Windows Phone Central Roundup: Racing Games

The best racing games that you can get for Windows Phone

Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Racing Games

Racing Games can be a highly addictive past time from our Windows Phones and the Store has a respectable collection of racing titles to choose from.  You have boat-racing games, motorcycle-racing games, automobile racing games and even airplane racing games. 

In this week’s Windows Phone Central Roundup, we take a look at four racing titles that will appeal to everyone’s need for speed.  We do stray from the path a little and take you out from behind the wheel with to of the games in this week's roundup.  Each title is an entertaining option to consider and are appealing additions to the Windows Phone gaming library.

Asphalt 8: Airborne

Asphalt 8: Airborne (trial/$.99)

If you have a dollar that is burning a hole in your pocket, spend it on Asphalt 8: Airborne.  You will not be disappointed.

Asphalt 8: Airborne is the latest in the Asphalt racing series and takes the game to new heights with plenty of racing, airborne stunts and high performance cars.  Graphics are outstanding, race courses challenging and it won’t take long before you are leaning into the turns.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne Main Menu

The game has forty-seven high performance cars that can be purchased through the racing credits you earn with each race.  You can also purchase car packs via in-app purchases as well as credits if you want to get a jump on building your garage.

You race in nine different settings with the career mode having eight seasons with one hundred eighty events to compete in.  You also have simultaneous multiplayer games where up to eight Asphalt 8 players can compete online.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne Garage

Game play is simply fantastic.  You can control your car with your Windows Phone tilt sensors or on-screen controls.  Acceleration can be set to automatic or manual.  The racing screen will have your turbo boost level in the top center, along with your speed.  Depending on the event, you may have your racing place listed and a map of where your opponents are as well.  The Heads-up Display is nicely done and does not interfere with your racing view.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne

Courses have ramps to allow you to jump across obstacles and on to short cuts as well as ramps for barrel rolls.  Slow motion graphics kick in during key points of the race to add emphasis and illustrates the high graphical quality of the game.  As you complete events, you will earn stars and credits based on your performance.  Credits can be used to buy new cars and upgrade your existing fleet.  When you earn enough stars, additional seasons and events are unlocked.

My only nit with Asphalt 8: Airborne is that it can be rather difficult to see oncoming traffic in some of the venues.  The developer added a nice touch by having oncoming cars flash their headlights but buses seem to want to sneak up on you.  This does add to the challenge of the game but can be a little frustrating.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne

Asphalt 8: Airborne is a quality addition to the Asphalt racing game series and is a must for all the racing hounds in the audience.  There is a free trial version available for Asphalt 8: Airborne and the game is available for Windows Phone 8 devices.  The full version will run you $.99 (a steal) and you can pick up your copy of Asphalt 8: Airborne here in the Windows Phone Store.  Asphalt 8: Airborne is an 819MB download so patience is needed for the install.

Are you looking to race on a bigger screen?  Check out Asphalt 8: Airborne for Windows 8.  There is a trial version for the Windows 8 version with the full version running $1.99.  The Windows 8 version does require 2GB of RAM and you can find your copy here in the Windows Store.  Playing Asphalt 8 on a tablet is rather enjoyable.

Dhoom:3 The Game

Dhoom:3 The Game (free)

Dhoom:3 The Game is the official game for the movie Dhoom:3.  Instead of sitting comfortably behind the wheel of a high performance car, Dhoom:3 places you behind the handlebars of a high performance motorcycle.

Dhoom:3 is an endless racing game where you navigate through the streets of Chicago evading the police and your archenemy.  Along the way, you can collect coins that can be used to upgrade your motorcycle, unlock new bikes and unlock new racing outfits.  If you want to get a jump on things, you can buy coins through in-app purchases.

Dhoom:3 The Game
Dhoom:3 The Game Store

To help you avoid capture or crashing, you have protective shields that can be deployed, a sonic pulse that will blow away everything in your path, and a nitro boost to give your motorcycle a little more zip.

You have the choice of two gaming controls, tilt or an on-screen touches that steer your motorcycle.  Acceleration is automatic with both of the control options.  The tilt controls are more enjoyable and responsive.  The touch steering seemed overly sensitive, sending the bike into the side of a building.

