This console generation, the Sony PlayStation 4 has really led the way with epic exclusives such as God of War, Spider-Man, and Horizon Zero Dawn. But that doesn’t mean racing enthusiasts have been left out. If you own a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro and looking for a racing game, you’ve come to the right place. From realistic racing simulators to story-driven, open-world driving experiences, the PlayStation 4 is jam packed with some of the best racing games the industry has to offer.
In this article, we’ll pick out the top 10 best PS4 racing games currently available, and we’ll keep this list updated as more and better titles are released. From Gran Turismo to Need for Speed, the PlayStation 4 has plenty of offerings if you’re looking to get behind the wheel and have some fun while at home.
To learn more about the top 10 best PS4 racing games, refer to our table of contents.
Updated 03/26/2020 with new games!
Table of contents
1. Editor's Pick: Gran Turismo Sport
The Gran Turismo series has existed since the original Sony PlayStation and it’s the console’s flagship racing game. The latest entry is Gran Turismo Sport, developed from the ground up only for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro. It’s not just about stunning and realistic graphics in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps), Gran Turismo Sport delivers with amazing audio, a total of over 150 cars to choose from, and 18 locations to race on with 54 different layouts.
It’s also a great racing game to get if you’re an amateur. Gran Turismo Sport features high level driving assist features, so even those who are driving cars for the very first time can learn. Those driving aids assist in steering, throttle control, brakes, stability control, and more, allowing you to choose which features you want the AI to handle.
Customization is also a huge factor in the game, allowing you to create your own livery so you can fully personalize the exterior of your car—in addition to all the other modifications you can make. An in-depth photography mode lets you take stunning snapshots of your creations for you to share through the game’s built-in social features.
The game is even compatible with PS VR, providing a 360-degree 3D environment to experience. Simply put, if you’re a fan of cars and own a PlayStation 4, Gran Turismo Sport should be in your library.
- 4K, HDR, 60fps performance on PlayStation 4 Pro with 4K HDR TV
- True to life audio experience
- Over 150 cars to choose from
- 18 locations with 54 different layouts
- High level driving assist features
- 4 different gameplay modes
- “Scapes” photography mode
- Livery editor
- Plenty of social features
- Compatible with PS VR
2. Project CARS 2
Boasting over 140 tracks in 60 locations around the world, Project CARS 2 is another must-have for every motorsports fanatic. This game delivers all four seasons of racing with variable weather including snow and ice. It goes beyond just weather conditions, as track temperatures, ambient temperatures, height above sea level, location, time of year, wind direction and speed, and track gradients all affect the game. Even the angle of the sun will impact track temperatures in Project CARS 2.
A total of 189 cars are at your disposal, ranging from karts to hypercars, and dozens of race cars in between from GT, LMP, Rallycross, and more. This game delivers with an authentic, true-to-life handling experience, and you can see how you stack up against the competition online with the new Racing License Accreditation system.
And if you’re serious about competition, the Project CARS franchise is a leader in racing esports with the annual SMS-R World Championship, weekly ESL Cups, and dozens of community leagues.
- Four seasons of weather conditions that heavily impact gameplay
- Over 140 tracks in 60 locations
- 189 total cars, ranging from karts to hypercars
- Authentic, true-to-life handling experience
- Online play with matchmaking
- Plenty of esports support including annual SMS-R World Championship, weekly ESL Cups, and dozens of community leagues
3. F1 2019
If you’re a Formula 1 fan, you do not want to miss out on F1 2019. The official video game of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship, F1 2019 features all the official teams, drivers, and 21 circuits from the 2019 season. This year’s title also sees the inclusion of F2, allowing players to complete the 2018 season and establish their reputation before stepping into the F1 Championship.
Eighteen returning cars from F1 2018 join four new classics from 1990 and 2010, for those who purchase the “Legends Edition.” Those four classics are the 1990 Ferrari F1-90 and McLaren MP4/5B, and the 2010 Ferrari F10 and McLaren MP4-25.
Multiplayer support in F1 2019 boasts a new League function, allowing you to find and create your own tournaments or compete in weekly challenges. There’s plenty of esports integration as well, with a dedicated in-game esports area that makes it easier to sign up and participate in the online qualifiers.
Customize your Formula 1 race car by creating your own livery, or replay and share your best racing moments with a new automated race highlights feature.
- Official video game of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship
- Features all official teams, drivers, 21 circuits
- F2 Career Opening mode
- Customize your own livery
- Participate in online weekly challenges
- Dedicated F1 esport area
4. The Crew 2
For a more open world racing experience, take a look at The Crew 2. This game isn’t just about cars, as it offers planes, motorcycles, monster trucks, and even boats across different styles of gameplay. Race across a scaled down version of the U.S. in this persistent open world game, delivering a variety of different landscapes, environments, and tracks for you to race on.
