7 Best Driving Games For PC
We dig deep and come up with the 7 best driving games for PC. Want to see what makes our list? Read on.
It comes as no surprise that nothing quite gives the thrill of strapping yourself into the driving seat of a race car, starting your engine, and pushing cars to their absolute limits.
As much as most people would love to be able to do this every day, unless you have an unlimited budget and own a racetrack, then chances are you are looking for the next best thing.
PC gaming is arguably the closest option out there, and with all sorts of gaming rigs available to emulate reality, just about anything is possible.
What do I need to get started?
Well, obviously a PC is the first vital step here!
With the convenient ability to upgrade necessary components when required rather than buy a completely new console at each release, gamers often favor PCs.
Before buying, ensure that your PC meets the minimum system requirements to save disappointment when playing your brand-new game for the first time.
We feel that racing games are best on a steering wheel and pedal setup, which can be purchased reasonably at the lower end of the market, right through to ultra-realistic brands such as Fanatec.
A recommended cheaper alternative is to use a joypad, with many people opting to use the Xbox remote. For viewing upgrades, some people opt for a triple-monitor setup.
In contrast, others push the boundaries and step into the VR opportunity, which comes at a price but offers the ultimate experience.
Thankfully, after testing, we have gotten away without scraped knuckles or oil stains to bring you our list of the 7 Best Driving Games for PC.
7 – WRC 7
The latest official game of the World Rally Championship has arrived to compete alongside the highly acclaimed DiRT Rally and DiRT 4. Causing somewhat of an argument amongst fans of the titles, it appears to be down to personal preference as to what game best suits your loose gravel needs!
This is undoubtedly a game for those who are patient and willing to perfect their skills on varied surfaces, expect to end up in a few ditches on the road to progress!
WRC 7 review
Gamespot’s James Swinbanks shared his thoughts:
“In a time where video games focus on making themselves pop with fancy special effects and extra side content, WRC 7 takes a more direct approach to both its presentation and gameplay. All the real-life teams, cars and sponsors are represented across the three tiers of competition; Junior WRC, WRC2 and the WRC, giving you the full gamut of options to choose from when taking on a single rally stage, an entire three day event or a full custom championship.”
“For all its minor faults and bare-bones nature in comparison to others, WRC 7 is still an enjoyable, but seriously challenging rally title. It’s not the most welcoming game for newcomers, and even experienced racers will find some of the rougher stages tricky. But ultimately, that’s also the point. Rallying isn’t easy, and KT Racing have taken that much to heart.”
6 – Project CARS 2
Undoubtedly one of the best racing simulators on the market, Project Cars 2 is almost up there with Assetto Corsa on the simulation platform, whilst undoubtedly defeating it in the graphics department.
After the love-hate initial edition of the game, which seemed to come with teething issues, it appears that Slightly Mad Studios have listened to the hard-core fans this time round to deliver a solid title. With a bustling car list and fresh game features, Project CARS 2 is a strong competitor in this elite field of driving games.
With rumors floating that Project CARS will soon be releasing their own arcade-style game, could they possibly be working on a Forza Horizon 5 competitor?
Project Cars 2 review
IGN’s Luke Reilly delivered his verdict:
“I enjoyed the first Project CARS, and I liked the way the touring and GT cars felt in particular, but not everyone agreed. A lot of that is due to the fact that the grip admittedly dropped off a cliff the second you broke traction, and it required a fair amount of finessing to hone the handling to a gamepad. Plenty of people rapidly retreated from the original Project CARS for precisely this reason.”
“The handling has been tuned to a T, the content is excellently curated, and the amount of variety and racing available in it is delightfully daunting.”
5 – F1 22
Each year, Electronic Arts (EA) improves upon the previous iteration of its hugely popular series, which is a must-play for any Formula 1 fan.
With the latest game in the series more refined and challenging than ever, it provides an incredible feeling. Also, it can challenge your driving skills with the same difficulty that the drivers experience out on the track.
For the ultimate F1 experience, look no further.
