Aside from shooting games, car racing games often provide us with action, and lots of stuff happening in front of our eyes. These games include some of the best cars in the world, which you can drive at mind-boggling speeds, and if you like some fast-paced games, and have what it takes to play them, then you’ve come at the right place. Tires spinning, engines roaring, and dirt and mud all over the place as you drive your super-fast car along the road, is that badass enough for you? Sounds great to me! Step on your throttle, as my list of 29 Best Car Racing Games for PC is below.
1. Assetto Corsa
Assetto Corsa stands side by side with Project Cars 2 as the king of the genre. Forget that arcade racing, where you could smash through the signs, collide with the other cars, and do takedowns. Here, you are in a role of a professional driver, and you’ll need to race clean. With its stunning visuals and a huge selection of cars, Assetto Corsa will be your favorite racing simulation very quickly. The game also supports modding, so it’s even better when you widen your perspective and try them out. The game is best played with a steering wheel, for a realistic racing experience.
Assetto Corsa is the best racing simulator out there. This title is so accurate that pro Formula One racers regularly uses it for early training. Italian developers Kunos Simulazioni developed the title and 505 Games published the game in December 2014 on Steam. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions launched in 2016 and also an iOS version came along in August 2021. The game supports a wide range of peripherals. These include mouse and keyboard, wheels, gamepads, triple-displays, and head-mounted VR. It also supports extensive modding. The user can modify every aspect of a car to his taste. Assetto Corsa is serious. It is not recommended to beginners, or to someone who just wants to have some fun.
2. Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 is one of the best arcade racing games out there. With its compelling open world and awesome visuals, the game will capture your attention in every possible move. Forza Horizon 4 was released in 2018, and it was a direct sequel to the already popular Forza Horizon 3. The game is set in the United Kingdom and features the Scottish capital, Edinburgh along with a plush English countryside, forests, and British lakes. In Forza Horizon 4, you can play in 4 different British seasons – summer, autumn, winter, and spring. Players hated the winter season for being too empty and dead. The game has a huge 80+ km2 map and has an amazing collection of over 750 cars. #Forzathon and other live events, speed traps, and a reactive open-world make the game very addicting. It is my favorite arcade racing, at least until we step into Mexico with Horizon 5. Forza Horizon 4 was a big hit, and gamers from across the globe are excited about the upcoming sequel. Forza Horizon 5 is scheduled to launch in November 2021.
3. Need for Speed Payback
Released just a few days ago, Need for Speed Payback brings back that old-school racing, with in-depth car customization and great arcade feeling of the game. This isn’t a simulation racing game, but an arcade experience, where even the newbie will quickly get used to controls. Drifting is smooth, and undertaking sharp turn was never this satisfying. The car chases are intense, and although they are linearized here, they still provide some heart-beating action. Need for Speed Payback made its fantastic return to the franchise, being the best game in the series, in both gameplay and graphical department. And how it wouldn’t be, with its Frostbite 3 engine used?
4. Assetto Corsa Competizione
Competizione is a direct sequel to the original Assetto Corsa from 2014. It is better than its predecessor in every possible way. However, this title focuses on developing a more accurate racing series. This limits modding and makes the game much more cumbersome to the average gamer. Assetto Corsa Competizione has enabled a large number of companies and formula one racers to build a reliable training simulator. This title is great if you want to go big with sim racing. Coupled with a 300$ Logitech or Thrustmaster racing wheel, Competizione can take you a long way in your sim racing career. Despite being better than its predecessor, this title lost a position to it for being too serious.
5. Forza Horizon 3
Forza Horizon 3 is an amazing game, for many reasons. First, it offers a great selection of cars, which is the biggest I’ve ever seen. Second, the game looks GORGEOUS. And the third, an open world in which you can drive both on dry highways or embrace the dirtiness of the off-road. The game even offers a cockpit camera, which is pretty unusual for the setting. You can play with the driving assists and make the game more arcade or lean more towards simulation, being a very versatile game. Forza Horizon 3 is one of the greatest computer car racing games, and it’s just for pure speed lovers.
