The best racing games you can play on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC in 2021

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I‘Only a few years ago racing games were confined to the limits of two-dimensional game design. Players viewed on-screen events from a top-down perspective, taking the turns as they appeared, often at breakneck speeds. In 2021 it is a very different question, as there are driving games for all tastes and levels.

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Whether you’re looking to take a relaxed stroll or want to take things a little more seriously, each platform has something to offer. In this list we will try to include driving games that suit all tastes to represent the best racing games on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S and PC.

So buckle up, lift the handbrake, and let’s walk through the best driving games you can play in 2021.

F1 2021

F1 2021. Credit: Codemasters

F1 2021 is the latest title in the Formula 1 series and the most recent game on this list. Released only a few weeks ago, F1 2021 Builds on the legacy of the series by adding a new story mode and a host of welcome changes. Developed by Codemasters, which is responsible for titles like TOCA racing driver and the DIRT series, F1 2021 is an authentic recreation of one of the world’s most popular motorsports.

With an up-to-date list of drivers, cars and tracks, in F1 2021 players can compete for seasons, manage their own F1 team, and even participate in the new Braking Point story mode. As a young rookie named Aiden Jackson, players will debut in Formula 2 and make their way to Formula 1. The new mode adds drama to the races, as you’ll face off against a rival. Think Lewis Hamilton vs Nico Rosberg, but in the virtual world and with much less sabotage.

Creating a realistic depiction of a highly technical sport is no easy task, but Codemasters answers F1 2021gameplay at all skill levels. If you just want to relive your favorite sport, there are plenty of support options to choose from. Looking for more of a challenge? You can adjust the difficulty and physics of the game according to your abilities. If you want a real F1 experience, you can even play the game’s hectic races in real time, leading to long calculated battles where disaster is at a bad corner.

You can check out our F1 2021 review here to see why it’s one of the best racing games around.

Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4. Credit: Microsoft

Forza Horizon 4 is the perfect road trip through the UK in the form of a video game. Presenting a condensed take on Britain, the fourth game in the series takes players through Edinburgh, the Cotswolds and even the Lake District. It takes the best parts of Britain but leaves out the endless lines and disappointing weather.

Forza Horizon perfectly captures the feeling of going for a Sunday ride. Focus on enjoying the car, your surroundings, and finding an appropriate soundtrack. Rather than demanding the perfect ride, Forza just wants you to go fast. It does this with manageable controls that make every car accessible and fun.

Driving a supercar at 180 mph is no easy task. However, Forza Horizon 4 feels like a big, fast toy. This accessibility is what makes 4 such a fantastic driving game because anyone can play it. If you are looking for a driving game you can get started with, Forza Horizon 4 is the best racing game you can start with.

Gran Turismo Sport

Gran Turismo Sport screenshot
Gran Turismo Sport Credit: Sony

Fans and journalists criticized Gran Turismo Sport when it was released due to its lack of content. However, since launch, developer Polyphony Digital has added new cars, new tracks, and even a VR mode for PlayStation VR since its release. Rather than delay yet another Gran Turismo game, the developers have released a smaller edition of the game and have been building it alongside the community since its release.

sport features the strict controls and handling associated with the series and a number of tuning and performance options for gamers who really want to get stuck. In its current state, Gran Turismo Sport is a solid sim-racer that focuses on online play rather than single-player content. There is a career mode, time trials, and an offline league, but most players will want to try out the online modes to get the most out of the game.

After selling around 8 million units, Gran Turismo Sport is the most popular driving game on PS4, and for good reason. sport builds on the legacy established by its predecessors. However, it also sets the stage for the future of the series with a focus on competitive racing and online play. This is the best racing game you can play on PlayStation, at least until Gran Turismo 7 comes out next year.

Land Rally 2.0

Screenshot of Dirt Rally 2.0

DiRT Rallye 2.0 is the ultimate rally driving experience. With 8 real-world locations, 36 different stages and several iconic licensed vehicles, DiRT Rallye 2.0 offers gamers one of the most realistic simulations of rally driving. You’ll drive past trees at breakneck speeds, toss your car sideways on turns, and spend more time than you think trying to perfect your run times.

