The 17 Best Nintendo Switch Racing Games

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The racing genre has been popular in the game world for decades, and a nonstop influx of new titles are released onto the marketplace each year. If you have a Nintendo Switch and are looking for some of the best racing games available, keep reading. You’ll find something for everyone below, whether you’re searching for arcade racers, racing simulators, or kart racing titles.

#17 Wreckfest

Platform: PC PS4 Xbox One PS5 XSX|S Switch
Release Date: 2018-2022

When you have a title like Wreckfest, you pretty much know what you’re getting involved in, right?

Sure enough, the game prides itself on the ability to wreck cars as you race to the finish line or simply try and screw with another driver.

You’ll want to outfit your car in the best way possible to maximize the damage you give or endure the abuse that others give you. Plus, there are plenty of cars to choose from that you can customize to be your person demolition vehicle or ultimate racer.

So get behind the wheel and see how much damage you can do!

#16 LEGO 2K Drive

Platform: PC PS4 Xbox One PS5 XSX|S Switch
Release Date: May 19, 2023

Who here is ready to drive LEGO-Style? The LEGO brand has provided all sorts of unique games for players to enjoy, even bringing in beloved franchises to flesh out the experience.

But if you want to race like never before, get LEGO 2K Drive.

You’ll find yourself in Bricklandia, an epic open-world playground where you can race the days away or travel around to see what awaits you over the next hill. The best part is your vehicles transform so you can do more, travel everywhere, and make races anything but typical.

With a story mode, numerous races to do, and multiplayer to enjoy with friends, you’ll never be bored in this LEGO world.

#15 Redout

There’s always a market for fast-paced futuristic racing titles. We’ve seen several of these franchises thrive, such as F-Zero and WipeOut. Another title looking to make a big splash in the video game industry was Redout. Released in 2016, every turn and dip affects your vehicle in this futuristic racer. Outside of the standard racing gameplay, a career mode pins players against a series of event races and grants the ability to make adjustments to your vehicle. Likewise, you can expect online multiplayer where you’ll have the ability to race against twelve other players around the world. We haven’t received a new F-Zero game in a good long while now, but this title is a great replacement until Nintendo decides to bring the IP out of dormancy.

#14 Super Impossible Road

A racing game with a twist, Super Impossible Road applauds players for winning their races at all costs. That means that taking shortcuts or cheating your way to the finish line is not only encouraged, but actively rewarded! This sets players up for some unrestrained fun as they race to the finish line across twists, turns and a variety of rollercoaster-like tracks. Super Impossible Road is set in a futuristic universe where you’re free to knock your competitors off the track and out into empty space. On the Switch, the game can be played in 4-player local multiplayer split-screen mode, making this racing game a great choice for a night in with family or friends.

#13 Team Sonic Racing

Nintendo has dominated the kart racing genre with the iconic Mario Kart series for years, but that doesn’t mean that alternatives don’t exist. Sega opted to get into the kart racing genre, bringing Sonic the Hedgehog and a wide assortment of other iconic Sega-owned IPs into the mix. Players drive different transforming vehicles depending on the terrain, with plenty of Sega-inspired map designs to choose from. However, the company’s latest installment to the series strictly focuses on the Sonic IP. Players are able to race through the game at lightning speed as characters from the Sonic franchise, and the title’s colorful level designs and power-ups make this a great game to pick up with friends.

#12 Descenders

When you think about racing games, it’s usually the traditional vehicle-based titles that come to mind. Descenders, rather, is a game that’s based around downhill biking. Players plow through different maps, barrelling down the side of mountains and hills and performing tricks on their way to the finish line. This game has procedurally generated maps, so players should have a new course each time they load up the game. When not racing, players can adjust their cosmetics–everything from goggles, helmets, flags, shirts, pants, and bike colors are available to change. Descenders has enough unlockables to keep players busy for a long time to come.

#11 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered

The Need for Speed franchise has a strong following, and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit is a fan favorite. Debuting in 1998 as Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, this title saw a remake in 2010 and was then remastered for modern platforms in 2020. This title is a typical street arcade racing title with players having an assortment of supped-up vehicles to speed through the California, Oregon, and Washington streets. However, players are not only racing against other vehicles–they’ll be racing to flee the law. The police force is a strong component of the game as they can place roadblocks and block racers in other ways. Players can even step into the role of a police officer and participate in high-speed pursuits.

