The eighth generation of gaming has provided more choices for adrenaline seekers than any previous generation before it. In a racing game, whether it’s a futuristic speed-off or simply a race on foot, there’s no lack of ways to make yourself suddenly start sweating when it’s neck-and-neck on the last lap, as some of the greatest PS4 racing games are renowned for doing.
Racing games have long been a part of the PlayStation family’s line-up, with Ridge Racer and Gran Turismo being two of the most well-known franchises in the genre’s history, respectively.
While such brands have either been inactive for a long time or aren’t having the best of times (the PS4 only receiving a single, non-traditional GT game, for example), it’s been a fantastic chance for other franchises to come in and take advantage of the situation.
In case you possess a PlayStation 4 or a PlayStation 4 Pro and are searching for a racing game, you’ve arrived at the correct location.
A diverse range of racing games, ranging from realistic racing simulations to story-driven, open-world driving experiences, are available for the PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 4 is jam-packed with some of the finest racing games the industry has to offer.
The most Excellent open-world race games
Forza Horizon 4
The Forza Horizon series of racing games began as a spin-off from the Forza Motorsport circuit-racing series, but it has now grown into the primary attraction: a gorgeous, uplifting series of racing games for all ages set over massive, real-world-inspired landscapes. Playground Games’ Horizon 4 – which appears on our lists of the best Game Pass games and the best Xbox Series X/S games – brings its formula to the United Kingdom,
The home of developer Playground Games, in a loving package that includes the sprawling campaign, knockabout multiplayer, delectable car collection, and festival good vibes that we have come to expect from Horizon games.
A completely permanent multiplayer map, as well as a weekly calendar of new events, are both included in this edition and serve as a preview of what’s to come in future editions. To put it another way, it’s the ultimate contemporary racing game.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
When you consider how shortly after Criterion took over the series’ reins, it’s easy to forget that, for a small period of time, the Need for Speed games offered up some of the most enjoyable driving experiences available. With its gritty fighting and wide-open highways, Need for Speed:
Hot Pursuit dug into the core of what makes the series great, and this remasters only confirms the sense that this was the series’ pinnacle experience. We’re all waiting with bated breath for Criterion to return to the helm for another term.
Burnout Paradise Remastered
The legendary arcade racing series Burnout was created by Criterion before it took over the Need for Speed franchise. Burnout took the elegant boosting and drifting of 90s classics such as Ridge Racer and Daytona and reframed them for the 2000s as a grimy contact sport – complete with screen shake, sideswipes, and twisted metal.
Burnout Paradise, released in 2008, was an even greater pioneer, because of its open-world terrain and fully open gameplay architecture. It’s hardly strange that a game that was so daringly avant-garde as this one has aged so nicely, as it does in this beautiful remake.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Getting together with some pals and playing any Mario Kart game, dating back to the 1992 Super Nintendo original, is a certain way to ensure a good time. Every game in the series has polished arcade control, tricky courses, a charming cast of characters, and a capricious nasty streak that can flip any race completely upside down.
It’s no surprise that these are the best-selling racing games of all time. It’s possible that the most recent Mario Kart, Mario Kart 8 (the Deluxe version of which is included in our list of the best Switch games), is the best Mario Kart since the very first, thanks to excellent local and online multiplayer, a rewarding solo mode, extensive customization, luscious visuals, and a banging live-band soundtrack.
Art of Rally
Unlike the plethora of vintage racers on the market that play like cover copies of previous classics, Art of Rally is something a little more subtle and unique than that.
Through the use of unauthorized, toy-like vehicle designs, it pays homage to the golden period of rallying, as well as to a bygone era of racing games such as Micro Machines, which has a unique top-down viewpoint.
It is, without a doubt, an aesthetic choice, and a very fashionable one at that. However, what makes the game so enjoyable is the unexpectedly detailed handling model, which results in a more accurate reproduction of the sport than you could anticipate. Originally released on PC, the game is now accessible on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
It pays homage to the original Destruction Derby as well as the widely remembered Flatout in this fantastic banger-racer, which, like Art of Rally, has numerous famous and illegal vehicles (shh, don’t tell the makers).
That shouldn’t come as a surprise since it was created by Bugbear, the original Flatout studio. Even though it’s a basic concept, it has everything you could want: vintage vehicles with heavy handling that lurch and crash into each other’s bodywork realistically, all made possible by an excellent simulation engine. Simple joys are the best.
