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 20 Best Car Racing Games for PC is below.
1. 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?
2. 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.
3. 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!
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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!
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.
9. 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.
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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.