Your Top 10 Racing Games of All Time

Mainly to satisfy my own curiosity, I compiled everyone's top 10 list into one list. Every time a game appeared in a top 10 list it received one point. Location in each list was not factored in, mainly because the sorting logic of the lists varied. I did my best to interpret which games people meant, but if it was too unclear I left it out. I also left out honorable mentions. Below is the result of that effort.

Something interesting to note is that of the two most popular series (Gran Turismo and Forza), the only games to not appear in any list at all were Forza Motorsport 5 and Forza Horizon 2.

Gran Turismo 434
Gran Turismo 222
Assetto Corsa15
Forza Motorsport 415
Gran Turismo15
Gran Turismo 513
Race Driver: Grid13
Test Drive Unlimited13
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec12
Project CARS 212
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition9
Need for Speed: Most Wanted9
Burnout 3: Takedown8
Dirt Rally 2.08
Gran Turismo 78
Le Mans 24 Hours (Dreamcast)8
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit7
Project Gotham Racing 37
Assetto Corsa Competizione6
Colin McRae: Dirt 26
Forza Horizon6
Forza Motorsport6
Gran Turismo Sport6
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 26
Need for Speed: Underground6
Need for Speed: Underground 26
Project Gotham Racing 26
Ridge Racer Type 46
TOCA 2 Touring Cars6
Tourist Trophy6
Burnout Paradise5
Forza Horizon 35
Forza Horizon 45
Gran Turismo 65
Need for Speed: High Stakes5
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed5
TOCA Race Driver 35
Tokyo Xtreme Racer 35
Burnout Revenge4
Colin McRae Rally 2.04
Dirt Rally4
Forza Motorsport 34
Grand Prix 24
Midnight Club: Los Angeles4
The Need for Speed4
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit4
Project Gotham Racing 44
TOCA Race Driver4
Crash Team Racing3
Formula One Championship Edition3
Forza Motorsport 23
Grand Prix Legends3
GTR 23
Midnight Club 23
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift3
Need for Speed: Carbon3
Need for Speed: ProStreet3
OutRun (Arcade)3
Sega Rally 23
Tokyo Xtreme Racer3
Auto Modellista2
Automobilista 22
Carmageddon 22
Colin McRae Rally2
Dirt 32
F-Zero GX2
F1 20062
F1 20102
F1 20202
Forza Horizon 52
Forza Motorsport 62
Forza Motorsport 72
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue2
Grand Prix2
Grand Prix 42
GRID Legends2
Import Tuner Challenge2
IndyCar Series 20052
Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 (Amiga)2
Mario Kart: Double Dash2
Mario Kart 642
Mobil 1 Rally Championship2
MotoCross Madness 22
NASCAR Racing 2003 Season2
NASCAR Thunder 20042
Need for Speed: Shift2
OutRun 2 (Arcade)2
Pole Position (Arcade)2
Race 072
Ridge Racer2
Ridge Racer V2
Sega Rally2
Sports Car GT2
Super Mario Kart (SNES)2
Super Monaco GP2
Test Drive: Eve of Destruction2
TOCA Touring Car Championship2
Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Zero2
Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 22
Top Gear (SNES)2
Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune (Arcade)2
Wave Race 642
Wipeout HD2
Alfa Romeo Racing Italiano1
Art of Rally1
Big Scale Racing1
Burnout 2: Point of Impact1
Colin McRae Rally 41
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled1
The Crew1
Daytona USA1
Destruction Derby 21
Diddy Kong Racing1
Driver: San Francisco1
F-1 Hero1
F-1 World Grand Prix II (Dreamcast)1
F-Zero (SNES)1
F1 20001
F1 20111
F1 Career Challenge1
F1 Grand Prix Challenge1
Ferrari Formula 11
Ford Racing 21
Formula 11
Formula One: Built to Win1
GP 5001
Grid 21
GRIP: Combat Racing1
GT Advance 2: Rally Racing1
GT Legends1
Hot Wheels Turbo Racing1
Indianapolis 500: The Simulation1
Initial D Arcade Stage 3 (Arcade)1
Initial D Arcade Stage 8 Infinity (Arcade)1
Lombard RAC Rally1
Mario Kart 81
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe1
Mario Kart Wii1
Metropolis Street Racer1
Micro Machines1
Micro Machines V31
Micro Machines V41
MotoGP '081
Motor City Online1
Motorsport Manager1
MotorStorm: Apocalypse1
NASCAR Chase for the Cup1
NASCAR Heat 41
Need for Speed: Shift 2 - Unleashed1
Pitstop II1
Project CARS1
Racing Battle: C1 Grand Prix1
Rage Racer (Arcade)1
RalliSport Challenge1
RalliSport Challenge 21
rFactor 21
Ridge Racer 21
Ridge Racer Revolution1
Ridge Racer 71
Road Fighter1
Road Rash1
San Francisco Rush 20491
SBK 221
Scud Race (Arcade)1
Sega GT 20021
Sled Storm1
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed1
Star Wars Episdoe I: Racer1
Stuntman: Ignition1
Super Cars II1
Super Sprint1
Superbike 20001
Superbike 20011
Supercar Street Challenge1
Test Drive1
Test Drive Unlimited 21
Test Drive 61
TOCA Race Driver 21
Top Gear Rally1
V-Rally 21
V-Rally 31
Wacky Wheels (DOS)1
Wipeout 20971
Wipeout Pure1
World Drive Championship1
World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars 20021
WRC II Extreme1
WRC 4: FIA World Rally Championship1
WRC Generations1

