Get ready for unparalleled realism due to the relentless progress in gaming technology since 2010!
Driving games have been a popular genre since the earliest days of gaming. The Atari 2600, released in 1977, had a great selection of popular driving games including Pole Position, Grand Prix and Dragster. A few years later the ColecoVision was released, offering vastly improved graphics as well as the first steering wheel peripheral. The wheel was bundled with a home port of Sega’s smash hit Turbo arcade game, resulting in huge sales for both the console and the add-on.
Today’s driving games are virtually unrecognizable from those early efforts. The latest games such as Forza Horizon 4 and Formula 1 2020 sport photorealistic graphics and the recent release of the Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 is sure to see further updates to these games, improving them still further. Don’t worry if you haven’t managed to snag one of the new consoles as yet though – there have been plenty of fantastic driving games released for the older machines over the past decade.
With the Constructors Championship 2021 due to start on the 21st March, this seems like a great time to look back at the best driving games released over the past few years. And don’t forget to place a bet on your favourite driver for the Constructors Championship at Unibet Indiana too, who have already prepared odds for the whole season!
- Horizon Chase Turbo (PlayStation / Xbox / Switch / Steam)
This tribute to the classic arcade racers of the past has been a smash hit since its release in late 2018. Supporting up to four players at once with a variety of modes and challenges, Horizon Chase Turbo will appeal to fans of 90’s hits such as Out Run, Top Gear and Lotus Turbo Challenge. It doesn’t sport the photorealistic graphics that some of the other games on this list have, but the clean shaded look is what gives this game its old school feel with a modern twist. This game can usually be found on sale nowadays and is currently included in Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, so give it a try if you haven’t already!
- Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox / PC)
Microsoft’s premier racing title has been one of the Xbox’s most popular titles throughout the past few generations. It’s been a while since the last release and fans are chomping at the bit for a new title, but Forza Horizon 4 is no slouch! Set in Great Britain, the graphics are stunning – particularly with the recent 4K update for the Series X – and a host of downloadable add-ons make this a racer you’ll keep coming back to.
- Formula 1 2020 (PlayStation / Xbox / PC / Stadia)
The twelfth instalment of Codemasters legendary F1 franchise features the best graphics ever seen in a console racing game, which saw it nominated for the category of Best Sports/Racing Game at The Game Awards 2020. A welcome feature is the return of the split-screen two-player mode, which had been absent since the 2014 version of the game. Codemasters promise that the improved computer AI in this release gives players “a much more realistic experience”, and we see no reason to argue with that.
- Dirt Rally 2.0 (PlayStation / Xbox / PC)
The DiRT Rally series is the spiritual successor to the legendary Colin McRae Rally games, and continue that franchises legacy of amazing graphics and fantastic gameplay. Dirt 2.0 lets you drive in Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Poland, Spain and the USA, all with realistic environments and unique features. Dirt Rally 2.0 is much less exact and realistic than games such as Forza, which some people find to be more fun overall. Which style do you prefer?
- Gran Turismo Sport (PlayStation)
Marketed as “The real driving simulator”, the PlayStation exclusive Gran Turismo games have always been cherished for their awesome graphics and realistic car handling. This is the first game in the series to feature PlayStation VR support, and whilst it’s getting a little long in the tooth now it is still one of the best racing games available for the PlayStation.
- Need for Speed Heat (PlayStation / Xbox / PC)
The Need for Speed franchise has been around for over 25 years now, and whilst there have been a couple of turkeys during that time the series is definitely on great form with the release of NFS: Heat. This open-world racing game is set in a fictionalised version of Miami called Palm City and has over 120 cars to try from 33 different manufacturers. The latest update added cross-platform play, enabling gamers on different platforms to race against each other for the first time.
- Project CARS 2 (PlayStation / Xbox / PC)
Slightly Mad Studios were always going to struggle to top 2015’s Project CARS, and this sequel definitely struggled when it was first released. Thankfully, the studio continued to work on the game and several patches later we finally had a game worthy of the Project CARS moniker. Labelled the most technically advanced racing game on the planet, you have to see this one in action to believe it. Stunning!