Fire up these Xbox, PS5, Switch games

Whether you’re a serious car aficionado or simply want a temporary escape from today’s troubling headlines, racing games can serve as a highly gratifying virtual getaway.

Regardless of your skill level and desired platform, today’s racers amp up the immersion with near photorealistic graphics and sound effects, optional accessories to grip the action, and multiplayer maps to vie for the finish line with or against friends online.

From lighthearted arcade racers to detailed simulations, here are a few good driving games that let you (safely) live out your driving fantasies.

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Not including the 2017 offshoot (Gran Turismo Sport), PlayStation gamers have been waiting for this long-awaited sequel for nine years.

Developed by Japan’s Polyphony Digital and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, “Gran Turismo 7” once again lets you engage in white-knuckle races across several of the world’s most respected racing tracks – from Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace (Interlagos) in Brazil to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey County, California. (and several fictitious courses, too).