Holy smokes @jackrabb1t good job man!!!! That must have taken you a heck of a long time to compile. Thanks for doing this. This is definitely a great reference point for anyone searching for a list of great racing games.

Sad to see Rage Racer, Ridge racer 2, Ridge Racer 7 and Outrun 2 only get one and two mentions respectively. You guys need to PLAY THOSE GAMES lol!
Games I’m surprised nobody has mentioned -

TT Superbikes
GP Challenge
OutRun 2006 Coast 2 Coast
Formula One ‘97
Porsche Challenge

…so I will, even if they weren’t in my top ten.
Games I’m surprised nobody has mentioned -

TT Superbikes
GP Challenge
OutRun 2006 Coast 2 Coast
Formula One ‘97
Porsche Challenge

…so I will, even if they weren’t in my top ten.
Games I’m surprised nobody has mentioned -

TT Superbikes
GP Challenge
OutRun 2006 Coast 2 Coast
Formula One ‘97
Porsche Challenge

…so I will, even if they weren’t in my top ten.
Outrun 06 C2C on the PS2 is among my honorable mentions, if I’d made a list. I think it’s an excellent little arcade racer with some fun game modes, great locations and unlockables (gotta’ love the Outrun class 512 BB). Not to mention the soundtrack. Sumo Digital did a great job bringing it to home consoles and I’m glad that it remains in my collection.
Yeah I think Coast 2 Coast is kinda the ultimate home console version of that game, so I’m happy to have it. I think it’s fairly hard to find these days. OutRun 2 seems to be much more common, although that’s good too. I love the whole aesthetic, soundtrack, location, it’s just an excellent arcade racer. Always find amusing the way the blonde in the passenger seat beats the **** out of the driver when you run out of time too. Sega arcade games are the best.
If you have a way to play it, the Japanese version of Outrun 2006 on the PS2 (titled Outrun 2 SP) is even better. It has some bug fixes and tweaks and adds wheel support.
10. 80s Era Monaco GP - Probably the game that put my interest into automobiles. I got so excited anytime I saw it. Shifting gears and all.

9. 80s Outrun - First console racer.

8. F-Zero - SNES

7. Need For Speed PS1 - I think I was around 16 when this came out and when I had high interest in JDM cars and street racing.

6. Need For Speed Underground - I remember playing this a ton. Loved the customization.

5. Need for Speed Prostreet - My introduction to leaderboards I think? Brought a whole new aspect to racing. Game was very buggy though.

4. Gran Turismo 1 - Absolute game changer. Everything about it. Probably kept me out of lots of trouble in my teen years.

3. Forza Horizon 5 - Probably would be FH4 or FH3 had I gotten into the series earlier. I've been having a lot fun the past few months waiting on FM8.

2. Gran Turismo 4 - Don't need to explain this one.

1. Forza Motorsport 2 - Between leaderboards, community forums, tuning, painting and then selling them for big in game credits, I've never spent more time on a game in my entire life.