Designed to be more of an online, community gaming experience, The Crew 2 offers robust multiplayer with the ability to play with up to 7 friends in PvP mode. There’s even a Demolition Derby featuring fully destructible vehicles that you can tear apart in solo, co-op, or PvP battlegrounds. There is, of course, ranked leagues for PvP events so you can see how you stack up against the competition.
Gameplay is broken down into four different “Motor Families”: Street Racing, Pro Racing, Freestyle, and Off-Road. Within each of those Motor Families are different disciplines, like drag racing, street racing, drifting, rallycross, motocross, or hopping into a monster truck, boat, or plane.
The Crew 2 doesn’t deliver the same experience as other racing simulator games such as Gran Turismo Sport, since it focuses more on an open world experience rather than hopping from track to track and competing in events.
- Persistent, open world experience across a scaled down version of the U.S.
- Isn’t just about cars—race planes, motorcycles, monster trucks, and boats
- PvP mode with ranked leagues, Demolition Derby, and more
- Diverse racing experiences ranging from drag racing to drifting, rallycross to motocross
5. NASCAR Heat 4
NASCAR Heat 4 is the game to get if you’re a NASCAR fan. As the official video game of NASCAR, the latest entry in the series features the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, and the Xtreme Dirt Tour. In total, you’re able to compete across 38 tracks against over 150 official NASCAR teams and drivers.
New features in NASCAR Heat 4 include track map, unlockable paint schemes, more control options, enhanced career mode, a competitive smarter AI, and improvements to graphics and sounds. This game is also the only way to qualify for the NASCAR Heat Pro League, where you can possibly race for a real NASCAR race team by competing in esports.
As an added bonus, this game comes with a $50 NASCAR race ticket.
- Official video game of NASCAR
- Features the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, and the Xtreme Dirt Tour
- Compete across 38 tracks against over 150 official teams and drivers
- New features include track map, unlockable paint schemes, more control options, enhanced career mode, competitive smarter AI, improvements to graphics and sounds
- Qualify for the NASCAR Heat Pro League by competing in esports
- Includes a $50 NASCAR race ticket
So far we’ve covered some get track racing simulators, an open world game, and official titles for Formula 1 and NASCAR. So what game do you choose if you’re an off-road fan? That honor goes to Gravel. Designed to deliver the ultimate off-road experience, this extreme racing game is all about fun. Take on four different disciplines—Cross Country, Wild Rush, Speed Cross, and Stadium Circuit—while competing in offline and online game modes.
Cross Country is where you’ll race on huge areas with different layouts, offering lush and rich landscapes as you compete in checkpoint races. In Wild Rush, you compete in lap races through the wildest locations. Unique environments with natural obstacles will put your off-road racing to the test, as you take on the slopes of a mountain, race through paradise islands, or even tackle masses of debris and quarry rocks.
Gravel also features real-world tracks spanning from Europe to America in Speed Cross. Lastly, Stadium Circuit boasts both real and fictional arenas, packed full of jumps so you can try out some amazing stunts.
- Provides the ultimate off-road experience
- Four different disciplines: Cross Country, Wild Rush, Speed Cross, and Stadium Circuit
- Real-world tracks from Europe to America
- Plenty of offline and online game modes
7. Burnout Paradise Remastered
Don’t really care for a realistic driving simulator? Just want to have fun while racing fast cars? Burnout Paradise Remastered is made for you. The original Burnout Paradise was released in 2008 and became such a popular racing game that EA remastered it for the current generation of consoles. Playing natively in 1080p on the PlayStation 4 and in 4K at 60 fps on the PlayStation 4 Pro, Burnout Paradise Remastered delivers breakneck racing, high-flying stunts, and plenty of automotive destruction.
As an action racing game, you’ll take to the open roads packed with jumps, stunts, and shortcuts. This game is all about forgetting everything you’ve learned about proper driving as you set speed and destruction records all across Paradise City. You can play with up to 8 players in both online and offline multiplayer modes, choosing from over 150 different playable vehicles.
The remaster also includes the 8 main DLC packs from the Year of Paradise, including the popular Big Surf Island update.
- Remastered version of the 2008 hit Burnout Paradise
- Plays natively in 1080p on PlayStation 4, 4K at 60 fps on the PlayStation 4 Pro
- Action racing game packed with jump, stunts, and shortcuts
- Play with up to 8 players in both online and offline multiplayer modes
- Over 150 different playable vehicles
- Includes 8 main DLC packs from the Year of Paradise
8. Need for Speed Heat
The Need for Speed series is one of the oldest when it comes to racing games and the latest entry, Need for Speed: Heat, was released in November 2019. As EA says, “Need for Speed Heat is an adrenaline-fueled, vibrant racing game where the lines of the law fade as the sun starts to set.” Like previous Need for Speed games, you’ll take on the role of a street racer and compete in the Speedhunter Showdown during the day, underground races at night. In Speedhunter Showdown, you’ll race to win Bank in various motorsports events (race, drift, and off-road), while conquering the races at night will build up your reputation.
