If you enjoy the world of motorsport, there’s nothing better than grabbing a little taste for yourself in these classic racing games. Whether or not you use a controller or a full sim-racing setup, each of these games gives a different experience, including realistic simulations of physics and a fleet of licensed cars.
We’ve covered a variety of racing games in this list, from rally titles to open-wheel racing, whichever discipline takes your fancy we have you covered.
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1. Forza Motorsport 7
Release Date - October 3, 2017
Developer - Turn 10 Studios
Publisher - Microsoft Studios
Our first entry today was always going to be a Forza or a Gran Turismo title, and Forza Motorsport 7 won out this time due to the sheer variety of races on offer and its availability on PC as well as Xbox. Turn 10 Studios have put a lot of work into this year’s multiplayer mode since its release to make racing as competitive as possible.
Dynamic weather effects are also on offer and take place in races at the worst possible times. A sudden downpour of rain can totally change a race and throw any setup you’ve practiced out the window.
With over 700 cars on offer in this edition, collecting them all is a tough ask. There are more than supercars on offer here too, there are racing trucks, electric cars, and everyday hatchbacks to race with. There’s every chance you could see your daily driver race around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
2. F1 2019
Release Date - 28 June 2019
Developer - Codemasters Birmingham
Publisher - Codemasters
In what many consider the pinnacle of motorsport, F1 2019 lets you take part in an impressive and very detailed simulation. Including every team, driver, and track from the current season of Formula 1, you’ll be able to run races as whoever you please.
F1 2019 has also added in Formula 2 to this year’s career mode allowing players to start off their rookie season a level below and to work their way up. In career mode, rivalries can be made, cars can be upgraded and drivers can even switch teams in this year’s installment.
There is also an impressive multiplayer mode that allows you to easily find online races and rank up accordingly. This has become so popular there is even a world championship esports that takes center stage on the official Formula 1 YouTube channel.
Release Date - August 26, 2008
Developer - iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations
Publisher - iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations
If you’re looking for some of the most competitive racing around, iRacing is a superb choice - as long as you are OK with the monthly subscription model. iRacing runs a number of online racing leagues in various different events.
The testimonial section on their website really speaks for the quality of gameplay on offer. With reviews from NASCAR drivers, 24 Hours of Le Mans winners, IndyCar champions and Formula 1 drivers, you know you’re getting great quality.
The competitive scene works on a licensing system where players improve their rating by not only winning races but racing them cleanly. If you are winning but regularly running off the track or bumping opponents you won‘t make any real progress. This is a realistic racing sim that promotes and rewards driver skill.
4. Dirt Rally 2.0
Release Date - 26 February 2019
Developer - Codemasters
Publisher - Codemasters
If you want your action a little on the loose and twisty side, maybe a rally game is for you. The recently released Dirt Rally 2 is a great simulation of the staggering challenge of not only keeping a car on the loose surface of a rally course but doing so at ridiculous speeds!
Containing a total of 50 cars and eight circuits from the FIA World Rallycross Championship, there’s isn’t a lack of variety here as you make your way through a long and tough career. The new weather modeling system helps bring to life stages in over 6 countries with more planned for DLC.
5. Project CARS 2
Release Date - 22 September 2017
Developer - Slightly Mad Studios
Publisher - Bandai Namco Entertainment
For a little more variety in your sim-racing, Project CARS 2 does it all. Including series such as rallycross, prototype endurance racing, DTM, and ice racing, it would take us all day to go through the different types of events you can set up if you have the time.
The physics of both the car and the surfaces you race on have been done excellently in this sequel. Force feedback plays a big part in replicating the forces you’re experiencing out on the track. Loose surfaces, oversteer, and understeer are all simulated so well that this game is a must to play with a racing wheel.
Cars handle just how you’d expect them to in the real world, if you push too hard you’ll easily run wide or lose control. If you’re making the switch from hot hatch racing to something a little faster, expect lots of time in the practice races as you tweak your setups and get used to a new car.
Hopefully one or two of the games on this list has got you interested. These games can be played casually, enjoyed with friends or even played competitively if you wish. iRacing, in particular, has a very competitive esports scene with regular commentated races.
If you still can’t decide on what to play, don’t worry! There are hundreds of other racing games out there for you to find. We haven’t even touched on some series just as Gran Turismo or Assetto Corsa to avoid making this list too long. They are well worth checking out though.