I had my first child a few months before Forza 3 and have taken a long break from online racing. Last March, I bought a wheel, first rig, PS5 and GT7. Sold the PS5 and moved to XBOX Series S for FM7 and FH5. Trying to be as optimistic about FM8...but it's not easy.
Not in any particular order:

4. EA F1 99-02 - best F1 game for me. Also the prototype to all ISImotor sims and all its variants (rFactor, GTR2, GTL, Race07, etc)

I never realised until recently that the PC version of this is completely different to the console 'F1 Career Challenge' that uses the same box art etc - I've never played it on PC and have heard some really good things about it. On console, I always thought it was a pretty janky game with poor handling and atrocious AI. I had it on PS2 and Gamecube in the day and hated it. I did recently though pick up the Xbox version cheap at CeX and to my surprise it's far better there. The handling works so much smoother with the XB controller, although the AI and collision detection is still stupid.
In no particular order (and only games I have owned):

Gran Turismo 2
Gran Turismo 4
Gran Turismo 7
Colin McRae Rally 2
Sports Car GT
Dirt Rally 2.0
F1 2013
Assetto Corsa Competizione
Test Drive Unlimited 1
Gran Turismo 4
TOCA Touring Car Championship
TOCA Race Driver
Formula 1 97
Destruction Derby 2
Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit
Super Off Road (Game Gear)
Forza Motorsport 2
Not in particular order:

Mario Kart 8/Deluxe

Mario Kart Double Dash

TOCA Race Driver Trilogy

GRID Autosport

Gran Turismo 3

Gran Turismo 4

Forza Motorsport 6


CTR: Nitro-fueled

Team Sonic Racing
(especially when in Local Play with friends)
Gran Turismo 2
Gran Turismo 4
Gran Turismo 3
Gran Turismo 7VR
Rage Racer
Mario Cart 8 Deluxe
Toca touring car championship
Assetto Corsa Competizione
Forza Horizon 5
Metropolis street racer.
Not well versed enough to make a definitive top ten but Road Rash, F-Zero, Super Mario Kart, and Virtua Racing Deluxe have to fit in somewhere if we're talking retro racers ^_^

Jaguar XJ220 on the Mega-CD is also really impressive for the hardware, I believe it was developed by Core Design ^^

The Wipeout games, GT (of course), Burnout 3, and RR type 4 all come to mind as well
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Final Lap (Arcade)
Rave Racer
Ace Driver
Le Mans 24 ('97 Sega Arcade)
Speed up (Gaelco)
Techno Drive (Namco Arcade)
Wangan Midnight (Arcade)
Burnout Paradise
NFS MW 2012
Real Drive (Bandai Namco, location test only)
What an interesting thread idea! :) Being a gamer for over 20 years now, Racing games have always been an integral part of my gaming history and I’ve played a lot of racing games across multiple platforms. While many have come and gone over the years, theirs a good number that still has a lot of meaning to me today, right around what this thread is asking for too. It actually didn’t take me too long to figure out which ones will make the list because some of these I still think about pretty often despite how old they are.

Ever since I stumbled upon this thread, I’ve been spending a lot of time typing up my list in a document before posting here and now I can finally show it. I am going to try to pick one game per franchise, but theirs going to be some exceptions because the list simply wouldn’t be complete without them. I will admit, this isn’t exactly one of the best posts I have written, and some of these entries might be seen as “hot takes” by some. However, not only has it been a very long time since I played some of these again, but some of these games are so radically different from each other, it’s hard to rank them. That said, this list will be in no order.

Anyways, here’s mine:
Test Drive 5 - This game here was the very first street racing game I ever played and one I’ve held in high regard for many years now. While it’s hard due to the awkward handling and cheating AI and hasn’t aged the greatest, it’s still a fun game that I enjoy to this day. Not only does the soundtrack still hold up well, but the car selection is neat and the tracks are awesome. Even if I struggle to win a race in the game, this game was never about winning for me, it was always about fun. I can never talk about my favorite racing games without mentioning this one because it was a childhood favorite that still provided a good experience for me through my teen years and even into my adulthood. It’s held a place on this kind of list longer than anything I’ve ever played and rightly so!

Need for Speed Underground 2 - This was the game that got me into Need for Speed as a whole back in late 2005 and it has managed to hold the title as my top favorite NFS game ever since. The visuals were (and still are) absolute eye candy to me, just exploring Bayview alone was a blast in itself and it was all very pretty to look at. The fact you don’t have any cops to come and ruin the fun while driving is something I also liked because while it may be what NFS is known for, being chased by them is just not my idea of fun. The races themselves were interesting and offered a lot I had never seen before and some I ain’t seen since, generally it was fun.

Who could forget the soundtrack as well? I can find a reason to like every song in the game and literally all of them give me some kind of nostalgic kick. Of course, we can’t talk about this game without mentioning the customizations! Having never seen car customization like this before, it was a huge surprise for me back in the day that really drew me in. Although NFS has made improvements on it here and there in later games, to this day, I don’t think NFS has ever done it better with the amount of customizations they had in this game. I didn’t even mind being forced to do it to my car because I was just glad it had some kind of importance and wasn’t just some kind of pointless waste of money.

