Fans of racing games are pretty spoilt these days. Each new year brings more great games, and each one brings with it realistic experiences and a wider selection of cars and tracks. The line-up is impressive, particularly on PS4.
Games like GT Sport, Project Cars 2 and Assetto Corsa bring with them unbelievable levels of detail and realism – the water and lighting effects, car details, and incredible physics engines, will make you forget you’re sat on your sofa. Of course, there are still games for more casual racing fans too. Whether you love cartoonish carts or realistic road-racers, there’s a racing game for you.
But how do you choose which to buy? Many racing games can, on the surface, seem rather similar, and everybody wants something slightly different from a game. To help you make a choice, here’s a list of some of the best racing games from the last few years that you can play on PS4…
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
Let’s start with a classic karting option: the Crash Team Racing franchise came to PS4 in 2019, with the new Nitro-Fueled game bringing together classic tracks from 1999’s original game, 2003’s Crash Nitro Kart and 2005’s Crash Tag Team Racing.
Although even the ‘medium’ difficulty level has proven to be quite hard (as we spoke about in our otherwise-glowing review), this is a really fun experience with heaps of tracks to try and extra bits to unlock. New tracks have been added since the launch, as well, alongside on-going Grand Prix events that give Nitro-Fueled some extra replayability.
Gran Turismo is probably the most popular racing game ever, and after a four-year wait, it found its way to the PS4 in 2017. Featuring 162 cars and 27 track layouts in total, it offers roughly the same amount of content as games like Project Cars 2, or Assetto Corsa – on paper that is.
In practice, GT Sport gives you one of the most immersive racing experiences ever created, with pristine graphics, exclusive concept cars and a very well supported eSports mode, too. We need to mention it’s also available on PlayStation VR too, for an even more immersive experience! If you like racing games, you’ll want to buy this – it’s just a shame there are no classic cars.
Project Cars 2
Project Cars 2 might not have the support or resources of some other racers, but it’s the best game around for car enthusiasts. Although it features a similar amount of racers to GT Sport, Project Cars 2 covers much bigger distances. There are classics from the 90s, 80s and 70s here, from iconic road cars to some of the most famous racing cars ever to grace a track.
It’s not perfect, but for a car or racing enthusiast who really knows their stuff, Project Cars 2’s varied garage and granular detail are hard to beat.
Team Sonic Racing
Sonic’s previous karting games may not be as universally beloved as Crash and Mario’s ones, but Team Sonic Racing made admirable moves to add something unique to this racing game subgenre. As we spoke about in our review, this game is based around teamwork.
Although you can partake in solo races, the main draw here is working together in teams of three (either in person or online) to try and engineer a multi-pronged success. You can share items with your teammates and gain speed bosts by driving in their slipstreams, all the while charging up a ‘Team Ultimate’ bar that allows your whole crew to become invincible and extra-speedy for a short period of time. The story is a little thin, but in terms of gameplay, this is a neat alternative view of what a racing game can be.
DiRT 4‘s graphics are gorgeous, with day and night stages looking almost photorealistic at points, and there’s so much content on offer this time around, too. If you want to play online, bash into cones, or just mess around in RallyCross races, you’ll find a mode in Dirt 4 that lets you do it – and the handling is also amazing.
In simulation mode, keeping your car on the track is tricky, challenging, and extremely rewarding when you get it right – but an arcade mode keeps things exciting and enjoyable for more arcade-focused gamers, too. If you don’t like rallying yet, you certainly will after buying DiRT 4.
If you’re a fan of racing sims, Assetto Corsa is a must-have. Following months of delays on PS4 and Xbox One, the PC racer’s favourite finally made its way to the console in 2016 – and it’s one of the most realistic racing games of all time.
There’s a great range of cars and tracks to drive, and loads of DLC has been released to bolster the experience. Multiplayer on Assetto Corsa is by no means perfect, and the graphics don’t look as pretty as some games now, but overall it remains a great racing sim.
DiRT 4 might have eclipsed it, but DiRT Rally is still a great game. With a steering wheel and shifter, this game offers one of the most immersive driving experiences out there, and it even has an optional PSVR DLC for virtual driving.
It might not have the full licensing of the official WRC game, but with such good handling and attention to detail, it’s hard to complain. And if you can afford to splurge for a newer game, it’s also well worth checking out DiRT Rally 2.0. (You can read our preview of that game here.)
Every year, Codemasters releases a new Formula 1 game. F1 2018 is one of the best, featuring some great handling, along with all the cars and tracks from that year’s championship.
F1 2017 introduced an interesting progression system to cars, but it was improved substantially here. There are far more improvement programs and practices available to help you get better, and an even wider range of classic F1 cars to drive.
What’s your favourite driving game on PS4? Let us know in the comments below! Or, if you fancy, click away to our list of the best PS4 games for kids…