Racing games have come a long way since Gran Turismo on the original PlayStation, or even Super Mario Kart on the SNES. Nowadays, racing games feature extremely realistic and stunning graphics, where screenshots could be mistaken for real life imagery. If you own an Xbox One and looking for some good racing games, there are plenty of options to choose from. Although you won’t get access to PlayStation’s exclusive Gran Turismo series, Microsoft has its own winner with the Forza lineup of games.
But we know that not everyone is a fan of realistic driving simulator games. In this list, we cover the top 10 best Xbox One racing games currently available, whether you’re a fan of Formula 1, NASCAR, going off-road, or even demolition derbies.
For more information on the best Xbox One racing games, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick - Best Racing Simulator: Forza Motorsport 7
- 2. Best Arcade Racing Game: Forza Horizon 4
- 3. Best for Formula 1 Fans: F1 2019 Anniversary Edition
- 4. Looking for Fun: Burnout Paradise Remastered
- 5. Breaking the Law: Need for Speed Heat
- 6. I Mostly Turn Left: NASCAR Heat 4
- 7. Loved the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie: Team Sonic Racing
- 8. Mario Kart for Xbox: Crash Team Racing - Nitro Fueled
- 9. Off-Roading on the Couch: Gravel
- 10. Just Crash Things: Wreckfest
- Upgrade Your Virtual Racing Experience
1. Editor's Pick - Best Racing Simulator: Forza Motorsport 7
The Forza Motorsport games are Xbox’s answer to PlayStation’s popular Gran Turismo series. Forza Motorsport 7 is console exclusive to the Xbox One and is your go-to game if you’re looking for a true racing simulator. With over 700 cars to choose from, you can race in over 30 world famous destinations and even compete in the Forza Racing Championships esports league. Those who own an Xbox One X can take advantage of 60 fps gameplay at true 4K resolution in HDR.
Although Forza Motorsport 7 was released in 2017, it’s currently the latest entry in the series, but expect news on Forza Motorsport 8 in the coming months. Still, the game is frequently updated with new content and if you only have the budget for one Xbox One racing game, this is the one to get.
- Over 700 cars to choose from
- Race in over 30 world famous destinations
- Compete in the Forza Racing Championships esports league
- Xbox One X delivers 60 fps @ 4K/HDR
- True racing simulator experience
2. Best Arcade Racing Game: Forza Horizon 4
The Forza Horizon series is a bit different than the Forza Motorsport games. In Forza Horizon, you’ll race around in an open world experience, as opposed to world famous tracks. Those looking for a more “arcade-style” racing experience while still enjoying the realism Forza has to offer, take a spin in the world of Forza Horizon 4. The latest entry in the popular series is one of the best racing games ever created, featuring over 450 cars you can drive across historic Britain.
One standout feature in Forza Horizon 4 is dynamic seasons—experience dry, wet, muddy, snowy, and icy conditions throughout your campaign in a shared open world. You can even race alongside your friends with online multiplayer (Xbox Live subscription required). Constantly updated with new content, Forza Horizon 4 provides enough entertainment until Forza Horizon 5 is inevitably released.
- Open world, arcade-style racing experience
- Over 450 cars to choose from
- Race across historic Britain
- Experience dynamic seasons
- Play online with friends
3. Best for Formula 1 Fans: F1 2019 Anniversary Edition
While most of us can hop into our cars and attend a local track day to see what it’s like to go racing, a very small number of us will ever have the opportunity to know what it’s like to compete in Formula 1. So if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to compete in the Formula 1 racing series, grab yourself a copy of F1 2019.
In the latest entry of this series, you can go head-to-head with the biggest rivals in both F2 and F1, with the F2 story mode. That means you can establish your career in F2 before competing in the full F1 championship. Like other racing games, F1 2019 also has an in-game esports area, so players can stay up-to-date with the latest news and highlights from the F1 esports series.
For those who like playing multiplayer, there’s a new league feature that allows players to find and create their own tournaments, compete in weekly challenges, and even customize a 2019 F1 Regulation Car.
- The ultimate Formula 1 racing simulator
- New F2 story mode
- In-game esports area
- Robust multiplayer with tournaments and weekly challenges
4. Looking for Fun: Burnout Paradise Remastered
If you aren’t looking for the most realistic driving experience and just want to have fun with a racing game, we highly recommend Burnout Paradise Remastered. This action racing game is a remastered version of the 2008 hit Burnout Paradise, featuring breakneck racing, high-flying stunts, and a ridiculous amount of automotive destruction. On the Xbox One X, Burnout Paradise Remastered plays in 4K at 60 fps, or native 1080p on the standard Xbox One console.