Admittingly, I haven’t spent any quality time in this game in a VERY long time, but regardless, this game has had great significance to me ever since I was introduced to it and I'd be insane to leave it out of this list.

Test Drive Off-Road 2 - This game was shown on the back of Test Drive 5’s instruction booklet and as a kid, given how I loved Test Drive 5, Hummers, and off-road racing, you can imagine why I wanted this game. Although sadly, I didn’t get it until mid-2015, better late than never, I just knew the game was going to be good as a kid and upon playing it as an adult, it was everything I had hoped for and then some. So what’s great about it? Well for starters, it has some neat vehicles with some I have never heard of, but what really sells it for me is the tracks. The tracks have a very immersive scenery, and neat obstacles like rivers to drive through, and in general, they’re just plain fun to explore.

Like Test Drive 5 though, the handling isn’t the greatest here either especially since it’s based on Test Drive 4’s engine and it can be pretty tricky to win. However, just like Test Drive 5, this game isn’t about winning either, for me, it’s about fun and this game manages to be even better at that. So not only did this game meet my childhood expectations, it exceeded them and it is one I find myself going back to time and time again simply because it’s just plain fun regardless of what position I place in and I can’t help but love the tracks in this game. Truly a fun game I cannot ignore!

Gran Turismo 5 - Oh man, where do I begin here? First and foremost, coming from GT4 to this was a huge leap for me. To play a game with 1000+ cars was something I had never done before. The tracks not only looked good but were fun to drive on. And being able to paint cars using colors from other ones was neat and the course maker was also something I don’t recall seeing before. However, what really sold the experience for me was it was significantly easier than GT4 and I was able to get MANY cars I had wanted in that game but was never able to due to GT4 being a bit too hard for me at times. Being able to finally drive them in GT5 was truly a fulfilling experience.

Generally speaking, the game itself was already very solid from the start, but that only got better around this time 10 years ago when hybriding and save editing in general became a thing. This took an already great game to a whole new level for me and others. Being able to swap parts from other cars, paint cars that can’t normally be painted, and my personal favorite, putting dirt and snow tires on cars that don’t allow them usually, gave me even more incentive to play it than ever before. If you had to ask me what were the highlights of 2013 for me, this would be one of them. Although they tried time and time again to patch this out with updates 2.12 and above, they never added anything worthwhile afterward, so there was little reason to even bother with them. So you could easily ignore them and you wouldn’t be missing out on anything.

In recent years, the experience has gotten even better because not only has a lot of new hidden content been found, such as hidden tracks, cars that never made it to the final game, and more secret menus, but theirs a mod for the game made by Nenkai. A mod that not only restores a lot of hidden content but even adds some new content to it that wasn’t originally there, which obviously just adds even more to the already great experience it has provided for me.

Of all the games on here, this one is the one that has received the most playtime of any of them and probably more so than any other game I own period, and even then, it still has more than enough longevity to keep me coming back to it often. GT5 still is an incredible game to me that has stood the test of time better than any other game I know and to say it belongs here would be a huge understatement.

Need for Speed Carbon - Yea I broke my own rule of one game per franchise for this because this game absolutely deserves it and here’s why. From the very first time I played this game, I was immediately impressed by it and the feeling only grew with time. For starters, I just love the atmosphere of the game, from the fact it’s set at night only again, to the relaxing music in the menus. I just find it to be very immersive and refreshing to play anytime I go into the game. Speaking of which, while the game's soundtrack is not utilized the greatest, it’s my 2nd favorite in the NFS series and has some songs I could listen to pretty much anytime. Then we have the customizations, while not quite as good as Underground 2, it brought autosculpt, the ability to customize vinyls a bit more and generally was pretty decent overall. The car list, while also not utilized the greatest, was also pretty impressive and it introduced me to some cars (namely the CCX) that I have come to like a lot because of this and the fact they included playable traffic cars was the icing the on the cake for me.

The career, while very short, was quite pleasing to play through, so much so that I gave myself a blister once playing it. Being able to do it all again on the same save by losing all of my cars and starting over with everything I already unlocked was also a great touch and allowed me to get stuff done I didn’t before. However, where this game really shines, is something NFS is not usually known for in my case, longevity. While it’s commonplace for me to beat the career of an NFS game, move on and not do much with the game again for a while, Carbon is the one NFS game where this wasn’t the case. Not only did it have the challenge series again, but best of all, it had the reward cards which provided me with a lot of things to do after the career was done and had some really neat rewards along the way. This kept me busy for quite some time, to the point where even when Prostreet was released, I was still going back to it and at one point I was doing this every year for several years after its release.

