Here are the Top 10 Best Racing Games for the Xbox Series X|S in 2024 – from family-friendly driving titles to serious sim racing platforms.
If you are the lucky recipient of, or recently purchased, an Xbox Series X|S, then here is a quick guide to what we think are the 10 best racing games, or simulations, available on your brand-new platform.
The fourth distinct generation of consoles by Microsoft, the Series X|S (or X and S, X&S, X/S or whichever way we’re meant to format it) sought to claw back market share by splitting the range in two. The more powerful Series X sits atop the range, but there’s also a cut-price Series S that removes the disc drive and, crucially, comes with less horsepower.
It’s worth bearing in mind then, that this list discusses games primarily on the Series X, even though all will run on an S. You may notice dramatically different performance on the Series S – such as in EA SPORTS WRC, Wreckfest and Assetto Corsa Competizione in particular – and in that instance, we’d push those further down the ranking.
The Xbox Game Pass subscription is also noteworthy, especially as the Series S is routinely sold at an affordable price bundled with several free months. All Microsoft first-party titles are included (the three Forza games on this list) but most mentioned below are a separate purchase.
Finally, we’re only discussing titles with native Series X|S versions or ‘optimised’ upgrades here. Backwards compatibility of Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles is a formidable feature – but we’re not about to claim that Driver: San Francisco is the best game on the current consoles, even if that is challenging to refute…
Let us know what you think we got wrong in the comments below, or which racing titles you are playing the most on Xbox Series X|S. All feedback is welcome.
Nearly Made It
Curating a ‘top 10’ list will always create a (we hope healthy) debate, in particular, because there will always be games people enjoy that don’t make the final cut.
Thankfully, it is indicative of a healthy racing genre if there are more than 10 great games. In this instance, the current Forza Motorsport is the source of much derision and debate within communities. It makes our 10, but only just.
It knocked iRacing’s World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing off this Xbox compendium by the narrowest of margins.
We enjoy playing The Crew Motorfest, and it made our best PS5 racing game list. But on Microsoft’s platform, it faces stern competition from Forza Horizon. It didn’t do enough to topple that series in this instance.
Make Way is an excellent party game, which challenges Wreckfest for the group-of-friends crown, Lego 2K Drive a sparkling first-attempt family racer and the optimised version of Inertial Drift tickles our JDM soft spot.
10. Forza Motorsport
This is contentious. Some elements of gaming media were rapturous in its response to the ‘ground-up’ reboot of Forza Motorsport. Us, less so.
The ranked online Featured Multiplayer system is excellent and showcases Turn 10’s opus in its best possible light. More than just a mixture of iRacing and Gran Turismo 7’s Sport Mode, it has its own ideas, plus the racing cars are when the vehicle physics are their most rewarding.
The ‘but’ is that outside of, say TCR models, the road-car handling specifically is a little bland – defaulting to understeer seemingly far too early. Then, for high-powered rear-wheel drive sports and supercars, we feel they swap ends far too eagerly. The Builders Cup career can also be a trudge and is filled with low-quality car models seemingly dating back to Xbox 360 titles.
There’s potential here for this to be Microsoft’s totem driving platform, but that hasn’t been realised yet, and we cannot judge a game for what it could be. Instead, we must look at what it is right now, so it just scrapes inside this top 10. Heck, while not authentic in the slightest, we think we have more fun with Forza Motorsport 7.
If this turns out not to be your ‘thing’, perhaps after a test via Game Pass, may we suggest an alternative from the following nine further racing titles…
Bugbear Entertainment’s venerable crash compilation is still going strong, thanks to a native Xbox Series X|S (DLC) upgrade that brought with it notably polished visuals.
It lacks contemporary online features such as cross-platform play and new content production has long since ceased. Despite these shortcomings, the single-player career remains a riot and you can still find active multiplayer communities.
The action is more bombastic than a New Year’s firework display, with crunching collisions and ridiculous vehicle options from buses to three-wheeled vans.
The way you get the upgraded visuals on Xbox, however, is convoluted and we think not worth it if you don’t own a 4K monitor. This is why this game ranks lower on the list than in our PS5 article, for example.
The native upgrade is only available on Xbox by booting the original version, then via the game’s menu, purchasing a DLC pack. There is no ‘optimised’ Series X|S version separately on the store, or physically, and upon purchase, it’s not clear if the revised visuals are ‘switched on’ until you start driving. Strange.
This is to bypass Microsoft’s Smart Delivery process, and it’s awkward. The upgrade was also initially buggy, but later patches did rectify some issues. Despite this, Wreckfest remains one of our favourites.
8. Hot Wheels Unleashed/2 Turbocharged
Bringing diecast cars to life, in video game form, at least has always held a certain charm, harking back to Codemasters’ 1991 Nintendo Entertainment System game, Micro Machines.
Between then and the present, however, several attempts had been made at recreating that joy, and few have succeeded. Imagine our surprise, then, that 30 years later, Milestone pulled it off with its first Hot Wheels driving game.
Stunning visuals, a track builder and a lengthy career – that mercifully wasn’t open world – were joined by a handling system that provided a weightiness that belied its accessibility.
