The Xbox One was home to many racing simulators. As our list of the best Xbox Series X racing games will show you, Microsoft’s next-gen console won’t be any different.
Microsoft’s newest flagship console and its more affordable sibling have plenty of racing games to offer. Xbox Series X and Series S racing games offer a lot of variety. There are precise racing simulators that cater more towards the hardcore fans. Meanwhile, there are more arcade-like and open-world games built for casuals.
It doesn’t matter what it is that you’re looking for. You’ll have plenty of Xbox Series X car games to choose from.
Below, we’ve picked out the best Xbox Series X driving games for you so you don’t have to spend countless hours looking for which ones will be available for the latest Xbox console once it launches and going forward.
Forza Motorsport (Exclusive)
Every game in every genre follows a certain formula. Racing games are no different. They all have beautiful tracks, some of which are even inspired by actual tracks in real life or even complete video game recreations of them. They also have vehicles for players to unlock, and of course, they all have AIs for players to play against.
More recently, the formula can with a couple of additions. In particular, the emphasis on online play made it somewhat of a requirement for modern racing simulators to feature a mechanic where players could race against others from other parts of the world.
Forza Motorsport is no different. Because, as a franchise, the games follow the same formula, only that it takes things up a notch. The latest title, Forza Motorsport, promises to deliver on the quality that its predecessors had. This means hyper-realistic graphics, more than hundreds of cars to choose from, and of course, just as many tracks to drive them on.
Forza Motorsport has always prided itself on its ability to make driving every car a unique experience. This means that cars that should feel more responsive in real life actually do feel responsive in-game. Even drifting feels like how it should in real life, which helps separate the franchise from the more arcade-style driving that other racing simulators usually go for.
With the new Forza Motorsport being described as a re-imagining of the franchise — the last time this happened, we got Forza Horizon — expect what many consider to be the most beautiful-looking car sim in the world to look even prettier on the Xbox Series X.
Despite shifting away from the more serious rallying nature of its predecessors, Dirt 5 doesn’t feel as arcade-like as it’s supposedly claimed to be. Instead, it’s actually a marked improvement, especially in the way how each car drives and handles. But, of course, that’s a small change compared to the increased focus on the narrative this time around.
Dirt 5 will benefit from a lot of help from auto enthusiast content creators, Donut Media, as well as Troy Baker and Nolan North. Meanwhile, Jamie Chadwick is also set to make an appearance. The 22-year-old is currently competing professionally in the Formula Regional European Championship and the W series.
The career mode looks like it will feel more immersive than ever. It will even have players working hard to attract the big names to sponsor. This includes Goodyear, Pepsi, and Monster Energy.
The story will be split into multiple chapters, with its fair share of one-on-one events to help add some variety to the gameplay.
The multiplayer component is also there for Dirt 5 and will even include split-screen racing for multiple players to enjoy the game on the same console. Other games include global online battles, as well as a game mode for the more creative drivers out there.
With the benefit of running at 4K and 60fps on the Xbox Series X, with a 120Hz mode to boot, Dirt 5 should play differently on the next-gen console once it launches.
Need for Speed 2021
Need for Speed 2021 will bring one of video game’s most iconic franchises into the next-generation. But, as with EA’s other titles for the Xbox Series X, we’ll have to wait a while to find out more details regarding the latest Need for Speed title.
What we do know so far is that it’s going to look amazing. Even if it’s still a work in progress, we got to see a glimpse of the power of next-gen consoles as the trailer showed life-like recreations of a Porsche 911 GT3RS and a Nissan 180SX.
A true next-gen title, Need for Speed 2021 is one of the hotly anticipated titles for the Xbox Series X.
Test Drive Unlimited 3: Solar Crown
The third Test Drive Unlimited title and the 20th in the franchise, Test Drive Unlimited 3: Solar Crown will bring the franchise’s signature open-world driving gameplay to the next-generation of consoles.
With KT Racing at its helm, there’s little doubt that the latest Test Drive title will be a massive improvement. The said developers, after all, are widely credited for turning around the WRC franchise when they came aboard starting with WRC 5.
Already, the developers have made some pretty big promises. This includes saying that the game is going to be the best yet, with gameplay placing emphasis on social status and giving players a 1:1 scale map to play around in.
Previously, we saw other Test Drive titles give gamers the open roads of Hawaii and Ibiza to drive around in.
With their experience with the WRC franchise and the added power of the Xbox Series X, Test Drive Unlimited 3: Solar Crown could see a return to glory for the franchise.
World Rally Championship 9
KT Racing’s fifth take on the World Rally Championship franchise is already out for the Xbox One X and it’s been drawing its fair share of rave reviews.
With a focus on subtle changes rather than stark improvements, WRC 9 doesn’t feel like much of a game-changer. But, what it lacks in shock value, it makes up for refinement. Case in point, driving in-game feels more natural, as if driving the cars feel like how they should in real life, which only ups the immersion while playing.
WRC 9 also brings a new English co-driver into the fold and a chase cam that doesn’t feel like it was haphazardly placed onto the back of your car.
Naturally, the tracks of WRC 9 are a thing of beauty. It’ll bring you to numerous rally locations all over the world. This includes new places like Kenya, Japan, and New Zealand. However, we feel like it would be great to single out the Safari Rally of Kenya, which looks vastly different from the other tracks with its wide-open roads, wildlife, and humongous trees.
The overhauled career mode that WRC 8 introduced also comes with some notable improvements, and with the Xbox Series X being the most powerful console on the market at launch, WRC 9 will be a much more immersive driving sim.
Project Cars 3
Microsoft nor the developers, Slightly Mad Studios, has yet to confirm if Projects 3 will be playable on the Xbox Series X. However, considering that every non-Kinect Xbox One game will work on the next-gen console, there’s little reason for it not to be playable on the Xbox Series X.
With that said, Project Cars 3 could be the best way to know how much better a game will look like on the next-gen console compared to the current generation.
Gameplay-wise, Project Cars 3 steers away from what the franchise was previously known for, eschewing a more sim-like experience for something more arcade-like. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For one, it lowers the barrier of entry. It makes the 200 or so cars available in the game easier to drive.
The lack of nuances like fuel usage, pit stops, and more, could backfire on Project Cars 3 though, as it might alienate some of the franchise’s long-term fans.
Of course, playing more arcade-like does work to some racing simulator’s advantages. Not to mention, Project Cars’ main strength still lies in how it lets players drive pretty much anything in wheels in a competitive environment.
The Xbox Series X is the most powerful console to date. This bodes well for these racing simulators.
Microsoft and Sony have, for years, used racing simulators to showcase their latest hardware and game engines. This generation should be no different. This means that, despite the glaring lack of selection at launch and in the few months after it, gamers will not be left wanting for an immersive driving experience.
Set it up just right and the Xbox Series X will treat you to the best driving experience that you’ve ever had in your life.
Having said that, our list of the best Xbox Series X racing games should help you get started on what games to pick up and get excited for once the Xbox Series X launches in November later this year.