The tradition of dealing with cops continues in Heat. During the day, you’ll have to go out of your way to get them to come after you. But at night, you’ll deal with a rogue task force that is on the hunt for you and your car. There is plenty of customization options in Need for Speed Heat, with over 125 cars to choose from.
- Take on Palm City in sanctioned races during the day, underground street races at night
- Deal with cops in true Need for Speed fashion
- Over 125 vehicles
- Tons of customization options
- Street racing at its funnest
For an entirely different racing game experience, there’s Wreckfest. As its name suggests, this game is all about destruction. Experience epic crashes and neck-to-neck fights as you try to get to the finish line while wrecking havoc on the track. This no-rules, combative motorsport game features crazy courses with intersections and oncoming traffic for maximum destruction, or focus strictly on demolition in derby arenas.
Wreckfest is even packed with plenty of upgrade and customization options, with reinforced bumpers, roll cages, side protectors, and more if you’re looking to gear up for a demolition derby. If you’re setting up your car for a banger race, there are plenty of engine performance upgrades such as air filters, camshafts, fuel systems, and more.
All about fun and over-the-top crashes, there are even challenge modes where you can wreck crop harvesters, lawnmowers, school buses, three-wheelers and more. Take gameplay online in multiplayer and crash with your friends!
- Demolition derby-themed racing game
- In-depth vehicle modifying and upgrades
- Crazy courses focused on maximum destruction
- Challenge modes featuring crop harvesters, lawnmowers, school buses, and more
- Online multiplayer
10. Crash Team Racing - Nitro-Fueled
Alright. You’re tired of realistic racing simulators and don’t care for arcade-style driving games with real vehicles. You really want to play some version of Mario Kart but you’re stuck with a PlayStation so Nintendo games aren’t possible. That means you’ll have to settle for the best thing PlayStation has to offer and that’s Crash Team Racing – Nitro-Fueled. Featuring good ‘ol Crash Bandicoot instead of Mario, this fully remastered version of Crash Team Racing brings everything from the original to a whole new level.
Power slide your way in additional karts and tracks beyond the original game, while enjoying new characters, power-ups, weapons, and more. You can even race online with friends and compete against online leaderboards. It’s not quite Mario Kart, but it’s the best PlayStation has to offer.
- Remastered version of Crash Team Racing
- Additional karts and tracks
- Plenty of characters, power-ups, weapons, and more to choose from
- Race online against friends and compete against online leaderboards
- It’s a Mario Kart substitute on PlayStation
Add a Steering Wheel and Pedals
Sure, playing racing games with a controller is fine and all—but if you truly want the racing simulator experience, you’ll have to pony up some money for a legitimate steering wheel and pedals set. Our recommendation for the PlayStation 4 is the Logitech G29, which is also compatible with the PlayStation 3 and PC. Available with an optional shifter, the G29 features a dual-motor force feedback steering wheel that allows you to feel your tires on every turn. That means you’ll get a virtual, realistic experience of the terrain you’re racing on, every bit of under- or over-steering, drifting, and more. Solid steel ball bearings are used in the wheel shaft, while stainless steel paddle shifters and pedals, along with a hand-stitched leather wheel cover, add to the premium feel of this setup.
Other features that enhance the steering wheel include helical transmission gears that reduce noise and vibration, anti-backlash that keeps the wheel and pedals tight, and a hall-effect sensor which uses magnetic fields to sense the position of the wheel for steering precision. As expected with a premium steering wheel, the Logitech G29 has easy-access game controls with a D-pad, buttons, and more right there on the wheel. It has 900-degree lock-to-lock rotation, simulating what you’d experience in a real race car. Feel free to mount this to a table or racing rig with its built-in clamps or screw mounting points.
As for the pedals, it’s your standard throttle, pressure-sensitive brake, and clutch setup. You can however, reposition the pedal faces for easier heel-toe maneuvers. On the bottom of the pedal set are rubber feet and a retractable carpet grip system so they stay in place while you’re gaming.
You might be wondering if this is really worth the money, considering it basically costs the same as a console. If you’re passionate about racing and you love driving simulators, you likely won’t regret investing your hard-earned cash into a good steering wheel and pedals setup.
When is the Next Gran Turismo Coming Out?
At the time of this article’s publish date, there are only rumors about the next Gran Turismo game. It’s widely believed that it’s currently in development for the next-generation PlayStation 5 and it could even be a launch title. If you really like unconfirmed rumors, some websites are reporting that the next Gran Turismo game will be released on November 20, 2020 along with the new PlayStation 5. Keep in mind that Sony hasn’t announced when the new PlayStation 5 is coming out, so none of this is set in stone.
Perhaps the bigger question is whether it will be titled Gran Turismo 7, Gran Turismo Sport 2, or something new entirely. Developer Polyphony Digital hasn’t dropped any hints, so anyone’s guess is as good as ours. Realistically though, the name doesn’t really matter. Expect more of what Gran Turismo has done with its past iterations, but taking advantage of the new PlayStation 5 console’s hardware.
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