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5 Best Racing Games for a PC (2024 Edition)

Silhouette of race car driver celebrating the win in a race against bright stadium lights. 100 FPS slow motion shot

5 Best Racing Games for a PC (2024 Edition)

Key Points

  • Forza Horizon 5 is one of the best racing games for PC with a large open-world map and over 700 licensed vehicles.
  • Assetto Corsa is a realistic simulation racing game with highly detailed tracks and extensive car customization options.
  • DiRT Rally 2.0 is a rallycross-focused racing game with improved graphics, physics, and weather system.
  • The Crew 2 is an open-world racing game that allows players to switch between different vehicles on the fly, offering a unique twist to the genre.
  • CarX Drift Racing Online is an online game focused on drift racing, with impressive physics and customization options.

If you’re looking to hit the track on consoles or mobiles, there are countless options to choose from. The selection for computers is somewhat sparse, but there are some memorable titles. The best racing games for PC allow users to race in different environments using a mix of modern and vintage vehicles. We found five games we feel stand out among the rest, starting with a popular franchise that’s won multiple awards.

RankGameBest Feature
#1Forza Horizon 5There are more than 700 licensed vehicles.
#2Assetto CorsoYou can make extensive car adjustments. 
#3DiRT Rally 2.0It has improved physics and environments.
#4The Crew 2It offers the ability to switch between vehicles in seconds.
#5CarX Drift Racing OnlineThe game has tuning and bodywork adjustments.

Forza Horizon 5

best racing games on PC
Forza 5 has over 700 licensed vehicles.

If you play racing games, you’ve heard of Forza. This racing game has been around since 2005, and Forza Horizon 5 is the fifth game in the Horizon series. It’s also one of the best racing games on PC and a game that looks amazing on high-end rigs.

Forza 5 makes the jump to Mexico, where you’ll experience the largest open world map from the company to date. The map is around 50% larger than the Great Britain map, and the number of vehicles is staggering. Forza 5 has more than 700 licensed vehicles. There are classics like a 1984 Ferrari GTO and 1970 Camaro Z28 alongside Ford Escorts and McLarens.

There’s no shortage of content in Forza 5 and plenty of things you can tweak under the hood. Customization is deep, and there’s a solid storyline along with several game modes. Horizon Arcade is a new addition to the series with an array of multiplayer mini-games. The game also has a new weather system that takes full advantage of Mexico’s various biomes.

Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios knocked it out of the park with Forza 5. The game has set records, won multiple awards, and has been well-received on the Xbox and PC. It’s a great-looking game, but with the right gaming rig, the visuals are truly breathtaking. You can pick up Forza 5 and additional content for the game on Steam.

ProsCons
It has an immersive, open-world experience in Mexico.The instant replay system could be better.
There are more than 700 licensed vehicles.The storyline can feel a bit weak.
It has top-tier graphics and audio. 
There is a great amount of depth and replay value. 

Assetto Corsa

best racing games PC
Assetto Corsa is a realistic simulation racing game.

If you’re new to the world of racing games on PC, you may not be familiar with Assetto Corsa. Originally released in 2014 on computers, this racing game is one of the older titles on our list. It’s a simulation racing game, so while there’s no arcade action, you can expect an incredibly realistic experience from this title.

The tracks in Assetto Corsa are laser-scanned and highly detailed, whether it’s the Trento-Bondone Hill Climb or Laguna Seca. Several tracks feature multiple layouts, and it’s the type of racing game designed for racing-based peripherals. It also supports VR on various headsets, from the Valve Index to the Meta Quest.

Like to adjust cars? You’ll love Assetto Corsa, considering you can tweak everything from gear ratios to wing height and brake power. It’s overwhelming in a good way, and the vehicle roster is also impressive. More than a dozen supercars are in the game alongside fast production cars from big names like Audi, Mazda, and Maserati.

As an older game, AC often gets overlooked, which is a mistake. If you’re wondering if Assetto Corsa is still worth buying, the answer is a resounding yes if you love racing “simulation” games. Kunos Simulazioni created a fantastic game, and it’s only gotten better with time with updates and mods from the community.

ProsCons
It is a highly realistic racing sim.The game is starting to show its age.
There are laser-scanned tracks.Compared to other games, it’s lacking in the number of available modes.
The updates and active modding community have kept the game fresh. 
It has a range of customization options. 

DiRT Rally 2.0

best racing games on PC
Rallycross fans will love the off-road circuits in DiRT Rally 2.0.

Racing games allow players to speed across exotic locations, drag race, and drift. Sometimes, it’s fun to go off-road. If you appreciate a racing game with grit and love rallycross, DiRT Rally 2.0 should be high on your list.

DiRT Rally 2.0 builds on the framework of the original. The graphics are improved, there are more locations, and the physics are better. There’s also a revamped weather system, which significantly impacts performance in poor conditions. As the track degrades, so will your performance behind the wheel.

There’s a lot to keep gamers busy in DiRT 2.0, from career mode to tournaments. While some features from the previous edition didn’t make the jump, there are a variety of locations to take on and plenty of vehicles. Cars range from the 60s to the early 2000s. There are eight official circuits from FIA and a considerable amount of DLC.

While you won’t find the same depth in DiRT Rally 2.0 as other games on our list, it’s the best choice for rallycross fans, in our opinion. That could change, however, as the new WRC game from EA has recently debuted.

