The Nintendo Switch may not be as powerful as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but it still delivers tons of fun. Instead of focusing on 4K capabilities like other current-generation consoles, the Switch lives up to its name by allowing you to take it on the go as a handheld system, or dock it at home to play on your TV. It’s quickly become one of the top-selling consoles of all time, thanks to its focus on family-friendly fun. You may not find extremely realistic driving simulators on the Switch that rival the likes of Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its fair share of racing games. In fact, the Switch is the only console you get to play Mario Kart, and for many people, that’s all that matters.
Below, you’ll find our picks for the top 10 best Nintendo Switch racing games currently available. Many of them are geared towards fun over realism, but there are a few selections that are a bit more like a driving simulator. We tried our best to cover several different genres, this way you can find something that matches your interests. After going through the games, we even have some recommendations on accessories you can buy to make your racing games even more fun.
For more information on the best Nintendo Switch racing games, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- 2. Gear.Club Unlimited 2
- 3. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
- 4. V-Rally 4
- 5. Team Sonic Racing
- 6. WRC 8: FIA World Rally Championship
- 7. FAST RMX
- 8. MudRunner - American Wilds
- 9. Nickelodeon Kart Racers
- 10. Horizon Chase Turbo
- Accessories to Consider
- Hori Nintendo Switch Mario Kart Racing Wheel Pro Mini
1. Editor's Pick: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Let’s kick this list off with a game that everyone has probably heard of: Mario Kart. On the Switch, the latest entry in the popular series is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is actually an upgraded port of Mario Kart 8 that was originally released on the Wii U. Upgrades to the Switch version include revamped Battle Mode with new courses, new characters such as Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy from Splatoon, additional items and the ability to carry 2 items at once, local wireless multiplayer support with up to 8 players, 1080p capability when docked, and an optional Smart Steering feature that is great for kids and novice players. And of course it includes all the DLC from the Wii U version of Mario Kart 8.
It’s basically the ultimate Mario Kart game you can currently get your hands on, and it’s arguably the best kart racing game out there. Choose from a total of 42 of your favorite characters from popular Nintendo franchises, while you race for the cup on 48 courses, including some inspired by Excite Bike and the Legend of Zelda series. If you’re a fan of Battle Mode, there are 8 courses to fight it out on, with 5 different types of battle. Online multiplayer supports up to 12 players, but you’ll need an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Just remember, friendships have been destroyed over Mario Kart before. Use with caution.
- Definitive version of Mario Kart 8
- 42 characters to choose from
- 48 courses to race on
- 5 different types of battle modes across 8 courses
- Smart Steering feature for novice players
- Wireless play with up to 8 players
- Online play with up to 12 players
2. Gear.Club Unlimited 2
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 is one of the more realistic driving games currently available on the Switch. It features over 50 licensed cars from some of the world’s most famous automakers, including Porsche, Lotus, McLaren, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, and Dodge. Gear.Club Unlimited 2 offers a huge playing area that includes over 250 races, located across 4 rich and diverse environments.
In this game’s story mode, you’ll save the family team from bankruptcy by taking on charismatic drivers of all nationalities. Just ignore the fact that you’re driving a Koenigsegg or Bugatti while facing bankruptcy—it is a video game after all. You’ll be able to create and manage your own club, recruiting the best drivers that cross your path. You’re also free to challenge rival clubs from all around the world, as you try to get your crew to the top of the leaderboards.
Car customization plays an important role as well. You’ll be able to manage and personalize your garage along with your cars.
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 supports local multiplayer for up to four players.
- Realistic racing game
- Features over 50 licensed cars from famous automakers including Koenigsegg, Lotus, and Bugatti
- Huge playing area with over 250 races across 4 rich and diverse environments
- Create and manage your own club
- Recruit drivers and take on other rival clubs
- Customize your garage and cars
- Supports local multiplayer for up to 4 players
3. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
He may not be as popular as Mario, but Crash Bandicoot has a rabid fan base and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled offers a change of pace if you’re getting a bit bored of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This game is actually a remastered version of the original Crash Team Racing and is even more fun on the go with the Switch. Enjoy multiple original game modes, characters, tracks, power-ups, weapons, and more in this kart racer featuring characters from the Crash Bandicoot franchise. The remastered Nitro-Fueled adds karts, tracks, and arenas from Crash Nitro Kart along with new content and challenges in Grand Prix post-launch seasons. You can also customize your racer and kart with n.sane kart items and skins.
Race online with friends (up to 8 players) and compete for glory with online leaderboards. Internet is required for Wumpa Coins, Grand Prix, online multiplayer, and other features.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled was named Best Sports/Racing Game of 2019 by The Game Awards and Best Racing Game of 2019 by IGN.com and the Brazil Game Awards.
