There is nothing out there that beats the thrill of PC racing games. Status Q2 2020: Here is our PCPH list of the 18 Best Racing Games for your PC:
- Forza Motorsport 7
- Project CARS
- Dirt Rally 2
- Forza Horizon 4
- F1 2019
- Assetto Corsa Competizione
- TrackMania 2
- MotoGP 18
- rFactor 2
- Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
- My Summer Car
- Grand Prix 3
- RaceRoom Racing Experience
- GRID Autosport
- Driver: San Francisco
- Split / Second
- Burnout Paradise Remastered
Why we love racing games
Isn’t it an undescribable feeling?… Holding on to the virtual wheel of a car speeding up from zero to one hundred km/h in a fraction of a second?
Well, racing an actual supercar may be even more exhilarating, but let’s face it, none of us is going to race any real car today… At least you would not on public roads, unless you want to end up in jail.
That’s where racing games for PC come to our rescue.
There are all sorts of PC racing games out there. For instance, you’ve got rally racing games like Dirt Rally.
Or hardcore racing PC simulators such as Project Cars. or urban racing games like Forza Horizon, to mention a few.
A big differences between these games lies in the steering of your virtual car. Some games are best played with a controller and some with a keyboard and mouse.
Others, especially the more realistic games kind of demand a PC equipped with a racing steering wheel.
Some of them allow you to play and compete with your friends or players from around the globe. Yet others enable you to play in solitude and perfect your craft.
With so many options out there, it may be a tough decision to pick one that suits you, but that’s where our little list comes in!
We’ve got something for everyone.
The titles on this list are the best of the bunch!
First up is Forza Motorsport 7, a game renowned among rookies and pros of the PC racing games world alike. Forza Motorsport was developed for Xbox exclusively, but with Microsoft blurring the difference between Xbox and Windows, this great title now runs on your PC.
Good for us PC gamers!
Forza’s got something for everyone. No matter if you’re a casual gamer who wants to show off to his friends. Or a hardcore racing fan who refuses to play with anything except the racing PC wheel, Forza’s got you covered.
The seventh iteration completely transforms your racing experience with breathtaking dynamic effects. So, when you start racing at nighttime, you can see the sun dawn on the track and it will glare on your screen. The rain splashing on your windshield is a breathtaking view.
But never lose your concentration because the track becomes pretty nasty when wet.
Forza Motorsport 7 is one of the best racing games for PC out there in which you eagerly sink dozens or even hundreds of hours.
You find a Forza Motorsport demo in the Microsoft Store on your Windows 10 PC.
2. Project CARS
Next up, we’ve got Project CARS 2, a game tailor-made for the racing simulation fans among you. But Project CARS 2 isn’t the type of racing simulator that will simply put you behind the wheel of a car on a track, nope…
Want to feel what it is like to enter a brand new car? Project CARS 2 got you covered.
Want to try racing on ice with studded tires around in Sweden? Project CARS 2 got you covered.
Want to kart race in the Scottish Highlands? That’s right, Project CARS 2 got you covered again.
Wile keeping the PC racing part fun, Project CARS 2 feels more like something real. As in real life.
The cars don’t blast-off if you hit the railing, but take damage that reduces your car’s performance.
There’s even a career mode which you can play without sacrificing the freedom of regular modes.
Of course, you can also play Project CARS 2 with a controller or with keyboard and mouse, but actually the game demands to be played with a PC steering wheel.
3. Dirt Rally 2
Next on the grid, we find Dirt Rally 2.
Dirty Rally 2 is not a simple racing game where all you do is drive from A to B in a fast car, hitting the gas.
Be warned: DR2 is a mercilessly difficult game to “survive”.
Like in an actual rally race, you’ll find yourself next to your co-pilot in Dirt Rally 2. Your co-pilot will be relentlessly lashing numbers at you as you race through the rugged terrains.
Keep up with this hefty set of directions, or you’ll have a meeting with a tree.
Dirt Rally 2 is not a game for amateurs who want to blow off some steam. It is a game for those who have patience and are willing to dig deeply into the mechanics.
And if you do, the game will reward you with a stunningly realistic rally racing experience.
4. Forza Horizon 4
The next game on our list is Forza Horizon 4, placing you in georgeous ole’ Great Britain. God save the Queen!
Forza Horizon manages to integrate extremely complex racing mechanics with a beautiful, open-world and an addictive arcade mode.
It comes with a ten-hour campaign, taking you around the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, Lake District, the British countryside and other recognizable places around Britain as the Edinburgh castle.
And whenever you’re done with the arcade and campaign mode, challenge your friends with a race through some calm British village.
Should you ever get bored from humiliating your friends, you still have not exhausted the game’s feature list.
Enjoy additional modes like
- traditional races
- seasonal championships
- co-op campaigns
- stunt jumps
- speed tests
and much more.
The graphics are breathtaking, even the environment changes with the seasons.
And the controls are amazing and snappy and need anything from controller to steering wheel. There’s a huge variety of cars from Classics up to hypercars.
