It’s not easy to choose the best racing games for PC. There are so many factors at play: the genre isn’t just about graphics fidelity and spine-tingling sound design.
While both are important – it’s also about immersing you in the action, as if you’re in the driver’s seat, eyes strained as the asphalt rushes past at 240kph.
A good racing game feels natural, whether you’re honing your timing for a precise gear shift or kicking out the back-end for a stunning drift.
Furthermore, the question is, which best racing games for PC meet the criteria? Our list separates the few games that made it to the winner’s circle from the ones that didn’t.
1. Forza Horizon 5
Playground Games’ latest open-world arcade racer takes the party to Mexico instead of the British Isles.
Furthermore, the area in Forza Horizon 5 is 50 percent larger than the UK map in Horizon 4, and it’s full of vast desert highways, tiny Mexican villages, and magnificent canyons.
Additionally, in Horizon 5, you must battle with storms that can whip up fierce winds at any time. Building on previous games’ magnificent seasonal effects that bring the landscape to life.
Apart from the new weather, not much has changed, which isn’t necessarily a negative thing because Playground Games has nailed the racing game concept.
Meanwhile, in a variety of fast and attractive vehicles ranging from customized dune buggies and pick-up trucks to one-off hypercars, you can compete in standard races, co-op campaigns, stunt jumps, seasonal championships, and endurance tests.
2. Burnout Paradise Remastered
Burnout paradise Remastered is one of the best racing games for PC.
In addition to some nice graphical improvements, PC users now get access to the formerly console-only Big Surf Island, complete with all of its antics and mayhem.
Additionally, the map in Paradise City is also as exciting as ever, whether you’re just driving around or participating in one of the many available events.
Although some of the original game’s flaws remain (an obnoxious crash cam, a few menu quirks).
None are severe enough to detract from the game’s satisfying vehicle handling, expansive map, and numerous unlockables.
3. Need for speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
Given that the series would eventually fall back into its old rut, it’s easy to forget that, while Criterion was in charge, the Need for Speed titles offered some of the best driving experiences available.
Additionally, the crunchy fighting and wide-open roads of Hot Pursuit hammered into everything that makes Need for Speed great, and this remaster only adds to the notion that this was the series’ pinnacle.
With bated breath, we await Criterion’s return to the helm.
4. Dirty Rally 2
Dirty Rally 2 is one of the best racing games for PC. The inaugural Dirt Rally, which launched in 2015, was a revelation, as it did away with snapback caps.
And focused on the incredible job of simply keeping a car on the track of a rally circuit, which had come to define the Dirt series in the past.
In every way, Dirt Rally 2 is as fantastic as, if not better than, the original.
Additionally, rallying is a high-skill sport, and Codemasters expects the same level of performance from you as a true 4WD WRC vehicle.
At least, that’s how it feels; none of us have or will ever have direct knowledge of flinging a Citroen across Finland’s dirt roads as swiftly as Sebastien Ogier can.
5. Shift 2
Shift 2 might be the greatest game on this list regarding realism and accessibility.
It’s not just the car’s handling – threatening but capable – but the way it consistently considers what players require to perform at a high level.
Furthermore, Shift 2 offers a dynamic perspective that changes subtly based on context. Rather than locking your vision, gazing out over the hood or requiring you to pay for it, TrackIR allows you to turn your head.
As you approach a soft deputy bend, your perspective changes somewhat as your driver avatar peers directly into the apex.
Meanwhile, your perspective swings a little more for a sharper curve so you can see what you’re going towards, but it doesn’t feel strange at all. Seems to be natural.
6. Horizon Chase Turbo
Horizon Chase Turbo is a straightforward game that focuses on boosting, weaving between rival vehicles, and a novel gameplay angle.
Collecting gas canisters to avoid running out of gasoline.
Additionally, the aesthetics, however, are the main draw of the Aquiris Game Studio-published racing game.
Furthermore, Horizon Chase Turbo is a stunning game, though one that may not be immediately apparent due to a flat, polygon-heavy art design.