#10 SnowRunner

SnowRunner is not much of a racing game, but it is a title centered around vehicles. In SnowRunner, players are working in a harsh terrain environment, taking on several jobs like picking up and delivering cargo, winching vehicles out of the mud, and more. This is one of those games perfect for playing while listening to your favorite podcast or watching YouTube. It’s a more relaxing experience, and the goal is to be aware of your surroundings. You’ll want to make sure that you have the right vehicle to handle the job. This means making upgrades to your vehicle or jumping into another heavy-duty truck.

#9 Trials Rising

The Trials games have done well in the past, and one that is worth checking out if you haven’t already done so is Trials Rising. The title is a physics-based motorbike game in which players will be traversing intense side-scrolling courses trying to reach certain platforms. Since this game is heavily focused on physics, it’s easily possible to topple over and be forced into restarting the course. Racing against an opponent’s time only adds more fuel to the title’s intensity.

#8 Burnout Paradise Remastered

The Burnout franchise is another iconic arcade-style racing series that’s all about intense street races–but this time, it’s all about crashes. Even if you fail and end up wrecking, it’s usually over the top with a thrilling cinematic that makes your pain worth it. Burnout Paradise Remastered is one of the latest installments available for the franchise, where players not only have races to participate in but an open world map to roam. Now players can enjoy this classic title on the Nintendo Switch platform. In this definitive version of the game, players get the base game, all the main DLC packs, new locations, challenges, and over a hundred different vehicles to use. Best of all, this game does feature multiplayer with up to eight-player support.

#7 Grid Autosport

Grid Autosport is available on consoles, smartphones, and everything in between. A good selection of the games we’ve mentioned already are more in tune with arcade-style gameplay, but Grid Autosport is more of a simulator. Players will be racing through several events and taking control of various vehicles, from supped-up muscle cars to hypercars. There are a good selection of simulation-based racing games out in the market, but for the Nintendo Switch, you can’t go wrong with Grid Autosport.

#6 Hot Wheels Unleashed

Hot Wheels is a beloved toy franchise, and chances are you played with these toy cars growing up. Kids love the wide selection available, from classic cars and modern releases to makeshift fake hybrids. The different tracks and courses you could make were a dream and could keep you busy all day long. If you’re looking for a dose of that childhood nostalgia, Hot Wheels Unleashed is an arcade racer where players get to race around in these iconic toys. Likewise, the game features a track builder where you can regain your childhood creativity and build some unique courses digitally. There’s even the ability to share your creation online.

#5 Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

For years, Nintendo thrived by making Mario Kart titles popular with the broadest possible audience. To compete with Nintendo and offer a kart racer for the Sony PlayStation, Naughty Dog brought out Crash Team Racing. It was essentially a Mario Kart clone, but rather than being a game based around Nintendo’s IP, we got a title based around the popular platformer character Crash Bandicoot. Years later, the remake has brought the popular title back to life for a new generation. Players have an assortment of characters from the Crash Bandicoot series to choose from while racing through various courses from the PlayStation series. During the race, you’ll find different power-ups that can help give you a boost or an attack power to fight off other racers on the course.

#4 Fast RMX

Another game that acts much like the F-Zero and WipeOut franchise is Fast RMX, and it’s a solid futuristic racer. This game has players controlling anti-gravity vehicles through intense courses. With only fifteen different vehicles to choose from, the game does offer some diverse vehicle models to keep things interesting, and the visuals of this game are beyond incredible. Players are not only getting something stunning to look at, but the visual effects make the game feel like you’re flying down these courses at record-breaking speeds as you sit on your couch.

#3 Horizon Chase Turbo

Another old-school retro-style video game that came out was Horizon Chase Turbo. This game acts much like the arcade cabinet racing games you might have seen and played during the 1980s and 1990s. Within the game, players have a supped-up muscle car and must race against time or other players in a series of exotic locations. For only $19.99, you can find a good bit of fun here, and of course, there is a multiplayer mode. Up to four players can race against each other in this retro romp.

