Top racing games for the PS4

This is a personal list of my favourite racing games for the PS4. It's my favourite genre of gaming, and I have a long history of playing racing games on both console and PC. I enjoy variety in my racing endeavors, so expect a mix of styles and vehicles. This list is also made from the perspective of a single-player gamer, as to me, a racing game is best experienced in solitude, where you can fully immerse yourself. Lastly, this is not a list of PS4 exclusives.

List items

  • I place a high value on Driveclub's exotic locations and immersive capabilities; the attention to detail in the cockpit view, the luxurious visual experience, and the satisfying sound-design. The driving and gameplay is similar to an early Grid or Shift experience. By now, the developers have added a large amount of content to the game, so there's plenty to enjoy for the single-player gamer.

  • Having played every previous MotoGP game, I consider this the best one so far. Part of it is due to the added Managerial Mode, which lets you manage your own team, as you expand and develop your riders and bikes. With every new iteration Milestone manages to improve what seems marginal, but which together results in a better experience. Again, if you value content, there's lots of it here, with several game modes and three classes of MotoGP to partake in.

  • This is rally racing in its purest form; just you, your co-driver, the car and the road. Since it's based on a real-life event, there's no rallycross or stadium races, only stage rallies. The standout feature of this game is the intense and wild experience you get. The sense of speed in this game is beyond anything else I've experienced in a rally game. Whereas Dirt Rally is tactful, WRC 7 is a wild beast.

  • Codemasters did an excellent job with F1 2017, by adding more complexity and choices in the managerial aspects of the gameplay. You have to plan and think about how you drive, the game is more demanding and will ask more input from you. At the same time there's an impressive level of personalization on offer, in how you race and play. It truly is a milestone in the world of F1 racing games.

  • It had a weak start for me, since I'm a single-player gamer. However, the game has since grown, through a large amount of free added content for single-player gamers. It's still a distance away from being a Gran Turismo 7, but it's getting there quite fast. More importantly, what the game actually offers is excellent; the sound, the visuals, the physics. It's the most complex and technical GT game so far I would argue, especially if you try the more sim-like settings. A big difference too, is that the AI feels more "alive" and less perfect than previously, as they too will make mistakes.

  • With a Career mode that feels endless, the amount of racing goodness in this game is superb. The game is a feast of dirt racing. It brought back memories of playing Colin McRae Dirt (2007) on the Xbox 360. Dirt 4 is Codemasters at their very best, offering a tonne of quality content in a single package.

  • Nascar games offer a form of racing you simply won't experience elsewhere, in any other racing game, it's a truly unique thing. And this particular Nascar game is really good; it plays well, it looks great, there's lots of options, and it has a massive amount of Career content. If you enjoy racing games you should really give this shot, there's nothing similar to it, … on the PS4 at least.

  • Bike games are an aquired taste, but if you enjoy racing games they offer a new and unique way to challenge yourself. Ride 2 is like Forza or Gran Turismo but with motorcycles instead, where you race, collect credits, and buy new bikes, … and the cycle continues. With a good selection of tracks, a huge assortment of bikes, and a gigantic Career mode, Ride 2 has plenty of good things to offer.

  • The standout feature of this game is that the stage designs are fully modelled after real-life rally stages, they have a sense of authenticity that is instantly recognizable. The other hallmark is that you get to re-live key moments from the career of Sebastien Loeb, one of the racing world's most skilled drivers. With physics that will truly challenge you and an abundance of single-player content, it's an easy game to recommend.

  • While the physics can be really tough to handle, even to the point of becoming overly frustrating at times, it's still worth experiencing if you are an ardent fan of racing games. The game offers tracks and settings you won't find elsewhere today. It doesn't have a huge amount of content, but what the game does have takes a very long time to master. You need to thoroughly learn the tracks and the bikes, though lots of practise. If you are new to bike games, I recommend Ride 2 or MotoGP 17 instead, since this game is extremely punishing and difficult to master, more so than Dirt Rally and Loeb Rally.

  • Similar as before but improved in every way; more options, deeper customization and personalization, tighter and more interesting Career mode, more cars and events, improved physics and graphics, and so on. If you are looking for lots of quality content, with a wide variety of racing events, look no further.

