stopping machines.

    Players can examine various components of officially licensed cars, then use realistic tools and methods to fix and replace parts. A career mode opens up a higher class of vehicles, along with options such as a paint shop and test track.

  • SpinTires: Mudrunner

    SpinTires: Mudrunner

    © Focus Home Interactive

    Available for: Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

    Get away from it all by heading off into the virtual wilderness in a fleet of ageing Soviet-era off-road vehicles. Players have only a map and a compass for navigation, and a series of challenges to complete along the way.

    Body damage is accurately modelled, whilst the advanced physics engine includes the way mud and vegetation interact with your chosen truck or SUV. A recent expansion has also added maps influenced by the United States, along with vehicles from Ford and General Motors.

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

    © Nintendo

    Available for: Nintendo Switch

    If entertaining the family is the main priority for your racing game needs, Mario Kart is an established favourite. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the latest version offered solely for the Nintendo Switch console.

    For the unfamiliar, Mario Kart is the ultimate in arcade fun, pitting characters from the Mario video games into karting battle. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe includes special Battle modes and multiplayer split-screen competition to ensure everyone is included.