Dhoom:3 The Game
Dhoom:3 The Game Game View

Your racing distances can be posted to Facebook and submit to the games online leaderboard for bragging rights.  Dhoom:3 The Game is an action packed, fast paced, entertaining racing game for our Windows Phone that compliments the movie extremely well (see the official movie trailer below).  The only thing missing is a few ramps to get your motorcycle airborne.  

Dhoom:3 The Game is a free game, available for Windows Phone 8 devices that you can pick up here in the Windows Phone Store.

Turbo Racing League

Turbo Racing League (free)

While Dhoom:3 The Game is the official game for the movie Dhoom:3, Turbo Racing League is the official game for the DreamWorks movie Turbo.  Turbo Racing League also pulls you out from behind the wheel of a high-performance car.  Instead of racing a vehicle, you are racing snails. 

Turbo Racing League
Turbo Racing League Racing Menu

The game features nine unique racing tracks, special race events, performance and design upgrades for your snail, and rather impressive graphics.

The game features four game control options, tilt sensors, touch controls, joystick controls or button controls.  I am not a big fan of the on-screen controls simply because they take up room on the screen and block the quality graphics.  Tilt sensors or the touch controls (tapping the right part of the screen to steer right, etc.) seem to work the best with Turbo.

Turbo Racing League

Acceleration is accomplished in unique fashion by initially launching your snail from a slingshot.  From there you continue your momentum by steering your snail over acceleration pads (green pads with arrows).

Along the race track, you will find tomatoes scattered about that you can collect and use to buy your performance and design upgrades.  You will also get an amount of tomatoes at the end of the race based on your performance or you can buy tomatoes through in-app purchases.

Turbo Racing League
Turbo Racing League Garage 

Turbo Racing League is a fun, well drawn up, casual racing game.  It may not be your traditional racing styled game but it isn’t a bad change of pace.  I can see it appeal to Windows Phone gamers of all ages and, if applicable, a nice gaming title to add to the Kid's Corner of your Windows Phone.

Turbo Racing League is a free game available for Windows Phone 8 devices.  You can find your copy of Turbo Racing League here in the Windows Phone Store.

Drag Racing

Drag Racing (free)

Getting back behind the wheel of a car, the last game in this week’s roundup places you on the short track.  Drag Racing is a casual racing game that is feature rich with over fifty cars to purchase with your racing winnings, plenty of upgrades and head to head racing with your friends.  The object of the game is simple, cross the finish line quicker than your opponent does.

The main menu has options to jump into the race, visit your garage where you can upgrade your existing fleet, visit the car dealer to buy new cars, and modify your gaming profile.  Settings are also accessible from the main menu and cover sound/music levels, visual options (large shift lights, smoking tires, etc.), game controls.  You can also view the game's privacy policy through the settings menu.  Game controls allow you to turn on/off multi-touch, the ability to downshift, metric power display, and metric weight and speed displays.

Drag Racing
Drag Racing Gaming Modes

Drag Racing has two race strip lengths (1/4 and 1/2 mile) and five racing modes that include:

  • Quick Race: A fast, simple way to get into the game.  This game mode has four levels of difficult that include Beginner, Amatuer, Pro and a Boss Test.  The greater the difficulty, the greater the prize money. 
  • Career: You race against a series of opponents to earn cash and unlock vehicles.  You can choose your difficulty levels with the more difficult levels having greater cash earnings. 
  • Multiplayer:  Here you race against another Drag Racing player’s car.   You don’t race against another player but rather a recorded run by their car.  This mode has four internal gaming modes that set the difficulty of the race. 
  • Friends: This is the multiplayer game where you can race head to head against a friend.  You’ll need to send out an invite to your friend’s registered profile and then you can compete head to head. 
  • World Records: Race against the best times posted by other members and the cars that were used to set them.

As you win races, you earn cash or you can get a jump on things and buy cash via in-app purchases.  Whatever the means, you can use your cash to buy new cars and upgrades.  Upgrades include engines, wheels, suspension, nitro packs, and turbo boosters.  You can buy new paint jobs and fine-tune your car’s performance ratios.

