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Racing games have evolved greatly over time. Not the least of which is because of how we’re able to better use technology to create expansive worlds to drive/race in, and the ability to have a TON of cars in all these titles. But which of these are the best? We’ll show you the 14 Best PC Open World Racing Games!
#14 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy Definitive Edition
This isn’t really the “traditional” racing game that you’re all used to, but considering that driving is absolutely a key mechanic in the world of GTA, we’re going to make an exception here.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy Definitive Edition is just what it sounds like. It’s the first three games in the wildly popular (and controversial) series that encourages you to be the bad guy as you try and survive a corrupt set of cities and come out on top every time.
And you’ll need to race around to avoid cops at key parts of the game, so there’s that.
But if you get the wrong version…you’ll have a buggy mess that you’ll be racing to turn off. Just saying!
Fun fact, it try to just plug ” BeamNG.drive” into the URL bar? You’ll get nothing but an error screen.
But, if you get the GAME BeamNG.drive, you’ll find yourself with arguably one of the most realistic racing games of all time. Why? Because this title encourages you to see just how far you can push cars, and see the real-time damage that happens to them as you go around in them.
They track EVERY car part in real time via their game engine, that’s impressive.
All the while, you’ll have a wide set of cars to drive around in big environments that are begging to be driven.
So go and see the realism as you try out BeamNG.drive!
#12 Dakar 18
Not all racing games are meant to give you a variety of experiences and courses. Some, like Dakar 18 are meant to give you the definitive virtual version of one experience or course. In this case, that would be the world famous annual rally raid organized by Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) in South America.
In this game you’ll get traverse this rally course in cars, motorcycles, quads, trucks or UTVs! Pick the one you feel is best for you then got on the dirt and run it for all it’s worth.
You’ll get to travel across terrains in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina in the game, and you’ll get to pick which paths you choose as you go through this massive rally course.
Whether you survive it or not…? That’s on you.
Another kind of racing type is one that puts you in truly extreme scenarios that people go through almost every day. SnowRunner is that title in this case, as you won’t be racing fast cars to get to the finish line. Rather, you’ll be driving powerful trucks through some of the most harsh and rough terrain around in order to complete jobs and missions.
You’ll need to go through dirt, mud, snow, water and more in order to make it to your destination. As you progress, you’ll get to drive bigger and more powerful rides, or, upgrades the ones you have so that you can be better prepared for all that’s out there.
Think you can handle some of these rough roads?
#10 CarX Drift Racing
Without a doubt, one of the hardest kinds of racing is that of drift racing. Because it’s not just about being a better racer, it’s about mastering how to maneuver your car just enough to do tight corners, do complete 180s and weave around tracks that weren’t made for regular driving.
In CarX Drift Racing, you’ll have to learn this first hand with a realistic psychics engine that makes sure you know how good, or bad, you’re drifting.
And when you feel you’re ready, you’ll get to go on tracks across various cities and areas in order to put your skills to the ultimate test.
So if you’re ready to get your drift on, grab CarX Drift Racing!
#9 My Summer Car
Oh, what was our summer car? That would be a 1968 Camaro that was given to us by our grandfather and…wait, no! We’re talking about the game My Summer Car!!!!
In this game, you’ll start out with nothing but a hunk of car parts and get to literally build your vehicle. Then, you’ll go on an adventure through the Finnish countryside with it. But be warned! This isn’t just a game that lets you drive, it’s a game that lets your car…die. Yeah, if you don’t maintain your car, or you don’t treat it properly on the road, both it AND YOU can die!
But that won’t happen…right?
Go and do various activities in your car, or go do jobs so you can buy another car to use, or upgrade the one you have!
You’ll have a lot of fun, and drama in My Summer Car if you give it a chance.
#8 Forza Horizon 4
Come on, you knew that a Forza game would be on this list. In fact, there’s going to be two, but we’re saving one for later. So we’re starting with Forza Horizon 4, a game that does indeed embrace the open-world setting it was going for.
In this game, you’ll be able to not just race against friends, but you’ll be able to travel across a simulated landscape that is Britain. You’ll see it in all of its virtual glory, and can experience it with either friends, or by yourself!
