Best Racing Games for Xbox One TechnoBuffalo 2021
When it comes to racing games, Xbox One is the place to go. It has a ton of quality games, and no two are exactly the same. Whether you want a good arcade game, something realistic, or a game where you can collect all the best cars there are, there are options available to you. Out of all of them, Forza Motorsport 7 is the absolute best.
- Best Overall: Forza Motorsport 7
- Best Realistic: Project Cars 2
- Best Arcade: Forza Horizon 4
- Best Rally: Dirt Rally 2.0
- Best Formula One: F1 Racing 2018
Best Overall: Forza Motorsport 7
Racing games all follow the same formula, more or less. They have tracks that hug the curves, cars that can be unlocked, and plenty of opponents to zoom past and leave in your taillights. Forza Motorsport 7 takes this formula and brings it to the next level with stellar graphics, hundreds of cars, more than 150 different tracks to memorize, and mechanics that will make you fall in love all over again.
The most important part of any racing game is what happens on the track. Handling, vehicles, and tracks all work together to either make or break an experience. Forza Motorsport 7 manages to deliver an amazing experience. Handling specifically has been fine-tuned to make your car more responsive than ever before. There are also updates to drifting, which highlights the way that Forza Motorsport manages to sit halfway between true realism and absolute arcade driving for an experience you won't get anywhere else. It's focused on fun, while still being challenging for new drivers and die-hard fans alike.
The upgrades to graphics are also just, stunning. To begin with, Forza looks better than it ever has before, by a long shot. Updates to lighting and weather conditions show off every angle of the cars you drive, and the tracks you drive them on. Inside the car, there's even more detail, down to the warning stickers on the doors. If you play with a view inside the car, you'll also notice that it shakes, making the game look more realistic as well.
From beginning to end, Forza Motorsport 7 delivers a stellar top of the line experience that makes it the best racing game for Xbox One. There's no hurdle to getting started and having fun, tons of options for what you drive and where, and graphics that will grab you by the eyeballs and refuse to let go. With multiple modes of play, updates to handling, and hundreds of cars to collect there is a lot here to love.
- Flawless graphics
- Hundreds of cars to race with
- More than 150 tracks
- No Toyota, Tesla, or Lexus vehicles on the roster
Best Realistic: Project Cars 2
When Project Cars burst onto the scene a few years ago, it delivered an experience that put an emphasis on a realistic experience. This meant tons of awesome tracks and cars, but a super steep learning curve made the game difficult for casual players to love. Project Cars 2 has taken the foundations of the first game and expanded on them, delivering an all around better experience without sacrificing realism in the process.
Whether you are racing using a controller or a wheel, the handling of every car has been improved. The issues with traction have been solved, cars are far more responsive, and you can feel it when your tires grip onto the pavement to take a sharp turn or shift into a drift.
Career mode has returned with some awesome new tweaks as well. It's just as big as it was in the previous game, but now you have more options and more freedom. While you can skip around to some races, in order to unlock the most prestigious tiers, you'll have to prove yourself in the lower leagues first. After all, it is the career mode, not free play. There is also now a full online mode, which may suit some gamers better than solo play.
For the most part, the graphics add to the experience without blowing you out of the water. It's the weather itself that shines. As it rains puddles form on the track, and when the sun comes out you can see them slowly disappear. This dynamic weather system adds to the experience of playing and continues to add a layer of realism to gameplay. The only downside is that on occasion frame rate may drop, or the graphics may stutter a bit. It's never enough to ruin a race, but it is noticeable when it occurs.
- Amazing updates to handling
- Expanded career mode
- 180 different cars to race with
- Steep learning curve for novices
- Occasional frame rate drops and graphic stutters
Best Arcade: Forza Horizon 4
Most racing games operate in a similar fashion. You have pre-arranged tracks, locations, and the vehicles you race them on. Forza Horizon takes a slightly different tact, in the hopes that you'll keep playing for a while. Each week the season in-game changes, delivering new trials, along with Forzathon challenges and hourly co-op online challenges. All of this is piled on the huge array of races, and activities that Forza Horizon 4 delivers.
The game works because it is an online shared world. You'll still be racing against AI drivers unless you're racing against friends, or taking part in a co-op challenge, but the world of Horizon is shared by every player. You're never forced to play online, but it is an option, and if you lose the connection you won't lose any of your progress.