#2 Sega Ages: Outrun

If you’re looking for a nostalgia trip, you can’t go wrong with Outrun. This classic arcade game has been around for ages, tasking players with racing through different parts of the world to beat the clock. While racing down the streets, you’ll need to make difficult turns and avoid different obstacles that would spin your vehicle out, causing you to lose some very precious time.

#1 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

We’re sure you knew this was coming, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sits proudly in first place. As mentioned earlier, Nintendo has dominated the kart racing genre with the Mario Kart series. Throughout the years, we’ve seen Nintendo put out tons of new installments, asking players to take on the role of different iconic Mario characters while going through tons of bright and colorful Nintendo-themed courses. Players can customize their vehicle by selecting a different body chassis, wheels, and gliders that will be attached to the vehicle when it’s airborne. Of course, a big part of the game is power-ups, and there are a bunch of options here to either boost you ahead of your competitors or deliver attacks at other players nearby. This thrilling game is easy to get into, and by far one of the most addicting Nintendo Switch exclusives available today.

Bonus Games

Cruis’n Blast

If you frequented the arcades back in the 1990s, then you might recall the Crusi’n racing franchise. The newest installment, Cruis’n Blast, was released for the Switch in 2021. This bright and colorful game acts much like the original titles, and it’s an over-the-top arcade racing experience. Get behind the wheel of a muscle car and barrel down the road in a collection of wacky environments featuring anything from bustling cities to a land before time with dinosaurs roaming around. It offers four-player racing and it’s a suitable title for all ages. Those not thrilled over the high realism of simulation racing should take a look into this title.

Absolute Drift

Absolute Drift is a unique kind of racing game that’s more on the relaxing side. In this title, players are going through a top-down racing game, but rather than barreling down the track against a slew of other competitors, you’re instead drifting around particular objects. The goal is to be the fasted player to drift around the map. The gameplay controls are made to be a bit easier to pick up, making this great for beginners. Being an indie racing title, there are not a ton of different vehicles to pick through, but you will find over thirty different courses to participate in. While it’s not directly a traditional racing title, there is quite a bit of fun to be had here.

Grip: Combat Racing

If you’re able to take the high octane competition, then check out Grip: Combat Racing. This is a futuristic game where players have a wide range of different vehicles armed with weapons to take out opponents. One warning: this game may not be suitable for those that get motion sickness as the vehicles can flip often on the course. For instance, if you head into a corridor straight away, you might flip upside down and drive on the ceiling to overlap or dodge an enemy behind you. Payers can make use of the entire course and make things pretty chaotic in this wacky title.

Star Wars Episode I: Podracer

Star Wars Episode I may not have been a great film, but it did bring us an entertaining racing game. Within the film, we watched a young Anakin Skywalker participate in a fictional race called podracing. These vehicles would hover in the air while being controlled by two jets as it drags the vehicle behind along the course. It’s a dangerous race, but those skilled enough can turn a tidy profit. In Star Wars Episode I: Podracer, players can take control of over twenty different racers and go through race tracks across eight different worlds. As you win and bring in credits, Pit Droids will be available to make adjustments to help give your podracer a bit of a performance boost.

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix

Speaking of Kart racers, there is also Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix. Again, this is a very similar video game style as we just went over with Team Sonic Racing and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The only difference here is that instead of Nintendo or Sonic characters, it’s based on the various Nickelodeon-owned franchises. Players will be going through races as either character from SpongeBob SquarePants, Rugrats, and Hey Arnold, to name a few. At any rate, the gameplay has players racing through several different themed courses while using various power-ups to boost your kart or send out attacks to other opponents.

Rise: Race The Future

Rise: Race The Future is a futuristic racing game. This game takes some of the familiarity of racing as it stands today but focuses more on drifting. In this game, players are racing through different terrain courses, but racers can drift on any course–both on land or water–thanks to modern vehicle technology. This means players can expect the standard style of races with straightaways, but you’re sure to see more sharp turns that require drifting to maneuver around the corner successfully.