This game features nearly 100 cars, 10 tracks, and plenty of extra challenges and goodies. The remastered version also includes 8 packs of DLC, including the Big Surf Island update which added an all-new district to Paradise City.
Multiplayer with up to 8 players is supported, allowing you to smash through traffic with friends online and offline. So if you hate following the rules of driving, go out and have some destructive fun with Burnout Paradise Remastered.
- Action racing game that centers around high-flying stunts and automotive destruction
- Plays in 4K/60fps on Xbox One X
- Features nearly 100 cars and 10 tracks
- Includes 8 packs of DLC
- Multiplayer with up to 8 players
5. Breaking the Law: Need for Speed Heat
The Need for Speed franchise is one of the oldest when it comes to racing games, and it’s become so popular that it even has its own movie. The latest game to carry the title is Need for Speed Heat, which was released in November 2019. Like previous Need for Speed games, you’ll take on the role of a street racer and during the day, compete in the Speedhunter Showdown in Palm City. Speedhunter Showdown is a sanctioned competition where you earn Bank to customize and upgrade your cars.
But at night, illicit street races take place, and that’s when you build your reputation to get you access to bigger races and better parts. But it wouldn’t be a Need for Speed game if it wasn’t packed full of cops who don’t play fair.
Need for Speed Heat has over 125 cars to choose from, including the Acura NSX, BMW M5, several Ferrari and Lamborghini supercars, Porsche 911 models, and even a good ‘ol 1975 Volvo 242DL. Something for everyone indeed.
- Take on the role of street racer
- Compete in Speedhunter Showdown during the day
- Illicit street races at night
- Customize over 125 different cars
- Cops, and lots of ’em
6. I Mostly Turn Left: NASCAR Heat 4
If you love NASCAR, then you’ll want to grab a copy of NASCAR Heat 4. The official video game of NASCAR, NASCAR Heat 4 features the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, and the fan favorite Xtreme Dirt Tour. You’ll get to compete across 38 tracks against over 150 official NASCAR teams and drivers as you race for the championship.
This game is the only way to qualify for the NASCAR Heat Pro League, where you can potentially race for a real NASCAR race team. NASCAR Heat 4 also comes with a $50 NASCAR race ticket. New features in this latest entry of the series include a track map, unlockable paint schemes, control options, and an enhanced career mode.
- Official video game of NASCAR
- Features 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, and Xtreme Dirt Tour
- Compete across 38 tracks against over 150 official NASCAR teams and drivers
- Only way to qualify for NASCAR Heat Pro League—possibly race for a real NASCAR team!
- Includes $50 NASCAR race voucher
7. Loved the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie: Team Sonic Racing
Did you just watch Sonic the Hedgehog on the big screen? If you can’t get enough of that blurry blue hedgehog and want a kid-friendly racing game, check out Team Sonic Racing. Combining the best elements of arcade and fast-paced competitive racing, Team Sonic Racing is all about playing with friends online or locally. You can have up to 12 players per race (online) or 4-player splitscreen support for local play. Offline and online race modes include Grand Prix Mode, Exhibition Mode, Time Trial, and Team Adventure Mode.
Team Racing is all about racing as a team, using various team moves to assist your teammates and knockout your opponents. You can even unleash a Team Ultimate as you win or lose together with your friends. Items in this game are called “Wisps” with 14 offensive and defensive items at your disposal.
In Adventure Mode, you’ll go through a unique story experience that gets your feet wet with Team Sonic Racing. Experience 15 playable characters from the popular Sonic Universe with 3 distinct character types: Speed, Technique, and Power.
- Family-friendly racing game with a focus on multiplayer
- Up to 12 players per race online / 4-player splitscreen local support
- Offline and online race modes
- 14 different offensive and defensive items for varied fun
- 15 playable characters from the Sonic franchise
8. Mario Kart for Xbox: Crash Team Racing - Nitro Fueled
Did you grow up playing Mario Kart and wish you could play it on the Xbox One? Well, unfortunately you can’t since that franchise is exclusive to Nintendo, but here’s the next best thing: Crash Team Racing – Nitro Fueled. Join Crash Bandicoot and his friends in this popular racing game that received numerous awards including being named Best Sports/Racing Game of 2019 from The Game Awards and Best Racing Game of 2019 from IGN.
