Top PC Racing Games of All Time

Is there anything more satisfying than swinging the backend of a Lamborghini around a sweeping bend, putting your foot to the floor and racing past the rest of the pack with driving music pumping through the radio? Probably not. But which games do it best?

While it may have given way to the console scene in recent years, PC was once the home of racing games. Before your Gran Turismos and your Forza Motorsports started leading the way on console, it was the PC that was the go-to device for many budding petrolheads, with Geoff Crammond's F1 sims fondly remembered by some as the leaders of the pack.

And there have been loads of great racers in the years since, too, with Codemasters and Criterion creating some excellent arcade racers with DiRT and Need For Speed, and the simulation scene continuing in the shape of GTR and Assetto Corsa. Here's the top 30 racing games of all-time.

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  • 30.

    Test Drive Unlimited 2

    At times it seems as though Eden tried to make the experience tedious, but it's possible to get hooked exploring the expansive island locations. Ever dreamt you had it all? Beautiful partner, sweet crib, stylish clothes,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 29.

    DiRT Showdown

    There's a scrappy little multiplayer brawler to be had with DiRT Showdown DiRT Showdown is one answer to an important question: how do you make a multiplayer-focused racing game? We've all been there. Heck, I was there just... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 28.

    F1 Race Stars

    There's just enough style in F1 Race Stars to make it stand on its own. Kart racing. An art largely perfected in 1992, yet still strangely alluring 20 years later. Try to name a terrible kart racer - it's actually pretty... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 27.

    GRID Autosport

    A love letter to fans, but not one without issues. Codemasters certainly had its heart in the right place with the making of GRID Autosport, pitching it as a thrilling racing experience offering five different disciplines... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 26.

    Trials Fusion: Awesome Level Max

    Awesome Level Max includes some excellent action that is worth the price tag if you're itching for some more Trials Fusion, but sadly the Awesome Adventure isn't nearly as expansive or interesting. Trials Fusion Awesome Level... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

  • 25.

    Need for Speed Most Wanted

    Need For Speed: Most Wanted is not only the best Need For Speed title in some time, but also one of the best racers period. EA really know how to make a videogame that has mass appeal. The Need For Speed series has become... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, Cube, PS2, Xbox, PC

  • 24.

    FlatOut 2

    Pure arcade-style thrills and spills, excellent mini-games, and extended fun thanks to online play. FlatOut 2 is a hugely entertaining racing title. FlatOut 2 isn't a clever game. It doesn't try to wow you with layers of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PC

  • 23.

    TrackMania United

    Ultimately, United falls just short of brilliance, but fans will appreciate the strong community integration. The Trackmania series is almost a household name amongst PC gamers now, thanks mainly to the free release of the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 22.

    Test Drive Unlimited

    Test Drive Unlimited is simply wonderful. It's a breath of fresh air to the racing genre and features some of the best online integration to date. Test Drive Unlimited somehow managed to sneak up on me when it arrived on... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 21.

    Colin McRae: DIRT

    Poor performance on practically every PC available and a lacklustre online multiplayer mode prevent this from being a classic, but Dirt is still one of the premier racing titles of 2007. Rallying is a motorsport that seems... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 20.

    FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage

    It's bound to get old eventually, but FlatOut fans looking for more of the same but with stunning next-gen visuals will find exactly that. FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage isn't a clever game. It doesn't try to wow you with layers... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 19.

    GTR Evolution

    GTR Evolution is definitely an evolution of the series, as opposed to a revolution, and while the game is in need of a graphical overhaul, the rest of the game is all you could ask from a racing sim. Some would consider the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 18.

    Need for Speed Shift

    Need For Speed: Shift is a brilliant new start for the franchise and has clearly been built by a team that loves racing. Shift comes highly recommended to all racing game fans. When EA announced that it would be giving its... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 17.

    Driver: San Francisco

    Driver San Francisco could have been a one-trick pony but it has managed to use that trick in a variety of clever and interesting ways, ensuring the driving gameplay never becomes tiresome or generic. There's a lot to be... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 16.

    F1 2012

    The subtle improvements are almost invisible to an untrained eye, but F1 nuts will find immeasurable satisfaction in taming and tuning this year’s cars to performance perfection. Motorsport can deliver incredible drama. So... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 15.

    Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

    Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed mixes some wonderfully loving nostalgia and ambitious design to create a credible Mario Kart alternative. A worrying and terrifying fact I realised the other day is that those of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 14.

    GRID 2

    Another quality racing game from Codemasters. When it comes to racing games, there are two camps. There are the uber-serious car people, the types that buy steering wheels for their racing games and spend hours getting anal... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 13.

    F1 2013

    An accomplished racer, but one that needs some competition to really move forward. Much like Sebastian Vettel's unchallenged run of victories, Codemasters' F1 series is beginning to take it easy through a lack of competition.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 12.

    Project CARS

    It's been a long road to release, but Project Cars delivers. Update: With Project Cars having now having been out for two weeks, we've finally played it enough to update our review and put a score on it. Well, Brett has.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 11.

    Trackmania Turbo

    Competing against friends to fastest times is going to be a bit of an addiction, again like Trials, and for only £25 I can't see many reasons not to give Trackmania Turbo a whirl. Trackmania Turbo is the thrilling arcade... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

  • 10.

    ToCA Race Driver 3

    If you're a racing fan ToCA Race Driver 3 is a no brainer. It's got game modes and racing disciplines bursting from every polygonal seam and it's smart enough to cater for beginners and novices alike. Codemasters certainly... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PC

  • 9.

    GTR 2

    With fabulous visuals, solid sound, and physics that would make Stephen Hawking jealous, GTR 2 is easily the finest racing simulation available for the PC. Until the release of this game's predecessor, GTR, back in early... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 8.

    Race Driver: GRID

    With a new found freedom to take risks GRID sits up there with the mighty Project Gotham Racing 4 as a leader in the arcade-style racing genre. Codemasters is well known as one of the leaders in the racing game market, but... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 7.

    Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box

    For true next-gen arcade racing thrills Burnout Paradise is most definitely your best option. For many people Criterion's Burnout Paradise demonstrated for the first time what racing games could, and perhaps should be on... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 6.

    Blur

    Blur is a modern take on the Mario Kart formula, done in a way that feels incredibly cool and refreshing. I didn't like the idea of Blur. Ever since I was told about Bizarre Creations' first game for Activision, I couldn't... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 5.

    F1 2010

    F1 2010 is one of the most comprehensive and complete Formula 1 offerings to date, and has everything we’ve come to expect from the genre over the years. The roar of an engine and the smell of petrol will forever remind me... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 4.

    Shift 2: Unleashed

    If you're a serious fan of the genre, know that Shift 2 does several things better than anything else on the market right now, which makes it an essential purchase. My advice? Don't bother with any of the exterior cameras... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 3.

    Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

    Need for Speed: Most Wanted's greatest achievement is how it sets such a firm focus on racing. Criterion set out to make an open-world arcade racer where competition is king, and succeeded. Like the cold metal girders and... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 2.

    Trials Fusion

    A melding of the established template and something just new enough, RedLynx’s creation is a wonderful thing. The Trials series increasingly faces a common creative challenge. Just how should it innovate when it has established... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

  • 1.

    Pony Island

    I haven't played anything as engaging and interesting as Pony Island in a long time. Pony Island isn't about ponies. Do not be put off by the title. This bargain bin-priced PC game has nothing at all in common to any one... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC