With the PlayStation 5 set to arrive in November, it’s time that we leave these previous-gen titles in the rearview mirror, or so to speak, and focus on what’s ahead — the best PS5 racing games.
Racing fans were spoilt for choice for the PlayStation 4. Sims like Gran Turismo Sport and DiRT Rally 2.0 gave gamers with an itch for competition a proper platform with their online racing. Meanwhile, Project Cars 2 was a well-polished title for casual fans who wanted to try out all forms of racing, including go-karts.
But, if you thought that racing games for the PS4 were immersive, you’re in for a treat. PS5 games are going to be a lot better. Hardware-wise, they’ll benefit from the PS5’s much-improved hardware that allows it to support 3D audio, as well as 4K graphics at a whopping 120Hz refresh rate, and even 8K graphics.
So, which are the PS5 racing games? Don’t worry. We’ve done the hard work for you.
Scroll down below to find our list of the best PS5 driving games that you can buy at launch and in the months after. We’ve also taken the time to make a list of some PS5 car games that we believe will eventually make their way to the PlayStation 5 as well.
Described by developers as a “bold new-off road racing experience”, Dirt 5 looks to re-establish the franchise as one of the premier racers out there. To do this, they brought in plenty of help to make the narrative of the single-player experience something of a high point for the series after previous attempts fell flat.
Featuring real-life auto enthusiast content creators, Donut Media, as well as characters played by industry staples Nolan North and Troy Baker, Dirt 5 will also feature guest appearances from Jamie Chadwick, the 22-year-old British racing driver that competes in the W series and the Formula Regional European Championship.
The career mode will also include a very real situation with players vying for sponsorship.
Dirt 5 will feature multiple chapters for progression, with the game throwing a couple of one-on-one events known as Throwdown for some variety.
Of course, Dirt 5 will feature a multiplayer component. In fact, it will bring back split-screen racing. Four players can compete against each other on a single screen now. Meanwhile, there are reports it will have a creativity-based game mode and global online battles where players can compete against each other for racing supremacy.
Destruction All-Stars (Exclusive)
Looking like a more cartoonish and colorful version of the iconic Twisted Metal franchise, Destruction All-Stars is a vehicular combat launch title that’s exclusive to the PS5.
Very little of the game has been revealed so far. However, judging by the trailers, it might be a simple and straightforward game. Highly likely, your only goal will be to destroy as many cars as you can and emerge the winner. But, then again, there could be some variety. The trailer did also show players being able to play their characters outside of their cars.
World Rally Championship 9
KT Racing’s other racing simulator is World Rally Championship 9 and is already available on current-gen consoles.
A more modest improvement over the previous title, WRC 8, WRC 9 focuses on making subtle changes to the gameplay. In particular, it focuses more on making driving feel more organic, as previously, it had felt like cars didn’t really give off an authentic feeling when driven across gravel.
Speaking of satisfying, WRC 9 brings with it a new English man serving as your co-driver, as well as a much-improved chase cam that doesn’t feel like a GoPro awkwardly attached to the rear side of your car and more like an actual back cam used by professionals.
Of course, the main highlight remains the tracks. To that end, WRC 9 delivers. You’ll be taken to rally locations in Japan, New Zealand, and the standout, Kenya, with its Safari Rally offering a much-needed breath of fresh air. The backdrop changes from the cramped stages in Germany and Monte Carlo as the Safari Rally takes you through the wide-open African countryside.
We’re not lying if we told you that you’ll be seeing curious animals and massive baobab trees as you drive past the wide-open roads.
All in all, WRC 9 retains the authenticity that KT Racing brought to the franchise when they took over. At the same time, the latest title makes some superb additions. This includes the return of last year’s overhauled career mode, but with noted improvements.
With the PS5, expect WRC 9 to only look and play better with the DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
Gran Turismo 7 (Exclusive)
Gran Turismo is synonymous with racing simulators. It’s grown to become one of the best-selling franchises, whose success dates all the way back to the first-ever PlayStation.
