The best PS4 racing games span numerous sub-genres, from simulation and arcade to cart racers and extreme sports. Whether you’re a car enthusiast who wants to tinker with the smallest of details to perfect your style of racing or you simply want to drive fast (and maybe get into some exciting crashes), there’s a wide range of racing games on PS4 that are well worth checking out. While all of the racing games on this list are for PS4, you can play them on PS5 too thanks to backwards compatibility. Note that our picks for the best PS4 racing games are listed in alphabetical order, not ranked.
For more PlayStation game suggestions, make sure to take a look at our roundups of the best PS4 games, best PS5 games so far, and best split-screen PS4 games. We also have lists dedicated to other platforms, including best Xbox One games, best Xbox Series X games so far, best Nintendo Switch games, and best PC games to play in 2021.
Absolute Drift is more about precision than speed. As the name suggests, the goal here is to master the art of drifting through more than 30 levels scattered across five differentiated areas. Played from a top-down perspective with minimalistic visuals, Absolute Drift is mechanically sound and quite relaxing. The electronic music that plays in the background adds to the zen-like experience that Absolute Drift offers. If you’re looking for a more mellow racing game to chill out with, Absolute Drift is a great choice.
With heaps of spectacular crashes, ridiculous stunts, and a wide assortment of exciting game modes, the Burnout series is one of the best arcade racing franchises ever made. While it’s been more than a decade since a new mainline Burnout game released, Burnout Paradise Remastered still plays like a dream. The open-world racing game received updated visuals and performance on PS4, and it comes with all of the game’s post-launch DLC. Whether you’re playing solo or online with friends, Burnout Paradise Remastered offers a constantly invigorating racing experience. There’s plenty of varied objectives to tackle in Burnout Paradise Remastered, but you can also make your own fun and see what kind of havoc you can create.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled blends nostalgia with modernity to create a sound cart racer that will make you at least a little less sad that Mario Kart isn’t on PlayStation. While it’s a remaster of the original game, it also pulls from other entries in the series while adding modern flourishes and new content to keep the experience fresh. Crash Team Racing has some of the best track designs in the cart racing sub-genre, and it makes great use of these across its single-player adventure and various competitive multiplayer modes. This is a racing game that’s great for both adults looking to relive their childhoods and kids who are zipping onto the track for the first time.
See our Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled review.
Endlessly exhilarating, Descenders is a mountain biking game with an emphasis on speed and stunts. With tight controls and a wonderfully designed physics system, Descenders’ moment-to-moment action is top-notch. Where Descenders truly stands out, though, is in its world design. Randomly generated worlds aren’t common at all in the racing genre, and Descenders uses this feature to take it to big heights. From forests and barren wastelands to human-made tracks and more, Descenders’ environments come to life (and blur by you in an instant) each time you start your descent. Descenders has tremendous replay value thanks to the randomly generated worlds, and thankfully the loop never tires.
Dirt 5 brought the series back to its pure arcade roots, offering a racing experience that’s casual enough for newcomers to dive in and enjoy while also retaining enough depth to keep things interesting for the long haul. It has a cool dynamic weather system that actively changes how you have to approach each race and an excellent mix of tracks to burn rubber on throughout its lengthy career mode. You can also create your own tracks in the new Playgrounds mode, which is a cool inclusion that adds to the level of variety available in Dirt 5. If you like speeding around in fast cars but don’t want to get into the nitty gritty details of vehicle performance, Dirt 5 lets you hit the ground running and never lets up from its enthusiastic and friendly tone.
See our Dirt 5 review.
If you’re looking for a rally racing sim that aims for realism, look no further than Dirt Rally 2.0. It’s essentially the opposite experience of Dirt 5. Made for rally enthusiasts, this off-road racer has a unique handling system that mimics the unexpected conditions you’d find while moving at blazing speeds across bumpy terrain. With a huge variety of rally cars and great customization features, gearheads can fine-tune their rides to fit their preferred play style. Dirt Rally 2.0 uses the FIA World Rallycross championship as its foundation, offering eight official circuits as well as tracks across numerous continents.
