Best racing games for PS5 — the top 10 car games to play now (2023)

Here is our list of the best racing games for PS5. From Gran Turismo 7 to F1 23 — there is variety on PlayStation 5 through PS Plus, PS4, and native titles.

Best racing games for PS5 — the top 10 car games to play now (2023)
Kes Eylers-Stephenson

Kes Eylers-Stephenson

Published

Here is our current grid of the best racing games for PS5! We've picked out ten PS5 racing games for you to enjoy, with all kinds of titles available — from hardy simulation racers to drifting kart racers. So, whether you enjoy car games that require a full steering wheel setup or ones that you dip into for a quick laugh, we've got your driving needs on PS5 covered!

10 best racing games to play right now on PS5

Just before we get you into the racing games, it is important to note that this list curated by the TrueTrophies team includes ten racing games playable on PS5. That includes games native to Sony's latest console, PS4 games you can play through backward compatibility, and games that you can play on PS Plus.

All of our writing team has experience in the racing games listed below, but we also all have different tastes. No matter if it is a bike or a car, though, our list covers all the best racing games from every kind of racing subgenre — simulation racing, arcade racing, kart racing, and so on.

Here are the ten best racing games on PS5.

10. Wipeout Omega Collection

  • Release Date: June 7, 2017
  • Developer: Clever Beans
  • Is it on PS Plus? Yes, on PS Plus Premium
Our tenth-place slot caused consternation among the news team and me, and we still don't know if it is quite right! Wipeout Omega Collection on PS4, playable on PS5 through backward compatibility, has won the spot on our best racing games on PS5 list primarily for its heart-pumping, stylish, anti-gravity fun. While we do love Trackmania Turbo, Project Cars 2, and Onrush — none of them match Wipeout's arcadey purity. If you do decide to collect the Wipeout Omega Collection trophies, you'll find a super fast arcade racer that was a staple PlayStation franchise that blossomed across PS1, PS2, PS3, PSP, PS Vita, and PS4 that is now available to everyone with a PS5. Who are we to deny that?

It just so happens that this pairing of Wipeout Fury and Wipeout 2048 is a pretty great match. Good tracks and funky anti-gravity ships are now paired with much higher frame rates and cleaner visuals. The Wipeout Omega Collection trophies are going to take some time to unlock given that a few of them are pretty challenging, but it's definitely worth your time. This racing is fast and trippy, slotting you straight into vibe mode as the music pops and your focus narrows. It's a fantastic remaster and collection from developer Clever Beans, but what a shame original developer Studio Liverpool isn't around to see it!

9. Need for Speed Unbound

  • Release Date: December 2, 2022
  • Developer: Criterion Games
  • Is it on PS Plus? No
If you are looking for an open-world arcade racing game made for PS5, we think that Need for Speed Unbound can be your pick over 2023 racer The Crew Motorfest. Neither is perfect and the pair have drawbacks, but we think that NFS Unbound is a prettier game with a smidge more street-racing personality. The cars themselves can be tuned modestly to make them drift around a gorgeous world or whip around corners with an F1-like grip. All the while, your photorealistic cars will emit goofy anime effects when you boost, get air, or crash. For my taste, it was a bit hit or miss, but the car models themselves are gorgeous, and some of the customizing you can do is so much fun.

The racing itself is good fun, albeit a little repetitive as you compete in an underground racing scene for 40 hours of straight races, drifting events, and Gymkana-like Takeover events. On harder difficulties, it gets really competitive and you are sometimes thankful just to scrape a third-place finish. The story going on is utterly mind-numbing, though. I loved the FMV racing-scene cheese of NFS (2016), but whatever Need for Speed Unbound is doing with comically bad dialogue is just not it.

Listen, Unbound is not perfect, but it is the first example of a very good PS5-only arcade racer. It's being supported well in online modes by developers and players, which incidentally has fixed police AI unlike the single-player where they remain a blight on your enjoyment. Good luck with the online Need for Speed Unbound trophies, though. Bright colors, fun collectibles, mad customization, and a hard-to-master handling system bring Need For Speed Unbound into its own as it remains a cut above other arcade racers of this generation.

8. Split/Second Velocity

  • Release Date: May 18, 2010
  • Developer: Black Rock Studio
  • Is it on PS Plus? Yes, on PS Plus Premium
We just can't let go of Split/Second from the PS3 era and luckily it is now available on PS5 through the PS Plus Premium streaming feature. This arcade racer never quite took off as it should have, but those who know, know. We should all pray to the Split/Second gods for a sequel, but this one-and-done entry will have to suffice. It's become a cult classic for its adult Mario Kart vibe where instead of blue shells you can use the environment to blow cars off the road. By "blow off the road," I actually mean "cause serious structural damage to skyscrapers and dams that will cost the local council lots of money to repair." How else would you envision a real-life blue shell?