Then, dive into the campaign where you can do almost anything you want to do, and it’ll advance what you’re doing!
Forza Horizon 4 has a lot of cars to drive and a lot of freedom, so if you haven’t already, go and check it out!
#7 Assetto Corsa
There are many games (including some on this list) that dare to say that they have some of the most realistic graphics and driving experiences around. And Assetto Corsa is yet another on that list. In fact, they even brag about using DirectX11 (which was popular when it first released) to help sell that statement.
And though the game is older, they still went full tilt on the cars, the tracks, and how you experience it all. Even working with drivers from actual race teams to help nail the feel of racing within these vehicles.
Plus, Assetto Corsa has a wide variety of cars that you can use to do all sorts of fun driving.
#6 Need For Speed Heat
The Need For Speed series is another that has multiple entries on this list, and each one aims to be different from the others.
For example, Need For Speed Heat, you’ll be in a city that enjoys racing 24/7. The catch though is that when it’s in the daytime, they have sanctioned races that are encouraged by all. But at night…? Not so much. You’ll have to make money in the day and then earn your street cred at night as you try and break into the elite of this city’s racing scene.
Sound easy enough? Well hold on, when the sun goes down, the cops get a mean streak, and they’re willing to do anything to get you off the road. So put the pedal to the metal if you’re wanting to survive this experience.
#6 The Crew 2
If you want arguably one of the most open and free-roaming experiences of racing, you definitely need to try The Crew 2. Why? Because they don’t just give you a “Motornation” to and race through, they allow you to do it on vehicles that many of these other games don’t give you access to.
We’re talking about being able to not just fly through the air, but drive on the water as well! What’s more, you’ll be able to switch to another vehicle on the fly so that you never have to stop and start, you can just keep going.
And when you add in the multiplayer components and the races that you can get into in this vast plane of existence? Yeah, you’ll be having fun.
#4 Forza Horizon 5
So as we’ve already noted, the Forza Horizon series is one that dares you to not only drive some of the best cars in the world, but to do so in some of the most beautiful landscapes you’ve ever seen. And to that end, Forza Horizon 5 takes you on a brand new adventure as you drive through their recreation…of Mexico.
With this “diverse open world” as well as hundreds of cars for you to choose from, you’ll be able to go in, around, and through all sorts of terrain as you witness the beautiful landscapes.
Plus, since this is on the next-gen systems, you’ll get an almost unmatched graphical presentation.
#3 Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered
And back to Need For Speed we go! This time around we have Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered. In this game, you’ll get to play as either someone who is outrunning the law, or someone who IS the law and trying to take down the illegal car racing that’s going on.
As if that’s not enough high-octane action for you, then there’s the fact that each of these cars have WEAPONS that you can use to your advantage to get the job done however you want.
Add that to co-op and multiplayer play and you’ll have plenty to do as you race around and get the need for speed. See what I did there?
#2 Grand Theft Auto V
Yeah, we know, another GTA game is on this list, but given how popular Grand Theft Auto V is, and the fact that you can do all sorts of driving across the main game and GTA online? We think you should grant us a little leeway.
Because whether you’re playing the main game’s storyline or just exploring the city for yourself, you’ll have all sorts of rides at your disposal to get to where you need to go. And once you start driving around and causing chaos, you might not want to stop…even with the police on your tail.
Then you can hop into GTA online and take your “reckless driving” to a whole new level! Driving on the wrong side of the law has arguably never looked better.
#1 Burnout Paradise Remastered
The Burnout franchise was known for pushing racing to its limits in various ways, and Burnout Paradise Remastered is the true masterpiece of their craft.
Because in this game, you’re given a whole city to go and have fun in, and it doesn’t stop until you want it to. If you want to race around just to see the city? Do it. Want to use your car as a battering ram to just destroy things? By all means. If you want to set speed records, run from the cops, and so on and so forth? Paradise City is at your beck and call.
The Remastered version even has all the DLC content ready for you to use at your leisure!
So get in the game and see how you can make this city your own.