F1 2020 offers the most authentic Formula One experience in the series to date, mainly because of its new mode dubbed My Team. Just like the real deal, My Team lets you create and manage a Formula One team from the ground up, giving you total control over everything from your team colors to training facilities and so much more. F1 2020 doesn’t abandon its traditional career mode; it exists separately, giving players a lavish amount of solo content to choose from. And if you’re interested in racing with friends, F1 2020 brings back split-screen racing to go alongside the online multiplayer mode. Though designed with realism in mind, F1 2020 has a great casual driving mode that makes it a stellar Formula One game for beginners as well.
Though Gran Turismo Sport felt limited on content at launch, it has expanded significantly over the years to offer a more well-rounded Gran Turismo experience. While it’s still not a full-fledged mainline game, GT Sport packs enough content under the hood to keep you playing until Gran Turismo 7 finally launches. Gran Turismo Sport is almost solely focused on competitive online races, with rotating competitions available all the time. It still looks and handles like a Gran Turismo racing sim, which is to say it’s superb. With over 300 cars and 80 tracks, GT Sport offers a ton of variety. And if you’re not much of a competitive racer, a more traditional single-player campaign is available as well. Still, this is a racing sim that largely focuses on competition. If you want to test your skills, GT Sport is as refined and compelling as racing sims get.
See our Gran Turismo Sport review.
Inspired by old-school arcade racers and console games like Out Run and Top Gear, Horizon Chase Turbo is fueled by nostalgia. What you see is what you get here. Colorful but rudimentary visuals yank you back to the arcade, and the emphasis on pure speed with whippy handling makes Horizon Chase Turbo feel authentic. 3D car models racing against 16-bit backdrops gives it a unique look that is shown off brilliantly across the game’s more than 100 tracks. While you can enjoy the various cup series solo, Horizon Chase Turbo really hits its stride when playing split-screen multiplayer with three friends or trying to beat your buddy’s best time on a tricky track.
MotoGP 2021 is the latest game in the long-running bike racing series. If you’ve played recent entries in the franchise, MotoGP 2021 doesn’t do much to move the needle, but it’s still your best bet if you prefer two-wheel racing over four wheels. A robust campaign mode lets you either create your own team or join a real-life MotoGP squad. For longtime fans, MotoGP 2021 is a treat, as it features 120-plus riders. The track list is relatively small, but each one is intricately designed and the moment-to-moment racing offers a superb challenge that encourages you to really get to know your bike, the tracks, and your competitors.
Need for Speed Heat is mostly a return to form for a series that had been falling into mediocrity for years. Like many games in the franchise, Need for Speed Heat has its own unique hook. As a street racer, you compete during official competitions when the sun is up. Once the sun sets, things get much more risky. You can compete in illegal street races and try to avoid less than savory cops who don’t just want to bust you–they want to steal from you by any means necessary. Heat also has a well-implemented drift system that feels more realistic than the simplistic overall car handling, which adds another layer to races. Great customization features help you optimize your rides to your liking, too. Heat is at its best during the thrill of the chase, and luckily, there’s plenty of that here.
See our Need for Speed Heat review.
Project Cars 2 is a grueling racing sim designed for enthusiasts who prefer realism over fast-paced action. The handling system was influenced by input from real race car drivers, which makes it quite demanding. While playing with a controller is serviceable, Project Cars 2 really hits its stride when playing with a racing wheel. In terms of authentic feel, you’d be hard-pressed to find a racing game that tops Project Cars 2 when driving with a wheel. The level of realism extends to the 24-hour day cycles and dynamic weather and surface conditions, which are unparalleled in the genre. Project Cars 2 is chock-full of intricately designed tracks and more than 180 rides, ranging from sports cars to IndyCars to rallycross.