F1 22 review
Gamespot’s Alessandro Barbosa brings you his verdict:
“In the same way that the changes have made this Formula 1 season enticing to watch as drivers figure out the new limits of these cars around familiar circuits, F1 22 is a reset on your own understanding of racing in the game. Tracks with tight chicanes, such as the street circuit in Baku or the classic in Monte Carlo, are even more treacherous to navigate, with each slow corner feeling like it’s demanding far too much steering from the new chassis.”
“F1 22 can feel far more revolutionary than is apparent on the surface. If you’re returning to the series after last year’s entry, this year’s driving model offers more than enough in terms of meaningful changes to make learning each track feel like a satisfying challenge again. That’s especially true if you’re accustomed to racing around circuits with many of the game’s assists off, such as traction control. The heaviness of the new vehicles and the temptation to claw back control from the understeer tests your patience on the throttle, which makes even the medium assist setting tough to get comfortable with. F1 22 hits the mark of replicating the challenges that real-world drivers have been facing with these regulation changes.”
“F1 22 delivers, offering up a satisfyingly challenging way to wrestle these extreme racing machines around every track on the Formula 1 calendar.”
4 – Forza Motorsport 7
Forza 7 bridges the gap for those who don’t want to fully immerse themselves into a hardcore simulator such as Assetto Corsa but don’t want the ‘arcade’ feel of Forza Horizon 5.
With realistic physics, an impressive track list, a fully featured car list, a considerable amount of in-game modifying, and a great online community, Forza 7 is often the perfect go-to racer.
There is also a substantial multiplayer community in Forza Motorsport 7, so if you are looking to race with your friends or new people online, this is a great way to get into that community.
On top of impressive physics, this is undoubtedly one of the best games for visuals. We highly recommend giving Forza 7 a shot if you are looking for an all-rounder.
Forza Motorsport 8 is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to pick up #7 for a bargain price and get practicing!
Forza Motorsport 7 review
IGN’s Luke Reilly had his to say about Forza Motorsport 7:
“The core Forza Motorsport 7 experience is one that hasn’t deviated much from the time-tested loop established by racing genre kingpin Gran Turismo back in 1997, but developer Turn 10 has crafted a new benchmark with this year’s edition. On PC there’s nothing that can match the scale of its garage, and it’s the definitive car collectathon on any console. Improvements to the driving atmosphere, the massaged sound, plus its new dynamic weather and drastically better skies and lighting all combine to create the best instalment of the series since the fan-favourite Forza Motorsport 4.”
“Microsoft pitched Forza Motorsport 7 as the ultimate automotive playset, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. With enough cars to fill a dozen museums and the most generous selection of tracks to date in the series, the amount of driving, experimenting, and racing here is absolutely mammoth. Accessible as always for beginners but crammed with content targeted at lifelong car junkies, Forza Motorsport 7 is Turn 10’s finest love letter to speed and style this generation, no matter what language you speak.”
3 – DiRT Rally
If you’re a true gamer and you think of rally games, Colin McRae rally is most likely one of the first to come to mind from way back in 1998. Rally games have evolved immensely ever since, and the DiRT series’ latest offering is no exception.
Steering away from what you may expect from the earlier DiRT games, DiRT Rally is their shot at creating a realistic sim that makes nailing maneuvers such as the ‘Scandi Flick’ even more satisfying than ever! If you prefer the arcade feel, perhaps consider Codemasters’ ‘DiRT 4′ offering.
With challenging physics combined with stunning visual effects, DiRT Rally is undoubtedly a must-have in any Rally fan’s gaming collection.
DiRT Rally review
IGN’s Luke Reilly spent some time with the game to share his thoughts:
“Dirt Rally is more than just the best Codemasters rally game to date; it’s arguably the best racing game Codemasters has produced in at least a decade. Perhaps ever. It’s certainly the best crack at a hard-core rally game since 2004’s heavily-worshiped Richard Burns Rally from Warthog Games. It’s brilliant.”
