Brace yourself for an adrenaline-pumping ride as we discover the thrilling world of virtual racetracks.
There’s no scarcity of racing games for PS4, but there’s a selection of titles that are better than the others. I’ve carefully picked those titles in this list to narrow down the search for you.
These games are the ultimate thrill rides for any racing enthusiast. Whether you prefer realistic gameplay or an arcade-style experience that defies the laws of physics, there’s something for everybody.
Before jumping into the list, let’s discuss a few interesting things.
History of Racing Games
It’s incredibly impressive how racing games have shaped up over the years. During the early 1970s, as video games were starting to show up and come outside of the curtains, we got our first taste of racing goodness with games like “Space Race,” “Astro Race,” and “Speed Race.”
Although it wasn’t nearly groundbreaking, it definitely played the perfect launching platform for newer releases.
Moving to the ‘80s, things started getting a bit more advanced with the release of “Pole Position,” one of the first racing games ever to use 3D graphics. It allowed players to experience the thrill of racing on iconic Formula One tracks and immersing themselves in the feeling of strapping onto a real race car.
As the ‘90s came in, the whole “racing” genre was uplifted with the release of “Super Mario Kart”. It introduced everybody to the world of kart racing and all the fun behind it. Who knew that racing with cute characters like Mario and Yoshi could be so addictive? This title went on to roll out additional sequels and spin-offs and became a staple in gaming culture.
The ‘90s also had more in store, as it gave birth to several realistic racing simulators. Games like “Gran Turismo” (1997) and “(The) Need for Speed” (1994) made their entry into the world of racing and gave us the chance to drive luxurious cars.
It provided gamers with the experience of the adrenaline rush of high-speed races. Not to mention, these games also punched above their weight in terms of graphics and gameplay.
2000s and Beyond
As we edge past the 2000s and fast forward to today, we have racing games that are an absolute high-octane spectacle. With different play modes, hyper-realistic graphics, immersive virtual reality experiences, and even games that blur the line between racing and open-world exploration, these racing games are nothing short of impressive.
The best part? There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just a casual gamer looking for a fun way to burn some rubber.
Tips for New Gamers in the Racing Genre
If you’re a rookie racer who cannot wait to get your feet wet in the world of virtual racing, these killer tips will help you rev the engines like a pro in no time.
#1. Get the Basics Right ✅
Before you start to hit the tracks, be sure to familiarize yourself with the basics. It can include game controls, accelerating, braking, and steering smoothly. Getting into the groove may take a few attempts, but you’re set for the next challenge once you have the basics right.
#2. Choose the Right Difficulty 🎮
There shouldn’t be any shame in starting on an easier difficulty setting, so avoid jumping into the higher tiers immediately. Progressing step-by-step will allow you to grasp the mechanics and build confidence. You can always increase the difficulty with time as you get better in the game.
#3. Learn the Overtaking Zones 🏎️
Every track has an overtaking zone that serves as the perfect surface to overtake your opponents. Depending upon the track, it can be in the second corner, the straightest path, or any other point. Aim to make full use of these zones to stay ahead of the competition.
#4. Fine-tune for Perfection 🛠️
Most racing games offer numerous vehicle customization and tuning options that get unlocked as you progress in the game. This is to squeeze out all the potential of the machine. You should experiment with different setups to find the perfect balance between speed, handling, and stability.
#5. Analyze, Observe, and Adapt 🔎
The habit that sets experienced racers apart from rookies is reviewing their performance after each race. Identify the points where you lost control, where you overtook, and where you slowed down.
It’s best to identify your weaknesses and adjust your strategy accordingly.
With that said, let’s jump into the list of games to put these tips into action.
One of the most realistic racing games for PS4, Assetto Corsa is a simulator that will give you the satisfaction of mastering precision driving.
You can start racing in one of the 80+ cars, including some of the coolest special edition models from genuine and prestigious automotive manufacturers.
The car collection has a variety of supercars, race cars, and classic models with unique characteristics and handling.
Part of winning races in this game is the way you adapt your driving style according to the car you’re driving. So, if you’re a passionate driver who can figure out in an instant what it takes to control a beast of a sports car, you’re going to win a lot of races.
The stunning graphics of Assetto Corsa will make you feel like you’re actually behind the wheel of a real race car. From shiny paint jobs to detailed environments, the developers have put everything into making it look incredibly realistic.
Developer: Kunos Simulazioni
Publisher: 505 Games
Release Date: August 26, 2016
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
Get ready to embark on an intense racing adventure with Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled.
This remastered version of the classic Crash Team Racing game (1999) brings back all the nostalgic fun while delivering stunning visuals and exciting gameplay.