I have played a lot of NFS games in my gaming history and while I would hesitate to say Carbon is the best, Carbon is however the one I have spent the most time in than any other NFS to date. To this day, I don’t think any NFS game has ever provided as much to do when the career is over as this one did for me. In fact, as of the time of me writing this, I think I still have things in the game I have yet to complete. Although I ain’t spent any quality time in it in a while, this game has really stood the test of time for me and I can always find reasons to play it again even now and I am thinking about going back to it soon.

NASCAR Rumble - Now this game is very special to me. For starters, the fact it breaks the mold of what many had come to expect from a NASCAR game is already a great start. The fact it features a very large lineup of modified versions of cars from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in the real world and goes as far as to include the truck series, legends, and even some completely random ones from left field is just insane for a game like this. The tracks are also a huge highlight for this game because not only are they pretty diverse, but they have some great scenery for the console it’s on and have some interesting things to interact with such as smashing through glass, scaring chickens or hitting other random objects. The music is also very fitting for the tracks it’s played on and the menu music is some of the best I know. The power-ups were also an interesting addition because ones like the tornado, shock wave, and big rumble are just fun to use and can make for some interesting racing, something I had barely experienced upon getting the game. The commentary from Jess Harnell is also something I cannot ignore because not only does it add to the experience, but some of his lines are quite humorous and I can remember a lot of them from memory.

This game is just straight fun and always has been for me. The last few months of 5th grade for me were what I consider to be some of the best days in my entire life and this game played an instrumental role in that. As a result, it has become very near and dear to me and it’s something I still look back on very fondly nearly 20 years later. Although I haven’t played through the whole game in a long time, I still give it a go every now and then. Given how I have an Xbox Series X now and can run this game at a locked 60 fps with 16x resolution that I could never do on original hardware, the experience I think is about to get even better! If theirs any game that belongs here, it’s this one.

Corvette (GBA) - While this one is kind of left field compared to the others listed here, it’s one worthy of recognition. Right off the bat, the game has some good-looking visuals for the system it’s on and the tracks are a blast drive on and the soundtrack is one of my personal favorites on the system. Then we have the car list which not only has some neat Corvettes to try out, but theirs some I didn’t even know existed until I got this game.

While this game is short, it’s fun to play and I still go back to it from time to time. It’s been one of my favorite GBA games ever since I bought it back in 2004 and that’s a title it still holds today.

NASCAR Racing 2003 Season - A much more recent entry on this list and one of the more interesting ones at that. I got this one in November of 2020 and although I have not played it nearly as much as the other games listed here, it still makes the list because it’s just that good. I don’t know if it’s the patches I had to install to make it work on Windows 10 or what, but the game tends to run at like 120 fps or more, and prior to playing this game, that was something I had never experienced before and something I really like about it. Also while I have played NASCAR games throughout my gaming history, this game just hits much differently than any other one I have ever played. I just can’t help but enjoy the way it feels to drive in this game, especially since it can actually have 43 cars on screen. (don’t think the ones I grew up with could do that)

However, while the game doesn’t have a lot of content by itself, where this game really shines in, is the mods. This game has a pretty good community of people still tinkering with it to this day. Everything from vehicles, tracks, and various other things, theirs a lot you can download for this game, and knowing I can race on some tracks I know in real life that I probably won’t see on any other game is what really counts for me. (it’s what made me want to buy it in the first place) Of course, it doesn’t stop there, it also has some of the better fantasy tracks I have seen in a racing game, and being obsessed with NASCAR’s history, it also has some historic ones that no longer exist in the real world, which undoubtedly is something I really like as well. Even if that ain’t enough, I can always make my own if I really need to. While I am aware Assetto Corsa exists and NR2003 is not the only game to do this sort of thing, being an old game with all this extra content that I can run at max settings even on my crappy computer is something I don’t really have elsewhere outside of this game.

Overall, NR2003 is a pretty solid game at its foundation, and while it may not have much content to boot, the mods more than makeup for it. It got me back into NASCAR games after losing interest in them years ago, it propelled my interest in mods for PC games and just obtaining the game alone was a highlight of 2020 for me. So yea, it absolutely belongs here and holds a distinctive place on the list.

