The best racing games on PS4 – essential buyer’s guide

Rev your engine for our fast-track rundown of racing games available for your inner speed demon

 
 

Kart racers

Put your foot down and powerslide to victory in lively fantasy worlds.    

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Developer: Beenox
The speedy summary: Family friendly fun
Players: 1-4 offline, 2-8 online

A karting classic remastered for PS4, if you’re after instantly accessible, devil-may-care racing, Crash is the only madcap marsupial you need. Featuring a colourful range of whacky characters, from Crash’s cheerful sister Coco Bandicoot to the nefarious Doctor Neo Cortex, there are plenty of power-ups, personality and powerslides for up to eight online players to enjoy.

Team Sonic Racing

Developer: Sumo Digital
The speedy summary: Cartoony racing with a video game favourite
Players: 1-4 offline, 2-12 online

The iconic blue blur isn’t averse to giving his speedy feet a rest, so why not join him and 14 of his friends on the raceways? Taking the kart racing template and adding a Sonic spin with colourful power-ups and themed tracks, this isn’t just a game for fans of Sega’s spikey mascot – families unfamiliar with Sonic will feel welcome too, thanks to easy to learn controls and customisable options to tailor your fun.

 
 

Realistic simulators

Know the difference between brake fade and torque? Then these are the games for you. 

GT Sport

Developer: Polyphony Digital
The speedy summary: The Real Driving Simulator
Players: 1-2 offline, 2-20 online

The latest iteration of Polyphony Digital’s record-breaking franchise has proven to be an ever-present fan favourite since its launch. Stunning visuals – enhanced on PS4 Pro – a variety of modes and regular free content updates have kept it as a front runner in the genre for anyone who likes their driving to be as close to the real thing as possible.

F1 2019

Developer: Codemasters
The speedy summary: The official F1 experience
Players: 1 offline, 2-20 online

Bringing the excitement, intensity and technical complexity of the FIA Formula One World Championship is no mean feat, but Codemasters is always in pole to deliver an authentic F1 experience. Not only does it feature the official teams, drivers and all 21 circuits from the most recent season, you also have the chance to race your way through the ranks with the challenging F2 career mode.

 
 

DiRT Rally 2.0

Developer: Codemasters
The speedy summary: A detailed Rallycross runabout
Players: 1 offline, 2-8 online

Off-road racing fans will find themselves right at home with Codemasters’ masterful take on the sport. With its sharp representations of real-life and iconic off-road tracks across the likes of Australia, Spain and Argentina, everything from the licensed supercars to precise details such as surface degradation, combines to create an authentic rally experience.    

 
 

Project CARS 2

Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
The speedy summary: Fine-tuned by professional racing drivers
Players: 1 offline, 2-16 online

A combination of glossy visuals and realistic handling physics that respond to dynamic road surface, track and weather conditions, means petrolheads will immediately feel in the driver’s seat of Slightly Mad Studios’ speedster. Project CARS 2 delivers over 170 licensed vehicles to revel in, plus everything from go-karts to rally courses to zip around them with.    

Assetto Corsa

Developer: 505 Games / Kunos Simulazioni
The speedy summary: Driven by detail
Players: 1 offline, 2-16 online

For car enthusiasts who like to pour over a level of detail including tyre flat spots, heat cycles, graining and blistering, Assetto Corsa has you covered. Over 100 powerful supercars from world renown manufacturers await – so whether you love Pagani, McLaren, Lamborghini or any of the other big names, you’ll have your pick of the best. And thanks to laser scanning technology, 24 configurations from 15 legendary circuits, including Silverstone, Nordschleife and Spa Francorchamps, are all recreated with staggering realism.    

 
 

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 2

Developer: Milestone S.r.I.
The speedy summary: Live the Supercross fantasy
Players: 1 offline, 2-12 online

Your dreams of becoming a Supercross champion get a little close in this adaption of America’s fastest growing motorsport, which lets you build a high speed career full of intense training, glamorous sponsors and fiercely competitive rivals. Customise your rider and bike, then start from 250SX and make your way to the star-studded 450SX series, where it’s all or nothing. 2018 champion Jason Anderson and a number of Supercross superstars are waiting – so put your foot down.

