10 Best Racing Games To Play In 2020

With NASCAR starting up their season at Daytona this month and Formula One heading back to the track in March, racing is in the air. It’s this time every year when I start to get that racing itch and find my way into too many DNFs. No matter what style of racing you enjoy there’s a game out there that has it, and we’ve scoured the virtual raceways to find the best of the best. So sit your butt down in that over-priced racing chair you got for Christmas and prepare to put the pedal to the metal as we race into our Top 10 Racing Games To Play In 2020.

10 – Dirt4 and Dirt Rally 2.0

  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Codemasters
  • Release Date: June 6, 2017 (D4), February 22, 2019 (DR2)

Other games might get your car a little dirty when you go off-road but the Dirt series puts you in the thick of realistic rally car racing. At first glance, the Dirt duo will look similar to each other but once you get behind the wheel you will feel the difference. Dirt Rally 2.0 focuses solely on rally racing with a hardcore sim approach while Dirt4 is a little more beginner-friendly and covers a slightly wider spectrum of racing events. Regardless of which one you choose you’re in for a nerve-racking drive full of white knuckle moments. 

9 – Nitro Nation Drag & Drift

  • Platform(s): iOS, Android
  • Developer: Creative Mobile Games
  • Release Date: April 2, 2014

If you’re looking for a decent drag racing game then it’s time to turn off your main gaming machine and grab your phone. Nitro Nation Drag & Drift is filled with a ton of customizable and upgradeable cars and has the same twitch mechanics while forgoing the corny backstory of my old go-to CSR Racing 2. The gameplay might be simplistic compared to racing games on other platforms but the crisp graphics and quick races against the AI or live opponents are a perfect way to kill a few free minutes while on the go. 

8 – Wreckfest

  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
  • Developer: Bugbear Entertainment
  • Release Date: June 14, 2018

If you’ve ever seen a real-life figure 8 race you know that many of the drivers try to avoid a big crash but every once in awhile there is a crazy-ass driver willing to lay it all on the line. It’s a huge adrenaline rush to see someone going for the big hit, and that is what Wreckfest delivers in spades. Unlike many racing sims that have limited body damage, Wreckfest utilizes soft-body crash physics so every time you slam into an opponent you can expect to leave a piece of your car on the track. Residing somewhere between an arcade racer like Burnout and a full-on simulator like Cars 2, Wreckfest is probably the only racing game where you find yourself laughing at the chaos when you get knocked out of a race.

7 – TT Isle Of Man Ride On The Edge

  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Kylotonn
  • Release Date: March 6, 2018

If you’re into Superbikes the omission of MotoGP 19 from this list may leave you scratching your head. To be honest, when I first started putting this together MotoGP 19 filled the 2 wheeled spot for a minute or two but ultimately lost out to TT Isle of Man for one simple reason: the Snaefell Mountain Course. If the Nurburgring is the iconic test of nerves and skill for the 4-wheeled racers out there then the Mountain Course is its 2-wheeled sibling, winding through nearly 38 miles (the Nurburgring complete course is a mere 16 miles long) of public roads. You can always keep riding the well-groomed courses with the training wheels afforded to you in GP 19 but, for a true challenge, I highly recommend you take Isle of Man out for a ride to give you an idea of what to expect when TTIOM 2 comes out in March.

6 – Burnout Paradise Remastered

  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Stellar Entertainment
  • Release Date: March 16, 2018

Originally released in 2008, Burnout Paradise was a smash hit filled with breakneck speeds, high flying jumps, and spectacular crashes all set to high octane soundtrack. With Burnout Paradise Remastered you can re-live all of the vehicular mayhem of the original with updated graphics (4k 60fps on PS4 Pro/Xbox One X/PC, 1080p on PS4/Xbox One). Remastered includes the original game plus 8 DLC packs, giving you a total of 150 vehicles to use and abuse as you explore Paradise City. 

5 – F1 2019

  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
  • Developer: Codemasters
  • Release Date: June 25, 2019

Even with some of the most advanced tech in racing, it can be hard keeping a Formula One car pointed in the right direction. In the beautifully rendered racing world of F1 2019, it can be even harder to keep your career on track. Finishing races is only half the battle as you navigate pre and post-race interviews, build (or destroy) relationships with individual drivers, and earn the respect of other teams. The top teams have the best cars but they also have the highest expectations so you have to manage it all or you might find yourself working your way down the ladder instead of up it.

4 – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: April 27, 2017

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold almost 23 million units so it’s no surprise this casual racer found its way here. I don’t know what I can say about the Mario Kart franchise that you don’t already know. Accessible to all ages, choosing your favorite Nintendo character and stealing a victory with a well-placed shell shot never gets old.

3 – iRacing

  • Platform(s): PC
  • Developer: iRacing
  • Release Date: August 26, 2008

iRacing may not be a good fit for the casual racer but if you are looking for some serious online competition then you need look no further. How serious? How about vehicles and tracks created from laser scans of their real-world counterparts? Realistic physics and damage models with dynamic track conditions? If that still isn’t enough to get you to grab your racing wheel (not required but you’ll need one to be competitive) then how about racing leagues and full-length races (including 24 hours of Daytona and Le Mans) filled with other racers that won’t forget that time you put them into the wall? 

Just remember to bring your wallet; iRacing is a subscription service with the basic package including unlimited racing with 26 cars on 21 tracks, with additional cars ($11.95 each) and tracks ($11.95 or $14.95 each) purchased individually.

2 – Forza Horizons 4

  • Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Turn 10 Studios
  • Release Date: September 28, 2018

Forza Horizons 4 is arguably the most beautiful racing game out there and you’ll probably spend hours just driving around the countryside taking in the scenery. When you finally decide to stop your Sunday drive and get down to racing you’ll find an open world full of challenges to test your driving mettle. Horizons 4 offers up all this driving fun with a more relaxed physics model than some of the other games here, but anyone looking for more realism in a Forza wrapper can always jump into the track based Forza Motorsport 7 instead.

1 – Project Cars 2

  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
  • Release Date: September 21, 2017

If you are looking for a comprehensive racing experience then take a look at Project Cars 2. Representing virtually all forms of motorsport racing, you’ll be able to test your skills in nearly 200 cars on 140 tracks around the globe, each locale beautifully rendered I must add. Day, night, rain, and even snow will push you to the limit and beyond quickly followed by the physics engine showing you the error of your ways.

 

 

Written by
Old enough to have played retro games when they were still cutting edge, Mitch has been a gamer since the 70s. As his game-fu fades (did he ever really have any?), it is replaced with ever-stronger, and stranger, opinions. If that isn't the perfect recipe for a game reviewer, what is?

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