Best racing games 2024: edge of your seat driving experiences

A red sports car with a yellow stripe down its middle. The number 24 sits on it as a black and white decal.
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studio)

The best racing games you can play in 2024 are found across all major consoles and PC. Even beyond our list of highly recommended titles below, there's plenty to love about the racing genre at present. The sim racing scene is massive, and we're seeing tons of quality arcade-style racers from indie developers.

What’s more, racing games are great to play on your own and improve your speed and performance, but they’re also a fantastic way to have fun with friends – whether you’re in the same room or playing together online.

Although in the early days a blob of 8-bit pixels that vaguely resembled a Ferrari counted as realism, fast-forward to the present day and we’re spoiled for choice in how we get our high-speed kicks. With more detailed physics than ever, hyper-realistic graphics, and higher levels of immersion (thanks, in part, to the rise of VR). These are all features you’ll find when you play the top titles right now. But don’t worry, if you prefer your racing to be more arcade-y and over-the-top, there's plenty out there for you too.

Best racing games in 2024

A sky blue sports car with an orange stripe down its center. The number 2 is embossed onto the bonnet in a black and white decal style.

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Why we love it

If you're playing on PlayStation, Gran Turismo 7 is your best choice, especially if you lean more toward simulation-driving. While it's not as content-rich as some of the other entries on this list, the driving is absolutely excellent. There's two-player splitscreen as well, which is a nice touch.

Gran Turismo 7 is an excellent upgrade over the PS4's Gran Turismo Sport, packing loads of content, cars, and modes for sim racing fans to dig their driving mitts into. The game offers a sublime driving experience offline, with hundreds of cars and tons of tracks and layouts both real and fictional. Gran Turismo 7's solo experience makes it a contender for one of the best single player games out there, but also one of the best PS5 games full stop.

Overall, it's easy to pour tens, if not hundreds, of hours into Gran Turismo 7 thanks to its moreish progression. A recent update also greatly improved the game's physics model, meaning cars feel better to drive than ever.

An orange Lamborghini speeds past other racers on a dusty road

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studio)
Why we love it

Forza Horizon 5 takes the series to Mexico, one of the series' most biodiverse locales yet. There's heaps of races to take on, as you drive from dense rainforests to smouldering volcanos. Online features allow you to create your own events, and race against friends and randoms alike. A truly gorgeous racer, that's also on Game Pass.

The fifth entry in Playground Games' open-world racing series, Forza Horizon 5 takes its festival to Mexico's plains, deserts, jungles, and vibrant towns. It's an inspired and varied setting, carving an identity for itself next to the Australian beaches and outback of Forza Horizon 3 and the rolling British countryside and historical towns featured in Forza Horizon 4.

Forza Horizon 5 is one of the best Xbox Game Pass games available to download, offering buckets of compelling single-player content, and a rewards system that practically showers you with all kinds of vehicles. While much more generous than the rewards of Gran Turismo 7, it's a bit of a double-edged sword. The game's Wheelspin system rewards cars at such a high frequency that you'll never get around to racing in all of them.

Mario races Bowser in a tropical setting

(Image credit: Nintendo)

5. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The best Nintendo Switch racing game
Why we love it

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was already a fantastic kart racer, but after recent updates, it's gotten even better. In terms of variety of tracks, and in post launch support, this might just be the apex of the series.

In itself a port of Mario Kart 8 on the previous-generation Wii U, this game doesn't just stick a new name on an old game and knock off for lunch. New characters, tweaked graphics enabling 1080p/60fps output while the Nintendo Switch is docked, and a reworked Battle Mode all contribute to this being a massive critical and commercial success and one of the very best Nintendo Switch games you can buy.

A whopping six years on from release, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still receiving new content via the Booster Course Pass. By the end of its run, 48 new and remixed tracks have been added, effectively doubling the amount of circuits in the game.

A silver, red and black Porsche races down a track with trees in the background

(Image credit: iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations)

4. iRacing

The best simulation racing game on PC
Why we love it

If online racing is your bag, you can't really get better than iRacing. It's a game that's been going since 2008, and one that's received heaps of updates ever since. If you're after variety, iRacing really does have it all, from NASCAR, to Aussie Supercars, and everything in between.