Fully remastered for the current generation of consoles, Crash Team Racing – Nitro Fueled is packed with fun-filled racing action with all new content, including online multiplayer racing. Game modes include Adventure, Arcade Single Race and Cup Race, Time Trials, and Battle Mode. A total of 15 characters are playable, including Crash Bandicoot, Doctor Neo Cortex, Coco Bandicoot, Doctor N. Gin, and more.
If you missed out on the original Crash Team Racing, now is the time to see what all the hype was about.
- It’s sort of like Mario Kart, but for Xbox One
- “Best Racing Game” awards from The Game Awards and IGN in 2019
- Fully remastered version of Crash Team Racing
- Several different game modes
- 15 playable characters
9. Off-Roading on the Couch: Gravel
Does racing on traditional tracks in supercars not appeal to you? Find turning left in a NASCAR race car mundane and boring? You sound like an off-road enthusiast! Providing the ultimate off-road experience on a video game console, Gravel takes you on a tour around the world full of extreme and wild environments with spectacular scenery and no-holds barred competition.
Gravel features four disciplines where you can compete with the most powerful off-road vehicles. In Cross Country, you’ll tackle huge areas with different layouts, designed for competing in checkpoint races set with beautiful landscapes. In Wild Rush, you’ll compete in lap races through unique environments with natural obstacles such as the slopes of a mountain, masses of debris, and quarry rocks.
The Speed Cross discipline features real-world tracks from Europe to America, where you can show off your off-roading skills in incredible jumps and chicanes. Lastly, the Stadium discipline boasts real and fictional arenas, packed with jumps and spectacular layouts.
Both offline and online gameplay modes are available in Gravel.
- All about off-road fun
- Four racing disciplines provide a variety of off-road experiences
- Cross Country: Huge areas with different layouts
- Wild Rush: Compete in lap races through the wildest locations
- Speed Cross: Race on real-world tracks from Europe to America
- Stadium: Real and fictional arenas
- Offline and online gameplay modes
10. Just Crash Things: Wreckfest
The name of this game says it all: Wreckfest. This game is all about breaking the rules and taking full-contact racing to the limit. So get ready to experience epic crashes while fighting neck-to-neck to the finish line. This demolition derby-themed racing game features soft-body damage modeling, sophisticated driving dynamics, and in-depth vehicle upgrading as you compete in both demolition derbies and more traditional track races.
Customization options in this game include reinforced bumpers, roll cages, side protectors, and plenty of performance upgrades such as air filters, camshafts, fuel systems, etc. If you’re looking for a combative motorsport racing game, Wreckfest has your name written all over it.
- Forget traditional racing, this is all about demolition!
- Soft-body damage modeling
- Sophisticated driving dynamics
- In-depth vehicle upgrading includes reinforced bumpers, roll cages, side protectors, performance upgrades
- Compete in demolition derbies and more traditional track races
- Online and offline gameplay
Upgrade Your Virtual Racing Experience
There is plenty of fun to be had with just your standard Xbox One controller, but for the ultimate racing experience, you’ll want to invest into a quality steering wheel and pedal set. There are quite a few choices in today’s market, but if you have the budget, we highly recommend the Logitech G920. This kit includes a dual-motor feedback driving force racing wheel with responsive pedals. You can also pay extra for a shifter.
Featuring durable solid steel bearings, stainless steel pedals, and a hand-stitched leather steering wheel grip, this product is built to last and is worth its price tag. The dual-motor force feedback wheel realistically simulates driving, with smooth and quiet helical gearing, allowing you to feel your tires on every turn and type of terrain. It also has a built-in directional pad and console buttons so you can easily navigate through in-game menus. The wheel is capable of rotating 900 degrees lock to lock.
The pedals further enhance your racing experience with throttle, pressure-sensitive brake and clutch pedals. You can even reposition the pedal faces for easier heel-toe maneuvers. The bottom of the pedals use rubber feet and a retractable carpet grip system to keep them in place.
- Dual-motor force feedback steering wheel
- Durable solid steering bearings
- Smooth and quiet helical gearing
- Built-in directional pad and console buttons
- Rotates 900 degrees lock to lock
- Throttle, pressure-sensitive brake and clutch pedals
- Pedals can be repositioned for easier heel-toe
- Rubber feet and retractable carpet grip system
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