Midnight Club 3 Dub Edition Remix - Now this is a game I simply cannot ignore! Midnight Club is a series I have come to love over the years and this was the game that introduced me to it. So what’s great about it? Well, it has a very large and diverse soundtrack that I think is even bigger than GT4’s selection, which is saying a lot for a mid-2000s street racing game. Not only that, but its soundtrack is good though, and has a lot I still care about today. Heck, even the music played during the loading screens was interesting to listen to despite only being a few seconds long. Then of course we have the cities you can drive in, it has several to choose from and they’re all pretty nice to drive around. Outside of career, the game has a lot more to offer in its single and multiplayer modes than I expected. Everything from your typical races, to being able to roam freely in the cities and it even featured power-ups, which I did not see coming. The race editor was also a nice touch because it meant you could create your own tracks and was a nice feature overall. Truth be told, I think I spent more time playing split screen with my brother than anything else in the game since it was so good.

However, the one thing about this game that really made it stand out was the car list. It has everything from muscle cars, supercars, trucks, SUVs, tuners, and even choppers and sport bikes. This game has the largest and most diverse car list of any street racing game I have ever played and I have yet to find another street racing game that did this better than MC3R did. What makes this even better is, the game has some pretty decent customization options for them and while it might not be NFSUG2 tier, it still provides a lot for you to do with them, which only adds to the experience. Maybe it’s just me, but I swear the career is pretty long in this game, longer than any other I can think of. While it can be pretty hard, it’s fun and even when you beat it, theirs still things you can do if you need cash or just want to have fun again.

I must admit, it’s been a hot minute since I spent any quality time playing this game again and theirs probably even more I can say about it. This game is simply incredible and ever since I picked it up, it always has been a huge favorite of mine. It’s hard to talk about the best racing games I know without mentioning this one.

Wreckfest - Maybe it’s a little early to put this here already since I have only had the game since Christmas of 2022, but the fact I already feel like including it on the list I think says a lot about it. From the very moment I started playing it, I was hooked and that feeling never really went away for me. Me being a reckless driver in video games for so long and the fact this game endorses my driving style I’ve had for many years while being fairly easy just connects with me in a way that no other game has. The fact the vehicle selection is so diverse having everything from muscle cars, compacts and even harvesters, buses and other stuff I have never heard of just adds to it all and provides a unique experience. The game modes are also a total blast and I can’t help but enjoy them, especially with everything I just said thrown into the mix.

Heck, I beat this game a while back, but despite this, I still have gone back to it every day since I started playing it because I can still find other fun things to do in the game despite finishing it. A symptom that games on this list tend to have, with this being the first one I have encountered in quite some time. This game might just be the best modern racing game I’ve played and generally one of the best games I’ve played in a long time.

NASCAR Racing (PS1). Another more recent game I got that already holds a special place in my library. Much like NR2003, which was made by the same devs, this game just hits differently than any other NASCAR game I have played and I can’t help but just enjoy the way it feels, even with its terrible frame rate. Though the graphics are very simplistic, I kind of like this because it gives the game character and makes it feel unique compared to the other NASCAR games on the PS1 I have played. It’s a good example of gameplay over graphics if I ever saw one and one I find myself playing somewhat often.

The reason it didn’t make the list is because it just didn’t have much to offer as it come and unlike NR2003, it doesn’t have a dedicated mod community to make up for it. It’s a fun game to play on occasion, but not much else.

Need for Speed Undercover (PS2). Contrary to what many people have said about it, I actually loved this game. Being able to finally street race in the Zonda and CCX after wanting to do so since Carbon was a real treat for me. The career while short, was still pretty enjoyable. It was much easier than previous entries, not nearly as frustrating in most cases, and generally just felt like a nice walk in the park. While it can be glitchy at times, I never had as many problems with it as others have for some reason and overall I really enjoyed the game. It was honestly the last NFS game I truly loved.

However, it didn’t make the list because it just didn’t have as much to keep me occupied as Carbon and UG2 did.

Midnight Club Los Angeles (PS3). Never played this one as much as its predecessor, but it’s certainly a good one. The game really impressed me with its graphics, it’s customization I felt was even better than the previous one, especially with the livery editor and it generally felt good to play.

This one didn’t make the list because its car list just didn’t stand out to me as much as MC3’s did and it’s been a long time since I played it again and I feel like I haven’t quite played it enough just yet to know where to put it. This could change later though.