- It’s like Mario Kart, but with Crash Bandicoot characters
- Remastered version of the original Crash Team Racing
- Multiple original game modes, characters, tracks, power-ups, weapons, and more
- Customize both racer and kart with n.sane kart items and skins
- Online multiplayer up to 8 players
- Plenty of awards
4. V-Rally 4
If you’re looking for some off-road fun, V-Rally 4 is the answer. In this game, you’ll take on the challenges of rallies, rallycross, drifts, buggies, and hill climbs, as you set off on a spectacular adventure racing across every continent. V-Rally 4 features over 50 car models, including famous rallying and extreme motorsports cars. You’ll be able to test drive, collect, upgrade, customize, and master all these machines while dominating dangerous roads, hostile conditions and environments.
Game modes in V-Rally 4 include Buggy, V-Rallycross, Hillclimb, Extreme-Khana, and Rally. In Buggy, you’ll not only have to be a good driver, but a clever one too. In this game mode, you’ll have to seek out different routes through the off-road tracks to find the shortest path to victory, as you race through Bolivia, Siberia, Kenya, and Monument Valley. In V-Rallycross, you’ll get behind the wheel of vehicles that are so powerful that FIA banished them from the World Rally Championship. Travel through Romania, China, England, and Japan as you race these hardcore race cars on tracks that are less than 1 kilometer long.
Hillclimb is all about dealing with altitude, as you put your driving skills to the test over long and winding tracks. It’s one of the most dangerous and demanding disciplines in motorsports and in V-Rally 4 you’ll get to go hill climbing through China, Romania, and Mount Rainier. And if all that isn’t enough, there’s Extreme-Khana, which combines several disciplines: drifting, rallycross, and time attack. Compete in Cape Town, Detroit, Nellis Air Base, and Sahara in this incredible game mode. Lastly, there is Rally, which really needs no introduction. In Rally, you’ll get to enjoy the scenery of Sequoia, Kenya, Malaysia, and Monument Valley.
- Great for off-road fans
- Multiple game includes: Buggy, V-Rallycross, Hillclimb, Extreme-Khana, Rally
- Race all around the world, including Kenya, Malaysia, Bolivia, Siberia, Romania, China, and more
- Test drive, collect, upgrade, customize, and master over 50 different car models
5. Team Sonic Racing
Maybe you were more of a Sonic fan growing up since you owned SEGA consoles rather than Nintendo systems. If that’s the case, you should check out Team Sonic Racing, which is basically Sonic’s version of Mario Kart. Combining the best elements of arcade and fast-paced, competitive-style racing, this game is packed full of your favorite characters from the Sonic franchise. Features include up to 12 players per race, 4-player local splitscreen, various offline and online race modes, team racing, and customization.
In team racing, you’ll race together and work together as a team by sharing power ups and speed boosts, using various team movies to assist your teammates. Knock out your opponents and unleash your Team Ultimate for victory!
You can also customize your racing style by choosing from 3 distinct character types.
- 12 players per race
- 4-player local splitscreen multiplayer
- Grand Prix mode, Exhibition mode, Time Trial, and Team Adventure mode
- Team racing allows you to race and win together as a team
- Customize and upgrade your vehicle, while choosing from 3 distinct character types
6. WRC 8: FIA World Rally Championship
If V-Rally 4 doesn’t seem interesting to you but you still want a rally racing game, check out WRC 8: FIA World Rally Championship. Featuring a new dynamic weather system, you’ll experience climatic conditions with true-to-life effects while racing. That means rain and snowfall will alter your traction so you’ll have to try different setups for each stage.
A single-player Career mode has been rebuilt from the ground up for the latest entry in the series. Features include calendar management, R&D to improve performance, staff recruitment and management. For those who like multiplayer, there are weekly challenges and WRC eSports returns.
WRC 8: FIA World Rally Championship boasts 50 teams, 14 rallies, and over 100 special stages for the deepest content ever included in an off-road racing game.
- Dynamic weather system
- Rain and snowfall alters your race plan
- Single-player Career mode has been rebuilt with lots of new features
- Multiplayer includes weekly challenges and WRC eSports
- Features 50 teams, 14 rallies, and over 100 special stages
7. FAST RMX
Maybe, just maybe, one day Nintendo will release a new F-Zero game. But until then, you’ll have to settle for FAST RMX, a futuristic sci-fi racing game. You’ll jump into the driver’s seat of an anti-gravity vehicle designed to race at incredible speeds, putting your skills to the test in high octane competitions. You can play locally with up to four players in splitscreen, or online with up to 8 players. Choose from 15 futuristic racing machines as you zoom through 30 tracks set in canyons, alpine peaks, futuristic cities, and more.
As you compete, you’ll work towards unlocking the Hero Mode, where you’ll get to play with new rules and challenges. Master the art of boosting and phase switching to stay ahead of your competition!
When the Switch is docked, FAST RMX plays at 60 fps at 1080p.