Sometimes, you use a single power bar — fuelled by drifting and going fast — just to explode a few parked cars and nudge a leading rival sideways enough that you can close the gap. Sometimes, you use a full set of three bars to crash a plane on a runway and kill everyone in a fiery abyss. Did I do that? Oops. Now, pray for forgiveness at the altar of destruction because more is coming — thank you Split/Second gods!

This is an innovative racer that would be perfect for a sequel with its fun TV show-like campaign, wicked track selection, sturdy driving mechanics, and breathtaking chaos. Indeed, if you do choose to stream it on PS Plus Premium, the Split/Second trophies will dominate your life, given that some of them are wily beasts requiring mastery of the game. However, get a second controller out for anything online related — the servers are deader than that other racer you piledrove a skyscraper into. Oh god, we love this racer... and so will you!

7. Driveclub

  • Release Date: October 8, 2014
  • Developer: Evolution Studios
  • Is it on PS Plus? No
Even hampered and rusting, the PS4's Driveclub deserves a spot on the best racing games on the PS5 list if you decide to make use of backward compatibility. Evolution Studios developed this superb racer with realistic looks but a slick handling model that doesn't necessitate much grafting to comprehend like the sim-racer.

However, Driveclub's online functionality has been closed despite its reliance on servers for leaderboards, six of the Driveclub trophies, and its club functionality. If you can ignore that and the platinum trophy, you'll find the most comprehensive roster of single-player activities imaginable in one of the most cultishly beloved racers in the racing community.

The game looks unbelievably good, even now. The car models are fantastic and the sounds they make... oh, my! The weather system the team managed to patch in after launch was so far ahead of its time it's a bit scary — in some cases, it's still leagues ahead of racers that would release over the following eight years.

It was supposed to be a PS4 launch game, but was in such a state in 2013 due to issues with getting the online stuff working that it would take another year of polish before it would get to the recommendable heights it would later attain. This kerfuffle got the studio shut down, one of the stupidest decisions Sony would ever make given the hotbed of UK development talent residing there. Honestly, Driveclub is a truly fantastic game and one that was wholly underserved.

6. F1 23

  • Release Date: June 16, 2023
  • Developer: Codemasters
  • Is it on PS Plus? No
F1 23 is not really a racer that should have its place questioned on this list of best PS5 racing games, but it is a bit boring. If you love F1, and we know you do, then you'll probably have a great time running through the various campaign modes and getting feisty online. The sim modeling used to replicate taking a single-seat speed demon around the complex track is very good indeed, especially now that Codemasters has finally aligned their model with the 2022 season regulation changes. On the tarmac, it feels as good as ever and as simulation-heavy as you want it to be.

So, whether you are a Verstappen fan looking to conquer the title while laughing at literally everyone else 20 seconds behind you or an Alex Albon fan trying to get him and Williams into the big leagues, this is a racer for you. It is littered with unnecessary microtransactions, so do be wary of that, and the F1 23 trophies are pretty hard and a fairly long-haul race to platinum. F1 23 shouldn't cause any bother to those who get hooked, though. Another great rendition of the sport — just not a particularly innovative one.

5. Burnout Paradise Remastered

  • Release Date: March 16, 2018
  • Developer: Criterion Games
  • Is it on PS Plus? No
Burnout Paradise is one of the greatest racers ever, on any platform, and now you can play it on PS5 thanks to backward compatibility with the PS4 remaster of the PS3-era game. Criterion took its formula for Burnout's legendary lap-based PS2 arcade racers and made the chaotic racing open-world, wholly succeeding in the process. Welcome to Paradise City, where the grass is green and the cars are being T-Boned at every intersection — please call an ambulance. The world is a magnificent playground brought right up to modern graphical speed in Burnout Paradise Remastered for PS4 — abounding with mega ramps, shortcuts, smashable items, and secret areas full of fun.

The game thrives at high speed during violent races and enthralling exploration, with every crash deserving of a slow-mo replay. There are very few games that offer this level of laugh-out-loud fun with your mechanical beasts, and it helps that the soundtrack is straight-up iconic. Online, everything gets heightened tenfold — it's worth a go just for the challenges you can face with strangers. In single-player, this racer shows its miles, but the moments where you have to chase rival cars around the city are still bombastic entertainment.

As for the Burnout Paradise Remastered trophies, you'll have a blast. While your main list and the platinum are not going to trouble you at all, those DLC trophies will — so be careful. Burnout Paradise is no doubt a phenomenal arcade racer that is still leagues ahead of others on PS5.