Road Redemption

Speaking of classic video game titles, another franchise that has had a strong following for years was Road Rash. In this game series, players would race on a motorcycle while also battling opponents by trying to knock them off their vehicle, such as kicking or punching them when racing side by side. Unfortunately, while the vehicle combat racing title thrived during the 1990s, we haven’t seen this franchise make any big comeback since. However, there is a spiritual successor that might be worth checking into. The game is called Road Redemption, which acts like Road Rash with a modern twist. Players will be again racing down busy streets while battling against opponents by using different melee weapons. However, you’ll still need to be cautious of the road as you can find yourself getting taken out by vehicles or racing off the road and losing some significant ground. Players can find quite a bit of mindless mayhem to be had here for both veterans of the Road Rash series or newcomers altogether.

Riptide GP: Renegade

Riptide GP: Renegade is a title that’s pretty accessible to play, as it’s been ported to both consoles or smartphones. This game throws players behind a hydrojet, a water-based armored vehicle that allows players to race down waterways. However, to make things a bit more intense, the levels are full of over-the-top moments, whether it’s throwing players down a massive waterfall, jumping over a pedestrian overpass, or speeding down tight corridors. Not only are you racing opponents, much like our previous point, but this game also has law enforcement attempting to stop the fun and crash your race, meaning that you need to keep ahead of the law and your opponents to come out on top. While this game can be played as a single-player experience, players can also enjoy online gameplay including up to eight players.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Mario Kart is an iconic racing franchise for Nintendo. While the company has brought out several installments for both consoles and their portable handheld systems, there was a pretty drastic change up to the IP with the release of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. This is a different kind of game altogether as it takes place in mixed reality. Players are given all the tools to set up a race track within their own homes. Afterward, players can d sync their Nintendo Switch to an RC vehicle supplied with the game, allowing players to race around their homes. With the RC car featuring a camera, players can see the course ahead while adding in opponents and the various power-ups to be used virtually. It’s a different kind of a Mario Kart experience for sure, but one that may appeal to a broad audience.

Hotshot Racing

Hotshot Racing is a new take on retro arcade-style racing. It’s bright and colorful while providing a thrilling, fast-paced racing gameplay experience. Throw out the physics and simulation for this game as it’s all about exotic locations and high speeds. Fans of the classic 90s-style arcade cabinet racing games will find plenty of nostalgia here. This game has a few different game modes to enjoy. For instance, outside of standard Racing and drifts, there are cops and robbers. In this game mode, one player starts as a cop and must attempt to catch up to a robber who would convert them into police and add to your ranks in hopes of catching all of the robbers in time. Meanwhile, there is another game mode called Drive or Explode. Here players all have a bomb attached to their vehicle, which will explode if players drop below a certain speed limit.

Mantis Burn Racing

Mantis Burn Racing is a game that looks a bit like Absolute Drift in that it’s a top-down racer. However, it’s a lot more intense than Absolute Drift as it’s a vehicle combat racer with intense courses that range from cities and tundra to off-road courses. Players will not only be going through races but can also compete in a series of weekly challenges and other thrilling game modes such as time trials or knockout-based gameplay. This game may take a bit to get used to with the top-down perspective, but once you get the hang of things, there are plenty of options to make upgrades to your vehicle for better performance.

Inertial Drift

Initial Drift is a visually stunning racer made to look like a synthwave video. However, the gameplay mechanics are what makes this game unique, as it features twin-stick controls. Players use the left analog stick normally to steer the vehicle along the course. The right analog stick initiates drifting around corners. If you’re not up to the event-style races in single-player, the multiplayer game modes are perfect for testing out your twin-stick racing skills.

Mindball Play

Mindball Play is a unique racing game that acts like Super Monkey Ball. In this game, players take the role of a ball going through a series of obstacle courses full of pathways that can knock players off the course and put them back to different checkpoints. It’s simple to play but extremely difficult to beat, becoming quite intense when racing against other players. Trust me, this game is fun to play with friends, but even watching others play is more entertaining than you’d think.

The Next Penelope

The Next Penelope is a racing game with a storyline, but still an arcade action game at its core. Players take on a futuristic vehicle and race around different courses in search of someone that’s gone missing somewhere in the galaxy. As a result, players will be traveling to different planets and going through a barrage of colorful and chaotic courses.