Which makes DiRT Rallye 2.0 such a driving game is the commitment to create a real rally experience. Driver aids are available, but there is no rewind function. All your mistakes are yours, whether you hit the first corner or the last corner. Knowing that failure is never an accident makes every race tense. Late in each sector? You can push the car harder to save time, but push too hard and you will end up hitting a tree.

Unlike other driving games, 2.0Cars are powerful, unruly machines that need to be tamed. Driving with a steering wheel is really a full body workout and even the controllers provide a reasonable amount of feedback. This is especially true for the game’s Group B rally cars, which originated from one of the most dangerous eras in rally driving. DiRT Rallye 2.0 is brutal, ruthless and exhilarating in equal measure. It perfectly captures the constant danger of rally driving but condenses it into a compelling and authentic experience.

iRacing

IRacing screenshot
IRacing Credit: iRacing.com

Probably the least recognizable title on this list, iRacing is the game of choice for esports fans. Released in 2008 and developed by iRacing.com, iRacing bills itself as “the world’s premier motorsport racing game” and it does it with good reason. It’s not as pretty as the other games here, but there’s a reason it’s still the pinnacle of motorsport esport.

iRacing offers an authentic and realistic driving experience. Everything from the suspension to the tire differential and even the bias of the brakes can be customized. Cars on the track behave the same as their real-life counterparts. The extent of iRacingThe realism is such that many professional F1 and Nascar drivers use it to train before the events.

With competitive racing leagues, over 70 tracks and an impressive collection of licensed cars, iRacing offers players a lot of things to get stuck in. Competitive Racing Leagues offer players a digital racing career to immerse themselves in. You’ll rise through the ranks by winning races and driving safely. Players who really want to take it up a notch can play iRacing with a steering wheel setup, that’s how the pros play it.

Wreck Festival

Wreck Festival
Credit: THQ Nordic

Wreck Festival is a rambling driving game that channels the visceral physicality of demolition derby video games and real life events. Developer Bugbear Entertainment’s unique destruction physics unfold in real time, making every car a target. Every individual element of a car can be scratched, crumpled and removed, with a surprising amount of detail.

It’s the variety offered that makes it such an enjoyable driving game. There are many racing modes, including events based on outright destruction, traditional stadium races, and events with converted furniture vehicles. Wreck Festival makes excellent use of this destructive physics, creating dramatic races that can change in the blink of an eye. Swap too much paint with other drivers and you will definitely damage your car. The damage affects the performance of the vehicle, which can affect the performance of your car.

It might be missing the polish of the other games on this list, but Wreck Festival offers an experience that very few car games can. It forces players to be aware of the space around the car and punishes players for irresponsible driving. Watching a car crumble to pieces after a serious accident or collision is also enjoyable on a basic human level. We all love a good crash, as long as no one gets hurt.

SnowRunner

ShowRunner. Credit: Saber Interactive

SnowRunner is all about the journey. Rather than racing against other riders, you are riding against the elements, going through mud, water, snow, ice and just about everything in between. It’s a game that focuses on the actual act of driving. You will be spending your time delivering items, rather than speeding up around corners and chasing lap times.

SnowRunner encourages players to drive like other games don’t. You can change the differential lock to gain traction, activate all-wheel drive, and even use a winch to get you out of tough situations. To be successful, you will need to understand how every part of a truck or vehicle works. Build your affinity and skills with the vehicles of SnowRunner is a real joy. Honestly, you will be amazed at the feats of endurance you will achieve just a few hours after starting the game.

Between coming out of a muddy swamp and climbing a hill covered in ice, SnowRunner can be quite relaxing. Traveling the open roads, taking in the scenery, and listening to your favorite podcast while driving is a great way to relax. If you are looking for something a little different, SnowRunner is the perfect diversion from typical driving games.


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