Drag Racing
Drag Racing Car Showroom

The game screen has you watching the drag race from a profile view.   At the start of the race, an accelerator pedal appears to let you rev your engine.  Once the green light drops, the accelerator goes to the floor and your attention moves to shifting gears.  As your engine RPM’s reach the red zone, you’ll tap the up shift arrow on your steering wheel. 

Drag Racing
Drag Racing Upgrades

If you have upgraded to add nitro to your car, a blue nitro button will be displayed on the lower, left side of the screen.  When the time is right, just tap the blue button for a boost.  On either side of the tachometer, you will see your current gear and speed displayed.

At the end of each race, you will get a summary of your performance and earnings.  Even if you lose the race, you can earn money for good shifts (shifting in the green range of your RPMs) and fast starts.

Drag Racing
Drag Racing Game Screen

Drag Racing may lack the course navigation challenges of other racing games but is still an enjoyable game to play.  Graphics are well done, sound effect decent (some of the cars are a little on the whiny side), and there is plenty of gaming to keep you busy.  It is a good gaming option to consider when you only have a few minutes to spend on a racing game.  You can easily knock out a few races in the matter of minutes.

Drag Racing is a free, ad-supported game (you can get rid of the ads via in-app purchase) that is available for Windows Phone 8 devices.  You can pick up your copy of Drag Racing here in the Windows Phone Store.

Which fills your need for speed the best?

So which is the standout gaming title this week?  Easy answer, all four.

If you have either just a fondness or a passion for racing games, all four of these games will be enjoyable and fine additions to your Windows Phone gaming library.  Even those who are the fence about racing games will find appeal with each of these titles.

Sure, Asphalt 8: Airborne is probably for the more serious racing gamer but Dhoom:3, Turbo Racing League and Drag Racing are all strong contenders in their own right.  All four games approach racing from slightly different approaches.  Each has quality graphics, challenging game play, and each are fun games to pass the time with.

Oh, while all four titles are available for Windows Phone 8, each is compatible with 512MB devices.  Asphalt 8: Airborne gets rather challenging (but enjoyable) when played on the small screen of the Nokia Lumia 520.

If we have missed your favorite Windows Phone racing game, let us know in the comments below.

QR: Racing Games


Reader comments

The best racing games that you can get for Windows Phone


Street Outlaws & Real Speed, two amazing games. There's also TrackRacing Online.
My favorit 3 are 2 first mentioned and Asphalt 8. All 3 is high quality games with a unique experience so they won't directly compete with each other, more complete.

Yeah well it's a pay to win. Well designed, cheap and all.. but... you can't possibily buy most of the cars simply by racing and earning points, except if you're ready to run the same exact race 50 times to win a few credits.

Asphalt 8 isn't pay to win. You can earn money and buy every car without having to pay any additional money beyond the purchase of the game.

Aren't games made to be played? Why complain if you have to PLAY and EARN enough money to buy the cars? Really, that is ridiculous that someone would complain about having to play a game and earn money to buy the cars.

What kind of gamer are you? Back in my day...80s, 90s, it was a GOOD thing that a game provided many hours, sometimes hundreds of hours of gameplay until you "beat the game", earned all the cars, bought all the upgrades, unlocked all the tracks, topped the leader boards.

So now, in 2013, we have gamers who COMPLAIN that you have to play a game for an extended amount of time to actually EARN the content (like it has always been in gaming) AND gamers that complain when developers say "Ok, to all those that either don't have time to earn everything or are lazy, here, you can INSTANTLY unlock XYZ for a small fee. OR you can enjoy and play the game, earning unlocks and becoming a better player without spending any additional money.

Wow, some people just need to complain. If it was super easy to earn the cars due to them being priced cheaply in the game, and within hours or a few days of limited gaming, you had all the cars, you would complain about the game being too short, too easy and you not getting your money's worth (.99)!


His point is you have to race the same tracks with the same cars over and over and over and over to earn enough money to go up a step.  It's not challenging or entertaining, it's a thinly disguised way to make money off in-app purchases because when you aren't challenged a game gets old quickly.  It's a perfectly valid complaint.

In all games, you use what you have until you earn better or are given better. What new tracks and new cars is he or anyone expecting to drive unless they have earned them, bought them or done whatever is required to go up another step? Do we expect to have everything unlocked and given to us so that we don't have to race with what we have until we earn/unlock or go up a step?

