► The best driving games you can buy in 2019
► Includes both Xbox One and PS4 games
► Plus the best upcoming driving sims
If you’re a fan of racing games, you’ve got a food of options this year. Sims like GT Sport and DiRT rally offer a great range of cars – and now an even greater focus on online racing – while other driving games such as Forza Horizon 4 offer a more accessible route for the casual player. Whatever you’re after, and whichever console you're on, there’s a racing game out there for you.
Every racing game here will look incredible, too. Hardware has progressed significantly in the past two or three years, with machines such as the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro capable of pushing out beautifully crisp 4K, HDR content – providing you pair them with the right TV. With the right set up, you can now experience some of the most realistic graphics and handling we’ve ever seen – and constant updates means the amount of content on offer is only going to get better.
So, which driving games and racing sims should you buy in 2019? We've done the legwork for you, and put together a list of the best racing games you can buy right now – whether you've got a wheel or a controller, or an Xbox One or PS4. After that, you'll find a constantly updated list of the best forthcoming racing games, too. Buckle-up!
The best racing games you can buy in 2019
When Gran Turismo Sport first came out, it was good – but not great. There could’ve been more cars, more single-player content, and the actual amount of stuff you could do was thin on the ground. Several months and free updates later, however, and GT Sport has become one of the most well-rounded, expansive racing games we’ve ever played. The list of cars and tracks continues to grow, and this month saw the addition of Lewis Hamilton’s 2017 F1 car and a new track, for example.
It looks great, too. If you’ve got a PS4 Pro and 4K, HDR-capable TV, Gran Turismo Sport will deliver some of the best graphics you’ve ever seen – gaming PCs aside.
Handling has also been tweaked, with a new tyre model giving you the same sort of feel as games like Assetto Corsa and Project Cars 2.
Unlike other games, there's also a fantastic multiplayer focus and community, so if you're after well-behaved online racing, homemade liveries for your favourite cars, or a forum to show your best driving – you'll find it here. If you’ve got a PS4 and you love cars, this is a game you should probably own – and if you've got a PS4 Pro, it's a no-brainer.
| Read our full review of GT Sport here
Simply put, Forza Horizon 4 is one of the best racing games you can buy right now. Instead of controlled circuits and conditions, Forza Horizon 4 thrusts you onto the open-roads of Britain in some of the world's most exotic cars. We've played it, and we love it; it's probably the best arcade, or open-world racer since Need For Speed: Underground or Burnout Paradise. The only problems? It's probably not one for motorsport-bods, and it's only out on the Xbox One and Xbox One X, too.
| Read our full review of Forza Horizon 4 here
Codemasters’ latest DiRT isn;’t perfect, but it’s one of the best motorsport games out there for rally physics. When running at full 4K it offers stunning presentation, and the addition of a full licence for the WorldRX series will draw plenty of fans of the real motorsport in. You’ll need patience and time to get into DR2 but, when you’re in, it’ll consume you. Read our review here.
4. F1 2019 (Xbox One, PS4 and PC)
F1 2019 is out earlier in the season than usual – now on the weekend of the Austrian GP – it comes with a fresh batch of F2 content and promises an even deeper career mode, too. So, does it deliver exactly what’s needed, Hamilton-style? Or is it another disappointing, hyped pancake – like every Ferrari title challenge in the last five years. Read our initial review and impressions to find out. But so far, yes it does.
Read our full review of F1 2019 here
Following close behind GT Sport, Project Cars 2 is another impressive racing game. Although it might lack the polish of Gran Turismo Sport, Project Cars 2 has a wide range of cars on offer – from old-school BMWs, to classics like the famous Toyota GT One. If you’re a fan of modern-classic racers, this a game you need to buy.
Just like GT Sport, Project Cars 2 also lets you loose on a good range of tracks and there’s also a decent choice of single-player and multiplayer content, too.
And the best bit? Project Cars 2 is a multiplatform game, so it’s available on both the Xbox One and the PS4. However, those with a PS4 won’t be able to play those with an Xbox One and vice-versa.
| Read our full review of Project Cars 2 here
6. Assetto Corsa (PS4 and Xbox One)
Assetto Corsa might not have the graphics of other games on this list, but what it lacks in presentation, it more than makes up for in gameplay. Simply put, Assetto Corsa delivers incredible handling detail in every car you drive, and makes you feel like you’re operating a real piece of machinery.
Detailed physics and tyre wear models mean you’ll feel the car squirm and slide over every bump, and every corner seems to change from lap to lap. This isn’t a game for casual racers, but for those who really want to feel like they’re taming some of the fastest cars in the world, Assetto Corsa is a must-buy title.
While Assetto Corsa is fun with a standard Xbox One or PS4 controller, it’s best played with a steering wheel and pedal set-up. That way, you’ll really get all the track surface detail through force feedback.
Despite coming from a relatively small studio, Assetto Corsa has been regularly updated with free content and paid-for DLCs, so it’s improving all the time. And if you’ve still not got it, an ultimate edition version comes with every DLC released so far – for less than the original RRL.
Sure, it might not have as many cars or tracks as most games on this list – and the menus and multiplayer are super rough around the edges – but for pure driving enjoyment, Assetto Corsa is hard to beat.
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Best upcoming racing games in 2019
Above you’ll find the best driving games out right now, but there’s more on the way. In this list you’ll find the best driving games to be released in the near future, from arcade racers to dedicated racing sims:
Are they worth waiting for? Probably, but that doesn’t stop you getting some of the older games above for a discount price in the meantime. For example, the latest version of Assetto Corsa comes with all the DLCs, and costs less than the game originally did when released.
So, what racing games should you be looking forward to this year? Keep reading to find out about the sims you’ll want to be driving in 2018.
Assetto Corsa is back, but rather than a sequel, Kuno Simulazioni is giving us Competizione. Simply out, Competizione is going to be the official game of the Blancpain GT series, and adds dynamic weather and day/night graphics to the mix – even GT Sport can’t do that. We’re also told there will be a heavy eSports element, too. The only catch? It should be out on PC later this year, but we’re hoping it’ll come to consoles soon after that.
Need For Speed is back! The street racer has returned with a new trailer, and all signs point to the game moving away from a cinematic-style copy of the Fast & Furious genre. Instead, the latest instalment will be called Need for Speed Heat, and it appears to be returning to its police pursuit roots.
‘We’re delivering more options than ever before for players to be unique and make themselves known,’ said Riley Cooper, creative director at Ghost Games. ‘Our fans have been clear that they want more cars, more customisation, and more challenges, and we’re tuning up on every aspect. From your character’s style to your car’s performance and your driving style, we’re fuelling everyone’s creativity with this new game.’
EA says Need For Speed Heat will be out 8th November across Xbox One, PS4 and PC.