If you’re interested in driving games, 2018 is going to be a very good year for you. Both the PS4 and Xbox One offer some very impressive racing sims right now, and there’s even more to come later in the year. Highly polished, detailed and realistic most racing games look great, but if you’ve got a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, they can look even better.
So what are the best racing games in 2018? We’ve put together a list of the best driving games you can buy this year, from all-round racers like GT Sport, to more specific titles like F1 2017 and DiRT Rally. This list includes games on both Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, so whichever console you’re using, there’ll be something here for you to play.
What’s more, we’ll update this round up as DLCs are released, and we play more games, too. Keep reading to find find out our best driving games of 2018.
GT Sport (PS4 only)
Gran Turismo is one of most popular racing games ever made, and the latest instalment in the franchise is a long-awaited return to form. There isn’t a better-looking driving game on the PS4 in 2018, and 4K and HDR support means it’ll look even better if you’ve got the right equipment.
Gran Turismo Sport features incredibly realistic handling, and after a slow start, there are now plenty of old and new cars to choose from – as well as tracks to race them on. There are several DLCs (downloadable content) on the way and with a massive multiplayer mode supported by the FIA, GT Sport will be hard to put down.
From the sound, to the graphics – and now the content – there simply isn’t a racing game on the PS4 that offers as much as GT Sport. If you’ve got a PS4 and you love cars, this is a game you need to own.
Assetto Corsa (PS4 and Xbox One)
Assetto Corsa might not have the graphics of other games on this list, but what it lacks in presentation, it more than makes up for in gameplay. Simply put, Assetto Corsa delivers incredible handling detail in every car you drive, and makes you feel like you’re operating a real piece of machinery.
Detailed physics and tyre wear models mean you’ll feel the car squirm and slide over every bump, and every corner seems to change from lap to lap. This isn’t a game for casual racers, but for those who really want to feel like they’re taming some of the fastest cars in the world, Assetto Corsa is a must-buy title.
While Assetto Corsa is fun with a standard Xbox One or PS4 controller, it’s best played with a steering wheel and pedal set-up. That way, you’ll really get all the track surface detail through force feedback.
Despite coming from a relatively small studio, Assetto Corsa has been regularly updated with free content and paid-for DLCs, so it’s improving all the time. And if you’ve still not got it, an ultimate edition version comes with every DLC released so far – for less than the original RRL.
Sure, it might not have as many cars or tracks as most games on this list – and the menus and multiplayer are super rough around the edges – but for pure driving enjoyment, Assetto Corsa is hard to beat.
Project Cars 2 (PS4 and Xbox One)
Following close behind GT Sport, Project Cars 2 is another impressive racing game. Although it might lack the polish of Gran Turismo Sport, Project Cars 2 has a wide range of cars on offer – from old-school BMWs, to classics like the famous Toyota GT One. If you’re a fan of modern-classic racers, this a game you need to buy.
Just like GT Sport, Project Cars 2 also lets you loose on a good range of tracks and there’s also a decent choice of single-player and multiplayer content, too.
And the best bit? Project Cars 2 is a multiplatform game, so it’s available on both the Xbox One and the PS4. However, those with a PS4 won’t be able to play those with an Xbox One and vice-versa.
DiRT Rally (PS4 and Xbox One)
While most of these games focus on tarmac, DiRT Rally is the ultimate game for rally fans. It may not have all the official drivers or cars of this year’s WRC season, but it does have graphics that’ll worry GT Sport, and a good amount of cars to drive. They’re from different eras too, so you can drive a BMW E30 3-series, then a Lancia Group B rally car, and then a Focus RS – all on the same stage.
If you’ve got a PS4 with a PlayStation VR headset, pretty much all of the game can be played in virtual reality, which has to be one of the most immersive racing experiences on console today. Difficulty is very pliable too, so you can go from arcade-like drifting to far more realistic, precise handling.
What’s more, DiRT Rally is available on both PS4 and Xbox One platforms, too.
F1 2017 (PS4 and Xbox One)
Every year, Codemasters releases a new Formula One game, and it’s usually a pretty frustrating affair. In the past, F1 games have been threadbare, glitchy or occasionally a combination of the two, but this time F1 2017 strikes gold. There’s a great blend of content, single-player racing and a good multiplayer environment, and it makes F1 2017 a must-buy for Formula One fans.
If you’re a fan of F1 more than racing games, it’s easy to make the handling more forgiving, and jump right into the game’s immersive career mode – but there are settings for more realistic racing too. In addition to racing contemporary cars, F1 2017 also lets you develop and test your car throughout the season – and race classic cars too.
Like most of the games here, F1 2017 is on the Xbox One and PS4, so can be enjoyed by both Microsoft and Sony fans