“There’s a specific corner during one of the German stages in Dirt Rally where your co-driver will supplement his flurry of warnings with a professional request: “Be brave.” It’s a slight left kink, framed on both sides by half-buried stones. I’m not certain what it is about this corner in particular that warrants the added advice – there are plenty of deceptive corners in Dirt Rally you can take faster than you’d expect – but “be brave” potently sums up how you need to approach Dirt Rally. Dirt Rally is a brilliant looking and incredible sounding racing sim that feels absolutely outstanding, but it won’t tolerate the timid.”
2 – Forza Horizon 5
Playground Games latest installment of the Horizon series sees Forza take another spot on our list, this time with their arcade offering. We feel it is undoubtedly the best arcade racer right now.
While some prefer to lay down perfect laps on the track, others like to cruise the streets, perhaps occasionally enjoying kicking the back end out without fearing expensive accidents or flashing blue lights in the rearview mirror!
If you get bored of the road, the game continues to reward your off-road exploring. If it is pure fun that you’re looking for, whether ripping through the streets, or dirt roads of Mexico, this is the most enjoyable game out there.
Forza Horizon 5 review
PCGamer’s Phil Savage viewed his thoughts on the game:
“Inevitably as I play, I have a big, dumb grin on my face. It’s just that kind of game. Similarly, I can’t really criticise Forza Horizon 5 for not making big, sweeping changes for the sake of it feeling more different. It’s easy to forget given how effortless everything feels, but the sheer detail of the environments and the level of craft evident in each of the over 500 cars is astounding. Forza Horizon 5 isn’t a full sim, sure, but nor is it simplistic. Each car has its own personality, and it’s capable of offering a serious challenge if you turn off the many optional assists. It’s just realistic enough to give each car a personality, and the detail in their modelling is absurd—their interiors lovingly recreated for the Forzavista viewing mode.”
“This is what happens when a series gets to exist without serious competition. It gets to focus on and perfect the things it’s most interested in. It gets to take the improvements made over the course of its predecessor’s life and plan to build a new game around their inclusion. It gets to hone its driving model and enhance its graphics—not drastically so, but just enough to be noticeable. While I’d love to know what Forza Horizon would look like if it had any serious rivals forcing it towards greater innovation, I’ll happily make do with playing the most polished and confident Forza Horizon game made to date.”
While Forza Horizon 5 is still the latest Horizon game, Forza Horizon 6 is rumored to be heading our way soon.
If you want to see the latest, check out Drifted’s Forza Horizon 6 release date feature.
If you like open-world driving games like Forza Horizon, an honorable mention must go to the Madalin Stunt Cars series of free games. This series is pushing the envelope of indie car games.
1 – Assetto Corsa
For us, Assetto Corsa is simply the best driving simulator out there right now. Ultra-realistic physics combined with a substantial modifying community, we felt it fully deserved its spot on the top of our list.
Once you look past the simple, minimal menus, the game becomes the perfect place to practice and improve your skills while being able to make any adjustments needed to suit your driving style.
With an impressively varied career mode and online community, it may feel challenging to beginners, but it is gratifying once you learn how to master it.
Check the vast amount of add-ons and mods out there as you fully immerse yourself in your favorite tracks worldwide!
Assetto Corsa review
Eurogamer’s Martin Robinson reviewed the game back in 2015, and these were his thoughts:
“When it comes to replicating the simple, intoxicating pleasure of driving, no game does it better right now.”
“You could put any car on any track and lose yourself in the simulation for hours, squinting through sun caught in the smeared perspex windscreen of a Z4 GT as it sets over Spa and you pick out entry, apex and exit points, or pawing an Elise this way and that through the swerves of Magione. Assetto Corsa’s laser focus on the driving experience works wonders – and when it comes to replicating that simple, brilliant pleasure, there’s no other game right now that does it better.”
Honorable driving game mentions
With quite possibly the most extensive collection of racing games available for PC users, there is no doubt we have missed many impressive games from the list. For that reason, we highly recommend that you try out the following honorable mentions to deliver your opinion!
- rFactor 2
- Shift 2: unleashed
- Trackmania 2: Canyon
- Driver: San Francisco
- Race: Injection
Want to play some driving games right now? Hit our driving games section.