There’s absolutely nothing stopping the next generation of Lewis Hamilton’s being formed and it’s undoubtedly a better chance than ever to get into the driving seat from a young age – via driving games. With easy access to consoles, computers and mobile phones, the sky’s the limit with what kids can achieve on the virtual racetrack!
What do I need to get started?
We have tried to keep the list as varied as possible so that you can choose whatever platform best suits your needs. Whether you have an old SNES lying around in the loft, a smartphone, a gaming console or perhaps a quick blast of your Dads high-end PC gaming rig while he’s out – the racetrack is ready and waiting whenever you can take a moment to have fun in the safest way possible!
13 – Cars 3: Driven to Win
Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, Nintendo Switch
If you loved the Cars movies, then there is absolutely no doubt you will love this game! Take control of your favourite characters to race against your friends and family and use exciting power-ups on a thrill ride to the finish line!
Cars 3: Driven to Win review
Playstation Universe’s Neil Bolt sat down with the game to offer his views:
“Cars 3: Driven to Win is quite sensibly, a racing game, an arcade-style one at that. It briefly touches upon the plot of the movie, then in another sensible move, cans any mention of it for a good long while until you finally unlock a showdown with sleek newcomer Jackson Storm.”
“Cars 3: Driven to Win is a genuine surprise. More so personally because I dislike the franchise, and I’m extremely picky about racing games. Sure, there’s nothing overly fresh or innovative about the game, but Avalanche understands what the priorities are here… accessibility and instant enjoyment for a young audience whilst offering plenty to do. An adult could easily consume the majority of the single player content in a week, but it’s almost always a great time while it lasts. It’s unfortunate that the playground mode is so ill-suited to the game, as having that work well, on top of the joyful racing, could have pushed Cars 3: Driven to Win to even greater heights.”
12 – Angry Birds Go!
Platform(s): Android, iOS, Kindle, Windows Phone, Blackberry
We’ve all loved Angry Birds at some point! The creators just couldn’t resist getting into the racing market, and who can blame them? Think of this as a new take on games like Mario Kart with your favourite Angry Birds characters and heaps of craziness added into the mix!
This is an awesome game to play against people of all ages and the perfect opportunity for kids to put their parents to shame!
Angry Birds Go! review
Trusted Reviews’ Sam Loveridge sat down with the game and shared his thoughts:
“Angry Birds Go is the latest addition to the Angry Birds franchise and comes in the form of a Mario Kart-like racing game. This 3D adventure is a downhill, soapbox cart racer where you can play as all the characters from the Angry Birds series. It’s a rather brave move away from the 2D physics-based point and aim Angry Birds we’re all used to, but one that is still very appealing to gamers of all age groups.”
“From the outset, it’s clear that Angry Birds Go is easy to play and fairly addictive, especially for short bursts of time. The familiar, colourful characters are all there and each has their own unique power-ups to use against the opposition.”
11 – Drift Hunters
Platform(s): PC, Android, iOS
If you want to get some practice in while you’re on the move or when you’ve got a few spare moments then Drift Hunters is a great opportunity to quickly learn car control for those secret practice sessions your boyfriend doesn’t need to know about!
Since it is available free on mobile and as a ‘flash’ game on PC, it is the perfect game to play whether you’re on your morning commute or if you fancy going sideways during your lunch hour.
10 – CSR Racing 2
Platform(s): Android, iOS
It was 4 years in the making after the launch of the hugely popular mobile game, CSR Racing and CSR Racing 2 certainly hasn’t disappointed. Featuring stunning visuals and perfected gameplay, this is the ultimate drag racing opportunity to beat the computer or your friends to the finish line.
CSR Racing 2 review
GameZebo’s Nick Tylwalk sat down with the game and shared his thoughts:
“It’s fair to say the cars look pretty impressive even before you do anything to them, as NaturalMotion delivers on its promise to up the ante on the game’s visuals. The lighting and reflections are especially eye-catching, and provided your phone or tablet has enough oomph under the hood, you can even open the doors, hood and trunk.”
“If players take to it, CSR Racing 2 could end up as the rare sequel that improves upon the original in every way. This ride may have taken its sweet old time being delivered, but now that it’s here, don’t be surprised if you have a hard time letting go of the wheel.”
9 – MotoGP 17
Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
If you feel like you’re the next Valentino Rossi but your parents wouldn’t dare let you loose on a motorbike then this is the ultimate game to prove your skills. Despite being extremely challenging, there is no doubt that once you get to grips with it you will realise that it’s an intense and enjoyable ride!
Highly recommended for keen MotoGP fans with patience!
MotoGP 17 review
Chris from Xbox Gamer Reviews shared his thoughts on the title:
“My last encounter with a MotoGP game lasted five minutes. This was followed by an expletive filled rant, and the obnoxious proclamation that I would never, ever touch a motorcycle game again. So when MotoGP 17 landed at my feet, I was afraid. Would those repressed memories resurface? Fortunately – for myself, my Xbox, and Xbox Gamer Reviews itself- MotoGP 2017 has vanquished all those doubts.
