Who doesn’t imagine strapping in behind the wheel of one of the world’s best sports or race cars and putting down the perfect lap?! It’s always fun to imagine car racing — speeding through corners and overtaking competitors. But, most of us mear mortals don’t get the opportunity to race very often, or at least not without risking life, limb, jail time, or our insurance rates going up. That’s where video games can come in. There are a wide range of PlayStation 4 (PS4) racing games that allow you to live out your speedy driving dreams.
Best PS4 Racing Games
All racing games are not created equal, however. If the driving simulation is less accurate, there are fewer cars to choose from, or the landscape and tracks aren’t all that interesting, the game might not be worth your time. After looking through several rankings from the community and considering the variety and quality of the games, we have put together this list to save you the hassle. Whether you’re a new gamer or a seasoned veteran with an affinity for motorsports, check out this list for some of the best racing games for PS4.
This video game parallels the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and gives players an all-around racing experience that is great for beginners and experts alike. One review noted that this is an accessible racing game for beginners while still including several settings that you can tweak to up the challenge for more experienced gamers.
If you’re interested in more than the driving side of racing, there’s a MyTeam mode where you can create an “eleventh team” for the championship. In this mode, you play as a team manager who creates a schedule, signs sponsors, coaches your teammates, and more. This unique angle lets you see a different side to racing than many other games.
This open-world game lets you race all over the U.S. in cars, boats, planes, and more. Throughout the game, you’ll be introduced to four different motorsports categories — street and pro racers, off-road experts, and freestyles. One of the biggest hooks for the game is how you can transform your vehicle whenever you want — even mid-flight. Some events even require this rapid switch giving this driving game a unique twist.
This game is online-only, which some players don’t prefer. In addition, according to some reviews, certain aspects of the game, like the scenery and weather, could have used more attention to detail. But in general, this is an enjoyable game that allows you to explore the handling of many types of vehicles in various driving challenges.
Gran Turismo: Sport is far more grounded in the real world than others on this list, which is appealing for automotive enthusiasts. This game features over 45 real-world brands like Porsche, Hyundai, and many more. You can race 82 different track configurations and can drive over 320 different cars.
The main focus of this game is online racing. Gran Turismo: Sport even hosts the FIA’s (Federation International Automobile) online championships with the winners honored at the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony. Whether or not you want to compete at that level, know that this realistic game is well-respected in the racing world.
If you’re looking for a dose of nostalgia, check out this remastered and revamped Crash Team Racing game. Even for new players, this cartoonishly fun cart racing game will give you plenty to enjoy as it features 56 playable characters and 44 tracks.
Although in some ways it might come across as a knockoff of Mario Cart, CTR is entertaining in its own right. Surprisingly challenging, this is a skill-based racing game that can be played alone or with up to four people.
There are two goals in this game: make it to the finish line and wreck the other cars. And it’s not just limited to cars, as you get to drive all sorts of vehicles including buses, crop harvesters, lawnmowers, and more in this exciting and creative racing game. You can also have fun customizing the look of your cars and upgrade their body armor.
This is primarily a single-player game; it does include an online multiplayer option, but it does not have split-screen capabilities. So if you just play video games to relax, not to socialize, and if your idea of relaxing is crashing cars en route to demolition dominance, this could be the game for you.
This open-world game lets you race through Palm City, score money for upgrades during the day with events, and win REP at night while illegally street racing and avoiding the police force. It also includes a storyline with a group of police officers led by Lt. Frank Mercer.
You can drive 127 different cars from 33 different manufacturers — including Ferrari. If you like your racing games to have a bit of a plot along with exciting street exploration, you should check this one out.
Over a decade after its original release, this remastered version of Burnout Paradise is still a favorite among racing gamers. It includes lots of open-world exploration and high-speed races and crashes — if you see a billboard, you can bust right through it.
If you were a fan of the original game, you’ll be happy to know that this remaster keeps much of the look and feel of the original, while adding details like extra smoke and sparks to immerse you in the game. Plus, you can play with up to eight friends online. If street racing and crashing through other cars sounds like a good time, this classic arcade-driving game should fit the bill.
Racing cars can be fun, but you know what’s cooler? Racing anti-gravity vehicles. If you want to spice up your gameplay genres, check out the WipEout: Omega Collection. Because this game combines several WipEout games into one, some race tracks are more sci-fi leaning, while others are more realistic.
You can play on 26 different tracks with 46 unique ships, so there is a lot of variety to explore. The game includes both split-screen and an online multiplayer mode, so you can play with friends. You can also play it in VR mode. If you’re looking for a twist on the aesthetic of most racing games, check out this futuristic mash-up.
Project CARS 2 includes a wide range of content including 60 tracks with more than 140 layouts. This includes rallycross tracks for more variety in gameplay. Plus, you can customize the experience even more — most reviews praise the realistic weather effects you can choose, complete with variable rain puddles, with conditions affecting your driving.
You get to drive 180 cars from brands such as Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and more. Some reviews do say that the different models vary in quality of handling and simulation, with some being more realistic and complex than others. However, there are lots of adjustments you can make to the way your car handles. With online championships, multiplayer, and single-player races, this game gives you lots of venues to experiment with different types of driving.
If you’re looking for a high-quality rally racing game, look no further. There are 50 cars to choose from, and you can customize them even down to the type of tire used — which is detailed enough to affect gameplay.
Many reviews noted the production quality, such as the sound and graphics, as well as details like leaves blowing across the track, added to the gameplay. Reviews also mention that this game might be best suited to more experienced players since there are no tutorials. There may not be as many tracks and combinations available in this game as others, but the difficulty and attention to detail will keep you invested in this game.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a PS4 worth buying in 2020?
With the release of the PS5 on the horizon, the PS4 may seem like an unnecessary purchase. But there are so many good racing games for PS4 out right now, that it seems a shame to wait until the PS5 is released. Plus, if you’re on a budget, the prices on the PS4 are likely going to be lowering as it becomes older technology, so it could be an excellent option if you don’t want to pay full-price for the PS5.
Can you play PS4 games on a PS5?
The PS5 should be compatible with PS4 games, so even if you make the upgrade to the PS5 console, you won’t need to restart your racing game collection.
Are racing games better with a wheel?
Although you can find gamers on both sides of the wheel debate, most racing games are far more immersive when you play with a driving-wheel controller. It is closer to the feeling of actually driving a car, and the higher-end gaming wheels will give you more control over your vehicle.
Justice is an avid outdoors-lover who has dabbled in mountain biking, camping, hiking, cross country skiing, hammocking, and more. She is currently pursuing her B.A. in English at the University of Minnesota, and she’s always up for talking about either bikes or books.