ProsCons
There are fantastic-looking courses in a variety of locations.This style of racing won’t be for everyone.
It has solid physics and realistic effects.It has a vanilla career mode.
There’s an expanded lineup over the previous games. 
It has a new weather system. 

The Crew 2

best racing games on PC
You can race cars, boats, and planes in The Crew 2.

Open-world racing games are nothing new, but Ubisoft Ivory Tower brought something unique to the table with The Crew 2. The Crew 2 is one of the best racing games for PC and one that doesn’t stick to four-wheeled vehicles.

If you’ve ever wanted to switch from flying an airplane to driving an Acura NSX, you’ll love The Crew 2. This racing game allows users to switch between vehicles on the fly, which sets it apart from other games in this niche. Controls are excellent and responsive regardless of the vehicle, including boats. There are around a dozen of them in the game and over 250 vehicles in all.

While The Crew 2 isn’t on par with games like Forza graphically, the arcade-style racing more than makes up for it. There are four types of racing, unique environments, and the updated home spaces are a nice touch. The mission system has been vastly improved as well, along with the AI. While you can still roll solo, The Crew is geared towards online play.

The Crew 2 is an interesting alternative to traditional racing games. The ability to switch between different vehicle types instantly brings a unique twist to the game, and there’s plenty of content to keep you busy. If you like what you see with this game, there’s a sequel called The Crew Motorfest set in Hawaii.

ProsCons
It’s an arcade-style racer with cars, planes, and boats.   The graphics feel outdated.
The ability to quickly switch between vehicles is a blast.There is a lack of depth for people who play solo.
The large map has loads of content. 
There are more than 200 vehicles in the game. 

CarX Drift Racing Online

best racing games on PC
CarX Drift offers numerous customization options and a variety of upgrades.

There are many forms of racing, and drifting is one of the more unique methods to make your way around a track. We’ve seen several solid racing games toy with the concept, but CarX technologies took things a step further with CarX Drift Racing Online.

As the name implies, CarX Drift Racing is an online game based on drift racing. The cars feel like they rolled right out of Tokyo Drift, and the physics are impressive. You certainly feel like you’re sliding around the track, whether in standard or VR mode. While you’re not going to find licensed cars in this game, there are a variety of upgrades.

You can tune your car up in the garage through mods that add turbo systems or improve drift performance. Adjusting the bodywork and paint is just as much fun as you’d expect. While you can go at it alone, the game is geared for online fun and has a simple premise. Race to earn, unlock new tricks, and spend your hard-earned loot to pick up new vehicles and upgrades.

CarX Drift doesn’t have the same feel as something like Forza, but it’s not designed that way. It’s on the opposite end of the racing spectrum but just as much fun if you love the idea of sliding through turns. The base edition is affordable, but the Deluxe and Complete bundles provide more bang for your buck. It’s also the only game on our list that has a proper edition for Android and iOS.

ProsCons
It’s arguably the best drifting game around.It’s not a traditional racing game by any stretch.
There are top-notch customization options.Single-player modes feel shallow.
The tuning is excellent. 
It’s easy to pick up and play. 

More of the Best Racing Games for PC

While the five games we chose cover a lot of ground for racers, more great racing games are available for PC. One comes from the long-running NFS franchise, with Need for Speed Heat, a popular game on a number of platforms.

The final NFS title from Ghost Games takes place in Palm City, a fictional area that’s a dead ringer for Miami. It’s a beautiful game with more than 120 cars from top brands, even if it doesn’t quite measure up to previous games in the franchise. Are you looking for an alternative to Forza? Automobilista 2 may scratch that itch.

This game from Reiza Studios puts a focus on realism while bringing classic cars from motorsports to the forefront. It supports VR headsets and has a demo version on Steam that allows you to try before you buy. Prefer a game with a unique sense of style? Then you’ll want to check out Inertial Drift and its’ twin-stick control scheme.

Games like Retrowave provide a more relaxing experience in some very interesting settings. It’s the perfect game for fans of the 80s, and it has a soundtrack that matches the graphics. Some of the best racing games for PC don’t take themselves too seriously. Toybox Turbos is a great example and another game from the team at Codemasters.

This miniaturized racing game brings back thoughts of micromachines. There are six game modes and more than 30 vehicles to choose from as you take on pint-sized circuits. Hot Wheels is also scheduled to debut a new racing game on PC and consoles soon with Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged.

The Wrap-Up

You don’t have to wear out a set of tires or waste gas to get behind the wheel with racing games on computers. The best racing games for PC players allow you to hit the track without ever setting foot outdoors, and our list provides something for everyone, whether you like to drift or drag race. If you’re looking for great racing games on other platforms, check out our list of the best racing games of all-time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Forza 5 free to play on Steam?

There was a brief trial period for Forza 5 on Steam, but the game has never been completely free.

Do you need a gaming PC to play racing games?

You don’t need a high-end computer to play all racing games, but your system could struggle with some titles. Check the system requirements of any game you want to play compared to your PC.

Can you play racing games on the Steam Deck?

Yes, a number of racing games are available on the Steam Deck, but you’ll want to check compatibility beforehand.

How does Forza 5 run on Steam?

That all depends on your computer’s specifications. It plays just as well on a PC as on consoles, but your PC processing power and GPU impact performance across the board.

Will a steering wheel controller work with all racing games?

While a popular accessory, steering wheel controllers and pedal systems aren’t compatible with all PC racing games.

Can you play Gran Turismo on PC?

No, it’s unavailable for PC unless you attempt to play it with an emulator.

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