Racing games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most of them put you behind the wheel of today’s most popular supercars, but there are plenty more that put you on motorcycles, snowboards, or even in the toy driver’s seat. for beloved children. Whether you’re looking for the best street racing simulation or the most entertaining arcade racing game out there, these ten games are sure to fit the bill.
While this list of the best PC racing games isn’t exhaustive, it covers most subgenres and should provide a variety of playstyles for every type of gamer. They’ve all been highly rated by fans and critics alike, so you can rest assured that you’re diving into a game that’s well worth your time.
Forza Horizon 5
Playground games somehow managed to top Forza Horizon 4, bringing its open-world formula to the sunny landscape of Mexico. Get behind the wheel of over 500 cars and let it all explore Skyline 5 has to offer – including numerous biomes and hundreds of unique missions.
While competitive racing is at the heart of Forza Horizon 5, even casual drivers will find hours of fun in the latest episode of the series. Pretty much everything you do will earn you some sort of reward (including crashing into things), making it easy to feel like you’re headed in the right direction no matter how you spend your time. Everything is brought together with incredibly tight controls, which makes Forza Horizon 5 one of the best racing games we’ve seen in the last decade.
CARS 2 Project
Realistic racing sims don’t get much better than this. With handling and vehicle responsiveness tested by real-world professional drivers, every engine speed and wheel turn is unique and delivers a realistic experience. And with over 180 cars on its roster – which span a variety of motorsports such as IndyCar and Rallycross – Slightly Mad Studios’ latest masterpiece will keep you busy for years.
If you have a powerful enough PC, you can even get into some VR action or upscale the resolution up to 12K. The offerings are rounded out with a dynamic surface and weather system, a 24-hour day/night cycle, and support for a wide variety of gamepads and racing wheels.
This much-loved 2015 title works a lot like an MMORPG, as you’ll need to opt into a monthly subscription to experience it all iRacing has to offer. Billed as “the world’s best online racing simulation and service”, the game is packed with intense tournaments and competitive team racing events that allow you to prove your mettle.
However, anyone able to look past those hefty subscription fees will have plenty to deal with. Not only is iRacing loaded with competitive events, but there are over 150 cars and tracks to master and you can even host your own event – just get ready to take on some of the most skilled drivers in the racing world.
As the official 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship video game, it should be immediately apparent that F1 2021 aims for a realistic view of sport. Codemasters has gone to great lengths to ensure that all of its vehicles are as responsive as they are in real life, and there’s no shortage of gorgeous vehicles to jump into.
If meticulous simulations aren’t your thing, you’ll be happy to know that the developer has added occasional racing options that allow for lower-stakes racing. There’s even the option to play the game in split-screen and work in co-op career mode. Once you are familiar with F1 2021, try to take action online, where you will compete against players from all over the world for a place on the leaderboards.
Track Mania 2
Composed of four different episodes, Track Mania 2 is an arcade-style racing game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Instead of aiming for realistic controls or real-world tracks, Track Mania 2 places fun and entertaining racing above all else.
Demo versions of all four episodes are available on Steam, allowing you to experience the aging racer before investing any cash. It’s best played online with a few friends, but if none of your friends like the genre, there’s already an established community with tons of user-created content to keep you out of trouble.
MotoGP 21 takes the action on two wheels, as you’ll ride with over 120 official riders on over 20 tracks. You’ll need to do more than race like a pro to win, as the simulator also forces you to monitor your brake temperatures, fuel levels, and tire wear in order to cross the finish line.
A high level of customization is allowed, making it easy to build your dream suit, helmet and motorcycle. As usual, there are plenty of online multiplayer options available to you. Before heading online, however, you might want to spend some time with the game’s deep single-player mode and hone all of your skills.
Dirt Rally 2
After its launch in 2019, Dirt Rally 2 produced a bunch of great content over four unique seasons. All of this is available in the Game of the Year Edition – which is arguably the best way to experience the off-road racer – although the affordable base game is still worth a few laps around the muddy track.
Throughout the single-player career and online multiplayer modes, you’ll travel the world to real-world circuits while battling for the top spot. Its dynamic locations make it one of the most impressive racing games out there, and there’s no better way to get your off-road fix than with Dirt Rally 2.
Need heat fast
Need heat fast is a real return to form for the series. After a few lackluster entries, this 2019 release reminded fans what NFS games were all about – and that’s high-adrenaline, high-octane chases through dense urban jungles.
The game changes drastically depending on the time of day, with legal races taking place while the sun is up and unofficial street races taking place at night. Of course, these nighttime runs quickly turn into police chases and lead to some of the most intense NFS moments in the series’ history.
Republic of Horsemen
Republic of Horsemen ditches supercars and convertibles for mountain bikes and snowboards, but despite its lack of power, it still manages to throw you into high-octane races that will get your adrenaline pumping. Unique riding styles for his gear-filled garage mean there’s always something new to master, and you’ll have to learn how to ride it all if you want to hit the coveted 100% completion mark.
The ability to jump on a bike, snowboard, or skis keeps things a bit more diverse than your standard racing game. And Ubisoft managed to merge real national parks into the fictional world of Republic of Horsemen, letting you snowboard down the frozen mountains of Yosemite before cycling through the deserts of Canyonlands National Park.
Hot Wheels Unleashed
Don’t let the name fool you – although it’s based on a children’s toy, Hot Wheels Unleashed has some serious racing chops. You’ll find over 60 iconic Hot Wheels cars and dozens of tracks to master, although you can customize and create your own using the game’s powerful Track Builder.
If you’re looking for a PC racing game that doesn’t mind playing by its own rules, it’s hard to beat. Hot Wheels Unleashed. The game is well-suited to both intense racing sessions and a laid-back night of crazy stunts on your home course, and you’d be hard pressed to find another game like this in the genre.