“It oozes authenticity, with gorgeous bikes, terrific handling and glorious sound. It isn’t perfect – The modes surrounding the gameplay could use more depth, and the online lobby structure could be improved, but a Sunday track day has never felt so good on a console.”
8 – Micro Machines: World Series
Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC, Linux
Your parents will probably remember the release of the first ever Micro Machines back in 1991, and they’ll undoubtedly want to try their best to show off their skills in this latest recreation of the original game… It’s time to put them to the test!
Micro Machines: World Series review
Hardcore Gamer’s Jeremy Peeples took a visit back to his childhood to bring you this review:
“World Series offers up a healthy amount of variety in a well-crafted package. You have traditional races with weapons, a battle mode, a battle mode with a bit of territory capturing akin to point control in an FPS, and a race mode where the first person to be run off the road by the ever-moving screen gets taken out for a round.”
“Micro Machines World Series is a great buy for anyone who enjoyed prior entries in the series or simply wants a great racing game that the whole family can enjoy. If you grew up in the early ’90s or just have an affinity for the license, it does it justice and delivers a rock-solid racing experience as well.”
7 – Real Racing 3
Platform(s): Android, iOS, Nvidia Shield, Blackberry
Electronic Arts latest offering in the Real Racing series brings sim racing into your pocket and the realism of this free game makes feel like you’re racing on the track when you’ve got a few valuable moments to burn because you’re early for school.
This realistic simulator is the perfect chance to get to grips with learning your racing lines and fighting to become the future Champion!
Real Racing 3 review
IGN’s Justin Davis spent some time with the game to deliver his thoughts:
“I’m a casual racing fan, used to big drifts and nitro boosts. Despite its no-risk freemium pricing model, Real Racing 3’s much more realistic sim-racing style initially frustrated me. It’s a big adjustment realizing you need to slow to a crawl to thread through S-curves. Even after the fundamentals are down, RR3’s AI racers will eat you alive until you learn to brake into a curve in order to accelerate out of it. The game isn’t afraid to severely punish anyone that doesn’t brake early enough, or gamers that don’t learn their racing lines.”
“This is the best racing game available on mobile devices.”
6 – DiRT 4
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Think you’ve got what it takes to become the next Ken Block? This is the game for you! Mainly based around rallying, this is the more entertaining alternative to the more serious DiRT Rally title.
Compete in all sorts of crazy machinery to perfect your off-roading skills!
DiRT 4 review
Polygon’s Owen S. Good delivered his verdict on the game:
“Experienced, novice, casual, committed, car buff, adrenaline junkie or anything in between, Dirt 4 has a sweet spot for everyone and it takes no time to find it. The game’s most profound strength is the unlimited variety and replayability offered by a simple course creation tool, which is well suited to rally racing’s basic appeal: hurtling into something new and unknown with nerve, skill and flat-out speed.”
“I’ve never been more charmed by a racing video game and I could not recommend any other more than Dirt 4, to anyone of any ability. Dirt 4 is a joy. When Jen Horsey, one of two English-language co-drivers, cheerfully calls out “and left five over crest,” it’s a bugle call. I’m on the gas with supreme confidence, rocketing into a gold medallion sunset, holding tight to the moment in one of the great summertime video games of the past decade.”
5 – Rocket League
Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Linux, MacOS
Okay, so we admit this probably doesn’t fall into the ‘racing’ genre, however it kept us so entertained that we just couldn’t keep it off the list. If you love soccer and racing, you are going to absolutely love this action-packed title.
The aim of this game is to get the ball into your opponents’ goal, which we promise is heaps more exciting than it sounds. Every moment is a chaotic thrill and desperate attempt to chase down the ball in order to score the goals and we loved it!
Rocket League review
Gamespot’s Miguel Concepcion undoubtedly enjoyed his time writing this review:
“Every moment in Rocket League demands split-second judgment. Are you the assertive type who takes control of the immediate situation at the risk of being in the middle of a chaotic, unpredictable scrum? Are you more of a long-term planner, one who watches your cohorts fight over a ball in a corner with the confidence that the ball will inevitably escape. When this happens, are you ready at the top of the penalty arc with the hope that the loose ball will roll between you and the goal? This echoes Wayne Gretzky’s words of wisdom: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” Rocket League offers countless opportunities to be Gretzky–or Nostradamus.”
“The joy of Rocket League rests on the countless plans that are conceived and discarded every other second in any given match. Trying to predict where and how the ball will bounce next is a game within the game. Despite the use of cars, Rocket League emulates the emotional surges typical of The Beautiful Game, such as the rush of an unexpected fast break or a well-timed header into a goal. With Rocket League, the promising concept of combining two wonderful things–cars and soccer–is equally magnificent in execution. You can’t say the same thing about, say, combining cake and fruit to make fruitcake, as the comedian Jim Gaffigan observed.”