See our Project Cars 2 review.
Team Sonic Racing is Sega’s answer to Mario Kart, and while it doesn’t have the depth and polish of the Mario Kart franchise, it is still a ton of fun. Team Sonic Racing has a solid foundation thanks to great cart controls that are responsive and easy to grasp and a wide range of cool tracks filled with Sonic trappings. With three different classes of drivers that have their own unique racing styles and an emphasis on playing as a unit, Team Sonic Racing adds its own flavor to the cart racing genre.
See our Team Sonic Racing review.
The Crew 2 is one of the weirdest racing games on this list, purely because it never really decides what it wants to be. In this case, that’s a good thing. The Crew 2 is a consistently surprising open-world game that features cars of all types, boats, planes, and motorcycles–all of which you can cycle through instantly. Fly off a bridge in a car and land in a boat. Soar past skyscrapers in a jet and switch to a muscle car that plummets out of the sky. The Crew 2 gives you free reign over how you approach its rather wild premise. The open-world map, which is a scaled version of the United States, is gorgeous to explore. The many dedicated races and objectives help show off The Crew 2’s myriad of approaches from getting from point A to point B.
See our The Crew 2 review.
Trackmania Turbo is different from most of the games on this list. Rather than beating your opponents on the track, your goal is to beat the track itself. The campaign has more than 200 courses scattered throughout four unique environments. Each time you start your engine, it’s a race against the clock in an effort to beat the best time. This is pure arcade racing across some seriously zany tracks, each of which tests your skills and teaches you something new about how to approach the objective at hand. Trackmania Turbo also has a cool track creator that lets you make your courses or randomly generate tracks that can be uploaded to the servers for others to play.
See our Trackmania Turbo review.
Trials Fusion is an always compelling and often hilarious physics-based motorcycle game filled with absurd tracks that keep the action interesting throughout. While you can play local multiplayer races with up to four players, Trials Fusion is primarily a game about besting times and scores, whether that be preset track times or your friends’ best scores. Trials Fusion could be aptly described as “touchy,” because it’s easy to get greedy and wipe out. It doesn’t try to be realistic, but the adherence to this wacky physics system is ultimately what makes Trials Fusion so fun to play. Despite the fact you’re maneuvering across a 2D plane, Trials Fusion has plenty of depth and rewards those who stick around to really master the physics and the elaborately designed tracks. While there’s a steep learning curve, you can make your own tracks using a robust course creator.
See our Trials Fusion review.
Though it’s unclear if we’ll ever get a new Wipeout game, PlayStation users can still enjoy some of the best the series has to offer in the Wipeout Omega Collection. The compilation contains three anti-gravity racers: Wipeout HD, Wipeout HD Fury, and Wipeout 2048. All three games show a different side of Wipeout, which helps them complement each other in fun ways. Wipeout HD, of course, is classic anti-gravity racing on futuristic tracks. For a more action-packed experience, Wipeout HD Fury injects more combat into the mix. Meanwhile, Wipeout 2048 is a prequel taking place before the technologically advanced tracks were developed, which means you’re racing across natural environments. The three experiences add up to create a special collection that is a whole lot of fun whether you’re playing solo or against friends.
See our Wipeout Omega Collection review.
A spiritual successor to the popular FlatOut series, Wreckfest is a demolition derby game oozing with style. As the name suggests, there’s a lot of collisions and pileups in Wreckfest. The physics and crash systems are top-notch, offering exhilarating spectacles of carnage. Between Wreckfest’s traditional races and demolition derby crash fests, there’s a ton of differentiated content to enjoy. Each vehicle in Wreckfest has a different handling system and general feel, and you can also use an in-depth customization system to fundamentally change how your vehicles perform. Wreckfest’s PS5 update releases in June, but PlayStation Plus subscribers can grab the game’s upgraded version for free already this month.
See our Wreckfest review.
Source: Game Spot Mashup