There are a ton of sim racing games out there. Not all of them are necessarily gems, but there's a lot of quality racing sims out there. It's quite common for a game to nail a certain aspect really well, therefore there isn't one perfect simulator, although a few big ones keep standing out from the rest.
This list is meant as an overview of available racing sims and how each racing sim stands out.
There is a range of sim racing games out there, where some are more on the arcade side (pick up and play) which would definitely be labeled as a game. On the other end we find sims that can be very challenging and sometimes can require a time investment in order to have fun, for example iRacing. There are also a ton of games right in betweem, which could be considered hybrids.
Racing Games, Racing Sims, Race Simulators, you may call our favourite past time as you please. Whether it's a simulator or a game we can fall in love with them.
There's no right or wrong answer, and ultimately if you can afford it we highly recommend checking out more games and sims so you get to get a taste of all of them!
The following curated list features sim racing games on different platforms (PC, Xbox, Playstation and more).
The Italian made racing game features a ton of cars, including the Ferrari and Porchse packs, and track from around the world. It offers full VR support and gives great bang for buck during one of the many Steam sales.
This realistic racing sim was was built on top of KUNOS Simulazioni in house built game engine. Unlike the recently announced successor Assetto Corsa Competizione which is built on the Unreal Engine.
Assetto Corsa is often praised for its beautiful and diverse collection of cars. There is a lot to choose from between the decades and around the world. Now all those wheels need a place to screech in order to be happy. Luckily Assetto Corsa offers a long list of Laser Scanned Tracks.
If that isn't enough, don't forget to explore the modding communities for cars & tracks.
Want to learn more about modding? There are a ton of communities out there that discuss and share everything there is to know about modding. We recommend Race Department's modding sub forum to get started.announcement.
Protip - Assetto Corsa Competizione will be the second addition in the Assetto Corsa series. There should be an announcement during the 22-24th June Blancpain Sprint Series weekend.
With two games released, the Project Cars games are a real crowd pleaser. For good reason as their large offering of popular tracks, wide range of cars and good opponent AI provide close wheel to wheel racing. The key feature that makes the Project Cars series stand out from the majority of other racing games is the weather system. It's a great addition to the immersion. Speaking of immersion, Project Cars also has VR support which is awesome!
This Online Racing Simulation provides close competition through a detailed licensing system. The offering of tracks and cars is impressive, yet these are all licesned. The base subscription comes with a set of cars and tracks which are good to get your toe in the water and try out the service. Purchasing additional content, ranging from $10 to $15 depending on the piece, is recommend (or required really) to get the best racing experience.
Protip - iRacing offers a competitive environment for your sim racing needs, at a price though. Expect to spend between $100 and $250 annualy. This number heavily depends on how much additional content you purchase and how well you capitulate on the seasonal sales.
An iRacing subscription provides great close wheel to wheel competitive online racing. It's an investment of both your hard earned cash, as well as a time investment. However if you do make these investments, you can get a whole lot of out of this service and your favourite hobby. We highly recommend trying out their great selection of cars, realistic laser scanned racing tracks and competitive racing leagues. Learn more about iRacing.
Well known racing simulator that's highly customizable.
There are even two demos available:
The Race 07 Series is a massively popular racing game for PC. For starters it offers an impressive amount of touring car classes which are a lot of fun to drive. The selection of tracks around the world make for countless hours of fun. Not totally convinced? Why not download the Race 07 demo.
From the makers of the previously mentioned Race 07 series come Race Room. It feels familiar, but this time out the game itself is free and additional content can be purchased. Why not jump in, download Raceroom Racing Experience.
Famous formula 1 racing series by Geoff Crammond, which is by many seen as one of the best formula 1 racing series ever created.
Gran Turismo set the standard for realistic racing games and offer a unique career mode. The series was first introduced on the original playstation. Every generation of Sony's console has had a Gran Turismo game as one of their flag ship titles.
Protip - We recommend turning off the traction control and stability control as it heavily slows you down in most cars. In powerful cars you can opt for 1 or 2 traction control (out of 10 as the highest setting).
Popular pick up and play racing game on the Xbox and PC platform, which makes sense as it's Microsoft's inhouse studio. The Forza series have a close following, and for good reason. Forza is a great way to enjoy sim racing and discover what racing both against AI and online has to offer.
Forza offers a ton of driving aids. We recommend learning more about driving lines and turning off the driving lines.
Looking to put your toes in the water before handing over any of your hard earned cash? There are quite a few games, both older and more recent, that offer some sort of playable demo or time restricted demo (60 mins of playtime for example).
You should be able to freely download and enjoy these demos. Usually the content available (cars & tracks) is heavily restricted and the game developers hope you will be enticed to purchase the full version for even more fun. That's up to you, here are a few free demos to enjoy!
These demos require the free gaming service Steam in order to install and run successfully.
The time is ticking as these playable demos prevent you from playing after a certain amount of time if you don't upgrade to the full version of the game. Better get your hot laps in while you can!
Not every piece of hardware is supported, this is especially true for older games and having some brand new hardware. To avoid disappointment, we recommend checking for compatability.