Gran Turismo 4. Held the spot for many years as my favorite GT game and still does to a degree. However, it didn’t make the list because GT5 in recent years has surpassed it for many reasons. GT5 generally was just easier, had a lot more to offer for me, and kept me coming back time and time again even in the present day. Not to mention, it’s been a very long time since I played through GT4 again, so my memory of it is not exactly recent anymore, so I don’t quite know what to write about it.
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1. Gran Turismo 3
2. Gran Turismo 4
3. NFS Most Wanted '05
4. NFS Underground 2
5. Burnout 3 Takedown
6. Gran Turismo 2
7. Gran Turismo 5
8. Gran Turismo 1
9. Project Cars 1
10. NFS Pro Street
In no particular order:

Richard Burns Rally
Colin McRae Rally 2
Gran Turismo 2
Gran Turismo 4
Gran Turismo 7
Assetto Corsa Competizione
F1 2012 / 2013
Dirt Rally / DR 2.0
In no real order:

Burnout Revenge
WRC (2001)
Forza Horizon 1
Gran Turismo 2
Gran Turismo 4
NFS Porsche Unleashed
Formula 1 (1995)
Test Drive Unlimited

There are plenty more I could name, but these were a few that I played the most in my formative years. Honestly, I have very fond memories of playing all of the Test Drive games through the PS1 years. Arcade cabinets like OutRun C2C, Rush, Ferrari Challenge, and Daytona USA are also in there somewhere. GRiD 1 is up in that list too, I just don't know what I would remove.
Honorable Mention: Dirty Rally 2 - The gameplay can be so compelling that you can almost overlook the fact that there is basically no game attached to it. The feel of the game on a good dirt stage with the frankly astoundingly good sound design and art direction is basically unmatched. Unfortunately, the handling on tarmac is awful, a significant amount of the stages feel pretty boring, and the game has basically zero depth.

Honorable Mention 2: TDU 1 - Absolute **** from a gameplay perspective, but I have to laud the ambition. The role playing elements are really well done in a way that I don't think has been matched STILL.

#10 Forza Motorsports 1 - It took the Gran Turismo concept but added more realistic handling, more open car modification, and more driving excitement. I wish from the start the T10 team had put a little more emphasis on quality because a lot of the visuals and assets were on the low quality side and this has sadly persisted over the years. This game was a total breath of fresh air though when it first released.

#9 Forza Motorsports 4 - It took a lot of what I loved about FM1-3 but actually put a much higher degree of refinement to the game. IMO this is the closest the FM series ever got to the GT series in terms of overall product quality. Looking back it, I don't think it's aged as well as GT4 (something about the color pallet looks very off to me) but I enjoyed this game quite a bit.

#8 Need for Speed 3 Hot Pursuit - I had this one on PC and I just really enjoyed the environments and the gameplay. It's far from the best game on this list, but I have a lot of affinity for it.

#7 Forza Horizon 1 - Long before the series started to rub me the wrong way for its lack of growth, I thought the concept for FH1 was amazing. For a first stab at it, I thought it was a pretty great game. Unfortunately the series never really expanded on or refined the concept, so the later ones have been more of a disappointment.

#6 Assetto Corsa - Really for no other reason than I just love the way the game feels to play. Getting everything from the car is as much of an experience as the entire single player campaign of many racers. It's so good to play that it transcends the "but where is the game?" pitfall that trips up DR2.

#5 Gran Turismo 5 - Not nearly as polished or complete feeling as GT4, but there was a depth to the environments that I just loved. The dynamic time of day in this game was something that really drew me in.

#4 Tokyo Extreme Racer 3 - In terms of open world (though limited in this series) racers go, I think this one is my favorite. I've mentioned this title in other threads, but I don't think other open world racing games have quite used their open worlds in such an intrinsically important way as the TXR series, and it really makes the open world compelling. This is not a "go anywhere" open world, but you can really insert yourself into the world, it's just a really awesome experience - with only minuscule role-playing features, the game really makes you feel like you are playing a role. I liked Zero too, but 3 had vastly better driving mechanics, so it was the best for me. Easily my favorite story-driven racer I've ever played.

#3 Need for Speed 1 - This was my first racing title on PS1 and it's just a very personal thing. I loved it and still have all the showcase music completely memorized.

#2 Gran Turismo 1 - This game was absolutely everything when it first came out. A really beautifully crafted experience and nothing came close at the time. My #1 pick I think exceeded it, but it was a real line in the sand.

