Wondering which racing / driving game to buy right now? We've compiled the top 10 best driving games from the past few years in one helpful list. You can't go wrong with any of these winners. Keep an eye on this page for updates as new games come out!
With so many modes and diverse rewards to uncover in Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, it almost feels like 2.5 games in one package. The online component works so incredibly – and we still can’t pick a favorite between playing as a cop or racer, which speaks volumes to the game’s quality. Quite simply, there’s no better, more accessible racing game out there.
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Forza Motorsport 4 is a big step forward from Forza Motorsport 3 in almost every way. The only flaw is the nonadjustable, overaggressive career mode AI that can occasionally make the game frustrating. The pros far outweigh this single con, though, and Forza 4 is easily the new standard for racing sims.
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While Shift 2 is unlikely to woo the arcade crowd over to simulation racing, it’s remedied one of the genre’s biggest problems: a crushing obsession with technical realism that dilutes the fun of the race. Shift 2 has finally created a racing sim that gives car geeks numbers to tweak, but puts the real focus where it belongs: on the visceral joy of actually racing the car.
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The racing action is peerless, with Codemasters’ racers still clearly in a class of their own. DiRT 3 takes that essence of competition, distills it and rubs it liberally into your console’s aging circuitry, lighting it up with new excitement and adrenaline. The impeccable car handling, the cleverly designed tracks, the undulating terrain that leaves you breathlessly clinging to something resembling control – everything comes together as a whole to create a frighteningly intense experience. It’s also the best rally racing game on the market.
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Driver: San Francisco blew our minds; it’s 100% more fun than we expected and immediately re-established the franchise front and center in the marketplace. Driver: San Francisco is like a great summer blockbuster movie. It’s got tons of action, an over-the-top story that managed to keep our attention even as we rolled our eyes, painfully cheeky banter between characters we learned to like and hate – and, oh yeah, tons of action. If you’re looking for an arcade style game that’s off the beaten path, Driver: SF is your game.
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The brothers Mario clash on the racetrack. As their karts grind together, the combined mach speed threatens to tear the lip warmers from their very faces. The scene seethes with venom – never has Nintendo dredged up such ferocious rivalry. Mario Kart Wii goes back to basics. No more double-dashing, or having other characters riding shotgun. It’s just one vehicle, one rider, and one hell of a time to be had.
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In the world of combat racing, Blur is a high production example. The use of licensed vehicles may be more for the purposes of novelty than to transform gameplay, but if you’re looking for a less fantastical, less bouncy, and altogether more nail-biting take on Mario Kart, you may have just found what you’re looking for here.
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Playing GT5 feels like putting on your best suit and going for a no-expense-spared meal at The Ritz. It’s elite. It’s the uppermost class of racing game ever. And we’re not just talking about the stunning graphics or super-satisfying handling of the cars. Even the menu screens have a sheen – that extra touch of class – forcing home the fact that this is no budget project by some random garage developer.
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ModNation Racers is far more than a kart game – it’s the new friendly face of DIY gaming. The creation tools are accessible and the editing mechanics comfortably familiar – more so than any other “make your own” style game on PS3. It even caters to classic, often overlooked split-screen racing alongside conventional 12-player online play. It’s the only kart racer you’ll ever need, and although it’s not the best racing experience out there, it’s certainly the most fun.
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F1 2011 is an absolute triumph on the track. The new KERS and DRS systems give you welcome extra tactical ammunition and the new improved handling is beautifully weighted. Every corner feels like a challenge to be won, and with 19 tracks to race on, that makes for an almighty swath of quality content. Get it, love it – and give each track the time and attention it deserves. It'll love you right back.
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