Did we mention that there is a James Bond pack that grants you access to all the iconic Aston Martins from the franchise? The game left us literally shaken, not just stirred.
So we move on to the next entry on our list of exhibitions … up comes every racing fanatic’s wet dream.
iRacing is one of those PC racing games that put an insane amount of attention to detail.
Cars and tracks are designed so detailed that the fine line between real and unreal is obliterated.
iRacing comes as close to real racing as you can get without actually hitting the track.
So professional is the self-expectation of iRacing that it does not support a controller or keyboard/mouse, but you need a steering wheel to play the game.
So be warned: Amateurs and casual gamers will not enjoy this game. With the Pros in mind, it features virtually no single-player.
Also, you need a yearly subscription to keep up with the live tournament scheduling.
The game requires not only some hefty financial investments but also demands your time and attention.
Conclusion: Pro Level
6. F1 2019
Moving on to the next item, we’ve got F1 2019 for all the F1 enthusiasts in the house. This iteration of the game improves the career and story component of the previous game.
F1 2019 is one the best and most realistic simulation of the Formula 1 circus, but it is more than that. The game comes with an excellent career mode where you rise from rookie to grand-prix champion in the world of racing.
So, you’re not just hitting hard the pedal of your Formula 1 racing car on the track but doing everything a rookie has to do to become a pro racer.
- the officiaL FIA partner/videogame
- contract negotiations
- race strategies
- official drivers and teams
- all 2019 circuits
- night races
- F2 included
- online leagues
Once you’re immersed in the story, every victory feels more satisfying and every defeat feels more pathetic – welcome to your F1 career.
Caveat: The single-player mode’s AI is relentless and brute, it’s not built for the arcade fans.
7. Assetto Corsa Competizione
In the next door racing box, we find Assetto Corsa Competizione, a PC game equally loved by the fans of the original Assetto Corsa and other racing fans who missed out on the first installation of the game.
It’s one of the few endurance racing games simulators out there. While the predecessor already was a good racing game the singleplayer mode lacked something: The Assetto Corsa Competizione more than amends it’s predecessor’s faults and adds an inviting championship mode.
You can choose from an assortment of vehicle categories to race on renowned circuits like Paul Ricard, Spa Francorchamps, and Circuit de Catalunya.
Assetto Corsa Competizione is more polished than its predecessor in terms of handling and perfectly simulates day and night driving.
If you’re an endurance racing fan, then Assetto Corsa Competizione is a must-have race simulator for you.
8. TrackMania 2
If you’re tired of all the highly realistic racing simulators above and just want some fun pushing your car to its limits just for the thrills and spills, then the next game is made for you.
Trackmania 2 is now almost a decade old, highly unrealistic, cartoonish and yet quite addictive.
It’s racing style makes it an evergreen title of the list of best PC racing games.
TrackMania 2 is split into three different games – Stadium, Valley, and Canyon.
However, you don’t necessarily need to play all of them to enjoy this gem.
There are literally endless opportunities and an extraordinary replay value thanks to its powerful level editor where you can create your own crazy levels.
9. MotoGP 18
Up one spot and 2 tires down, we find a game for those who like to race on two wheels.
Lean turns, rapid speeds, and suicidal maneuvers are an integral part of Motorcycle racing that is assured to give you an adrenaline rush.
MotoGP 18 perfectly captures the motorbike experience, puts that in a video game that never disappoints.
The game is licensed by Milestone, an Italian video game studio specializing in racing games.
The best part is the career mode where you start out with slower bikes and step by step build a reputation until you are ready for the big leagues.
And if you get bored from the career treadmill, there’s always the multiplayer where you can race your friends or other players from around the world.
If you’re coming straight from car racing games, then the controls of a superbike may seem a bit wonky at first, especially given the fact that there is no steering wheel or any equivalent, so you’re stuck with the controller.
However, after a few races, you’re bound to get the hang of it as MotoGP is not an ultra-realistic simulator like iRacing but leans more on the arcade end of PC racing games.
10. rFactor 2
Moving on, we’ve find rFactor 2 on our list, a game that came out back in 2013 but it’s so good in its niche that it has reserved its permanent spot on the list of best PC racing games.
The original rFactor (1) was designed to be modified and used by professional racing teams to train the driver and develop race cars.
rFactor 2 expands upon the same concept.
There are tons of user-generated mods for the game that have kept it not only relevant but constantly growing and evolving years after its initial release.
Despite its rough corners, rFactor 2 is reserved for serious gamers as casuals won’t find it as amusing.
- supports VR
11. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
The next game that you need to play as a fan of PC racing games is Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, another one of the evergreen racing titles.
It’s a super fun arcade title that every racing fan has played at least once.
Hot Pursuit presents an open world of racing where you can jump from race to race without any breaks.
You don’t need a n expensive PC racing wheel or waste hours of your precious time to learn the intricate mechanics, you can start playing the game with your controller and experience the thrill of the game.