Example, I have Battlefield 4 Premium on my PC and also Battlefield 3 Premium on PC as well. In 3, I use a certain Sniper Rifle with the Recon class that I must have earned at some point in my 2 years of playing BF3. On Battlefield 4, I do not own that sniper rifle YET. I have to play with my same sniper rifle over and over on the same maps (until new content is released) on the same game types until I earn enough points to go up a step or unlock the better Sniper Rifle, the one that I like from BF3.

What would I look like complaining that I need 8,000 points or a higher rank to get that Sniper Rifle? What would I look like saying "Gah, I have to play the flood stage AGAIN!!!!!!!! (and I chose the stage as there is more than one stage, more than one gun, more than one mode)." What would I be expecting? Is it reasonable to have all of the content unlocked or easily attainable without "putting time in"? What kind of game would that be, how much value would it really be? What kind of gamer would I be? (casual gamer if I complained about playing and earning a gun, maybe I need to play Sega Swirl instead.)

This generation has mistakenly labled "earning" as "grinding" and seems to want a lot for little to no effort.

Back to Asphalt 8. There is a stage and a particular car that I found makes a winning combination for the most money and I played that race a lot, not because I HAD to but because I WANTED TO and wanted to get as much money in the shorted amount of time possible.

Same thing in Battlefield. When I want the most in the least amount of time, I join servers that have a low amount of tickets/kills needed to win...aka quick rank up servers. I play those servers over and over IF I FEEL LIKE leveling up faster so that I can unlock the Sniper Rifle with less play time. No one is forcing me to play the same servers or use the same Recon type/Sniper Rifle over and over as there are other servers, guns and maps I could play. I chose to do so.

Bringing it all back to Asphalt 8, no one is forcing him, or me, or you to play the same tracks and same cars over and over. There are other tracks, other cars, other events, single race, and online play so that he doesn't have to play the same thing over and over.

The fault with this discussion is that the essence of earning something is doing the same thing over and over as you earn something from doing so. It is simple cause and effect. We earn by playing, we use what we earn to get more things to play. Before IAPs, we had cheat codes for those that didn't want to earn anything, then in the advent of internet connect games, we could download other people's saved files (not hacked files like now, but an actual save where someone else put the play time in to earn and unlock things and you could see their records and achievements), now people either hack or use IAPs and actually playing the game and earning everything is looked down upon in a negative (grinding) fashion and people feel obligated and like they don't have time to earn everything.

It is simple, either put the time in to earn what you want to earn, buy a "cheat" IAP to skip having to put in the time and effort or simply don't play the game because we may not have time or we may not care enough to play it.

I have Asphalt 8 for iOS, Android, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone. I worked hard on iOS as I had it there first, not so much on Android and Windows BUT I used an IAP to get a whole class of cars on Windows Phone as it is my main platform and I "just didn't feel like" earning the same cars again. I didn't want to put the time in to earn the cars again. That is not a fault of the developer or the game, or a fault with the IAP, it was simply all on me, myself and I. I decided I did not want to put the effort in on my 3rd go round. I had 3 options, just as you do. 1. Play the game and earn everything by actually plaing it. 2. Purchase an optional IAP and skip a lot of play time earning things. 3. Not play the game and avoid worrying about having to earn anything.

I like Granny Smith on Android....I have to play more to unlock the dog!!! Drats!!!!!

Games are made to be played. If we complain that we have to play to earn things, we may not need to play certain games.

When you're comparing Battlefield farming to get a sniper rifle and asphalt bashing you still forget the essence: you can't pay for the gun in Battlefield, evey damn gamer a bought - with the game - the right to earn it's stuff the same way: playing; not BUYING. That's all my point. 

I don't HATE Asphalt 8, if the purpose of the game was to be challenging; well then they would have thrown the in-game purchase item system away, slightly increased the credits earned when you're farming over and over the same race and given it for 5 box. But no, they'd rather make everyone pay 0,99 cent for a game that they know you can't finish without paying more. EXCEPT if you play the same damn game for 3h a day during 1 month, but I don't think anyone wants to do that on a cellphone.

I concur Aaanze's last point, mobile games are not supposed to be too time consuming as it defeats the purpose of having it played in a "mobile“ manner.

