Best Racing Games on PS4 2021: 9 Driving Sims and Arcade Racers You Should Try
Racing games have been a hot ticket item since Sony released the first Play Station. Each new year brings more great games, delivering realistic experiences and a more comprehensive selection of cars and tracks. The line-up is impressive – particularly on the PS4 consoles.
Games like GT Sport, Project Cars, and Assetto Corsa bring with them unbelievable levels of detail and realism—the water and lighting effects, car details, and excellent physics engines make you forget you’re sitting on your sofa. Of course, there are still games for more casual racing fans too. If you like speeding through traffic in a vinyl-emblazoned Lamborghini or slowly improving your setup throughout many games, there’s a racing game for you.
Unlike other racing games like Need for Speed and Forza, sim racing games offer a more immersive driving experience. With more controls and the ability to increase your abilities through levels, the games we’ve listed below are more life-like than others in the same genre.
But how do you choose which to buy? Many racing games can, on the surface, seem somewhat similar, and everybody wants something slightly different from a game. This article provides some of the best racing games, old and new that you can play on PS4 today.
The Best Racing Games on the PS4 in 2021
1. Crew 2
Crew 2, released on the PS4 on June 29, 2018, is more than just fast, sporty cars and F1 windbreakers trying to beat others to the finish line. This open-world game immerses you into airplanes, fast boats, motorbike adventures, monster trucks, and more with exceptional environments full of life, action, and the elements of nature.
Crew 2 also gives you other options, letting you pick from off-road racing or freestyle to street races or pro racing circuits. If you love racing different types of cars and on different types of tracks, this game is for you. Enjoy numerous objectives, challenges, races, and upgrades, plus head into the demolition derby world and do some crushing or try your hand at drifting! The variety of options is so immense; you’ll be busy for weeks.
2. GT Sport
Gran Turismo Sport (released in 2017) is a Sony exclusive by Polyphony Digital Inc. with great features and functionality. While waiting for Gran Turismo 7 to release in 2022 (delayed due to Covid-19), you’ll have to settle for GT Sport, but it’s not settling at all! GT Sport brings actual driving and actual controls to life and adds to the ever-evolving franchise known as GT. The game has managed to stay relevant and grow with the expectations of gamers for years.
In practice, GT Sport gives you one of the most immersive racing experiences ever created, with realistic graphics, exclusive concept cars, multiple views, and a very well-supported eSports mode. We need to mention it’s also available on PlayStation VR for an even more immersive adventure! If you like racing games, you’ll want to buy this.
This game gives players a more realistic driving experience with 4k resolution and 60 FPS. GT Sport offers hundreds of cars to choose from and dozens of tracks, plus there’s plenty to keep the everyday gamer occupied.
Another thing that makes Gran Turismo iconic is anyone (regardless of experience) can enjoy the gameplay. From amateurs to those who have played Gran Turismo for years, the difficulty levels are just right.
3. Project CARS 3
Project Cars 3, released August 28, 2020, is the third BANDAI NAMCO racer in the Project Cars series. Offering a wide array of customizable cars and over 120 tracks, it’s no wonder why racing enthusiasts love Project Cars.
Although it features a similar amount of racers to GT Sport, Project Cars 3 covers much bigger distances. This installment is much different from its predecessors in nearly every way. Many players liken it to Forza, while others are more critical of the menu layouts and customization options than Gran Turismo. One thing that has undoubtedly improved is the handling, making it a more enjoyable racing game.
4. DiRT 5
DiRT 5, released November 12, 2020, by Codemasters Inc., is one of the most incredible graphical racing games out there for the PS4. The graphics are gorgeous, with day and night stages looking almost photorealistic at points, and there’s so much content on offer this time around, too. If you want to play online, bash into cones, or just mess around in RallyCross races, you’ll find a mode in Dirt 5 that lets you do it, and the handling is also impressive.
