Eight hidden racing game gems you need to play

Eight hidden racing game gems you need to play

Retro arcades, an infinite bus and dirty off-road action: a whole range of racing games is waiting to be tested by you.

Photo credit: Rainbow Studios / Aquiris Game Studio / Original Fire Games

When you hear the term “racing games”, what do you think about? Probably the Need for Speed series, Forza, Gran Turismo or maybe DiRT. Sure, these are amazing masterpieces that rightfully earned their huge following. However, there is a range of lesser-known, yet incredibly fun and creative racing games out there. Here are some gems we definitely recommend checking out.

Formula Retro Racing

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

There is just something that goes so well when combining Formula 1 and retro aesthetics. The arcade inspired Formula Retro Racing is a prime example. Not only is the title a nostalgic trip back to the 90s with it’s low-polygon-style, flashy graphics and catchy chiptune soundtracks. It is also a simple but great game to enjoy. There are eight circuits available, and each one comes with three difficulty levels. The main attraction is the Monaco Grand Prix which can also be considered to be the trickiest circuit. While Formula Retro Racing isn’t the most extensive when it comes to content, it is a great experience and an enjoyable journey back in time.

Circuit Superstars

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

If you like cute graphics, Circuit Superstars should be right up your alley. This simcade gem comes with a refreshing top-down view and adorable little cars driving through colourful environments. Despite it’s toy-like look, it is not a kart racer and does not feature the perhaps expected power-ups or turbo-boosts. Instead, you actually need to develop a clever pit strategy and follow the optimal racing line. There are various vehicle classes and racetracks to explore. The title also has a multiplayer mode.

Horizon Chase Turbo

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

When thinking about eye candy in racing games, your mind should go straight to Horizon Chase Turbo. This arcade inspired game has a retro aesthetic which reminds of the 16-bit era. Unlike most modern titles, the developers chose the perspective to be from behind the car like in older games. There is a total of 31 cars to unlock and 109 different tracks, all with amazing landscapes and fantastic soundtracks. You can enjoy this gem with friends through the four player split screen or online multiplayer mode. It is quite easy to play, but hard to master for those seeking challenges.

Xenon Racer

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Sure, we all enjoy simulators that are as close to reality as possible. But who doesn’t love putting realism aside for a second and going faster than nature – or common sense – allows us to? The 2019 title Xenon is set in the year 2030. The world uses flying vehicles for everyday activities, but there are a few cars with wheels left on earth. These electric cars can turbo-boost through seven different locations. With 2030 not being too far away, the settings are a great mix between current and futuristic elements. The slowest car has a top speed of around 155 mph (250 kph) and the corners can be quite tricky to nail. With its steep learning curve, it might be challenging at first, but rewarding if you stick around.

Can’t Drive This

Platforms: PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

This coop-game has the potential to single-handedly ruin all your friendships. In “Can’t Drive This”, one player controls the monster truck and drives around with it. The second player has to build the circuit – in real-time while their friend is currently cruising on the unfinished platforms in the sky. If the Monster Truck goes too slow or stops driving, the car will explode. The game can be played with up to four people at once. The platforms consist of different square tiles. Of course, there are not only boring straights available to build with, but also a huge selection of obstacles. The builder will randomly get a tile with the crazy obstacles on it and has to assemble the best road possible. Their camera is also locked to the car’s location, so you can’t plan too far ahead.

MX vs ATV: All out

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

The MX vs ATV franchise might not be unknown, but the latest edition All out from 2018 is definitely worthy of a gentle reminder. As the title suggests, this series is all about off-road racing. Players can cruise around with motocross bikes and all-terrain vehicles. If you’re into motocross, you will quickly recognise some famous professional riders and official tracks. Not only normal start-to-finish races are available – you can select between freestyle events, Waypoint races or the traditional Supercross or Opencross. You can also play with friends, as the game has a two player split-screen and a 16 player online mode.

The Crew 2

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Sure, The Crew 2 is not an unknown piece, but it is also not talked about as much as it should be. This is the only open world racer on this list where you can roam around the United States. You’re following a nonlinear story and trying to become a racing legend, competing in four disciplines: Street Racing, Off Road, Freestyle and Pro Racing. While the focus is naturally on cars, you can also control vehicles such as boats, aeroplanes and motorbikes. The greatest aspect of the game is the multiplayer mode where you can participate in events with your friends.


Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Well yes, Snakeybus is not a classic racing game per-se. But there is a vehicle that drives around and it’s a lot of fun, so what more do you want? You are controlling a giant bus that gets longer and longer the further you progress. Your mission is to pick up passengers and deliver them to their destination, without crashing into your own absurdly long vehicle. While you can hit the brakes, make sure not to come to a full stop for too long. Otherwise, it’s game over and all your passengers get thrown off. There are 11 different maps to explore, including Paris and Miami, and various modes such as the Classic mode, Time Race, Endless, and Aerial modes.

What other unknown racing game gems do you enjoy? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!