One of the most-loved and much-talked-about gaming series, Formula 1 consists of the best F1 games that can unleash your adventurous side and give you a taste of excitement, fun, and thrill! Starting off the series with the dawn of the new millennium, Codemasters and EA Sports have been publishing magnificent video game series which has successfully stolen the hearts of millions of F1 games online fanatics. We have curated a list of the 10 best PC F1 games that can help you pump your adrenaline rush and experience a gamut of emotions. So, ready, steady, and get ready to VROOM!
Evolution of F1 Games
The story of the evolution of the F1 Games is as exciting as the video games genre! It all started in the 1970s when Namco was launched as the pioneer arcade game. Though the initial roots of the game had already originated in the 1950s, it was in the 1970s when Pole Position, an arcade racing video game with simulated environments, led to the launch of Pole Position II and Final Lap.
The second half of the 1980s witnessed more creative games involving better modifications, improved features, and enhanced authenticity. Following the introduction of 3D computer graphics, F1 started licensing video games officially in the 1990s. As the new decade arrived, video games on household computers started dominating the market, and the first game that gave Formula 1 its taste of success was the F1 Grand Prix in 1991.
While multiple software houses held gaming licenses, Sony acquired the license to create F1 games from 2003-2006. It was an upward curve for Sony as the company secured the attention of gamers for its first PlayStation in 1991. As graphics and gameplay improvements occurred, online multi-player gaming became more popular. As the Sony days started fading with Formula One 06 and Formula One Championship Edition, entered Codemasters, starting off their journey with F1 2009, and F1 Race Stars was released in 2012, introducing the Mario Kart-style gameplay.
When 2020 arrived, Electronics Arts took over Codemasters, and it also held the license to the subsequent installments of all games. Today, the F1 games have more realistic simulations. With more technology being unlocked every day, the F1 industry is sure to undergo a massive but positive transformation in the future days.
Now, let’s check out the best F1 games you should be playing today!
Get into the spirit of an incredible racing experience with F1 2017 – an aggressive game that is bound to give you a high adrenaline rush! Fast-paced, racing wheels and sleek handling – the game gives you the golden opportunity to be a confident and comprehensive racer, challenging (and breaking!) all previous records and creating history under your name.
From classic, vintage cars to the more recent and adventurous ones – the F1 cars are grander than before. Thanks to the enhanced system of the game, players can now experience improved aerodynamics, chassis, durability, and powertrain while focusing on how to spend their resource points effectively. The awe-inspiring tracks of the game are vibrant, realistic, and visually appealing.
Developer: Codemasters, Feral Interactive (Mac), Feral Interactive (Linux)
Publisher: Codemasters, Feral Interactive (Mac), Feral Interactive (Linux), Electronic Arts
Release date: 25 August, 2017
➡️ Check it out on Steam.
One of the best F1 games ever created by Formula 1, F1 2013 is a very popular and admirable game. F1 2013 is a step ahead of its prequel 2012 with its wet weather effects, excellent visuals, and crisp modeling of the cars. Fulfilling the demands of dedicated F1 enthusiasts, this game offers retro cars, drives, and tracks that take the gaming experience to an entirely new level.
The cars are turbocharged and incredibly powerful, fitted with modern-day components. A big step towards the improvement of this game is the inclusion of more logical racing scenarios that trace the journey of a driver’s career and offer a sneak peek into the real-life scenes of the F1 competition.
Developer: Codemasters Birmingham, Feral Interactive (Mac OS X), Swordfish Studios
Publisher: Codemasters, Feral Interactive (Mac OS X)
Release date: 4 October, 2013
A cool racing game designed almost to perfection, F1 2010 is the perfect instance of absolute visual excellence. From including the style quotient in the car design to making them more mechanically efficient, the game offers a delightful and exhilarating experience. There have been considerable improvements in the driving model that reflects the finer details of the sports and delivers much to the gamers.
Thrilling and realistic, the game is terrifyingly quick with its computer-generated competitors, weather dynamics, and magnificent tracks. The issue of driving during heavy showers is skilfully tackled by the game designers who make the tracks visibly dry and allow players to find their grip effortlessly. The game comes with an almost authentic driving experience with a generous sprinkling of excitement, sportiness, and the right amount of brilliant technicality.
Developer: Codemasters, Swordfish Studios
Publisher: Codemasters Birmingham
Release date: 23 September, 2010
Following the misstep related to F1 2015, Codemasters made a huge comeback into the speed racing scenario, with F1 2016 offering a deeper look into the racing world. With 22 drivers, 11 teams, and 21 beautiful and realistic tracks, it immerses you into the gameplay so that you can enjoy the best car racing experience and also get to see what goes on behind the scenes of the top drivers.
One of the best F1 games, F1 2016 features a full-fat career mode and brings back the safety car, changing the gaming scenario in the blink of an eye! Players can also choose their lucky numbers, helmets, and avatars, along with the team they want to be a part of.