While the graphics of Hot Pursuit may not be in the same league as the general Need For Speed franchise, the overall look and aesthetics feel luscious and the gameplay is real fun.
Above all, it gives you the addictive sensation of going really fast!
12. My Summer Car
Moving further, My Summer Car isn’t a racing game, per se.
At least, not on the surface, but it presents such an intriguing concept that it is a must-play for all the fans of the racing genre.
It all begins when you receive a note from your parents who ask you to restore a junked car that’s dormant in your garage.
Set in 1990s rural Finland, you step into the shoes of a teenage kid who takes on the responsibility to turn a rust bucket into a racing car.
Most of your time will be spent around the car, repairing and rebuilding instead of racing it.
There, your journey begins as you start putting together each little screw. You can take your car out for a ride but don’t speed beyond 100 km/h or your car will rattle and, god forbid, break down.
It’s more of a car owner and repairing simulator rather than a racing simulator, but it manages to present an experience that no other racing game has done.
Steam rating: 9/10
13. Grand Prix 3
Next up is Grand Prix 3, a game that was released at the beginning of this century, almost two decades ago. The game was a turning point in the world of racing games and managed to include things like tire wear and wet weather grip back when technology was so limited.
Soon, it became the epitome of PC racing games. Back then, thanks to its advanced features, it felt like sitting in the driver’s seat of an F1 car.
Today, Grand Prix 3 feel the same as playing a piece of video game history that belongs in a museum.
It has been modded through the years so if you play now, you experience 20 years of F1 racing.
Windows 10: Guide
14. RaceRoom Racing Experience
RaceRoom Racing Experience is a game that will appeal to those who want to step into the racing simulator scene but don’t want to make any financial investments just yet.
RaceRoom Racing Experience is one of the best free racing games on PC, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it is a sub-par racing experience.
RaceRoom Racing Experience is a realistic racing simulator with a hefty assortment of cars, tracks, and fierce online competition. The feedback from a steering wheel is amazing.
It’s amazing on the track with friends, but it’s not the best offline. There’s enough content to keep you engaged for months and give you a good taste of racing simulators.
When you finally decide that you want to race a Ferrari down a wet track, then investing in a racing simulator like iRacing is a good idea.
- Steam Rating: 6/10
- available on Steam
- VR ability
15. GRID Autosport
Further down on our list, we’ve got a racing game that’s a fit for newbies as well as those who’ve been in the PC racing games scene for a while now.
Yes, we’re talking about GRID Autosport, an entry-level easy to learn, hard to master game from Codemasters.
The car handling leans on the easy side, but you still need to brake in the corners and control the throttle to gain the lead.
There are tons of customization off track to keep you engaged even while you’re not racing. The game comes with a strong opponent AI that will keep you on your heels in the single-player mode.
The multiplayer offers tons of events and races that you can take part in. GRID is a great game for someone who wants to enjoy with their mates or hardcore racing sim players who just want to blow off some steam.
The following game on our collection came out almost a decade ago, but still firmly holds a top place in the list of best arcade PC racing games.
When Driver: San Francisco came out back in 2011, it was revolutionary, to say the least. The game featured a heavy 70s vibe with American muscle cars, roaring engines, squealing tyres and one of the best soundtracks in a video game of all time.
It was an open-world game so that meant your car wasn’t bound to a closed track.
One of the most revolutionary features that the game presented was the ability to switch cars. Say you are driving a 70 Mustang and just spotted a sweet Chevy Corvette 75 passing by.
Wanna hop in and drive that? Driver: San Francisco allowed you to do that. It was a brilliant idea where you could drive any car without gathering virtual money or experience to buy the car of your dreams.
Problem: Ubisoft has pulled the game off Steam.
- Games like: Grand Theft Auto
- Status: unavailable
- Petition: https://www.change.org/p/ubisoft-put-driver-san-francisco-back-on-sale
17. Split / Second
The penultimate game on our list is Split / Second.
If Michael Bay made video games instead of movies, this would be it! It’s absurd, it’s chaotic, it’s got cars blasting but above all, it’s so much fun!
It’s an open-world arcade racing game where you race through orange-filtered urban wastelands at blinding speed.
There are helicopters flying above you and if you’ve accumulated enough XP in the race, you can have a bomb drop upon your rivals from that helicopter.
- available on Steam
- Steam Rating: Very Positive
And last but not least: Let me introduce you to Burnout Paradise.
A game that not only every racing enthusiast loved, but every gamer adored.
Released originally back in 2008, no racing game made in the following ten years came close to it until it was remastered according to modern standards.
Burnout Paradise is unlike any modern racing game.
The purpose of the game is not winning a race or unlocking new cars, but rather driving around a city populated purely by cars. The experience of driving fast and crashing into other cars so violently that the game presents a replay of that amazing crash is fascinating.
Let’s not forget the epic soundtrack of the game that one can still vibe to while driving around the town.
Burnout Paradise is an insanely entertaining game tempting you to drown hundreds of hours. It is safe to say that it has maintained the top spot on the list of arcade racing games since its release.