The Best Racing Games for Xbox Series X | Digital Trends

Xbox Series X boasts an incredible library of racing games — even if most of them are simply updated versions of old Xbox One titles. Whether they were first released in 2010 or debuted this month, there’s no shortage of unique racing games on Xbox Series X.

From kart racers and rally racers to mountain biking and demolition derbies, here are the best racing games available on Xbox Series X. Several big names are also planned to launch within the next few years — including Forza Motorsport, Drift21, and GRID: Legends — but Microsoft is already making a strong case as the best place for gearheads.

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Riders Republic

It’s not jam-packed with Mustangs, Camaros, and Ferraris, but there’s no doubt Riders Republic is one of the best racing games on Xbox Series X|S. Ubisoft’s unique title swaps out supercars for mountain bikes, snowboards, and even wingsuits, giving you a chance to barrel down hazardous courses at a breakneck pace.

What it lacks in horsepower it more than makes up for with innovative gameplay and surprising multiplayer chops. Online matches pit you against 49 other players — each one racing to be the first to the finish line. Whether you’re an action-sports fan or just need a break from your standard car-oriented racing games, Riders Republic stands as one of the most unique titles on Xbox Series X.

Dirt 5

Dirt 5 cars racing head-to-head.

One of the few off-road racing games available on Xbox Series X, Dirt 5 differentiates itself from the competition with arcade-inspired gameplay and several over-the-top game modes. When you’re not speeding through muddy off-road courses, you’ll be taking your car through 360-degree loops, infecting other cars in the popular “Vampire” competitive mode, and gliding across frozen lakes in a variety of ice racing competitions.

Best of all, Dirt 5 supports split-screen play for a bit of couch co-op. You can even take the fight online to other players on PlayStation 4, PS5, and PC. If you’re looking for a high-octane racer, look no further than Dirt 5.

Forza Horizon 4

Cars wading through mud in Forza Horizon 4.

Explore everything Britain has to offer in Forza Horizon 4‘s massive open world. Featuring over 450 cars, miles of open road, and native 4K and HDR support, it’s easy to get lost in the colorful British countryside. The fast-paced game includes an “open-ended” campaign to go along with its open-world environments, and everything you do contributes to your overall progress.

Arguably the best racing game on Xbox Series X, Forza Horizon 4 not only hits the sweet spot between fun and realistic controls but boasts one of the most impressive rosters in the genre. If the standard catalog isn’t enough, there’s also a variety of DLC packs that bring even more exciting cars to your fingertips — including Hot Wheels, Lego, and James Bond expansion packs.


Rally car racing to the finish in WRC 9.

Optimized for Xbox Series X, rally racing fans have the option to enable a “High Visual Quality” mode — further enhancing the game’s 4K graphics at the expense of a few frames. Or, if you like your racing games to buttery smooth, you can turn on the 120Hz mode for a true next-generation experience.

Impeccable graphics aside, WRC 9 is without a doubt the best entry in the series. The storied rally racer brings more content than ever to Xbox Series X, including three new rallies, 35 special stages, a completely reworked sound system — so your engines sound louder than ever — and the option to create your own custom championships.


Wreckfest cars colliding.

Sometimes the best part of a racing game is pulling off impossible stunts — or crashing spectacularly in the process. If you’re the kind of player who likes speed and explosions more than drifting and drafting, consider giving Wreckfest a test drive.

Recently upgraded for Xbox Series X, Wreckfest is less of a racing game and more of a demolition derby. You’ll be customizing a variety of cars with bumpers, body armor, and other impact-absorbing mods before jumping into a match. There are practically no rules during Wreckfest tournaments — so do whatever it takes to make it across the finish line intact.

Rocket League

Rocket League players speeding towards the ball.

Rocket League technically isn’t a racing game, but it’s hard to find a better vehicle-based video game than this 2015 masterpiece. Several additions and updates — including improved graphics on Xbox Series X — have turned Rocket League into one of the best free multiplayer games on the market, and racing fans will find a lot to love with its vehicular action.

Instead of vying for a spot on the leaderboard, you and your team will be chasing a ball around a small arena. Your objective? Knock it into the opponent’s goal while defending your own. It requires just as much driving skill as your standard racing game, but also throws in the need for teamwork, goaltending, and aerial acrobatics to up the ante.

Lonely Mountains: Downhill

Player jumping over a chasm in Lonely Mountain.

Lonely Mountains: Downhill is more than just a name — it’s also a perfect description of Megagon Industries’ critically acclaimed indie hit. Each level sees you riding solo down a treacherous mountain towards the finish line, with a variety of checkpoints offering you a bit of breathing room during the tense trip.

The challenging racing game lacks true multiplayer support, but you can track your times on a global leaderboard and take on a variety of daily challenges to prove your worth. One of the best parts of the indie title is finding your own path through the course to beat your old time — just be careful not to inadvertently send yourself tumbling down the mountain.

Burnout Paradise Remastered

Car racing down the street in Burnout Paradise Remastered.
Burnout Paradise

Although it’s not optimized for Xbox Series X, Burnout Paradise Remastered is still playable in 4K. It’s also boasts one of the most exciting open worlds available in the racing genre — and if you missed out on the original, now is the perfect time to dive in.

As one of the cheapest games on this list, Burnout Paradise Remastered packs in an incredible amount of content for just $19.99 — including dozens of cars and motorcycles, hours of challenges, and online modes that let you explore the city with a few friends.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered

Police car chasing a supercar down the street.

Now running in 4K at 60 frames per second, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is a joy to play on Xbox Series X. The iconic racing game was well-received when it launched over a decade ago, and the remaster for Microsoft’s new console proves that great design is timeless.

Available with all previously released DLC, you’ll get to drive a variety of supercars as you attempt to evade the police and their variety of road-blocking equipment. If you grow tired of running, you can switch sides — and chasing down the bad guys is arguably the best part of the game.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled

Crash Bandicoot racing in CTR.

Xbox Series X might not have Mario Kart, but Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is the next best thing. In fact, some players think CTR offers a more robust racing experience than Mario Kart — thanks to better vehicles, more content, and unique gameplay mechanics.

Regardless of your side of the debate, there’s no denying Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is the best kart racer on Xbox. With online multiplayer, HDR compatibility, and enhanced graphics on Xbox Series X, Crash proves he’s a serious contender for Mario’s crown.

F1 2021

F1 2021 player racing around the track.

F1 2021 takes the series to new heights, offering a new story experience, a two-player career, and a new “My Team” mode that sees you following the long-term success — or failure — of your favorite racing crew.

Dedicated F1 fans will find plenty of depth to the action, too, as Driver Stats have been expanded this year and there are more ways than ever to test your racing mettle. With a variety of competitive modes, dozens of ways to customize your ride, and even a few casual options for less intense gaming sessions, F1 2021 is the perfect way to get your racing fix on Xbox Series X.

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