  • While I was disappointed with the amount of content in the game, the stage rallies in this game are very unique. The handling is tough and challenging, and together with the luxurious graphical quality and immersion, it offers a very rich racing experience. I just wish it had more stage rally content, because that is what makes this game shine. As it is, the game feels incomplete when compared against other modern racing games. I would gladly have traded the visual "fluff" for more content, but if you can find the game at a discount it's well worth picking up.

  • The best motocross game on the market right now. It offers solid handling, a high level of immersion, a good and varied assortment of tracks and bikes, and a lengthy career mode. I have lots of good memories from this game, of racing around in the rainy mud on some mistcovered morning.

  • The iconic futuristic racer, with a brilliant selection of tracks and vehicles, spread out across several Campaigns. Safe to say, there's lots of content in this Collection. Worth mentioning is that these games have a heavy focus on combat. I usually don't like combat racing, but here it's enjoyable and challenging enough to keep me hooked. Still, I do wish it focused on non-combat racing.

  • An aquatic futuristic racer, which looks fantastic and plays well. A treat for the mind and the eyes. It's sort of like Wipeout but without the combat, … and obviously on water. Not much to say, it's a cool unique game. We need more games like this, period.

  • A gorgeous futuristic racer in style of Wipeout. Whereas the latter is focused on combat, Redout is focused on a more traditional form of racing. If you adore Wipeout you seriously need to play Redout. To be perfectly honest, I like this game more than Wipeout, since it does not focus on combat.

  • Somewhat different, but still a racing game, albeit at a slower pace. Strategy and planning are crucial elements in this game, if you hope to win anything. The gameplay is immersive, relaxing, yet still rather tense, as you need to manage a number of things really well. It's a racing game where I don't really feel the need to win, the fun is all in the journey. I enjoy it in a casual way, which is a good approach to the game if you are new to it.

  • This is MotoGP 16, but with added special content in the form of Valentino Rossi stuff, where you become part of his team and get to re-live certain moments from his amazing career. It has a similar format as the Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo game. So not only do you get the whole MotoGP 16 shebang (3 classes = tonnes bikes and riders), you also get some very cool Rossi stuff.

  • While I had some issues with the inconsistency of the difficulty, as a whole I think the game is great fun. The standout features are the beautiful and highly varied racing locations, racing in different times of day and weather, fantastic sound design!, and physics that can be as arcade or sim as you like. In my review I likened the game to Sega Rally, because to me it has the same spirit.

  • A remaster of the original 2008 release. I always thought this game was heavily underrated when it first came out, everbody was comparing it to Dirt, even though they are vastly different games. The standouts for me are lengthy endurance races, the beautiful desert settings, and the rather unique collection of vehicles.

  • With glorious neon colours, this game is as much a visual treat as it is a racing game. Although to be honest, it feels more like a rhythm game than a racing game. It's old-school and feels quite familiar if you grew up with 80's arcade racing games. If you really want to test your reflexes and can appreciate heavy doses of neon flair, this game is well worth a look.

  • If you ever want to find out what PC racing sims are all about, this is a good way to do so, … on the PS4. As expected you get a tonne of things to tweak on your cars, technical handling, great sound and a good selection of cars and tracks (especially with the DLCs).

  • Lots of people seem to really hate it, but I had a great time with this game. It has a cool post-apocalyptic atmosphere, lots of different drivers to choose from, and bikes that you can upgrade. The gameplay is like an old-school arcade game, which to me is a good thing, with so many modern racing games aiming for "hardcore" simulation. Visually it has a Borderlands look to it, which I really like.

  • In this latest V-rally game, there's more varition than in previous V-rally games: buggies, hillclimbs, drifting contests and so on. If you enjoy the WRC and Dirt games you should look into this game. It has the physics and visuals of WRC 7 but is very much inspired by Dirt 1-3 when it comes to the content. The standouts for me are the exotic rally locations, that's what the V-Rally games were all about for me. Another feature I really like is that the more you use a specific vehicle the more upgrades you get for that vehicle, in other words you build a relationship of sorts with your main vehicles.

  • Nascar Heat 2 was already really good, and now they have even improved on that. The Dirt Tour is challenging and addictively fun, the Career mode is expanded and deeper than before; it has a Management mode that adds a whole new dimension to the single-player experience. It's a game where the passion of the developers really shines through.