4. Wreckfest

  • Release Date: June 1, 2023
  • Developer: Bugbear Entertainment
  • Is it on PS Plus? Yes, on PS Plus Extra
Wreckfest begs to deceive on PS5. It's an arcade racer in its gorgeous looks, but we think it actually has more of a 'sim-cade' feel. The simulation components, like the vehicle destruction, handling model, and braking patterns, are matched by the arcade insanity of driving a genuine harvester around a loop-the-loop. With this combination of car game subgenres, Bugbear made one of the best racers on PS5 despite its original release on PS4 (just watch out for cross-save Wreckfest trophies issues).

Why do we rate it so highly, then? Well, the handling model is superb. Wreckfest is easily approachable but with depth enough to make it serious when needed. The destruction modeling is glorious — you will have quite a few "where are my rear tires?" moments — while also altering the way you drive before and after crashing. The tracks are original and varied, with plenty of tight hairpins and chicanes matched by ramps (both planned and made impromptu out of car corpses) and banked corners that rain the metal of your rivals. The car selection is varied, with customization that is not just for aesthetics but actually affects performance under the hood as well. Also, the online community is fantastic. Really, Wreckfest is one of the best racers of its kind in recent years.

3. Assetto Corsa Competizione

  • Release Date: June 21, 2021
  • Developer: Kunos Simulazioni
  • Is it on PS Plus? Yes, on PS Plus Extra
Assetto Corsa Competizione is the sim racer on PS5 that toppled Gran Turismo 7 for the FIA esports competitions in the GT categories. You know what? It deserves it, too. Speak to most sim racer fans and they will recommend this fiendishly detailed racer as the one to get your competitive spirit out with. That is particularly interesting because it wasn't critically well received partially due to its comically newcomer-unfriendly aspects and its pretty limited single-player.

On PS5, it doesn't quite manage to hit the same way as on PC thanks to the community and freedom that version offers. However, on PS5 it remains arguably the best fully immersive driving experience for those with a sim rig. Get in the seat of the leading sim racer on the console market — though just be wary of those tedious Assetto Corsa Competizione trophies that are also notoriously quite broken. Don't let that distract you, though. If you are a hardcore racing game fan, this is the car game for you!

2. Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled

  • Release Date: June 21, 2019
  • Developer: Beenox
  • Is it on PS Plus? No
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a superb kart racer and the best arcade racer in the last few years, playable on PS5 via PS4 backward compatibility. Even if the aesthetic doesn't appeal to you — though, just look at how cohesive and glorious that art style is — it is so filled with technical karting detail that you'll start getting your fingers in a wonderfully satisfying tangle quickly. As an example, the boost functionality is no tap-and-go joint, it is a timed double-tap mechanic requiring precision and thought. You'll need absolute mastery of it if you want all the Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled trophies.

The items you use are much better balanced than those in Mario Kart and often have much higher skill ceilings than that oft-mentioned Nintendo easy-mode. The tracks are really, really well put together a lot of the time and require a bit of muscle memory to get around effectively. Seriously, if you want arcade, stop off here first. It's as deep as a GT7 but with the beloved Crash Bandicoot at the helm. What is not to love in Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled?

1. Gran Turismo 7

  • Release Date: March 4, 2022
  • Developer: Polyphony Digital
  • Is it on PS Plus? No
Gran Turismo 7 is the best racing game on PS5. This is a racer that oozes passion for automobiles and for the tracks you'll race on. With a DualSense in hand or a magnificent rig set up, we don't know that any game can really compete with just how much love there is in every chicane, in every spoke of a wheel, or along every straight. Our Gran Turismo 7 review covers a lot of the incredible technical driving aspects in depth, but the general gist of it is that there are fewer more pleasurable racing experiences that feel so grounded by intelligible simulations of small details.

Polyphony Digital's game got off to a rough start with its live-service components and limited online functionality, but we feel it has recovered enough to earn its place at the top of this list. The Gran Turismo 7 trophies are a long quest, but not one that will go without you getting significantly better at the game as you spend time perfecting your cornering speeds, throttle control, and track positioning. GT7 is a sim racer, but don't let that put you off — it's got arcade-like addictiveness too. This is the most pristine PS5 racer around, so get your tires on the perfectly rendered track.

That is it for our list of the best racing games on PS5! What did you think? Do you have any suggestions? Are there any games you feel are sorely underrated or overrated? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and other gaming news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like The Last of Us and Horizon, PS Plus news, and his favorite games — The Witcher, Assassin’s Creed, and God of War — before an evening swim.
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