When you think of racing games you probably think about sim racers spending hours trying to improve their lap times by half a second. That may be your idea of fun, but if it sounds more boring than James May explaining the meaning of torque, then this story is for you.
We’ve gathered 5 of our favourite video games that are all about having fun with friends, building a cool-looking ride, and generally just doing the things you wish you could do in real life.
Wreckfest is one of the most fun car games to release in recent years and can be enjoyed no matter how bad you are at gaming. This is more about smashing your opponents out of the way than clean racing or lap times.
You’ll find a varied campaign mode that never feels boring thanks to the wide variety of vehicles on offer. One race you could be in a Volvo wagon lookalike and the next you’re on a lawnmower trying to avoid an army of school buses. There’s also online multiplayer, and what is probably the most fun mode of all, demolition derby. Here you’ll be placed in an arena with 23 opponents and the ultimate goal is to be the last car standing.
You can jump into the chaotic world of Wreckfest now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC.
2. Forza Horizon 5
Forza is the racing game equivalent of a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s the Horizon spinoff series that we want to talk about. Rather than set race tracks, Horizon gives you a huge open world to explore and the freedom to do almost anything you want in it.
The latest game’s Mexico-inspired map is littered with hundreds of activities that involve everything from smashing piñatas with friends to jumping from the top of volcanoes, and everything in between. But if none of these events are right for you, you can simply cruise into the sunset while listening to your favorite tunes.
Forza Horizon 5 is available now and you can get behind the wheel on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, or Windows PC.
3. Hot Wheels Unleashed
I bet everyone reading this has owned at least one Hot Wheels car in their life. Those little 1:64 scale models and the iconic orange tracks have become one of the most recognizable toys ever made. Now you can relive those childhood memories in the digital world with this fun new arcade racer.
Hot Wheels Unleashed will put you in control of true-to-life model cars on tracks featuring all the crazy things you’d expect, like jumps, fire, and the classic loop the loop. The thing that sets this game apart though is the custom track builder. This lets you design and build your very own circuits which you can then race on with 2-player local split-screen, or up to 12 people online.
You can unleash your inner child and start racing today on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC.
4. Rocket League
Now we may be stretching the definition of a racing game with this one, but it features rocket-propelled cars and giant footballs, so I think we’ll get away with it. Rocket League is best described as a car football game where the cars can jump and drive on walls, which isn’t quite as crazy as it sounds.
This game is one that needs to be played with friends to get the most out of it. Whether you decide to gather around the TV in 4 player split-screen, or connect with pals online, you’ll be having such a great time that you won’t even mind if you lose by double digits like I usually do. And the best part is that Rocket League is free to play, that is until you inevitably buy some cool car mods from the seemingly endless list of in-game purchases.
Rocket League is available across all modern consoles and PCs so we’ll be sure to see you on the pitch soon.
5. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario must be considered gaming royalty at this point, having appeared on our screens more than 30 years ago and still going strong today. We’ve probably all played Mario Kart at some point, but this latest release on the Nintendo Switch is one of the few racing games that is seemingly universally loved by everyone.
I’m not sure if it’s the cast of iconic characters, or the well-designed tracks and weapons that keep you wondering what’s going to happen next, but Mario Kart can bring the family together in a way not many other games can.
So those are 5 racing games that can be enjoyed by anyone, even if you don’t usually like racing games. Make sure to check them out and let us know your favourite – just don’t blame us if you get addicted.