In simulation mode, keeping your car on the race track is tricky, challenging, and extremely rewarding when you get it right. Still, arcade mode keeps things exciting and enjoyable for more arcade-focused gamers, too. Play the career mode and advance through levels. Spend time driving on over 70 routes in 10 global locations full of various terrain and weather conditions. The visuals will have you amazed as you kick up dirt, slide around in the rain, and see stunning architecture along the way.
If you don’t like rallying yet, you certainly will after buying DiRT 5.
5. Nascar Heat 5
Nascar Heat 5 is the latest edition in the Nascar Heat series by Monster Games and 704Games to come to the PS4. This officially licensed NASCAR game brings you closer to the experience—literally. Enjoy official NASCAR tracks from Daytona and Talladega to Indianapolis and Darlington. There is a total of 34 officially licensed tracks! In addition, there’s a brand new Challenge Mode that offers both online and offline events to improve your skills and a new Testing Mode where you can experiment with various car setups to find the right combination of control and speed.
Get stunning visualizations that put you right into the driver’s seat and feel closer to NASCAR than you have ever been. Besides the NASCAR tracks, you get to work your way up in the Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series, Xtreme Dirt Series, and Xfinity Series. The game’s animation is quite realistic, both in the vehicles and out. It almost makes you feel like you’re watching it on TV, except you determine how it ends based on your skills.
6. Assetto Corsa
If you’re a fan of racing sims, Assetto Corsa is a must-have. Following months of delays on PS4 and Xbox One, the game finally made its way to the console in 2016. Assetto Corsa is an older game, but the value in realism is high, making it a long-running favorite.
There’s a great range of cars and plenty of tracks to drive, including Laguna Seca Raceway in California and Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, to name a couple. DLC is also released regularly. Multiplayer on Assetto Corsa is by no means perfect, and the graphics don’t look as pretty as some games now, but overall, it remains one of the best racing sims you can buy in 2021.
7. DiRT Rally 2.0
DiRT 4 might have eclipsed it, but DiRT Rally 2.0 is still a great game. With a steering wheel and shifter, this game offers one of the most immersive driving experiences out there, and it even has an optional PSVR DLC for Virtual driving.
Sticking with the driver-for-hire gameplay while also offering a career mode, this version of Dirt Rally seems to be a definite winner for enthusiasts and loyal fans.
It might not have the full licensing of the official WRC game, but who cares with such good handling and attention to detail.
8. F1 2021
Codemasters releases a new version of its official Formula 1 game every year, and each one improves on the rest. While on the surface, it might appear very similar to last year’s game, F1 2021 features vastly improved handling, along with all the racing tracks and cars you’d come to expect.
The game was released on July 16, 2021, on the PS4 by Codemasters, and it offers the realism of fast driving in conjunction with off-scene cinematics and scenarios. You can create your very own F1 team to face real-world drivers or head down the Career path with more options than previous F1 game releases.
There are far more improvement programs and practices available to help you improve and an even more comprehensive range of classic F1 cars to drive.
9. Hot Wheels Unleashed
Hot Wheels Unleashed was released on September 30, 2021, and it offers both legendary and new vehicles from the decades of Hot Wheels models. Delve into an immersive experience, choosing vehicles that carry their own unique driving styles. Take a spin in a Cadillac Seville, the Hot Seat™, AcceleRacers Deora™ II, and many more.
The tracks are stunning and unique compared to many racing games that offer on-land speedways and racing circuits. Make your way around numerous loops and curves while passing stunning 3-dimensional graphics and architecture. This game puts you in the driver’s seat as you build your collection of racers and design your own tracks if desired.
While Hot Wheels Unleashed delivers environments that include bedrooms, garages, and kitchens, it means nothing compared to the adventurous driving you experience and create. This game offers plenty of fun for those looking for a new driving experience, casual players who just want to have some adventurous fun, or even experienced driving experts seeking a new twist to their skills. Hot Wheels Unleashed carries enough options, exploration, collections, and creativity to keep you busy for months.