What are the best PS5 racing games? It’s a saturated market and one of the most popular gaming genres, so unsurprisingly there’s a lot to choose from. Our racing game experts here at The Loadout have whittled things down to a selection of the best PS5 racing games that are essential plays for anyone looking to get behind the wheel.
We’ve looked at the full spectrum of the best racing games available to play right now on PlayStation 5, from arcade racers, to hardcore sims, to demolition derbies. Some of these racers are so good, they can be found on our overall best PS5 games list, so you know the quality bar is high.
Here are the best PS5 racing games:
1. Gran Turismo 7
Gran Turismo 7 takes advantage of the PS5’s very own horsepower and delivers a pristine racing experience that lands at the top spot on this list. It takes everything Sony’s premier racing game team have learned over the past two decades and improves on it in every way.
Even though super accurate and realistic racing is par for the course when it comes to a Gran Turismo game, GT7 iterates event further. Dynamic weather and temperature, haptic feedback, the new (and slightly strange) Music Rally mode, and much more make this arguably the best racing game to ever grace PlayStation consoles. It also has full VR support to become even more immersive, and stands out as one of the best PSVR2 games for those with Sony’s virtual reality kit.
Still conflicted? Read our Gran Turismo 7 review for more on why GT7 is the ultimate PlayStation racing game.
2. Need for Speed Unbound
While retaining the Need For Speed formula and tropes we all know and love, 2022’s Need For Speed Unbound looks to inject some new life into the series with a striking new art style and hip, fashion-focused aesthetic.
As you’ll learn in our Need For Speed Unbound review, that aesthetic often struggles to land, but it certainly delivers on the gameplay front. A decent story mode, a slightly complicated but fun open multiplayer mode, and a wide array of cars to customize and tune make for a great experience. Unbound also looks gorgeous on the PS5, with the more realistic car models and setting being cut with flashy, cartoon-style motifs and effects.
While it might not be quite as memorable and magical as Need For Speed titles back in the PS2 and PS3 era, Unbound is still definitely worth your time.
3. F1 2023
Developer Codemasters has been in the business of racing games for over 30 years, and with F1 2023 it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Unsurprisingly, with such a large foothold in the racing gaming genre, Codemasters appears on our list multiple times.
F1 2023 is the latest in the Formula One franchise and features two brand-new modes, visual enhancements along with the newer car models with updated physics, adaptive AI, and much, much more that puts this sim racer out in front with a lot to offer. What’s more, the new F1 World mode is the perfect replacement for F1 Life that fans found rather hollow in the previous game in the series.
It’s the most authentic F1 racing game to date – something you can read more about in our F1 23 review – and for all of you new or long-time F1 fans out there, it doesn’t really get better than this when it comes to living out your fantasies of winning world championships or standing on the podium in Monaco.
4. Lego 2K Drive
Lego 2K Drive might look a bit too family-friendly to be taken seriously as a decent racing game, and while it’s definitely something younger gamers could jump into, it still offers some great action for experienced racers.
As well as a Mario Kart-esque Cup Series, which drops you into a series of competitive races and crowns an overall winner after they’ve all concluded, there are also mini games and a story mode to keep you entertained. Lego 2K Drive is basically one big sandbox, taking you to a variety of locations, and your vehicle can even transform seamlessly during races to cover different terrains. It’s light-hearted, but still offers awesome racing.
5. DiRT 5
Hello to Codemasters once again, but this time we’re heading off of the tarmac and onto the slidey stuff. DiRT 5 is an arcade rally racer that, first and foremost, brings heaps of fun for PS5 players everywhere.
Travel around the globe, race around some incredible tracks, and do so behind the wheel of some of the world’s most iconic cars. Sounds good to us. DiRT 5 also has some cool utilization of the DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, which add to the rallying experience. For ultra rally realism, you’ll want to scroll down to the latest WRC game – however, if you’re not too worried about that, DiRT 5 is an absolute hoot.
6. The Crew Motorfest
At the start of this console generation, PS5 playersglanced across the console divide with envy as Xbox players enjoyed Forza Horizon 5, one of the best open-world racers ever. Well, with The Crew Motorfest, there’s now a more than suitable alternative for those on the PS5.
Ubisoft’s The Crew series has always been very popular, and Motorfest is its best entry yet. It takes players to a Hawaiian island and lets them loose in not only hundreds of authentic cars but in motorbikes, boats, and planes too.