6. Project Cars 2
For a perfect racing simulation, don’t look further than this and Assetto Corsa. Project Cars 2 is a second game in the series, and although the previous one was very good, this one is even better. I was amazed to see all those visuals, like raindrops on my windshield, detailed sky, detailed water, car reflections and such, and it’s a really a sight to be seen. On the gameplay side, we have the most popular cars, as well as deep customization options, plus real-life tracks which is a great addition. That Nurburgring track took me some time to master, but it was well worth it!
7. Dirt 5
Codemasters developed Dirt 5, and it takes you back to the 1990s. Although the game is not focused on realism or extreme customization like Forza or Assetto Corsa, the mud racer needs you to make your way through loads of dirt and emerge as the best dirt racer. Dirt 5 was launched in November 2020 as a launch title for both of the next-gen consoles – PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. The game has some stunning visuals along with support for hardware-accelerated ray-tracing. Although Dirt 5 isn’t completely original, the title succeeds in delivering a colorful and high-speed enjoyable experience.
8. Dirt Rally
For this game, we’ll ditch the clean and smooth asphalt for a dirty, muddy and smelly environment of the rally. Dirt Rally will take you on an epic journey as you drive through the various terrains across the globe, in order to be the best rally racer ever. Here, you are in a car with your assistant, and the only help you’ll get will be when and where to turn. It’s a harsh game, and it sure is hard to play, but the satisfaction you’ll get from winning is priceless. The game doesn’t offer those fancy cars like Lamborghini or Pagani, but you’ll get really powerful beasts like Subaru Impreza WRX or Mitsubishi Lancer EVO, which still sounds great to me.
9. Burnout Paradise Remastered
Burnout Paradise is among the many EA games that people loved. Developer Criterion Games worked a lot on this title. This title is based on a lot of customer feedback and research, and it is one of the best arcade racing titles. The game is not like any of the latest Forza or Need for Speed titles. It is completely different from the previous Burnout games and focuses on open-world high-speed racing. It is completely unrealistic and focuses more on entertainment than physics laws. The game is set in a fictional Paradise City. This city is based in parts of Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami. It is a grab bag of everything. It is extremely fast-paced, and the city is filled with as many spots to fall off and jump, rather than being a realistically designed settlement.
I enjoyed every minute of the original Burnout Paradise, and the remaster adds support for higher resolutions, multiple monitors, latest hardware, slightly improves the visuals and comes with all DLCs and add-ons released by Criterion for the original title back in 2008-09. The game looked fantastic back in the day, so it still passes on as a good-looking title.
10. F1 2017
Formula 1 fans will be pleased to see that F1 2017 is released this year. But, wait, is it worth the attention? As a somebody who isn’t an F1 fan, I can assure you that the game is awesome! It has the great visuals, and the gameplay is smooth and fluid. Driving your favorite F1 car was never so satisfying, as you make your way through the dry, or wet and slippery tracks and hear your engine roaring and tires spinning. The game does a great job of simulating the real F1 experience, both with visuals, sound design, and gameplay. As I said, if you are a true F1 fan, you won’t even have to read this article further.
11. Forza Motorsport 7
Forza Motorsport 7 is the best entry in the series after the fan-favorite Forza Motorsport 4. The game boasts one of the largest garages ever seen in any car-racing video game and the most generous collection of tracks in the entire series. Although Microsoft launched the game in 2017, it still looks fantastic. Small touches like vibrating wipers at high speed make the game feel even more authentic. The best part of this game is that it welcomes newcomers as much as it is a challenge for sim racing veterans. Turn 10 deems Forza Motorsport 7 as “the ultimate 4K racing experience”, and the title lives up to the developer’s claim.
12. Grid 2
Grid 2 is one of the most overlooked car racing PC games, which both plays and looks amazing. Developed by Codemasters, Grid 2 offers a fine balance between simulation racing and arcade racing. The game won’t punish you hard for trying some stuff, but also won’t let you play it like a Need for Speed game. The game perfectly combines both in-game tracks and real-world tracks, along with some fast cars, made for pure racing game fans. It’s even better when you earn some money and buy yourself that Koenigsegg, which is fast as light!