One of the coolest features of the game is the emphasis on seasons. You'll get access to specific events for spring, summer, winter, and fall, without having to wait all year to see the next season. Each week the weather will shift, delivering new things to see and new ways to race, which helps to keep content fresh. It's worth it to see the difference in each track between snowy winter and sunny summer races.
The seasons work so well because Forza Horizon 4 is absolutely gorgeous. The cars look sharp, shiny, and chrome, the trees have detail, you can pick out dozens of tiny little things that add together to create a visually stunning game. Horizon 4 takes you through the British countryside and brings it to life. There is also a dynamic lighting system that makes the world look even better come dawn or dusk.
- Beautiful graphics
- Seasons add new layers of replayability
- Over 400 vehicles to race
- Gameplay can feel repetitive
- No Mitsubishi, Toyota, or Lexus cars
Best Rally: Dirt Rally 2.0
What do red dirt roads, serpentine mountain tracks, and a forest pouring down rain all have in common? They're just a few of the tracks that you can expect to fall in love with while playing Dirt Rally 2.0. This game brings rally racing to your console with beautiful graphics. Easily, the first thing you notice is how this game looks from the way that light shines down through trees to the glint off of cars just before you hit them out of your way through turns.
While it's a very pretty game to look at, half the fun of rally racing is getting dirty, and Dirt Rally 2.0 doesn't shy away from that. It throws you right into the fray with races all over the world. While the game is fairly difficult and lacks a comprehensive tutorial, you can adjust your settings.
There are six different countries with courses for you to traverse, and fun whether it's rainy or dry on the road. However, this is one place where gameplay stumbles. While each course looks unique, races reuse sections of track or have you race them in reverse. It means that you may get used to seeing the same track over and over, which can make gameplay repetitive.
One of the best updates to Dirt Rally 2.0 is the improved handling, and the terrain you are driving on. Whether you are whipping through wooded corners, or just revving while tire deep in mud, you don't have to fight with the controls nearly as much. When you combine this with tire wear and the changes to the terrain, you have a more realistic experience than Rally has ever managed to deliver before.
- Awesome rally simulator
- Tuning cars let you decide how they drive
- Races all over the world
- Steep learning curve for new players
- Running the same tracks makes gameplay repetitive
Best Formula One: F1 Racing 2018
F1 Racing 2018 brings all of the speed of Formula One right to your Xbox One. With 21 full circuits and 4 short courses, there is plenty of content to race through. There are also over a dozen different cars, each one handling a bit differently. You can choose the car that fits your race style, or learn to drive each one to beat out the other drivers on the track.
This year's iteration of the F1 franchise has delivered stunning graphics yet again. Cars, tracks, and people have all gotten a decent boost. This is most noticeable with the gleam of your car as you burn through a turn or the animation on the character's faces pre and post-race. The landscape has also gotten better, but when you're driving so fast that trees blur, it's less noticeable.
The big updates to gameplay come from the career mode. There is still a 10-season campaign mode to play through, but a variety of tweaks under the hood have improved it. A contract system lets you renegotiate your driver's contract each season, which can net you perks on the track, that is, if you've been meeting team goals. The research and development aspects have also gotten a facelift, and are easier to access and update thanks to the post-race interviews that you'll complete. So long as you don't bungle those interviews, morale will go up which makes for smoother future races for you.
- Smooth and shiny graphics
- Updates to career mode
- Opponent AI makes for more challenging races than ever
- Mechanics haven't received any meaningful updates
Every racing game that made our list is fantastic in and of its own right. With super realistic gameplay, top-notch handling, and more fun than anyone should have while crashing into walls, there is a reason that racing games are so popular on the Xbox One. Out of all of them though, Forza Motorsport 7 manages to race to the front of the line.
There is a lot to love about Forza Motorsport 7, and anyone feature would put it in the running. When you combine the massive number of cars to unlock, dozens of tracks, flawless graphics, and expanded gameplay, it's easy to see why it's the absolute best racing game available on Xbox One today.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jen Karner has been gaming for longer than she likes to admit and loves a good racing game. Even if she does end up crashing into the wall more often than not.
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