Sure you can have serious gaming with all the gaming cultures  Deaconclgi mentioned, but I don't think it should apply to mobile gaming.

You missed the point entirely.  I think Aaanze sums things up pretty well below.  But I'll just add to that.

I don't mind earning my way through a game.  But when I dominate every race I am able to do and still don't have nearly enough credit to step up to better competition, that's a poorly designed game.  It's a racing game.  When you master a race, you should be able to progress immediately.  To not be able to do so is ridiculous.

I'm evidently from a older generation than you.  You see, I grew up with the original NES, where games would present me with new challenges as soon as I mastered the existing ones.  Not offering that relegates what could have been a great game to "time-waster" status. 

Actually I think you explained my point much efficiently with far less words.. Thanks for that.

No. You didn't play the same game, or you just tried it for half an hour.
This IS pay to win. First, think about it, Gameloft doesn't give charity. A .99 game is never a gift meant to please the community. Its a strategy.
Its a pay to win because:
1. Being playing  car category class A, B, or C, the step between the first easy to earn cars and the last impossible to earn by simply playing (and I mean IMPOSSIBLE) is simply HUGE: something like 20-30mph max speed difference, 3sec for 1-100mph acceleration etc.
And the first thing you'll notice after playing a bit multiplayer is that the first rank player ALWAYS has the best car of the category. Always. There is no skill needed to win a race: you just have to have the best car. Believe me I've played it A LOT.
2. Your being so utopist that its actually almost cute to read: so this game is sooo perfect, it has been thought to offer fair and proper gaming experience to the gamer who wants some challenge and ALSO to the kid who'll use his mums wallet to upgrade and get the last cars at the beginning of the game ? Man... Its obvious that you didn't play Asphalt 8 AT ALL.
I'd rather pay 10 box for a full game with actual rich content and a challenge more interesting than having to run 50 times the exact same race to earn some credits.
3. Yeah because its funny when you say "you actually have to BEAT THE GAME" like I'm playing some hardcore old fashioned RPG.. Come on dude, wake up, its a gameloft game... Here, without credit, there's not much to beat since you need a lot of them to unlock cars which are REQUIRED to be able to try new races. So basically, you're here with 2000 credits, you have beaten every available race (with a max of 3-4 cars because winning everything barely gives you enough credits to upgrade the one you already earned) , and you now need 30 000 credits to buy a car that is REQUIRED for a new race. Except, since you've already pwned the other races, running them again will bring you... 200 credits.. Yaaaay. This is basically a race bashing game with NO CHALLENGE since you have to race again and again even if you already beaten the high score of the circuit like 20 times..
Anyway, there'll always be some Gamelofts enthusiasts convinced that the firm is doing its best to give us great cheap games. Get your facts, do some researchs, pay-to-win is the most profitable strategy in mobile game development and gameloft are VERY GOOD at it. So good that it actually lead people to think that they are offering some charity .99 cents game to the community to enjoy.  Do me a favor, try it for more than an hour and come back to me ok?

Oh and since you throw me the "new gamers don't like challenging games anymore" speech (which is actually pretty funny in the context of Asphalt...) here's a few games that actually worth every penny of their cost:

- Game Dev Story: fun, entertaining, challenging and worth a couple of dollars

- Skulls of the shogun: nothing to add, beautifull game

- Jet Car Stunt: far more difficult than asphalt, way funnier

- Spectral Soul: worth it's 10 f**g box easilly, I would have paid more if I could.


Now, some gameloft pay-to-win crap that I PAID, because I really try the game before pretending that they are good or bad:

- Order and Chaos

- Six-Guns 

- Dungeon Hunter 4 

- every other free gameloft game actually...

Asphalt 8 is NOT pay to win and thank you for telling me that I didn't play the same game or have played for less than an hour. I have Asphalt 8 on my iPad 4 since the day it came out and have played it a lot, I also have Asphalt 8 for my Lumia 1020, with 398 stars, I have it for my Windows 8.1 desktop and for my Nexus 5 so I believe I have played it for more than an hour.

I have never had to pay anything to win and I am sorry if some of you feel like the game is pay to win but it factually isn't. As I said before, you can pay to unlock things a lot quicker instead of playing the game and unlocking them and that is up to you to do so but don't sit there and state that the game is pay to win as if that is a fact because it is not.