The franchise proudly refers to itself as a “real driving simulator”, constantly emphasizing its focus on accuracy and intensity, and with it being the first-ever numbered sequel since Gran Turismo 6 for the PS3, all eyes will be on Gran Turismo 7.
Thanks to the trailers released already so far, one thing we can be sure of is that the game is going to be pretty.
In fact, with the PS5 capable of supporting 8K at probably 30fps and 4K at 120fps, Gran Turismo could take notes from the first Gran Turismo title. The original had a mode where gamers could dial down on the graphics make the game run at 60fps for smoother performance.
With that said, Gran Turismo 7 should, at the very least, deliver its promise on giving players an “authentic driving simulator”. This means we should expect to get a chance to get behind the wheels of fast cars and compete against our friends, as well as the franchise’s ridiculously skilled AI drivers.
Need for Speed 2021
One of the most iconic racing video game franchises will see its debut on Sony’s next-gen console with Need for Speed 2021.
Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the game yet. We’ve only received a very small teaser. Albeit, it was enough to get many gamers excited, as it featured a Nissan 180SX and a Porsche 911 GT3RS in all of their next-gen glory as the game showed off the power of ray tracing and the result of having access to much more powerful hardware.
Fully built for the PS5, there’s little doubt that Need for Speed 2021 will be one of the most beautiful racing simulators to release once it comes out.
Test Drive Unlimited 3: Solar Crown
If Gran Turismo prided itself in its realism, Test Drive was more of a game that focused on the joys of riding.
Although both games made for some of the most iconic racers to release over the years, Test Drive was really more of an open-world car game. It was way less restrictive, and in some ways, this made it better.
For its 20th title, Test Drive will return with Test Drive Unlimited 3, and it seems that they aren’t shy of claiming it as their best game yet. They describe the gameplay as where your social status is of utmost importance. More importantly, they confirmed that the game will be set on a 1:1 scale map.
We expect KT Racing to deliver on that promise. It’s not like it’s not been done before. Previous Test Drive titles pretty much gave players a near-exact replica of the roads of Hawaii and Ibiza.
Given KT Racing’s previous history with the WRC titles — Kylotonn has worked on the WRC franchise since WRC 5 — expect to see Test Drive Unlimited’s penchant for letting players drive through both tarmac and dirt more satisfying.
Project Cars 3
Already available to play on the PS4, Project Cars 3 is a formality on the PS5 at this point seeing as to how Sony has made it a requirement for many gamers released in the latter of 2020 to support the PS5.
With that being said, we’re not confirming it just yet until we have official word from the developers.
Speaking of Slightly Mad Studios, it’s clear what they were trying to accomplish with Project Cars 3. Instead of the driving simulator that the franchise was known for, which turned away most casual players, they went for some more arcade-like. This is further evidenced by the similarity in the driving experience among the game’s over 200 cars.
Perhaps more importantly, Project Cars 3 did away with the fuel usage, practice, qualifying, and so many more, turning the latest release into something its predecessors were not.
Whether or not these changes made Project Cars 3 better or worse is all subjective. If it’s any consolation, the game did manage to retain the variety of driving experiences. This is, after all, what made the franchise so famous in the first place.
The PS5 isn’t out yet. So are the majority of the games on our list. This means that there’s still a lot of things that are up in the air right now, or so to speak. However, if there’s one thing that we can guarantee, it’s that these racing games look absolutely incredible.
The jump in hardware performance might not be like what it was from the PS3 to the PS4, but it remains significant nonetheless. The PS5 is capable of pushing out much more beautiful content than the already-powerful PS4 Pro.
If you set it up properly, the best PS5 racing games will no doubt let you experience the most realistic and immersive driving in video game form. Not to mention, most of today’s games receive constant updates and refinement. This means that already-good games are only bound to get better.
So, it doesn’t matter what your inclinations are. You can be a racing fan or someone who loves to compete with others who have a similar thirst for speed. You’re bound to find the right racing game for you on the PS5.