 
 

Open world racing

Break free and travel wherever you want in these liberating racers.    

Need for Speed: Payback

Developer: Ghost Games
The speedy summary: Blockbuster action driving
Players: 1 offline, 2-8 online

Although the original Need for Speed games came out before The Fast and the Furious movies, both have likely played a part in inspiring the other over the years. Need for Speed Payback takes a leaf out of the Vin Diesel film franchise, with three playable characters looking to make a name for themselves in a world full of casinos, cartels and cops. With a focus on missions and challenges, this is stylish action racing to make you feel like a Hollywood superstar.    

The Crew 2

Developer: Ubisoft Ivory Tower
The speedy summary: Exhilarating vehicle switching racing
Players: 1 offline, 2-8 online

Don’t limit yourself to just four wheels in American motorsports. The Crew 2 gives you the chance to dominate the land, air and sea with a massive variety of exotic cars, bikes, boats and planes to race with. You have to master them all in an adrenaline-pumping competition across the United States, where you must pledge your loyalties to one of four different families to determine your racing approach: street and pro racers, off-road experts and freestylers.

 
 

Arcade fun

Fast, furious and frantic – these games don’t let up on the action.    
 

Tiny Trax

Developer: Futurlab
The speedy summary: Little cars on larger-than-life VR tracks
Players: 1 offline, 2-8 online

If you’ve ever played with toy cars around the house, this is right up your street. Using PS VR, Tiny Trax immerses you in 12 varied courses where the little vehicles race around you. Twists, turns, loops and drifts are just inches from your face as they speed around volcanoes, tropical islands and even outer-space. You’ve never experienced slot-car racing like this. 

Onrush

Developer: Codemasters
The speedy summary: Explosive, thrill-a-minute racing
Players: 1 offline, 2-12 online

While many other racers focus on realism, Onrush is all about the crazy feeling of spectacular, over-the-top thrills that only video games can provide. Coming from the creators of hit PS3 racing series MotorStorm, Onrush straps you into a gravity-defying, off-road joyride where it’s not just about finishing first – taking down your rivals, exploiting outrageous turbo boosts and looking as stylish as possible while doing it are all equally important.    

 
 

WipEout Omega Collection

Developer: Sony XDev, Clever Beans & EPOS Game Studios
The speedy summary: Flying into the future
Players: 1-2 offline, 2-8 online

Few futuristic racing games have reached the thrill-a-minute heights of the WipEout series, and Omega Collection truly fired the critically acclaimed PlayStation mainstay into a shiny new age. Bringing back 26 reversible tracks, 46 unique ships and nine game modes from WipEout HD, WipEout Fury and WipEout 2048, this PS4 remaster offers a face-melting sensation of speed with 60 frames per second visuals and a PlayStation VR mode to put you directly in the cockpit of a top of the range anti-gravity machine.    

 
 

Trackmania Turbo

Developer: Nadeo
The speedy summary: Outlandish full throttle fun 
Players: 1-16 offline, 2-16 online

Not many games in the genre can boast of having over 200 different tracks, but Nadeo’s arcade racer doesn’t stop there, giving you traditional canyons to drift through one second, before launching you into high-flying, rollercoaster style magnetic courses the next. And thanks to a versatile track editor, you can customise Trackmania Turbo to be as wild as you want. There’s even the option to race using PlayStation VR if you want to get up close and personal. 

Trials Rising

Developer: RedLynx
The speedy summary: Motocross madness fantasy
Players: 1-4 offline, 2-4 online

Bike racing doesn’t have to be realistic, as the physics-bending Trials Rising proves with outrageous flair. Perform madcap stunts such as backflipping off the Eiffel Tower, speed through snowstorms on Mount Everest and blitz around the Great Wall of China – just make sure you look more stylish than your opponents. And if you want to wind down (or get wound up), the hilarious Tandem Bike option lets you and a friend try to control one bike with two riders.