You can race against your friends or AI opponents across a variety of tracks filled with traps, obstacles, and power-ups. Master the art of power-sliding, boost your way to victory, and take down your rivals with clever weapon usage.
With 56 characters to choose from, including the mischievous Crash Bandicoot himself, 40 tracks, and 40 customizable karts, you can personalize your racing experience to suit your style.
Compete in thrilling single-player challenges, engage in epic multiplayer races, or put your skills to the test in 9 local game modes, including the Adventure mode.
As you progress through the game, you unlock new tracks, characters, and cosmetic upgrades.
You can race your way to the finish line in the Wumpa challenge system and earn Wumpa coins to unlock new items and collectibles from the Pit shop.
Whether you’re a seasoned racer or new to the Crash Bandicoot universe, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled offers hours of addictive gameplay and heart-pounding competition.
So, buckle up, kickstart your engines, and get ready to crash the competition in this kart-racing masterpiece!
Release Date: June 21, 2019
Prepare to get down and dirty in DIRT 5, the bold off-road racing experience. Developed by Codemasters, this adrenaline-fueled game takes you on a global tour across a variety of stunning environments, from icy Norwegian fjords to the scorching Arizona desert.
With a diverse roster of vehicles, including rally cars, trucks, and buggies, this game offers an unrivaled off-road experience.
Feel the power of 900HP Sprint cars by challenging your friends in split-screen multiplayer or go head-to-head with players from around the world in real-time online races.
The dynamic weather system and realistic physics ensure that every race is a thrilling and unpredictable adventure. You can customize your ride with a vast selection of liveries and fine-tune your driving skills to conquer the ever-changing terrain.
But it’s not just about the racing. DIRT 5’s career mode takes you on a journey as you compete against a star-studded cast of racing veterans. Race in the company of the renowned Troy Baker and Nolan North while tackling unique challenges and rising to fame in the world of off-road racing.
With its stunning graphics, immersive gameplay, and vast content, this game is not here to disappoint you.
Developer: Codemasters & Codemasters Cheshire
Release Date: November 6, 2020
Step into the high-speed world of Formula One with F1 22. Developed by Codemasters, this racing simulation game offers an authentic and immersive experience for fans of the sport. From the roar of the engines to the precision of the tracks, F1 22 delivers the thrills and challenges of Formula One racing.
Immerse yourself in the Career Mode, where you start as a rookie driver and work your way up the ranks to become a Formula One legend. You get to race against the best drivers in the world on meticulously recreated circuits from around the globe.
F1 22 features realistic physics, Advanced AI (new addition), and stunning graphics that bring the excitement of Formula One to life. Experience the intense rivalries, strategic pit stops, and adrenaline-pumping overtakes as you compete for the championship.
And it’s not just about the Career Mode. F1 22 offers a wide range of gameplay options, including multiplayer races, time trials, and weekly events, ensuring endless hours of racing excitement for casual and hardcore fans.
Publisher: EA Sports
Release Date: July 1, 2022
Gran Turismo 7
Experience the true essence of racing with Gran Turismo 7, the highly anticipated installment in the popular Gran Turismo series.
Developed by Polyphony Digital, this racing simulator sets a new standard for realism, featuring meticulously recreated cars, stunning visuals, and unparalleled attention to detail. The game’s execution quality doesn’t come as a surprise, considering the fact that the franchise has been active for 25 years!
It offers various racing disciplines, from classic street racing to endurance events, providing a diverse and intriguing gameplay experience.
Choose from an extensive collection of over 400 meticulously modeled cars, including legendary classics and cutting-edge supercars. You can customize your vehicles with a vast array of performance upgrades and visual modifications to create your dream racing machine.
The game features a dynamic weather system, realistic physics, and a sophisticated AI that adapts to your driving style, ensuring every race is a true test of skill.
Compete in various single-player challenges, engage in intense online multiplayer races, or create and share your custom tracks with the robust track editor.
This game has an immersive sound design that captures the essence of each car’s engine roar. Join an international community of fellow racers and learn from their race strategies, tuning tips, and more.
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: March 4, 2022
Hot Wheels Unleashed
This list is incomplete without including Hot Wheels, the legendary and my all-time favorite franchise.
Developed by Milestone, Hot Wheels Unleashed is an action-packed game that brings over 130 iconic Hot Wheels toy cars to life, delivering high-speed thrills and epic races on complex tracks.
With a massive collection of over 60 authentic Hot Wheels cars, including fan favorites like the Bone Shaker and Twin Mill, you can unleash your inner child and relive the joy of racing with these iconic vehicles.