13. Need for Speed: Heat
Need for Speed: Heat isn’t any different in terms of its gameplay. It was released fairly recently in November 2019 and is based on a fictional version of Miami which the game calls Palm City. The game looks phenomenal, and it takes the same approach towards photorealism as other recent entries in the NFS franchise. Heat is better than the other recent entries in the NFS franchise like Payback and No Limits. While many players have got bored early on, the game gets a lot interesting once you get a hang of it. While the game isn’t trendsetting, it is definitely worth giving a shot. The developers did reuse a lot of stuff from the early titles, but none of them would bother you unless you are a Payback veteran.
14. F1 2021
The F1 series is Codemasters’s longest-running series. F1 2021 packs a lot of changes. It includes an all-new story mode. It is hands-down the best-looking F1 game ever with a large potential of customizing your vehicle. However, the game misses a lot of tracks to truly represent the 2021 formula one season, and handling feels the same as F1 2020. It still is an enjoyable experience, and players will have a great time playing the story, co-op with friends, and skipping the COVID-19 pandemic as the game portrays a lot of races that never happened in real life.
Are you driving good enough to step up your game and go multiplayer? No problem, iRacing is here to give you the chance to show yourself. It’s a racing simulation game, based on subscriptions on 1 month, 6 months and one year. This may sound expensive, but iRacing provides a great multiplayer experience in simulation racing, with licensed cars and real-world tracks. Merge that with fantastic visuals and controls, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. For a hardcore racing fans, there isn’t a better way to prove themselves.
16. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is the NFS adaptation of Burnout Paradise. It is one of the fairly recent classics, being released in 2010. A remastered version was released in 2020, which makes revisiting this title much more sensible. Hot Pursuit is much like Burnout Paradise. Both of the games are extremely fast-paced and you can go from ruling an open road to crashing into a tall cliff within a split second. The game is unrealistic and it demands a lot of attention. It packs a beautiful world is based on scattered parts of Northern California, Washington state, and Oregon. There are no big cities. Instead, there are a large number of highways connected. This brings in a taste of the original Burnout games, as Burnout Paradise completely focused on the urban settlement of Paradise City.
17. Burnout Paradise
Burn your tires as you drive through the Paradise City, where the grass is green, and the girls are pretty! Ok, that was a bad try to imitate Guns N’ Roses, but if you like the song, you can hear it in the game. Jokes aside, Burnout Paradise is a great racing game published by EA Games, that offers both car and motorcycle racing. This means that you can often switch between the vehicles, do some customization and reparation and you’re good to go. Although the vehicles aren’t licensed, the game offers a great environment, full of possibilities for stunts and high-speed racing, that you are going to either love or hate.
18. The Crew 2
The Crew 2 grabbed a lot of headlines back in 2016 when it launched. The game contains the entire map of the USA, although highly condensed. The scale is so weird that a ride from New York to Washington, DC is less than 20 miles. The Crew 2’s version of the USA feels more like an amusement park, with important landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls scattered across an open world. The game is more of an arcade-racing title and provides much more of a relaxed experience. It doesn’t demand attention like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Exploring the open world isn’t a lot of fun and it feels kinda lifeless. But the game is great for a quick tour of the United States.
BeamNG.drive is a racing game in which you can do everything you want to. Do you want to crash your car into pieces? Or maybe run it down the hills and let it roll down as it breaks piece by piece? Or perhaps, collide with a police car or truck, or a whole parking lot surrounded by trucks? I know; you get it. The game is a damn fine soft-body physics vehicle simulator that offers some very nice cars and a big, open-world environment in which you can do your stuff. Race, destroy or experiment in BeamNG.drive; it’s that simple.
20. Trackmania Turbo
Trackmania Turbo will kick your butt for thinking that it’s an easy and simple game. No, it isn’t! The game is bloody hard, especially in the last 30-40 races, where you’ll replay the race over, and over, and over, and over again in order to beat it. It’s a classic arcade racing game, where you’ll need great reflexes and a feeling of speed, to beat the levels consisting of races full of stunts and both clean and off-road sections. Trackmania Turbo is one hell of a car racing game, providing beautiful, yet deadly environment for racing.
