Racecar driving is an exhilarating experience whether you’re behind the wheel or holding the controller. Car games have gotten really good at realism, including the nuances of race tracks and environments. The cars themselves take into consideration weight distribution, steering feel, and brake performance.
Racing video games aren't without their perks too. Last year a 23-year-old professional iRacing GT3 game player beat an ex-Formula 1 driver on a one-on-one track race. So maybe the skills you learn in-game will come in handy in-real-life. This post takes a look at the top realistic racing games on consoles.
10 Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 is an open-world racing video game made by Playground Games and published by Microsoft Studios. Forza takes realism to heart. The game is known for having realistic tracks, seasonal changes, and even animals.
How did they make the game feel so real? Developers captured OEM data from hundreds of actual cars and visited tracks all over the world. They also tested some of the cars in real life vs the in-game experience to finetune the experience. From Ken Block's Hoonican Mustang, Rimac C_Two electric car and even LEGO cars, there’s an insane number of ways to release your inner speed demon Forza Horizon 4.
9 Ride 3
Ride 3 is a motorcycle racing video game developed by Milestone srl and released on Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Milestone srl is known for developing racing games, including World Rally Championship, MotoGP and SuperBike World Championship SBK. Ride 3 has been heralded as the Forza and Gran Turismo for motorcycle enthusiasts.
The game features over 230 motorcycles and 30 race tracks. Developers used drone-scanning and photogrammetric technology to map the world-famous roads and race tracks. If motorcycle racing isn't your thing, it's an opportunity to customize your favorite bike and take it on a relaxing spin on an open country road.
8 Project Cars 2
Project Cars 2 is a motorsport racing simulator video game made by Slightly Mad Studios and published by Playstation 4 and Xbox One. The game includes 140 track layouts, over 50 locations, and 189 cars to select from.
What makes this game an ultra-realistic racing game adapts based on situational changes. Slightly Mad Studios developed a system called LiveTrack 3.0 which changes the track conditions based on organic environmental conditions like rain and track use. For example, the rain will cause hydroplaning and the surface of the track will get slippery rubber build up over time in heavily-trafficked areas. So, like in a real race car, you need to be able to adjust your skills based on changing situations. Ready to test your skills?
7 F1 2019
F1 2019 is a racing game based on the Formula One and Formula 2 Championships. The latest is the eleventh installment and according to the development team at Codemasters, it took 2 years and is their most ambitious release in history.
This game provides a realistic look at what it’s like being a career F1 racer. In career mode, you’ll get to select which Formula 2 team you want to join, will have a driver calendar like a real job, and how well you do, will impact what kind of contract you will get offered for graduating to Formula 1. Like real F1 racing, drivers are even able to get sponsorships, so expect to see some interesting car decals.
6 Truck Racing Championship
Trucking Racing Championship is a video game simulator of the European Trucking Racing Championships (ETRC) made by Bigben Interactive for PlayStation 4. Truck racing is a famous sport in Europe and the ETRC has been going on for over 30 years. The organizers refer to the sport as the biggest and most imposing racing series in the world.
There have been trucking games in the past, with this being the first realistic truck racing game based on the real sport. You have to consider the weight of the truck when cornering, monitor tire wear and make sure your brakes don't overheat.
5 Gran Turismo 6
Gran Turismo 6 is a racing video game developed by Polyphony Digital and published on the Playstation platform. It was the first-ever video game to have officially certified content by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, which is the governing body of motorsports worldwide.
According to the developers, Gran Turismo games are designed specifically to emulate the appearance and performance of their in-game vehicles. Proof they've done a great job is that Gran Turismo is the world's most popular realistic racing game of all time.
4 Assetto Corsa
Assetto Corsa is a sim racing game developer by Kunos Simulazioni for Playstation 4 and Xbox One. According to the developer, it was designed to emphasize realistic racing experience and support customization and modability. To accomplish this the development team created renders of international race circuits using surveying and laser-scanning technologies. They also had hands-on experience with the cars, as their head office is located on Vallelunga Circuit in Italy.
According to many gamers, Assetto Corsa has the most realistic car physics, specifically weight transfer of the chassis, loss, and gain of the grip of the tires.
3 DiRT Rally
DiRT Rally is a racing video game focused on rallying developed by Codemasters and published on Playstation 4 and Windows. It has been coined the best rallying game of all time by fans and media alike.
That said, this isn't a button-masher friendly game like Mario Kart. It's known for being extremely difficult, not beginner-friendly and punishing. For example, depending on the severity of a crash, your radiator may very well overheat and tires could burst. It is a simulation after all.
2 Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure video game series created by David Jones and Mike Daiily and released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game consists of a series of challenges, many of which are driving-related.
The sheer vastness of vehicle types outnumbers every other race-specific game. You can purchase or commandeer an R1 look-a-like called the 9F Cabrio, to a Motorcycle, ambulance, tow truck, aircraft, boat, and even bicycle.
How is this a realistic racing game? If your goal is to live a life of crime (not recommended, btw), this is the racing game for you. You'll need to realistically race job to job which is a challenge in itself, all the while running from the police.
1 Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator is a flight simulator program made by Microsoft. It's one of the longest-running and most known flight simulator programs on the market. The game has only been available on PC, however, it was recently announced it will be available for Xbox in early 2020.
What many people don't know is the game is more than just a simulator. It has a series of race challenges, like fighting fires and acrobatics. The latest version is also the most realistic version of the game yet. Developers used Azure and satellite data to create a realistic view of the world to fly in. Hopefully, you don't have a fear of heights.