In gaming, TrackMania is one of those weird little corners that has nearly become its genre: it is a brutally fast and difficult stunt-driving time-trial game with greatly exaggerated physics that allows for unimaginable feats of what can only be described as “airborne vehicle ballet.”
While the PC games have a great and devoted community, their structure and revenue structures are bewilderingly finicky, and last year’s remake, simply titled TrackMania, is no exception.
Instead, let us refer you to this excellent 2016 primer in all things Trackmania, which was originally developed for consoles but is now accessible for PC. Although it’s much more approachable, it doesn’t sacrifice any of the series’ famous compulsive edge, which is defined by “just one more restart.”
Even though the PS3 and Vita entries remastered here (HD, Fury, and 2048) aren’t quite up to the blistering standards of the original PlayStation racing games from the mid-90s, this lavish package is currently the best way to play the iconic, futuristic PlayStation racing series – the original ultra-fast anti-gravity racer, and still the best, regardless of how good the original PlayStation racing games were.
Although they haven’t changed much in terms of their slickness and speed, they have managed to maintain the clean and cool sci-fi look that has always set the series apart from its more brazen rivals.
The Crew 2
This game includes aircraft, motorbikes, monster trucks, and even boats, all of which may be used in various modes of action. In this persistent open-world game, you will race through a scaled-down version of the United States, which will provide you with a range of diverse landscapes, settings, and courses to race on.
This multiplayer-focused game, which is intended to be more of an online community-building experience, includes the option to play with up to seven people in competitive multiplayer mode.
There’s also a Demolition Derby mode, where you can rip apart completely destructible cars in single, co-op, or PvP battlegrounds to see who comes out on top. There are rated leagues for PvP events, so you can know where you stand about your peers.
In comparison to other racing simulator games like Gran Turismo Sport, The Crew 2 does not provide the same level of immersion, since it focuses more on an open-world experience rather than bouncing from track to circuit and participating in events.
Heat 4 of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
If you’re a fan of NASCAR, you’ll want to get your hands on NASCAR Heat 4. The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, and the Xtreme Dirt Tour are all represented in the series’ newest installment, which serves as the official video game of the NASCAR organization.
In all, you’ll be able to play against over 150 genuine NASCAR teams and drivers over 38 different racecourses.
Among the new features in NASCAR Heat 4 are the course map, unlocked paint schemes, additional control choices, an improved career mode, a more competitive AI, and upgrades to the visuals and sound. Aside from that, it is the only method to qualify for the NASCAR Heat Pro League, where you may have the opportunity to compete for a genuine NASCAR racing team by participating in esports.
It is designed to offer the ultimate off-road experience. In four distinct disciplines—Cross Country, Wild Rush, Speed Cross, and Stadium Circuit—as well as offline and online game modes, you may test your mettle against the clock.
Cross Country is a kind of racing where you participate in checkpoint races across large regions with a variety of layouts, each with its own beautiful and varied environment.
In Wild Rush, you participate in lap races across some of the most remote areas on the planet. Unusual settings with natural barriers will put your off-road racing skills to the test, as you face mountain slopes, race through paradise islands, or even contend with massive piles of trash and quarry rocks, among other challenges.
Gravel also includes real-world courses that span Europe and North America in the form of Speed Cross. Finally, Stadium Circuit has both actual and fictitious stadiums that are jam-packed with jumps, allowing you to do some incredible feats.
An unconventional game for an unconventional list, Sprint Vector is a PSVR racing game with the action taking place on foot. Anyone with bad memories of GTA V’s Mary-Ann may instantly be put off by the concept, but don’t worry: Sprint Vector is unlike anything you’re likely to have played before.
An arcade racer where your arms are your “weapons”, Sprint Vector is not a game for the lethargic. You need to constantly be using your upper body to swing across courses, avoid traps, and, most importantly, lose a few pounds each time you play. Sprint Vector will make you swole if you can handle it, with its swell community meaning that this is one of the PS4’s most underrated but also beloved racing games.
Despite the fact that Sony was not actively promoting the genre, the PlayStation 4 is home to some of the greatest racing games ever created, all of which are available for you to set a new track record on. Racer games cover a wider range of styles and genres than many people realize, so we’ve included a little bit of everything to help you discover a game that fits your level of skill.