Best Racing Games for PC Windows Central 2019

Whether you're looking for serious sim racing or more casual four-wheeled action, there are some really terrific games to whet your appetite on the PC. There really is something for everyone, and these are the racing games you should be playing on your PC.

Video footage of Forza Horizon 4 gameplay taken from Xbox One X at 1080p, 60FPS.

★ Editor's Choice: Forza Horizon 4

Staff favorite

Forza Horizon 4 is the series' most ambitious release yet, with an always-connected open world full of real-life players, weekly season changes, fresh challenges, ranked multiplayer and a whole lot more. The latest expansion pack even adds Lego to the mix, and while it's hardly realistic racing, it's one of the most fun racing games you'll ever play. And if you also own an Xbox One, it's Play Anywhere-enabled for cross-play and cross-progression between PC and console.

$60 at Microsoft

GT dreams: Assetto Corsa Competitizione

Staff favorite

Following an early access program, ACC has now properly launched complete with its Blancpain GT license. Like the original Assetto Corsa, it's a stunning-looking game with realistic physics, full wheel support and a dedicated competitive community. The license is a little niche, but the game is absolutely superb.

$45 at Steam

Ultra realistic: iRacing

iRacing is about as close as you can get to real racing without putting a helmet on. Its ultra-realistic physics is backed up by a great selection of real-life cars and circuits, and there's a huge community of competitive racers to face and series to enter. It's even a favorite of current F1 racers, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, so it can't get a much better endorsement!

From $13/mo. at iRacing

Beginner friendly: Project Cars 2

Project Cars 2 hits the track from a sim-like angle with real tracks, cars, and physics bundled with a thriving competitive scene and excellent VR support. The choice of cars is broad, and for beginners to sim racing, it's one of the more approachable games around.

$60 at Steam

Free to play: Raceroom

Raceroom is another sim with realism at the forefront in a crowded space, but it has plenty to set it apart from the rest. For starters, it's completely free to play, with a selection of cars, tracks, and events available to play without paying. It's a great way to get a feel for sim racing, and with licenses for DTM, WTCR and WTCC, there are some great series to sink your teeth into.

Free at Steam

Left over crest: DiRT 4

DiRT 4 is a true gem for fans of off-road racing, with different classes of racing to try. It looks incredible, the vehicles behave in a pretty realistic way, and it's a riot whether playing solo or in online multiplayer. There's even an official esports World Championship if you're really feeling racy.

$60 at Steam

Smashing good: Wreckfest

Racing games always involve crashes, but in Wreckfest they're encouraged! It's a demolition derby-style racer that also has traditional style racing. Vehicle bodies deform, the physics are surprisingly good, and there's a pretty deep vehicle upgrade system to dive into. Above all, it's massive fun.

$45 at Steam

Full throttle: Forza Motorsport 7

Forza Motorsport 7 isn't a full-on serious sim nor is it an arcade funfest. Instead, it pulls from some of the best aspects from each genre to create an incredible track racer. The physics are fairly realistic and thanks to the Race Regulations program there's now a growing competitive mode for the more serious players. It's some serious eye candy, too.

$50 at Microsoft Store

Electrifying: rFactor 2

Another serious sim for serious racers, rFactor 2 has been around for a number of years getting updates and fresh content to expand its appeal. Particularly good is the force feedback and the physics, and it has also been optimized to make use of multiple CPU cores for maximum performance. It's also the best place to race virtual Formula E, if you're looking for that in particular.

$32 at Steam

Utterly simtastic

For serious sim racing fans the place to be is the PC, but it's not all serious all the time. Forza Horizon 4 is utterly stunning and an insane amount of fun, and it supports racing wheels if you want to get a little more immersive. It gets weekly content updates, and there's always something to keep you occupied.

But if you are looking to get serious, there's plenty to choose from. The newest contender, Assetto Corsa Competitizione, should be top of any aspiring sim racers list. The scope of cars and tracks is a little limited compared to some, but with the Blancpain GT license and a blossoming competitive scene it's one you'll easily pour hundreds of hours into.

The old stalwart, iRacing, is also still worth checking out. The pricing model may suit you or it may send you running, but at the very least you need to check it out with the base content. The realism is almost unmatched, there's a neverending collection of competitive series to enter and it's a favorite of two current F1 drivers, which is pretty strong endorsement.

Cheap PC accessories we love

Take a gander at these awesome PC accessories, all of which will enhance your Windows experience.

Anker 4 port USB 3.0 hub ($10 at Amazon)

Whether on a desktop or laptop PC, you always need more ports to connect things to. This hub gives you an additional four USB 3.0 Type A ports.

Ikea Fixa Cable Management System ($11 at Amazon)

This IKEA cable management kit is your ticket to a clean setup. It's simple and functional.

NZXT Puck ($20 at Amazon)

This clever little accessory has powerful magnets on the rear to make it stick to any of the metal panels on your PC case or anything else. It's great for hanging accessories like headsets.

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