Best Racing Games for PC Windows Central 2021
Whether you're looking for serious sim racing or more casual four-wheeled action, there are some really terrific racers among the best PC games. There really is something for everyone, and these are the racing games you should be playing on your PC.
- ★ Editor's Choice: Forza Horizon 4
- GT dreams: Assetto Corsa Competitizione
- Ultra realistic: iRacing
- Beginner friendly: Project Cars 3
- Free to play: Raceroom
- Left over crest: DiRT 5
- Smashing good: Wreckfest
- Full throttle: Forza Motorsport 7
- Electrifying: rFactor 2
- Open wheel: F1 2020
★ Editor's Choice: Forza Horizon 4Staff 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.
GT dreams: Assetto Corsa CompetitizioneStaff 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.
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 massive 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!
Beginner friendly: Project Cars 3
Project Cars 3 hits the track from a less sim-like angle to its predecessors but still with real tracks, cars, and good physics bundled with a thriving competitive scene. The choice of cars is broad, and it's one of the more approachable games around for beginners. You can also expect good long term support.
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. It's completely free to play for starters, 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.
Left over crest: DiRT 5
DiRT 5 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. The icing on the cake is the playground mode, allowing you to go absolutely wild and build the course of your dreams and someone else's nightmares.
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.
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.
Electrifying: rFactor 2
Another serious sim for serious racers, rFactor 2, has been around for several years, getting updates and fresh content to expand its appeal. Excellent 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.
Open wheel: F1 2020
The official game of the F1 World Championship, F1 2020, is the latest in the series to date with all official drivers, teams, circuits, and liveries from the 2020 season, including the as yet unraced Zandvoort and Hanoi circuits. Customizable liveries have expanded, and the single-player mode now allows you to put your own team on the grid for the first time.
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 towards the top of any aspiring sim racers list. The scope of cars and tracks is a little limited compared to some, but with the International 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 a pretty strong endorsement.
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