Our The Crew Motorfest review shows just how impressed we were with the visuals, the content, and the racing itself. For PlayStation players, this is the top open-world racing experience, so if exploring a gorgeous tropical island, collecting a dream garage of cars, and racing against others online sounds like you’re kind of thing, don’t hesitate in picking up Motorfest.
Unlike a lot of the other premium-priced racing games on this list, here’s a completely free-to-play racer for you to try. TrackMania toes the line between frustrating and fun expertly, and while it looks fairly basic on the outside, it actually offers super intricate racing.
Gameplay-wise, TrackMania is all about precision, hitting the right angles, and carrying as much speed as you dare through corners. Content-wise, it’s extremely broad, with mountains of community-created tracks and updates from the main development team at Ubisoft. To access a lot of this content, you will need to buy a subcription, but the base game is totally free to try out.
There’s even a competitive esports scene around TrackMania, if you find yourself enjoying it that much. It’s one of the most fun free PS5 games on the PS Store right now, so it’s definitely worth a go.
Wreckfest is a demolition derby themed racing game with chaos at the forefront. It’s very pick-up-and-play in nature making it a great, easy choice for a casual online racing game with friends.
While smashing up opponents and being the last vehicle standing is probably the route to victory you’ll want to take, this is also still a racing game – crossing the line first will also see you on the top stop of the podium.
As well as a wide array of cars, there are some more… unconventional… vehicles you can smash up as well, including ice cream trucks, combine harvesters, and a bumper car. It’s a great game to play with a group of friends.
9. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged is an exhilarating, vibrant, and very fun PS5 game from the iconic toy franchise. Developer Milestone has created a massively-improved sequel to its arcade racing game that you should absolutely play.
There’s a garage of over 130 vehicles, and dozens of diverse tracks that will make you squealing with nostalgic joy. The gameplay will hit the right spot as well, with boosts, jumps, and loops that will no doubt keep your hands glued to your controller. Our Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 review gave it an impressive 9/10, largely thanks to the addictive on-track action.
Naturally, Hot Wheels Unleashed is targeted at a younger audience, and so you shouldn’t expect anything particularly special when it comes to the story or the concepts of the game. However, with gameplay this good, players of all ages will find joy in this absolute gem of a racing game.
10. Riders Republic
How about a racing game that is open-world, reeks of adventure, and takes you out of those boring old cars and puts you on something a bit more extreme? Well, that’s where Riders Republic steps in. You’ve got a range of sports to compete in from mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and wingsuit flying all on offer.
This one’s from Ubisoft and the French developer excels at bringing a massive multiplayer playground to the PS5. In satisfying 60FPS, riders can meet and compete in a variety of modes including, of course, fast-paced mass racing.
There are also semi-regular content updates to add even more events and extreme sports to the mix.
11. RiMS Racing
RiMS Racing is a motorbike simulation with a bit of a twist. You’re not only racing in this one, but adjusting the bike parts to give you the best ride, depending on what you’re after. It combines mechanics with racing in what developer RaceWard Studio explains as being perpetuated by the fact, “a race is not purely won on the track.”
To truly excel in RiMS Racing, you must channel your inner engineer and begin to understand what goes into your ride to make it come out on top.
12. EA Sports WRC
Codemasters has waved its racing game wand once again and magicked up a cracking, authentic rally game in EA Sports WRC. With years of learnings from the DiRT and Colin McCrae series, and all the official licensing of the World Rally Championship, EA Sports WRC is the game for rallying fans.
The game lets you pilot all of the 2023 cars from the WRC, WRC2, and Junior WRC – there are also dozens of iconic classic cars as well for fans to get starry-eyed about. All of the drivers, teams and liveries from the 2023 season are also in the game. If you want to forge your own path, though, you can create your own car in the Builder mode and compete in races and championships with your own rally monster.
The gameplay delivers just what you want from a rally game – terrains that feel unique and challenging to drive on, precision, and the satisfaction of nailing the perfect drift or jump.
And we’re at the end of our best PS5 racing games list. Whether it’s setting a lap record in an F1 car or smashing things up in an ice cream truck, something on this list will satisfy your need for speed. To make sure your getting the ultimate experience from the best games on the PS Store, make sure to check out our best PS5 controllers guide, as there are plenty of great alternatives to the standard DualSense.