Developer: Codemasters, Feral Interactive (Mac)
Publisher: Codemasters, Feral Interactive (Mac), Electronic Arts
Release date: 19 August, 2016
Adding a glimpse of reality to its attractive gameplay, F1 2020 is one of the most loved car racing games. Where players can customize the difficulty level, the game features a racing season with ranked and unranked leagues that accommodate up to 20-player grids. It is one of the most notable racing games as mentioned by several popular gaming websites.
|F1 2020 Standard Edition – Xbox One Standard Edition||$29.99||Buy on Amazon|
Apart from showcasing car maneuvering abilities, here, players also get to create and manage their own teams. The game is action-packed, with successive sessions of highs and lows, expertly handled by artificial technology. As split-screen makes a comeback in this game, players can re-live the previous fun days when the feature was a part of almost every racing game from the house of Codemasters.
Developer: Codemasters, Swordfish Studios
Release date: 10 July, 2020
Maintaining its (almost!) monopoly in the car racing games genre, the F1 series added this game to its already impressive portfolio in 2021, adding some exciting new features and spicing up the game to a great extent. One of the best F1 games in the history of car racing video games, F1 2021 is a successful franchise with stylish new cars and radical regulations. The game has three control types – casual, standard, and expert – which allow diverse ways of racing.
The visuals and the cinematics in Braking Point are excellently done. While the game plugs in the real-sport features into the gameplay, it also offers a two-play career mode that makes it a great choice for local and online groups of friends. What attracts the most is the audio and video presentation pre and post-match.
Publisher: EA Sports
Release date: 16 July, 2021
When it comes to customization, what can you ask from a car racing video game? A personalized name, a customizable avatar, probably a t-shirt with your name engraved on it? Well then, F1 2022 surely fulfills and goes much beyond your expectations! The game lets you experience the lifestyle of a typical Formula One driver.
|F1 2022: Standard Edition (Xbox One) – Xbox One [Digital Code]||$59.99||Buy on Amazon|
The game does not come with randomized loot boxes, but players get the chance to use the in-game currency called Bitcoin, also known as ‘yuck’. But be alert! All is not rosy and glittering in this game. The trackside curbs are more dangerous here. They can damage your car and also spin it in the deadliest way. So, watch out before you take the next turn or attempt to bypass your worthy opponent.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release date: 1 July, 2022
One of the best F1 games that changed the course of car racing video games, F1 2019 is an all-time hit amongst all its players. The best in class that added a tinge of modernity in the motorsport vehicles has led F1 to establish a strong foothold in the online racing market. A game with a fresh outlook, F1 2019 has all the unique elements that are religiously followed and built upon gradually in the games following them.
The retro-themed cars come with their own handling nuances that make them look and feel more distinct and individualistic. The game features authenticity and realism at its core and is thus, an all-time hit amongst sports lovers. It is the perfect blend of some welcome tweaks and some lovable features.
Developer: Codemasters Birmingham, Swordfish Studios
Publisher: Codemasters, Deep Silver
Release date: 28 June, 2019
F1 Manager 2023
The same intensity but in a better package – that’s F1 Manager 2023 for you! The newest season of this breathtaking game comes with new thrills, new chills, new cars, new riders, and of course, new challenges! Whether you were dreaming about a finer racing experience or awaited more authenticity and attention to the details of the game – this is the version with brilliant additions.
The splendid presentation with extraordinary visuals, a visor camera option, and a brand-new mode make the game fun, impressive, and terrifyingly competitive. The game has evolved from its last season, providing an enhanced racing experience coupled with more nuanced game mechanics, replay mode, and tighter gameplay. You can play around with the main menu and explore diverse options for a super-fun gaming session with your pals.
Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Release date: 31 July, 2023
Grand Prix Legends
If you are looking for the best retro racing game, Grand Prix Legends is an easy choice and also a must-play for all lovers of racing cars. The classic title that reminds us of the golden era of car racing games, the game is one of the most realistic versions that has remained unmatched by other car racing titles even today. One of the best F1 games, Grand Prix Legends is reflective of the vintage cars and technology that happened in the era of the 1960s.
The game still holds the record of being one of the most difficult games to play, giving the players quite a lot of trouble in defeating their opponents. From drivers wearing goggles to safety, meaning just a bucket of sand, the game is a perfect walk down memory lane.
Developer: Papyrus Design Group
Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
Release date: 1998
The total revenue of the racing game market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 9.91%, with a market volume amounting to US$4.11bn by the year 2027. The epitome of motor racing, the Formula 1 gaming series has continuously delighted motorsports fans, outperforming all its competitors and introducing jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, and dangerously exciting games. If you are in the mood for some fun, thrill, and action and willing to give a tough time to your fellow gearhead, use this list of the top competitive F1 games and unleash your competitive side.
For more racing games, you can check out our list of the best Need For Speed games!
Tanya is a passionate content writer with over 5 years of experience in covering the ins and outs of Console, PC, Mobile and VR/AR gaming and Web3 spaces. Her expertise is in writing high-value, engaging content as well as branded content that… read more