To whomever it was that mentioned the NES, I grew up with it too and gaming was even tougher then because some of the toughest games didn't even allow you to save or continue and when you turned the game off or ran out of continues, you started all the way from the beginning. Of course a lot of games saved your progress but a lot of them didn't, even into the 16-Bit era. We all still played the same things over and over.

It is up to you if you like or don't like something but to state something is pay to win when it is not, that's not right. You don't have to buy anything extra and just because you don't want to put the time in to play the game and earn whatever it is doesn't mean that others feel the same. Believe it or not, there are people who just enjoy playing the game, enjoy the graphics, enjoy online play and they will play the game and unlock things AND win without paying anything extra because you DONT HAVE to pay to win.

Now, if there was a pay wall that said "the only way to proceed is to buy this IAP" THEN A8 would be pay to win but it isnt because you don't have to buy anything, you can just play the game.

Every gamer has a different tolerance level. Mine may be different from yours but I refuse to spread misinformation just because I feel a certain way about something. The fact remains, you do not have to buy IAPs to win and you can play to unlock everything in the game if you felt like it. If you don't feel like it, buy a time saving IAP or uninstall the game. Those who are going to play it any way will play it. Simple as that.

I apologize if I have mistakenly categorized or lumped anyone into anything because I don't know any of you well enough to do so.

Asphalt 8 could've been the best Windows Phone racing game, but it launched without Xbox integration, leaving Asphalt 7 as the undisputed best racing game on Windows Phone:

It's no wonder Asphalt 7 is selling better than Asphalt 8: Xbox-certified games are just more fun--more replay value, more social, more exclusive. If you're going to buy an Asphalt game, don't reward Gameloft for giving you a meager port from iOS and Android by buying Asphalt 8; buy Asphalt 7 instead and let them (and Microsoft) know on Twitter: #SaveXboxWP

The drag racing is awesomely simple (until you start gearing), but it has a glitch where cars you spent forever building up, disappear.

If you enjoy racing games and you have not downloaded Asphalt 8, you don't know what you are missing out on. It is an absolute fantastic game. Some parts it requires grinding a bit, but the grinding parts are still fun.

My son loves the movie Turbo, I did not even know about the game. Thanks for the heads up on that. I will be downloading it later for his enjoyment.

You missed the hands-down best racing game on the platform!

One which doesn't line the pockets of greedy games companies. Real Racing 2 is superb, and is a proper one-time purchase.

Wouldn't agree that it's the best, but it's definitely an oversight. C'mon EA, give us Real Racing 3 and claim back the crown!

I love asphalt 8 but my biggest gripe is that I own the w8 version and I can't continue my progress from either device.  Oddly this wasn't a problem with Asphalt 7...maybe because of the live integration?  Either way, would be good to have that back.

Why cant EA get their $hat together and release some WP and W8 games - I want Real Racing on my Tablet, and I want some sports games too - Madden, Fifa, Tiger Woods, etc!!!!!!

Go on Twitter and let them know via #SaveXboxWP that you want more Xbox games on Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT: @EA @EAMobile. Be proactive!

Asphalt8 is the awesome one among the games mentioned but the graphics in my Lumia 720 is really terrible.

I'm a huge fan of that Turbo game.  I went ot see the movie with my kids not expecting much and actually came out liking it.  So I decided to check the game out and it's a good game.


Oh yeah you forgot Redbull Kart Fighter

How come htc8x still gets to feature in reviews but not the lumia820 :C
both are equally old:/
- lumia820 user

"Are you looking to race on a bigger screen?  Check out Asphalt 8: Airborne for Windows 8.  There is a trial version for the Windows 8 version with the full version running $1.99.  The Windows 8 version does require 2GB of RAM and you can find your copy here in the Windows Store.  Playing Asphalt 8 on a tablet is rather enjoyable."

...except on Atom-powered tablets like the ASUS Vivotab - neither Asphalt 7 nor 8 works on it and no one seems to care!

I've said this before and I'll say it again - why isn't this more widely known? Does no one try to play these games on atom-based tablets?

Asphalt 8, hill climb racing and paper race. I love top-down racing games... Waiting for Reckless on wp8.