21. Test Drive Unlimited 2
TDU 2 stands for one of the biggest racing games ever, in terms of the in-game world. And sure, the game is very big, yet very satisfying to play. It’s an open-world racing game, in which you can buy cars, customize them and race both on-road and off-road. The game will even let you step out of your car, for that GTA-ish feeling, but you can’t do more than walking. TDU 2 also has some level of realism, and you can see that when driving, as the game isn’t aligned towards simulation nor arcade, but sits comfortably in the middle. TDU 2 still packs a strong punch, even though it’s a few years old game now.
22. Rocket League
Who thought that placing few cars and one giant ball on the field would be a good idea? Well, that man deserves a medal for combining racing and football! Rocket League is your game from your imaginations, that allows you to play football but also enjoy some great driving mechanics. It’s a game where you control your car and try to score that damn goal! I’ll admit, I’ve had some rough time with the game, but once you get used to it, you’ll play with your car like Ronaldinho.
This arcade racing will blur everything around you, as you race through the harsh environment of the game, and fight versus other vehicles. Yes, you’ve read that well; Blur introduces a great vehicular combat and real world cars. Now you can crash and destroy real-world cars, and have a great arcade racing experience. Cool! The game offers both multiplayer and singleplayer component, plus there are boss fights in some challenges in singleplayer mode, which sounds pretty unusual for a racing game. Blur is definitely worth a shot, to steer you away from the complex simulation games.
24. FlatOut 2
While the sequel FlatOut 3 was a complete disaster, FlatOut 2 still remains the best game in the series. Simply, it’s another arcade racer with lots of stuff to do, including a high-speed racing, customization, and some challenges. The game is known for its concept, where you get a wrecked and ugly car, and try to make your magnum opus as you earn money by racing. The game is simple, yet very effective in its execution, and is the best game in FlatOut series.
25. Auto Club Revolution
Auto Club Revolution is a free PC game, and it’s a racing simulator, played online. The game focuses on realistic physics and some of the most popular car brands like Renault and BMW. Auto Club Revolution boasts real-world tracks that look really good for a free game. However, the servers for the game are now shut down, and the game was last time in the closed alpha state, which is a pity.
26. Colin McRae: Dirt
Colin McRae was such a legendary rally racer, and I would be very angry that the game carrying his name isn’t good. Luckily, that classic Colin McRae: Dirt game still kicks ass! It’s not the best looking game, nor the most polished game ever, but you know what? This is just for a hardcore rally fan, as the handling is really responsive and realistic, and the customization is great. You can’t go with a full throttle in a sharp turn, and you can go NFS-style here. Lay off the gas, and embrace this dirty and harsh word of rally racing.
27. WRC 7
WRC 7 is another rally racing game that tries to bring that feeling of danger that is known for the rally. To be honest, WRC 7 did this pretty well, although not that perfect like the aforementioned rally games. Aside from that, the environments in this game are pretty beautiful, ranging from snowy mountains and narrow passages to clean asphalt and sunny cliffs. It’s a solid rally racing game for rally enthusiasts.
28. Driver: San Francisco
Being set in San Francisco, this game offers some action-packed racing experience, where you’ll teleport from car to car in order to finish your missions. I know it sounds weird, but Driver: San Francisco borrowed the inspiration from Google Earth, and although this doesn’t sound logic at all, in the game, this works pretty good. The game also offers around 140 real-life, fully damageable vehicles that you can utilize during the gameplay, for some memorable racing and chase sequences.
29. rFactor 2
rFactor 2 is an honorable mention for this list, but as it’s a simulation game, it doesn’t offer anything new. It isn’t a bad game by any means, but nothing here aside great graphics, racing realism and solid multiplayer. If you are up for a cheap racing game, that feels and looks great, then rFactor two is available at half of the price of an AAA title.