We have really been treated this year when it comes to racing games. In addition to the regular list of annual follow-ups, 2023 has also seen the launch of expected and anticipated titles and fun arcade sequels. So, with such a collection to choose from, which racing game caught our eye the most?
5. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged
Leading the way is Milestone’s Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged. If you had told us that the creator of the Ride series would zoom in and take over the arcade racing scene a few years ago with the first title in the series, we probably would have been surprised, let alone to know that the sequel to that first game managed to improve and impress even further. Turbocharged took the excellent gameplay we have come to know and expanded it with additional mechanics and elements, new tracks, more cars and a plethora of new ways to play.
4. The Crew Motorfest
Ubisoft has faced the monumental task of competing with Forza Horizon with its The Crew series for some time now, and The Crew Motorfest is the next phase of that battle. Motorfest took players to a lush Hawaiian island and combined car culture with Horizon-like festival dynamics to create a game where the vibrant environment of Oahu became your playground. Although the game lacked its physics and realism engine, its customizability and broad ways to play increased and made this game stand out in a very busy year.
3. F1 23
Codemasters really got it right with F1 2021. Then it managed to stay on the grid with F1 22. Fortunately, the British developer learned from this failure for F1 23 by taking the parts of last year’s installment that impressed, keeping them and then drastically improving the parts of last year’s game that disappointed. To that end, F1 23 included a more realistic and wearable tire model and physics engine, as well as better multiplayer options, all on top of a great track list. Hopefully Codemasters can continue its upward trend and deliver a knockout punch next year with F1 24.
2. EA Sports WRC
It’s been a huge year for Codemasters, as the British studio not only delivered the impressive F1 23, but also debuted its return to the world of rally gaming. EA Sports WRC marks the first time in years that Codemasters has owned the official WRC brand, and as our resident rally master will tell you, this game showed a lot of potential. Given that it came from the developer that gave us the remarkable Dirt Rally 2.0, EA Sports WRC proved that it was probably for the best that KT Racing and WRC separated, as there is real hope for official rally video games in the future.
1. Forza Motorsport
Xbox Game Studios only launched a few big games this year, and one of them was the rather impressive Forza Motorsport. After years in development, and with a few delays in its pocket, this racing title was supposed to blow fans away, and while it didn’t quite impress like many of its Horizon counterparts, Motorsport debuted as a very competent and solid racing experience.
With a monstrous list of cars, a wide variety of tracks and a physics engine and tire model that felt responsive (albeit a bit screechy), Forza Motorsport stands out as the most technically impressive racing game of 2023. When you combine this with great performance, stunning UI/UX design and high-quality visuals, you get a game that could well be the current market leader for simulation racing titles on consoles.