4 – Need for Speed: No Limits
Platform(s): Android, iOS
Need for Speed is yet another series that both you and your parents will undoubtedly remember, and this latest version brings all of the action to your mobile phone. Featuring stunning visuals and gameplay that will undoubtedly have you on the edge of your seat – you’ll be desperate to hold the winning trophy amongst your friends!
Need for Speed: No Limits review
Android Authority’s Jimmy Westenberg delivered his verdict:
“No Limits is brought to us by the folks who made Real Racing 3, which is one of the most realistic looking racing games (surprise, surprise) available in the Play Store. And judging by No Limits’ graphics, it’s very apparent that they put a lot of effort into making this game as beautiful as possible. Like other Need for Speed titles, this game is riddled with reflections, smoke and other not-so-realistic aspects of car racing that make the game look really pretty. I could hardly find a dropped frame playing this on my 2013 Nexus 7, which really helps with the overall experience.”
“It’s much easier than most other racing games, and it’s especially easier than other Need for Speed titles. This makes it easy to get hooked on upgrading your cars, parts and customizations, since the game allows you to do so frequently.”
3 – Trackmania Turbo
Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
If it’s fun and entertainment you’re looking for then Trackmania Turbo is the perfect thrill-ride for those kids who like some craziness added to the mix in their racing games. After being a PC-only game for quite some time, console users are now able to join in the fun with this latest edition!
Those of you who are new to the series, it’s a fantastic alternative to serious sim racing, which will undoubtedly provide you and your friends with hours of entertainment.
Trackmania Turbo review
Gamespot’s Jason D’Aprile went thrill-seeking to deliver his verdict:
“Trackmania Turbo, has hit the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and the result is as fun as fans of the series could have hoped. The game’s unique focus on time trial racing gives it a distinctly refreshing feel from the Forzas and Need for Speeds of the world.”
“The game constantly lets you know where you stand and frequently restarting the race entirely after a mishap is a common, and necessary, tactic to stay on top. The ghostly nature of multiplayer manages to alleviate any frustration from vehicle collisions while still maintaining a constant sense of competition. This system also allows for an absurd number of players to be involved in a single online tournament–even on launch day, there were easily 70+ cars in each race.”
2 – Mario Kart 8
Platform(s): Wii U, Nintendo Switch
The Mario Kart series is one of the longest-running racing games out there, for very valid reasons. When Nintendo released Super Mario Kart in 1992, it took the gaming world by storm and the original version is still regarded as one of the best releases of all time.
Now on the 8th title in the series, it’s more fun than ever and a great opportunity for a level playing field to beat your family or your friends and family of all ages while you all have heaps of fun!
We recommend any version of the game you can get your hands on over the years, make sure you collect the power-ups and then power slide your way to victory!
Mario Kart 8 review
IGN’s Jose Otero had heaps of fun before giving his opinions on the game:
“Mario Kart 8 is the best kart racing game Nintendo has made in a long time. It strikes a careful balance between refining old ideas while introducing fresh new ones. Admittedly, its gorgeous graphics and jazzy orchestrated soundtrack bolster its presentation, but you’re getting a lot more than just looks with this one – although I spent an awful lot of time gawking at the details in slow-motion, the fast and furious pace of racing with friends both locally and online is what really kept me coming back.”
“Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an amazing game for all the same reasons I mentioned in our original review. It’s still a gorgeous kart racer and every bit as addictive as it was in 2014. This is the best entry in the series so far, and it has all the content you’ll need. Returning players have seen a lot of this game before, but the overhauled Battle mode and its five additional ways to play are a great reason to pick it up.”
1 – Forza Horizon 3
Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
We feel this is the best arcade racer and the perfect opportunity for you to hit the road before you earn your driving license, just make sure you don’t pick up any bad habits!
While some of us prefer to lay down perfect laps on the track, others like to just cruise or race on the streets. If you get bored of the road, the game continues to reward your off-road exploring. If it is pure fun behind the wheel that you’re looking for, we feel that this is the most enjoyable game out there.
Forza Horizon 3 review
PCGamer’s Phil Savage viewed his thoughts on the game:
“Forza Horizon 3 isn’t just a racing game. It’s a huge, varied playground full of things to do in cars. The titular Horizon is a festival, where enthusiasts come to race, pull stunts and enjoy the open road. In Forza Horizon 3 you take over a condensed but varied slice of Australia. There’s city streets, beaches, forests, fields, and a large patch of the Outback. The festival conceit is a great way to link multiple classes of vehicles racing across many different terrains, all under the umbrella of a unified celebration of competition, collaboration and skill.”
“Forza Horizon 3 doesn’t just succeed as a racer, but as an open world game. Each activity provides a variety of rewards. Money lets you buy new cars. XP rewards you with a ‘wheel spin’ each time you rank upâ€”a slot machine payout of credits or high-end vehicles. Fans, the main currency of progression, allow you to upgrade festival sites, filling up the map with even more things to do. The best of all, though, is skill points. These are earned for driving feats, which in Forza Horizon 3 means everything from drifts, near misses and clean racing, to trading paint with opponents, doing big jumps and knocking over bins.”
There’s also plenty of free driving games to play at smartdrivinggames.com.