1. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)
17 years ago, EA showed everyone what street racing games can be – fun and very stylish. After two successful parts of Need for Speed: Underground, the company released Most Wanted. It was a bold and successful experiment.
Unusual but correct decisions are everywhere in the game. In the single player campaign, the clear goal is to get to the top of the most wanted list. Finally returning to the series, the police create additional tension during the races. Abilities like time dilation allow you to get out of difficult situations and recover faster if you make a mistake.
It’s hard to tell just how much Most Wanted contributed to the genre, but there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best PC racing games in the industry.
2. Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5 is arguably the most beautiful arcade racing game on PC right now. It has amazing lighting, high quality textures, and the game supports resolutions up to 8K and HDR technology.
The action takes place in the Mexican city of Guanajuato, which is a large center of the gaming world, but the territory is not limited to this. There are various natural zones here: deserts and jungles , snow-capped mountains and canyons, volcanoes. On the way you can meet the ruins of ancient cities and modern buildings. The change of seasons occurs differently in different biomes.
3. F1 2020
A well-thought-out and exciting Formula 1 simulator. The game is realistic even in the smallest details. There are almost all the pilots, cars and teams that participated in the 2020 competition.
Realism is also evident in the configuration of the machines. You can change dozens of parameters that really affect the behavior of the car on the track. For those who love the classics, legendary cars from past decades are available in F1 2020.
4. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
A re-release of one of the best games in the Need for Speed series. In total, three different versions have been released under the subtitle Hot Pursuit, in this case it is an updated version of the last one, released in 2010.
All events take place in the American district of Seacrest. There is no full-fledged open world here – only a global map is available, where you should select a race or other activity, then a car.
The main feature of Hot Pursuit is police chases, which complement regular races, timed races and other types of competitions. You can play as violators, and for the guardians of the law.
Buy for PC →
5. Burnout Paradise Remastered
The pinnacle of the popular Burnout series. The key here is freedom. In Paradise, the player is free to move around the large open world as he pleases. Even in racing there are no clear routes – only the finish line, which can be reached in any way.
At one time, the game amazed with detailed accidents. If a participant flies into a wall at a sufficiently high speed, then they show him in all details how the hood gradually collapses, the windshield breaks, the wheels fly off. And the most interesting thing is that the same can and should be done with rivals. Destroying opponents in Burnout Paradise is an important part of the gameplay.
Buy for PC →
6. Project CARS 2
Project CARS 2 is a racing simulator with advanced driving physics, a damage system and a large number of available cars. The game has dozens of locations with different types of surfaces, including loose soil, gravel, mud and snow.
The simulator supports dynamic change of time of day and weather conditions. There are about a dozen different disciplines available for racers , in which you can both have fun and sweat notably. For control, it is desirable to use the steering wheel and pedals – the keyboard is unlikely to be dispensed with.
Buy for PC →
7. Assetto Corsa Competizione
Assetto Corsa is the main contender for the title of the most meticulous simulator in the modern gaming industry. The authors have done a titanic work on the game. It has dozens of meticulously scanned cars and tracks, as well as extensive customization options for cars.
The race physics engine takes into account aerodynamics, the temperature of the car’s components, and even very small factors like flattening tires after a long parking.
Buy for PC →
8. DiRT Rally 2.0
If asphalt circuits are available to you in Assetto Corsa, then DiRT Rally 2.0 is one of the main rally simulators. In this game, you need to drive through forests and fields, fit into sharp turns and avoid collisions with poles and trees.
The developers managed to find a balance between high fascination and accurate simulation. There are many opportunities for tuning cars, but if you wish, you can neglect them and just ride along the carefully recreated roads.
Race on PC from the creators of FlatOut, which is most easily perceived as the ideological heir to the famous series. Wreckfest has gone a little less arcade-y, but at the same time, smashing cars has become even more fun.
It’s all about the realistic damage system: if desired, the body can be turned almost into a lump of iron and rubber. Each impact leaves a dent that affects the behavior of the car.
In general, the whole point of the game is in accidents: it is difficult to find a project in which they would be as beautiful. And useful – to get rid of rivals.
Buy for PC →
10. Track Mania 2020
The Trackmania series combines near-endless creativity with highly competitive players. The 2020 version is a remake of 2006’s TrackMania Nations, reimagining all of the franchise’s successful moves.
The beauty of Trackmania lies in its versatility: everyone can find something to their liking. It will appeal to fans of arcade racing with ski jumping, acceleration and driving on walls and ceilings. In multiplayer, you can replay tracks several dozen times in an attempt to cut off another hundredth of a second. And if you enjoy building complex racing tracks, then there is a powerful level editor for you.
In the remake, players have access to many new special building blocks and elements from which it is easy to assemble their tracks with great variability. For example, a block with time dilation and a cinematic camera.
Free Download for PC →
This article was first published in October 2018. In September 2022, we updated the text.
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