If you owned a PS3 at any point in your life, it’s reasonable to suppose you had a few racing games in your library. There was never enough fun to play with so many wonderful choices.
If you enjoy driving fast automobiles, get behind the wheel and check out some of these excellent games. These titles reflect the peak of racing entertainment, from high-octane simulations to wild arcade racers and everything in between, making a lasting impression on the genre and establishing the bar for future generations.
So strap in and join us as we fire up our engines and race through the most spectacular and unforgettable racing adventures the PlayStation 3 offers.
The Evolution Of PS3 Racing Games
When the PlayStation 3 was released in 2006, it faced an uphill struggle. Microsoft had already released its HD-capable Xbox 360 to outdo Sony’s impending device. Furthermore, the PS3 would be compared to its predecessor, the PlayStation 2, which is still the best-selling video game console nearly 23 years later.
And when it came to racing games, the PlayStation 2 featured some of the greatest, roaring their engines as part of a seemingly infinite library of titles that pressed the gas pedal. The PlayStation 2 saw many entries in the Gran Turismo, Midnight Club, Need For Speed series, and several other famous racers.
And then came the PlayStation 3. Need for Speed Carbon, Ridge Racer 7, and Motorstorm, an off-road racing game that carved out a niche for itself by ditching the blacktop in favor of a canyon full of mud-covered ramps, numerous routes to carve through the dirt, and a variety of vehicle types unseen in most racing games, were all released around the PlayStation 3’s release.
Seventeen years later, MotorStorm’s openly down-and-dirty racing gameplay and a gritty, hard-rockin’ soundtrack deliver a sense of unfettered excitement that holds its own against current racing games. There are better-driving simulators than this or the most visually attractive racing game, but it’s a lot of fun.
But that’s not all. For gamers who enjoy the adrenaline rush of high-speed racing, PS3 racing games provide an immersive and exhilarating experience. These games provide a variety of possibilities, ranging from accurate simulations to more arcade-style gaming.
The PlayStation 3 was home to some great titles that are still appealing today. The racing genre was no exception, as the PS3 was brimming with incredible racing games ranging from exhilarating unrealistic arcade racing games to rigorous sim-racers. For every game, you have something for everyone.
While several games on this list are over a decade old, you’ll be astonished at how beautiful the visuals on the PlayStation 3 are.
So, without further ado, grab your PlayStation 3 and buckle up as we drive through the top PlayStation 3 racing games of all time.
Burnout Paradise is the sixth installment in the Burnout series and an open-world arcade racing game. The game is set in a fictitious metropolis named Paradise Metropolis, where you may participate in numerous activities such as racing, stunt runs, road rages, and more.
Unlike the previous games, Burnout Paradise is entirely open. When you enter a race, you can approach the route however you choose as long as you reach the finish line. There is much to appreciate here regarding single-player; you may spend hours finishing the game’s courses.
However, the online multiplayer servers on the PS3 were tragically shut down. If you prefer online play over single-player, the latest remastered version of the game may appeal to you. Overall, this is one of the best PS3 games available today.
Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: March 2, 2009
Driver: San Francisco
Driver: San Francisco is an action-packed, open-world racing game that, with its novel gameplay features and intriguing plot, revitalizes the classic Driver series. The game, situated in a wonderfully portrayed version of San Francisco, provides an exhilarating driving experience and unique story components that set it apart from other racing games.
Driver: San Francisco is an open-world racing game that skillfully mixes interesting stories with spectacular driving action. It is an important title for racing fans and those looking for a fresh and distinctive gaming experience, thanks to its innovative “Shift” system, extensive car list, and fascinating single-player story.
Developer: Ubisoft Reflections
Release Date: August 30, 2011
F1 2013 is a video game that recreates the thrills and spills of the 2013 Formula One season. It has career mode, bespoke Grand Prix calendars, and multiplayer mode where you can battle your friends. And, while you will notice a change between F1 2012 and F1 2014 if you’re an F1 lover, there are some fairly intriguing elements to unpack in the 2013 feature, making it one of the best F1 games of all time!
The new Classics mode allows players to compete in historic vehicles from the 1980s alongside iconic drivers from the era. Then there’s the addition of new courses, like Brands Hatch, that were previously out of stock. So that’s all for fresh content, but the gameplay speaks for itself and is timeless, given it’s 10 years since its release!
Developer: Codemasters Birmingham, Feral Interactive
Publisher: Feral Interactive, Codemasters Racing
Release Date: October 4, 2013
Gran Turismo 6
Gran Turismo 6 is the twelfth chapter in the Gran Turismo series and a realistic racing simulation game. The game physics is unbelievably accurate and refined, providing veteran and new gamers with a new experience.
Gran Turismo 6 has massive material, with over 1200 cars to pick from and over 20 vehicles built just for the game. There are also 37 circuits accessible, with a few new unique tracks, and you may compete in career mode or play the game locally with a buddy.
