Many popular racing games on Steam are part of the Forza Horizon series
Image credit: Playground Games

Top 5 Most Popular Racing Games on Steam in 2023

When it comes to racing games, Steam has a wide variety of popular titles to choose from. But which are the most played and will provide the most online fun? Let’s break down the numbers.

We’re now halfway through 2023 which means many titles have released over the past six months. But just because they’re new does not mean they are the most popular racing games, be it on Steam or any other platform.

In fact, the Steam Charts available to explore on SteamDB indicate that racing fans are ever-more inclined to play older games. From decade-old simulators to crash-tastic sandboxes and open world arcade games; here are the most played racing games on Steam in 2023.

The Most popular racing games on Steam in 2023
The Most popular racing games on Steam in 2023 – Image credit: SteamDB

5.The Crew 2

It may surprise many to see that The Crew 2 is one of the most popular racing games in 2023. Much like its predecessor – and unlike its successor – it takes place in a massive representation of the entire USA. Throughout the map, one can race, drive and buy cars, boats and planes.

It is certainly all about collecting more and more models and showing them off to other online players. It seems the number of people one can show their vehicles off to is still strong. The SteamDB chart indicate that there should always be around 5,000 people in-game and ready to interact with.

The new Crew game is inbound with release scheduled for the end of the summer. But with the location moving to the islands of Hawaii, the project feels far less impressive. Only time will tell if it proves a worthy successor to the second title in the series.

4. Assetto Corsa

Thanks to a very active modding scene, Assetto Corsa is well-known as one of the most popular racing games around. In fact, almost anything is possible in AC, which is why it attracts such large crowds.

In fact, according to the SteamDB charts, it is the fourth most played racing game at this point in 2023. Despite its modest all-time high of 17,513 players, it regularly hits peaks of around 13,000 and at any one time, there is sure to be over a half-dozen racers in-game. The good news is that with frequent sales dropping this game to below €10, the number of players will only increase further.

As a result, one can expect to see this game remain just as popular for many years to come. Surely only a highly modable Assetto Corsa 2 will be able to challenge the original Kunos AC.

3. Forza Horizon 4

First of the podium places in the most popular racing games on Steam is Forza Horizon 4. Based in the UK, this title represents something many gamers cry out for but never get. It is a brilliant representation of British countryside in a racing sandbox spirit.

Forza Horizon 4's quaint map is a big draw
Forza Horizon 4′s quaint map is a big draw – Image credit: Playground Games

Upon release, the game was certainly very popular – much like every Horizon title. But that popularity has remained since 2018. Gamers can expect mid-week player numbers to exceed the 10,000 mark. So, one will always have other players to race against.

With the fifth iteration of the Horizon series now a year and a half old, one may be surprised to see the fourth game on this list. However, the rundown is far from over and those that play the Mexican racing adventure will certainly relate to the most played racing game on Steam.

2. BeamNG

If the appearance of the older The Crew 2 on this list was a shock, seeing BeamNG.Drive, a title in Early Access, is mind-boggling. In fact, despite being a fun sandbox game with impressive soft-body crash physics and great modability, it is yet to fully release.

However, with updates becoming more and more frequent in recent months and players returning to the simulator, it is quite the popular title. Furthermore, with a stream of Jimmy Broadbent videos focusing on this game and its ‘Escape the Flood’ mode, new gamers are clearly also drawn in.

With everything coming together for BeamNG, players are flocking to the game in droves with 11,000 accounts playing the game at the time of writing. Over the past 24 hours, the game reportedly reached 15,810 active users.

Whether or not BeamNG.Drive ever becomes a full-game release is almost a moot point given its popularity. But let’s see how the data evolves after Broadbent’s sudden interest in the sim.

1. Forza Horizon 5

With its predecessor on this list, Forza Horizon 5 was also bound to feature. According to data, the latest title in the series is the most popular racing game on Steam. From this list, it’s clear to see that the open world genre of racing title is what attracts the masses.

Forza Horizon 5 is among the best selling games on Steam
Forza Horizon 5 is among the best selling games on Steam – Image credit: Valve

Not only is Forza Horizon 5 a popular game among racing fans. It is also one of the most played titles across all Steam content. According to Steam’s own charts, the 2021 open world racer is in the top-50 most played games overall at the time of writing. In fact, it sits in 47th place overall with an average of around 20,000 players online at any one time.

Furthermore, it is currently the tenth best selling game on Steam. Reportedly, it has featured on the top 100 top selling games list since its release almost 100 weeks ago. Seemingly, FH5 is going nowhere fast and will remain the most popular racing game for a long time to come.

How many of these titles do you play regularly in 2023? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!