Race against your friends in split-screen multiplayer or challenge players from around the globe in thrilling online races.
Hot Wheels Unleashed features intuitive controls, allowing you to easily perform gravity-defying stunts, jumps, and loops. Master the track editor to create custom tracks and share them with the vibrant Hot Wheels community.
The game’s stunning graphics and dynamic environments create a breathtaking racing experience that captures the essence of Hot Wheels.
You can unlock new cars, track pieces, and various upgrades as you progress through the game and establish yourself as the ultimate Hot Wheels champion.
Release Date: September 30, 2021
Need for Speed Heat
Are you ready to take on high-stakes street racing? Then look no further because Need for Speed Heat is a complete package.
The iconic Need for Speed franchise puts you in the driver’s seat of an underground racing scene, where the day and night offer vastly different experiences.
During the day, you can compete in legal races to earn cash and reputation, which you can use to purchase and customize a wide range of cars from renowned manufacturers. Show off your style by applying unique visual modifications and transforming your vehicles into eye-catching street machines.
However, the underground street racing scene comes alive when the sun sets. Engage in forbidden races, outrun the police, and earn valuable street cred.
Be careful, though, as the cops are relentless and will stop at nothing to bring you down. Strategically manage your heat level to avoid getting caught and losing your hard-earned rewards.
This game features a thrilling storyline, immersive open-world gameplay, and a vast selection of races and challenges to keep you engaged for hours.
With its stunning visuals, pulse-pounding soundtrack, and addictive gameplay, Need for Speed Heat delivers the ultimate street racing experience.
Developer: Ghost Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: October 16, 2019
Prepare for a gravity-defying, physics-based racing experience with Trials Rising. This game by Ubisoft’s RedLynx and Kyiv studios challenges you to conquer a series of treacherous obstacle courses on a motorbike. Test your skills, push your limits, and reach the finish line in style.
Trials Rising offers a variety of tracks set in iconic locations around the world, from the Eiffel Tower to the Great Wall of China. Navigate through loops, jumps, and obstacles with precise control and perfect timing.
The game’s advanced physics engine realistically simulates the weight and momentum of the bike, adding an extra layer of challenge to every race.
Compete against your friends in local or online multiplayer, where you can create custom tracks, challenge each other’s best times, and engage in fierce rivalries.
The intuitive track editor allows you to explore your creativity and share your creations with the Trials Rising community.
Besides, you can unlock new bikes, customization options, and gear as you progress through the game and rise through the ranks of the Trials world.
It’s time to saddle up and grip the handlebars tight, for the race has just begun.
Developer: Ubisoft RedLynx and Ubisoft Kyiv
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Are you a rule breaker? If you said yes, brace yourself for explosive, no-holds-barred demolition racing in Wreckfest. It perfectly combines high-speed action with exhilarating crashes and destructible environments.
Wreckfest offers a variety of game modes, including traditional races, demolition derbies, and even unbelievable challenges like lawnmower racing.
Channel your inner daredevil as you smash and crash your way to victory, leaving a trail of destruction in your wake. With realistic physics and dynamic vehicle damage, every collision feels satisfyingly impactful.
Choose from various vehicles, from muscle cars to school buses, and customize them with armor, reinforcements, and unique paint jobs.
Upgrade your ride’s performance to gain an edge over your opponents and dominate the competition.
The game features a robust multiplayer mode, where you can compete against friends or players from around the world in chaotic races and demolition derbies.
Take the wheel in epic online battles, or have fun with lawnmowers, crop harvesters, school buses, three-wheeler, and more.
Developer: Bugbear Entertainment
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: August 27, 2019
The PS4 has a huge selection of racing games scattered across different categories, catering to various preferences and skill levels. Since it’s too much work trying to skim past the vast library, the above titles are exactly what you need to get an adrenaline-fueled treat.
Whether you’re a fan of realistic simulations or you prefer arcade-style mayhem, there’s a game meant for you. From the intense tracks of “Need for Speed Heat” to the realism of “Assetto Corsa”, these racing games will surely get your heart pumping and your palms sweaty.
Next, you’d love to check out these strategy games for PS4.
Adnan is a BMS graduate and a senior games writer at Sparkian. He’s a gaming enthusiast with plenty of knowledge of the gaming world, including the latest games, strategies, and epic adventures. Besides gaming, he loves to write about tech… read more
Anirban is an English Literature post-graduate with over 7 years of writing experience, and 2 years of editing chops. As a gaming enthusiast who’s been playing games since he was 5 years old, he’s a strong proponent of video games as a literary… read more