#1 Gran Turismo 4 - I don't think there was a racing game before and I don't think there's been one since that has had the same ambition as GT4, and I think it mostly lived up to that ambition. It definitely had issues but it felt like such a complete and thoughtful and refined experience on every level. GT4 was just masterful. I harp on about "immersion" a lot and this game was just so damn good in this regard. Every screen, every menu, every piece of music, every location, every gameplay element, etc just felt so deliberate and designed to build up the experience. There are few games of any genre that feel as special as GT4 does...from the opening cinematic to the prize car screens, gt auto animations, user interface, music. My biggest gripes with GT4 were the sort of robotic car handling and the car audio.

Give me GT4, with GT7 visuals, DR2 sound quality, AC driving mechanics, and a TXR gameplay mode.
After playing GT5 again recently for the first time in a decade, I think it deserves to move up the list to #2. It's maybe nostalgia, but it was so good compared to my expectations for a 10+ year old game. Do a time trial at dawn at the Nurburgring in a turbo first gen MX-5 with time change set to minimum and just race into the sunrise. It's an incredible experience, even now. GT4 I still think is overall slightly the better game, but GT5 was fantastic and far more fun to actually play.
Just going to throw up my list, as you know what the games are about.
Don't really know how I would rank them as many are nostalgic, and it always messes things up.
All of them were highly enjoyable.

Sega Rally 1& 2 Arcade (Ok I lied, these are my favourite)

Nascar (the first one on dos)
Excite Bike
Need For Speed series up until most wanted

Monster Truck Madness
Midtown Madness 1&2
Gran Turismo 1&2&7
CMR 1&2
Sega GT
Rally Trophy
Dirt Rally 1
Forza 2-4

Recently Ams2 and BeamNG
After playing GT5 again recently for the first time in a decade, I think it deserves to move up the list to #2. It's maybe nostalgia, but it was so good compared to my expectations for a 10+ year old game. Do a time trial at dawn at the Nurburgring in a turbo first gen MX-5 with time change set to minimum and just race into the sunrise. It's an incredible experience, even now. GT4 I still think is overall slightly the better game, but GT5 was fantastic and far more fun to actually play.
I could never understand why GT5 was kinda the point where Gran Turismo games started to slide in terms of reviews etc - I see 4/5 as probably the peak of the series. Judging by posts on here, I’m not alone.
I could never understand why GT5 was kinda the point where Gran Turismo games started to slide in terms of reviews etc - I see 4/5 as probably the peak of the series. Judging by posts on here, I’m not alone.
GT5 took (what was then) a very long time to release since GT4 so the expectations were sky high, PD promised a ton of cars and damage for the first time in a GT game, problem is neither of those points were executed as well as most people hoped.

It released with a load of PS2 standard car models which some looked absolutely awful upscaled to HD, and when put in the same race against premium HD models built from the ground up looked even worse.
The damage model was very bare bones apart from some rally cars and you could see the cars body morphing after a crash/damage which looked very odd.

That would explain the bad reviews for GT5.

I enjoyed the game as I have enjoyed all GT games but I have to say the PS3 era GT games seemed the least polished, PD is known for releasing quality releases but the PS3 era is where they struggled the most.
GT5 took (what was then) a very long time to release since GT4 so the expectations were sky high, PD promised a ton of cars and damage for the first time in a GT game, problem is neither of those points were executed as well as most people hoped.

It released with a load of PS2 standard car models which some looked absolutely awful upscaled to HD, and when put in the same race against premium HD models built from the ground up looked even worse.
The damage model was very bare bones apart from some rally cars and you could see the cars body morphing after a crash/damage which looked very odd.

That would explain the bad reviews for GT5.

I enjoyed the game as I have enjoyed all GT games but I have to say the PS3 era GT games seemed the least polished, PD is known for releasing quality releases but the PS3 era is where they struggled the most.
They are all valid points, but I think the premium content in GT5, particularly as of Spec II was genuinely great stuff, and the driving experience in the game is far above GT4 IMO.
Gran Turismo 4
Forza Motorsport 4
Midnight Club 3 Dub Edition Remix
Need For Speed Underground 2
Gran Turismo 7
Assetto Corsa Competizione
Project Cars 2
Test Drive Unlimited
Assetto Corsa
Motorstorm Pacific Rift
They are all valid points, but I think the premium content in GT5, particularly as of Spec II was genuinely great stuff, and the driving experience in the game is far above GT4 IMO.
Agreed, the post I replied to mentioned GT 5 is where reviews started sliding, review scores don't get amended after launch so I was just explaining the likely reason for low reviews.

I'm with you, I liked the game, especially after spec 2 update, I would guess its my most played GT game of all time along with 4, the online lobbies in itself were a game changer and kept me coming back for more.