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: December 06, 2013
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
Midnight Club: Los Angeles is the fourth game in the Midnight Club series and is an open-world arcade racing game. The game is fully set in Los Angeles, which provides a large complex metropolis to explore while cruising after midnight.
Though the game follows the same structure as its predecessor, many new features exist, such as a day and night cycle, a new weather system, and improved driving dynamics. A pursuit system is in place to keep things interesting; cops can pursue you for any lawbreaking, and you can slow down and face the repercussions of your actions or run and enjoy the chase.
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The game has 43 automobiles to unlock and 4 motorbikes to ride. While the visuals are a little old-fashioned for my taste, the gameplay compensates by providing an exhilarating ride to enjoy.
Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Release Date: October 20, 2008
Need For Speed Shift 2: Unleashed
Need For Speed Shift 2: Unleashed is a hard and thrilling racing game that vastly improves on its predecessor. New additions like the first-person helmet cam and the revamped graphics engine make the driving seat more exciting than the original game. On the other hand, automobile handling continues to straddle the line between arcade and realism without perfecting either.
While Shift 2 moves away from complete simulation, a compelling single-player career mode, excellent online capabilities, and improved Autolog integration make it an intriguing & well-rounded game. This is one of the best Need For Speed games and is a brutal racer that recreates driving like no other game on the market.
Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Split/Second is an arcade racing game emphasizing conflict racing through demolition mechanisms. The game takes you to a fictitious reality television program where racers compete on several circuits where everything is chaotic and destructible.
The basic goal of the game is to complete numerous objectives such as racing, survival & elimination, among others. You may trigger special events when you can smash your opponents to bits in various inventive ways by filling a power play meter by drifting, leaping, and executing tricks during the race.
Developer: Black Rock Studio
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Release Date: May 18, 2010
SBK Generations isn’t the finest racing game of the year, nor the most visually appealing. Still, it’s the best motorcycle game on the market and an overall strong racer. Generations offers three physical settings to accommodate all sorts of gamers. However, games like this never truly appeal to the public, and playing on maximum simulation wastes time.
SBK Generations may be a title only racing and motorcycle lovers would like, but it doesn’t mean the makers ruined the game for a non-interested public. SBK Generations is a game you must check out if you enjoy speed and racing.
Publisher: Black Bean Games
Release Date: June 1, 2012
ModNation Racers is a fun and creative kart racing game that mixes fast-paced racing action with unprecedented customization. With its simple creative tools, users can build their characters, cars, and even circuits, making ModNation Racers a standout title for individuals who appreciate expressing their creativity while racing karts.
ModNation Racers’ multiplayer component enables local split-screen and internet play for up to 12 racers. Players can participate in various game styles, including regular races, time trials, and community-created bespoke events.
The game’s visuals are bold and colorful, with a delightful, cartoony style. Its soundtrack is an exciting combination of techno and pop music that matches the fun racing mood.
Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: May 19, 2010
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift is an offroad arcade racing game and the sequel to the first Motorstorm game. The game is set on a lush and dynamic island, giving the game a gorgeous greenery aspect while distinguishing from prior titles with post-apocalyptic features such as volcanic eruptions.
There are 16 routes, ranging from beaches to rainforests to volcano slopes. You can increase your speed with a nitro push, but be careful because abusing the nitro can lead to overheating & exploding.
Water is present in every track to cool off your engine and play it smart, and over 51 vehicles can be unlocked as you progress, ranging from bikes, buggies, ATVs, cars, and more.
Developer: Evolution Studios
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: October 22, 2008
Dirt 3 is the eighth edition in the Colin Mcrae series and is an arcade racing game. The game occurs in several locations worldwide, with you touring each nation and solving various objectives. If you include the DLCs, there are almost 50 automobiles to enjoy.
Like its predecessor, you can rewind time as you wish throughout the races, up to 5 times depending on the difficulty level you select. It is a must-have for off-road racing fans, with gorgeous visuals and snappy tight controls.
Release Date: May 24, 2011
NASCAR The Game: Inside Line
In the realm of NASCAR, you must adhere to the sport’s rules and etiquette, or you will need help to be successful. With that in mind, let’s look at NASCAR The Game: Inside Line. If you like NASCAR and sim racers, you’ll enjoy everything about this game.
Everyone’s preference should be accessible with forty teams and drivers. You can also be yourself and challenge your favorite drivers. Whatever you choose, bring plenty of patience, knowledge of NASCAR racing methods, and a sturdy steering wheel.
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Choosing the best PS3 racing games might be difficult, but with the correct approach, you can find games that are ideal for you. To find the top racing games for your PS3, consider the game’s genre, read reviews, and compare the game’s ratings and features.
With these suggestions and the top racing games on the list, you can enjoy the thrill of the race and the adrenaline of the track on your PS3!
And, if you’ve got a PS4, check out our picks for the best PS4 racing games!