Which harkens back to 1990s racing games (but without jaggies, clipping, and other era-specific visual flaws).
Depending on whether you’re traveling during the day or at night, the images alternate between pastel colors and cool, neon accents.
It is also one of the best racing games for PC.
7. Forza Motorsport 7
It’s one of the most comprehensive sandboxes for automobile enthusiasts, capable of catering to those who simply want to run fast in gleaming metal cages, simulation aficionados, and everyone in between.
Furthermore, when dynamic weather effects are added to a race, it is transformed from a sophisticated route memorization exam to an impromptu puddle-dodging marathon in low visibility.
While Forza looks and performs better than ever, night tracks gradually transition to dawn, with sunshine filling the pitch black darkness.
8. Inertial Drift
Inertial Drift is also one of the best racing games for PC. While it incorporates a few elements from Ridge Racer Type 4, Inertial Drift is a stand-alone game.
Thank the odd twin-stick drift system for that, which requires only a smidgeon of acclimatization but is unlike anything else once your brain and fingers have gotten used to it.
9. Project Cars
This is the racing game that tries to be all things to all people: ice racing on studded tires through Swedish snowdrifts. In the Scottish Highlands, go karting.
Rallycross on the infield area of Hockenheim, with mud splattering everywhere. Honda Civics trying to make it up Eau Rouge without stalling.
LMP1S rushing through Imola, Indycars defying gravity at Daytona Speedway – and when you’re really bored, LMP1s hurtling through Imola.
10. Trackmania 2: Canyon
A new meaning inspired by Hot Wheels. The TrackMania series stands out from other arcade racers thanks to its sweeping barrel rolls, near-impossible jumps, and floating platforms that defy physics.
Furthermore, the true heart of TrackMania 2 is discovered online, where other people’s brilliant, complicated designs take center stage.
Additionally, the rivalry is ferocious and intense. A race might rapidly develop into an amusing highlight reel of missed jumps and unexpected turns.
Besides, the racing features make this a great pick-up-and-play multiplayer game that you may get lost in for hours.
Trackmania is one of the best racing games for PC.
11. Hotshot Racing
Hotshot Racing’s pick-up-and-play gameplay method and angular, low-polygon graphic look are reminiscent of arcade-style driving events from the 1990s.
Furthermore, the game, developed by Lucky Mountain Games (with assistance from Sumo Digital’s racing gurus), nails the retro-racing vibe in many ways. Mostly.
Although Hotshot Racing has the vivid colors of an Outrun game, it lacks the exhilarating level design that has made many retro races so memorable.
That isn’t to argue that Hotshot Racing isn’t entertaining; it unquestionably is. The power sliding-focused gameplay will appeal to drift fans.
iRacing is also one of the best racing games for PC. That also means you’ll have to work your way up to iRacing.
Therefore has no substantial single-player component, and it requires significant investment due to membership costs and live tournament scheduling.
Oh, and a force feedback wheel is absolutely, literally required here – that’s not us saying the gamepad support is weak. However, you won’t be able to race unless you have a wheel.
For a certain type of sim racing fanatic, though, there is nothing that compares.Additionally, the finest iRacing players usually compete in real-world motorsport and make a living from eSports sim racing.
13. Driver: San Francisco
While Driver: SF includes automobiles and influences from many eras, it takes a 1970s-style approach to everything.
It adores American muscle, rumbling motors, squealing tyres, and San Francisco’s incredibly steep hills and twisty roadways.
However, it may have the best soundtrack of any racing game, as well as some of the most diverse event variations. It also boasts one of the genre’s most original plots.
Rather than being tied to a single vehicle, you can switch to any other vehicle on the road at the touch of a button.
As a result, in many races, the car you finish in may not be the one you started in, and in automobile chases. You’ll rapidly learn to teleport through traffic to design a variety of automotive catastrophes.
14. Need For Speed Heat
The game features an interesting day-and-night system that allows you to enjoy annualizedter, daytime racing scenes and high-stakes, underground racing at night.
