► 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 an impressive amount of options this year. Mammoth 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 are more accessible and fun for the casual player. Simply put, whatever you’re after, there’s a driving game out there for you.
And all these games will look incredible, too. Hardware has progressed significantly in the past two or three years, with machines like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro capable of pushing out beautifully crisp 4K, HDR content – if 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
3. DiRT Rally 2.0: best for off-road (Xbox One and PS4)
The previous DiRT rally was the most complete rallying-sim to grace consoles and this time round, Codemasters has gone bigger and better. In DiRT 2.0 you’ll recognise the same breadth of cars, range of stages and incredible graphics of before – but this time everything is turned up slightly more. If driving off-road, with quick reactions and constant peril is your thing, DiRT Rally 2.0 is easily your best option. We’ll also have a full review of the new game up shortly.
4. F1 2018 (Xbox One, PS4 and PC)
Codemasters releases a F1 game every year –but the team has polished things further for F1 2018 and it appears to provide a good step over the previous game. Sure, it’s not night- and-day stuff – that’s hard to do at this level – instead, expect more of everything we liked about the previous game: So more classic cars and a seriously immersive single-player campaign. Add new graphics and suspension modelling and the game has a grittier, more visceral feel, too.
| Read our full review of F1 2018 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.
We already have details about the official game of the 2019 championship – and it’s good and bad. According to a new announcement today, F1 2019 will be released on 28 June this year – around two months earlier than usual. That means it’ll be landing on PS4, Xbox One and PC around the time of the Austrian GP, not the much later but more interesting British GP. However, the last few F1 have suffered from bugs, so let's hope the accelerated release date won’t have an impact on the game’s quality.