For PC-exclusive sim racing games, there's still no real competition to iRacing's goliath. The monthly subscription and additional content costs mean it's far from the cheapest racing game on the market, but in this case, you absolutely pay for what you get.

There's excellent online play with solid matchmaking, laser-scanned real-world racetracks, and the most realistic handling model possible – so much so that real race drivers use this sim to learn tracks, practice new cars and handling setups, or just to unwind between races. 

The game has been supported with consistent updates and new content, and despite being ten years old this year, there's still nothing that comes close to the most true-to-life sim racing experience in gaming.

A Lego racer in a sports car in Lego 2K Drive

(Image credit: Visual Concepts / 2K)
The best racing game for kids
Why we love it

Lego 2K Drive is a tectonic shift for the kart racing genre, Featuring tight driving controls, energetic races, and an expansive open world, it speeds into pole position past its Mascot-dominated contemporaries.

Lego 2K Drive was one of 2023's surprise hits. Coming almost out of nowhere, this spiritual successor to the Lego Racers series hits all the right notes. With an open-world format clearly inspired by Forza Horizon (which in turn has had Lego-themed DLC campaigns), it's easy to get lost for hours exploring each hub and ticking off side objectives.

Of course, it wouldn't really be a Lego game without a degree of customizability. Lego 2K Drive delivers with one of the most robust vehicle builders we've ever seen. Players are able to build intricate vehicles from scratch or follow preset instructions for a helping hand while building street cars, offroad monsters, and speedy boats.

A close up of a racer in a purple and yellow car

(Image credit: EA Sports)
Why we love it

There’s a lot packed into F1 23 for fans of the motorsport, as well as more casual sim racing fans. Last year’s release brought back the surprisingly compelling Braking Point campaign alongside immersive, highly customizable career modes full of decision-making and driver and team development.

F1 23 is a strong return to form for Codemasters' long-running official racing sim franchise. The Braking Point campaign returns after a year off, and provides newcomers with an excellent hands-on tutorial while also serving a decently compelling narrative.

While Career mode options remain largely the same, it's added the all-new Las Vegas and Qatar tracks, as well as updates for all racing teams and their drivers. It's the most up-to-date F1 experience you can get on console and PC right now.

While some minor things like stilted commentary are a bit irksome, there's much on offer for racing game fans, and plenty to make it well worth any F1 fan's time and money.

A close up of an orange car's back wheels

(Image credit: Microsoft)
Why we love it

Forza Motorsport is an exquisite racer that sits somewhere between arcade fun and simulation gameplay. It's available on Game Pass, and thanks to its rewarding loop systems, it's a great choice for new players looking for something a bit more involved in the racing space.

Forza Motorsports comeback is an impressive one after its divisive seventh entry and a welcome return to the sim-lite formula after back-to-back entries in the Horizon sub-series. With highly accessible racing and gorgeous visuals and lighting, it’s a fantastic Xbox exclusive.

You'll need to head online to get the most out of Forza Motorsport, and once you do, you'll be greeted with a rewarding and challenging loop to work through. If you're a fan of arcade racers, but want something a little bit more involved, with realistic car movement and physics, you really can't go wrong here.

The best racing games - FAQ

What's the best racing game out now?

At present, the best racing game available on current-gen machines can be split three ways. And on each console, there's something for everyone. Gran Turismo 7 presents sim racing excellence on PS5. Forza Horizon 5 blends a nice mix of arcade-style racing and exploration on Xbox Series X|S. Lastly, the ever-popular Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is perfect for endless multiplayer fun on Nintendo Switch.

What upcoming racing games are the ones to watch?

F1 24 is coming out very soon indeed. You'll be able to play it on May 31, 2024.

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Jake Green

Jake is a freelance writer who currently works regularly with TRG. Hailing from the overcast shores of Brighton in the United Kingdom, Jake can be found covering everything from features to guides content around the latest game releases. As seen on NME.com, Eurogamer.net, and VG247.com, Jake specializes in breaking games down into approachable pieces for guides, and providing SEO advice to websites looking to expand their audiences.