The racing game genre has been around almost as long as there have been video games and machines to play them on. And with very good reason. What better way to experience driving fast without the risk of a big crash or a speeding ticket? 

While in the early days a blob of 8-bit pixels that vaguely resembled a Ferrari counted as realism, in the current generation we are spoiled for choice in how we get our high-speed kicks. 

Hyper-realistic graphics, more detailed physics than ever and higher levels of immersion – aided by the rise of VR – are all features of the top titles right now. And for those who prefer their racing to be more arcadey and over-the-top, there’s plenty out there for you too. 

It’s fair to say that we’ve come a long way since the days of Pole Position and Super Hang-On; take it from me, racing gamers have rarely had it this good. 

Let’s run down the the best racing games from each platform, as well as take a look at the other high-profile contenders currently sat on the starting grid. 

Best PS4 racing game: Gran Turismo Sport

This might be a surprising choice given the very valid criticism GT Sport received on launch for lacking content – initially it didn’t even have a true single-player campaign like previous Gran Turismo titles. 

But the series’ trademark focus on stunning graphics and realistic-feeling handling was evident right from the get-go, and over time monthly patches have beefed up the single player with new cars, tracks and GT League championships – all for the princely sum of free. 

It’s now not only a much stronger value proposition, but one of the best sim racing experiences out there – and certainly the best PS4-exclusive. 

A heavy esports focus means the online modes are very well structured and run smoothly, the single-player campaign now has a decent amount of longevity, and the game nails what every Gran Turismo game has gotten right; the sheer joy of driving.  

Best Xbox One racing game: Forza Horizon 4

Best Xbox One racing game: Forza Horizon 4

Recently reviewed on this very site, the Forza Horizon series has always trended more towards arcade thrills than Gran Turismo – and indeed the Forza Motorsport series it spun off from. 

And the fourth installment is the absolute apex of this vision of free-roaming open-world fun in fast cars. The rural British setting provides a nice variety of roads, hills, scenery and countryside to hoon around and explore in, and the game both looks and plays absolutely beautifully. 

It’s a big toybox with a vast array of cars, missions and secrets to plough through, and much like games like Test Drive Unlimited and Burnout Paradise, it’s a fabulously immersive experience that constantly finds new ways to put a big smile on your face.  



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