Two years later, and the sequel (Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged) took that same platform and added different surfaces, the ability to jump and a narrative (ish). Mostly, however, it is more of the same, which isn’t a bad thing.
So, if you haven’t played the first, simply pick up whichever is cheapest at the time of purchase and enjoy. If you have, then the second just about does enough to warrant its existence.
7. TT Isle of Man: Ride On The Edge 3
For those who prefer two wheels rather than four, we feel the MotoGP series is flagging behind in terms of riding physics, and while Ride 5 features the shiniest visuals (a highly technical term), it lacks innovation over its forbearers.
Thus, TT Isle of Man: Ride On The Edge 3 makes this list despite a ponderous career structure and, at times, dated visuals. It’s also harder than 12 rounds with Anthony Joshua, which makes it inaccessible to many.
Persevere though, and completing a lap of the Snaefell Mountain Course without stacking it delivers the sort of endorphin rush you get from passing an exam. Thrilling, for the few that manage it.
6. EA SPORTS WRC
A litany of bugs and performance issues have beset Codemasters’ (Southam) first attempt at a driving game using Unreal Engine technology. Frame rate dips and screen tearing, while recent patches have lessened their effect, are still present.
However, if you’re able to (and we realise not everyone is) play ‘through’ these rough edges, what you’ll find is some of the best rally stage designs around, excellent engine noises and a bobble-hatter’s dream of a car collection. The handling, especially with a steering wheel peripheral and when on gravel, is superlative, too.
EA SPORTS WRC is a great game trapped within (currently) an exterior with all the harshness of sandpaper.
5. Assetto Corsa Competizione
When you find a competitive online server, and Assetto Corsa Competizione is behaving itself, there isn’t a more focused driving simulation experience available for the Xbox Series X|S.
You just need to know what you’re getting yourself into – thankfully, OverTake has several articles and videos over the years to guide newcomers through.
There are strong ACC console communities around, and publisher 505 Games recently added cross-platform online play with PS5 owners too to keep support strong.
The Xbox Series X|S version of Kunos Simulazioni’s official SRO GT title had a rocky start on console, and there’s no doubt that the PC version is more stable online and benefits from third-party ranking providers. But if you’re console-only, this is the best sim platform available.
4. EA SPORTS F1 23
So, if Assetto Corsa Competizione is the best sim racing platform available for Xbox currently, why is the more accessible EA SPORTS F1 23 ahead on this list?
This is especially pertinent as we think the main new addition compared to last year’s F1 22, F1 World, is a bit of a dud.
Well, in the context of a console, this can cater to more broader tastes. Yet, if you still want to take things seriously, the driving experience is satisfying with a steering wheel.
The Braking Point 2 story mode is a great entry point for Netflix fans, but the ranked online mode should appease the long-time diehards and the Las Vagas circuit is lovingly recreated – even if Spa-Francorchamps is awry.
My Team remains a genre-leading single-player career mode, although the lack of progress in this area from developer Codemasters (Birmingham) is disappointing. As a complete package for a large audience, it’s sometimes easy to overlook how much the official Formula 1 game can offer.
3. Forza Horizon 4
Wait, before you let us know that Forza Horizon 4 isn’t a true Xbox Series X|S game, we’d just like to point out that it received a specific update just for newer console owners and therefore making it eligible.
In many ways, we prefer the rural villages and green countryside landscapes of this open-world racer compared to its later Horizon 5 sibling. Smaller, yes, but also just a little bit more cohesive.
The allure of constant levelling up, PR stunt challenges, online leaderboard result hunting and discovering barn finds is hard to ignore.
But it perhaps lacks an overall goal to aim for, something we think the later sequel does a better job of. The cessation of new updates for 4 is also a reason why 5 is higher up this list.
You can still get lost for hours in FH4’s British-based environment, it’s just sometimes you’re not entirely sure why.
2. Art of Rally
Funselektor’s Art of Rally is beguiling, thanks to unique aesthetics, a pumping soundtrack and the care and attention of a developer who’s clearly passionate about the sport.
If you’re looking for a pacenote-spitting, steering wheel-using, serious experience, see above for EA SPORTS WRC. Art of Rally isn’t meant to be that.
Instead, this is a charming title whose beauty and knowing nods to rally’s history will charm you. Challenge the world’s best with online leaderboards, or just sit back and explore open-world versions of each environment, finding collectables along the way. Diminutive in scale, but not stature.
1. Forza Horizon 5
Playground Games’ fifth open-world driving epic is a clear derivation of the earlier entries, taking what made them so moreish and tweaking every element. There’s little ground-breaking here, but everything is polished to the nth degree.
Accessible vehicle handling, the largest (and eminently destructible) environment in the franchise’s history pumped with a deluge of cars that continues to be expanded upon. Once you reach The Goliath event, there are still plenty of side quests to complete, friends to beat and accolades to unlock.
That’s before we touch upon community-created levels using EventLab 2.0, the ability to create and share set-ups natively and the weekly Festival Playlist challenges which keep the Mexican-set title fresh.
The post-release support is arguably industry-leading (even if the Rally Adventure DLC was a damp squib) and it also helps that the base experience is filled with verve.
There we go, what we think are the 10 best racing games on Xbox Series X|S. Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below or on X, @OverTake_gg.