- Futuristic sci-fi racing game
- Choose from 15 futuristic anti-gravity racing machines
- Up to 4 players local splitscreen
- Up to 8 players online
- Race at incredible speeds through 30 tracks
- Unlock Hero Mode to take on new rules and challenges
- Runs at 60fps @ 1080p when the Switch is docked
8. MudRunner - American Wilds
For something a bit different, there is MudRunner – American Wilds. Providing the ultimate off-road experience, this game will put you in the driver’s seat of incredible all-terrain vehicles as you travel across realistic, physics-simulated landscapes with only a map and a compass as guides. Choose from over 30 powerful all-terrain vehicles from iconic U.S. brands such as Ford, Hummer, and Chevrolet. Customize your ride with 60 different add-ons that will help you on your mission, as you complete objectives and deliveries across 10 unique sandbox maps and 11 challenge maps set in the untamed landscapes of Siberia and the Northern U.S.
Prepare to overcome muddy terrain, raging rivers, and other obstacles that will realistically react to the weight and movement of your vehicle thanks to the game’s advanced physics engine. If you don’t feel like taking on the off-road journey solo, you can enjoy coop multiplayer with up to 4 players.
- Ultimate off-road experience
- Realistic, physics-simulated landscapes
- Choose from over 30 powerful all-terrain vehicles from iconic U.S. brands (Ford, Hummer, Chevrolet, and more)
- Customize your vehicles with 60 different add-ons
- Complete objectives and deliveries across 10 unique sandbox maps and 11 challenge maps
- Set in the untamed landscapes of Siberia and Northern U.S.
- Up to 4 player cooperative multiplayer
9. Nickelodeon Kart Racers
Another kart racer game, but this time it features 12 of your favorite characters from popular Nickelodeon series. That includes SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy from SpongeBob SquarePants or the good ‘ol Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If those two series aren’t interesting to you, Arnold and Helga from Hey Arnold! are also playable, along with Angelica, Tommy, and Reptar from Rugrats. Race your friends in up to 4-player local multiplayer or hit the Battle Arena for a variety of challenges.
It wouldn’t be a Nickelodeon-themed game if the tracks weren’t filled with slime! Race on 24 different courses, including Bikini Bottom, NYC sewers, Tommy Pickle’s house, Arnold’s school, and more. Customize the karts with multiple powerups and special attacks. This is a great kart racing game for families, especially if your kids are a fan of any of those Nickelodeon franchises.
- 12 iconic Nickelodeon characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hey Arnold!, and Rugrats
- 24 different slime-filled tracks
- Customizable karts with multiple power ups and special attacks
- Coop and local multiplayer for up to 4 players
- Great for families and kids!
10. Horizon Chase Turbo
If you’re looking for a truly classic arcade-style racing game, check out Horizon Chase Turbo. It’s inspired by the great driving games of the 80’s and 90’s, including Out Run, Top Gear, Rush, and more. Game modes include traveling across the globe in World Tour, competing in short bursts with Tournament, surviving through the Endurance, or staying competitive as the game evolves in the Playground mode. In Playground, there is an ever-changing set of races with all sorts of twists, from time attacks to changes in weather, mirrored tracks, and infinite nitros.
You can also enjoy Horizon Chase Turbo with family and friends with up to 4 players local splitscreen.
- Retro, classic arcade-style racing game
- Inspired by Out Run, Top Gear, Rush, and more
- Game modes include World Tour, Tournament, Endurance, and Playground
- Supports up to 4 players local splitscreen
Accessories to Consider
Unlike the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, where you can get some serious steering wheels and pedal sets, the Nintendo Switch is mostly about portability and fun. But there are some accessories you can get, that are much more affordable than the $200 racing simulators you see. This Joy-Con Wheel, straight from Nintendo, allows you to insert a Joy-Con to make it feel like you’re behind the wheel of a car in your favorite racing game. Each package includes 2 Joy-Con wheels, but not the Joy-Con controllers.
Although the wheel looks like a fairly basic accessory, some players swear by it and refuse to play Mario Kart without one. Just make sure they don’t throw it at your head when they inevitably lose a race to that one… annoying… blue… shell.
- Affordable accessory
- Insert a Joy-Con to simulate a steering wheel
Hori Nintendo Switch Mario Kart Racing Wheel Pro Mini
If you want something a bit more involved than the Joy-Con steering wheels, take a look at this accessory from Hori. It’s officially licensed by Nintendo and is a fully featured racing wheel for Mario Kart and other racing games. Onboard controls on the steering wheel along with paddles allow you to navigate menus and controls. You can also customize the wheel by assigning buttons. The Pro Mini (seen above) is the more affordable of the 2, but if you want something that is a full size steering wheel, opt for the more expensive Pro Deluxe option.
- Available as Pro Mini or Pro Deluxe
- Officially licensed by Nintendo
- Fully featured racing wheel for Mario Kart and other racing games
- Onboard controls on the steering wheel with paddles and pedals
- Customizable buttons
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.
Photo credit: Nintendo