Palm City looks amazing in any light and adds visual variation to the game.
Despite the poor multiplayer aspect and some imprecise controls, the game is more fun than previous entries due to character customisation and an enhanced plot.
Furthermore, fans of the series should not pass up this opportunity to read it.
15. F1 2020
F1 2020 is the most demanding, most complete, and most engrossing entry yet in a decade-long series, with an unusually thorough overhaul at a time when other annualised sports games are phoning it in.
This year’s huge feature is the opportunity to start career mode as both a team boss and a driver, adding a splash of management sim to what remains the best F1 racing game on the market.
16. Ridge Racer Unbounded
Ridge Racer Unbounded is one of the best racing games for PC.
Although the Ridge Racer series has the swagger of Gran Turismo or Forza in today’s video game market, the long-running genre has a devoted fan base who enjoys the drift-centric racing action.
Furthermore, Bugbear Entertainment’s contribution adds a chaotic aspect to the basic gameplay by including environmental controls.
And automobile devastation as you compete for street reputation in the fictional Shatter Bay.
Besides, Ridge Racer has gone into full Burnout mode. Besides, the different districts of Shatter Bay are detailed and destructible landscapes that tempt you to race another bout.
17. Assetto Corsa Competizione
Competizione took a long time to make its way out of Early Access, but now that it’s at version 1.0, there are only a few issues left to squash.
However, it has a strong hold on us as well. Phil Iwaniuk discusses how Assetto Corsa Competizione differs from its predecessor in our Assetto Corsa Competizione review.
Additionally, “Assetto Corsa Competizione is distinguished from its predecessor by more than just an endurance racing license,” he argues. “It’s more refined, more precise, and has more potential for long-term single-player enjoyment.”
The Black Rock Studio’s creation Split/Second offers one of the best racing game for PC concepts ever.
Split/Second is based on a fictional reality television show in which in-game racers battle for fame and huge money by causing environmental devastation with super moves known as PowerPlays as they sprint to the finish line.
Furthermore, PowerPlay points are earned by drafting, drifting, and jumping with skill.
Additionally, you can detonate specific components of the environment when at least one tier of the PowerPlay meter is filled.
You’ll know what you can destroy and when by the presence of a blue icon near a particular object in the environment.
19. Art Of Rally
There are a lot of retro races out there that play like cover copies of old favorites, but Art of Rally is a little more subtle and unique.
With its toylike, unauthorized car designs, it pays homage to the golden period of rallying. As well as a lost era of racing games like Micro Machines, with its odd top-down camera.
However, it is, without a doubt, an aesthetic, and a highly fashionable one at that.
However, what makes the game so enjoyable is the unexpectedly deep handling model, which makes it a better representation of the sport than you might anticipate.
20. rFactor 2
There’s still a sense that rFactor 2 hasn’t lived up to its full potential, and that it will be some time before it does.
However, Motorsport Games’ acquisition of developer Studio 397, as well as interesting licenses such as the British Touring Car Championship, are enticing.
And WEC suggests that there will be plenty to look forward to in the future.
For the time being, and despite its flaws, there’s no disputing the authenticity of rFactor 2’s handling, which delivers a simulation model unlike any other.
Additionally, if you have any interest in pretend race vehicles, you should at least try this one out.
21. MotoGP 18
Motorcycle racing is a thrilling spectator activity because of the lean angles, reckless overtakes, and acceleration rates.
And Milestone, the Italian superbike specialists, perfectly captures the terror and daring of riding a factory MotoGP bike.
Furthermore, to put it mildly, the Codemasters F1 games are clearly an inspiration. But the end result for anyone playing it is a layer of career simulation on top of the racing.
Furthermore, work your way up through the slower divisions, establish a name for yourself, and save money for that big team race.
That concludes our list of the best racing games for PC. If all of this speedy action has made you restless and agitated, why not intensify your sensations by checking out the finest forthcoming PC games? Maybe you’d want to take things a little slower and concentrate on more cerebral pursuits?