Top Racing Games of All Time

Whether you like hitting the peak of an apex in order to shave those final thousandths of a second off your hot lap, or prefer throwing giant red shells at a princess, video games have the racer for you.

There are many stand-out series that fans will immediately turn to for solace: Forza Motorsport, Mario Kart, Need for Speed, Grand Turismo, Trials and Formula One. All these great franchises feature in our list, and rightfully so, as they represent the finest in sim and arcade racing games have to offer.

Gearheads who dream of driving the world’s most exotic motors can do so by picking up a couple of the titles in our list. So what are you waiting for? Boot up your console and hit the road with one of your top racing games of all time. Sadly, Excitebike didn’t make the cut, as fine a game as it is.

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  • 30.

    Project Gotham Racing 4

    Whoever steps into Bizarre's shoes for PGR5 has an almost impossible task as PGR4 could well be the best racer you'll play this gen. Until last week PGR2 was sat, barely challenged, at the top of my all-time favourite racers.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 29.

    Burnout Paradise

    For true next-gen arcade racing thrills Burnout Paradise is most definitely your best option. Criterion has delivered a game that every gamer should have in their collection. Don't want to read the review? Head over to the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 28.

    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

  • 27.

    WipEout HD

    At £12 you've probably already made your mind up about WipEout HD, but in case you're on the fence we whole heartedly recommend you download it as soon as it hits the PlayStation Store. We can't help but get excited about... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 26.

    Midnight Club: Los Angeles

    Midnight Club L.A. is slick, well designed and gives a more real sense of being in a crowded city. Even with Burnout Paradise on the market, you shouldn't miss Rockstar's latest. If there's something Rockstar does better... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 25.

    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

  • 24.

    Need for Speed: Undercover

    A unique control set up combined with a well-executed, well-established franchise makes this a definite must have for fans of the series and newcomers alike. Anyone still sitting on the fence as to whether iPhone gaming requires... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iPhone

  • 23.

    Real Racing

    Real Racing delivers what is undeniably a gorgeous looking experience that will have fans of Forza/Gran Turismo grinning from ear to ear all day long. Way back when App Store was but a youngster, a grainy YouTube video surfaced... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iPhone

  • 22.

    WipEout HD Fury

    WipEout HD Fury seems a snip at just £8. The new tracks are excellent, but it's the game modes that offer the real value for money here. Expansion packs never get me too excited. Even if they're for games I love, I'd much... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 21.

    Trials HD

    Trials HD is a game that seems tailor made for Xbox LIVE Arcade and we can't recommend it highly enough. We've probably said it a million times before, but we know a game's got something special when it attracts everyone... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 20.

    Colin McRae: DiRT 2

    Wrap up an enjoyable rally experience with the best racing game visuals we've ever seen and DIRT 2 becomes a must-buy game. If review scores were handed out for slickness alone Codemasters' Colin McRae: DIRT 2 would be an... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 19.

    Gran Turismo PSP

    This is Gran Turismo as you remember it but on a handheld. Buy it, spend hours earning credits and buying cars, and try to overlook the glaring omissions without shedding a small tear. I had a strange moment while playing... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 18.


    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

  • 17.

    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

  • 16.

    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

  • 15.

    DiRT 3

    DiRT 3 is hard to pick fault with. It's got the looks, the style, the superb sense of speed, and spot-on handling model that blurs the line between sim and arcade. Codemasters undoubtedly has one of the best racing game development... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 14.

    Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing

    Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing has all the best qualities that Mario Kart initiated years ago and features controls tailored to the portable iOS devices. Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing was released across multiple platforms... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iPhone

  • 13.

    F1 2011

    While casual players might question whether much is different a year down the road after 2010, those in the know will agree that F1 2011 is the most complete representation of the sport to date. You're screaming towards a... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 12.

    Forza Motorsport 4

    Alongside manifold technical improvements, Forza 4 brings a noticeable spark of excitement to the series. Everyone will have their own Forza Motorsport 4 story, and while many might have similar tales, much of my journey... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 11.

    Mario Kart 7

    The winning formula has been prodded and poked and buffed until it gleams, leaving us with a game that is, at the very least, the finest Mario Kart since the original. A game doesn't have to be brave to be great. Mario Kart... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: 3DS

  • 10.

    Joe Danger Special Edition

    Joe Danger: Special Edition is a charming triumph, an absolute joy to play, and a fresh modern title that effortlessly manages to play the same notes as the best video games of the 90s. As a child, I always used to doodle... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 9.

    MotorStorm RC

    Thanks to the excellent leaderboard integration RC offers a greater sense of competition than many standard racing games, and will tug at you time and time again. MotorStorm RC is my favourite Vita game. It's also the cheapest... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3, PS Vita

  • 8.

    Joe Danger 2: The Movie

    Joe Danger 2 can be an incredibly tricky game, but it’s one that always puts a smile on my face. You can go a long way with a smile. When determined stuntman Joe Danger popped his first wheelie on PlayStation 3 in 2010, it... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 7.

    Forza Horizon

    Forza Horizon isn't a game that needs tedious cut-scenes to force a narrative; the road will do that on its own. The effortless quality of the Forza Motorsport series has never found itself wanting for much, but if there's... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 6.

    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

  • 5.

    Forza Motorsport 5

    The bodywork is built for showing off your new machine, but there's something more substantial under the hood. You will show off your Xbox One with Forza 5. Its wonderful vistas and gorgeous cars make it perfect for public... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox One

  • 4.

    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

  • 3.

    Mario Kart 8

    It may just be more Mario Kart, but that continues to be no bad thing. In case you're the type of person who sees a wall of text and gets 'the fear', heed this, and heed this well: Mario Kart 8 is exactly what you want.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii U

  • 2.

    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

  • 1.

    Forza Motorsport 3

    Never before has there been such a content-packed racing game, playable for people of all skill levels, that feels this good. What would make the ultimate racing game? It's hard to put a finger on the exact ingredients that... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360