Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The best racing games for Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X boasts an incredible library of racing games — even if most of them are simply updated versions of old Xbox One titles. Whether they were first released in 2010 or debuted this month, there’s no shortage of unique racing games on Xbox Series X.

From kart racers and rally racers to mountain biking and demolition derbies, here are the best racing games available on Xbox Series X. Several big names in racing are also planned to launch within the next few years, but Microsoft is already making a strong case as the best place for gearheads.

Further reading

Riders Republic

Riders Republic
4/5
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre
Racing, Simulator, Sport
Developer
Ubisoft Annecy
Publisher
Ubisoft
Release
October 28, 2021
It’s not jam-packed with Mustangs, Camaros, and Ferraris, but there’s no doubt Riders Republic is one of the best racing games on Xbox Series X|S. Ubisoft’s unique title swaps out supercars for mountain bikes, snowboards, and even wingsuits, giving you a chance to barrel down hazardous courses at a breakneck pace. What it lacks in horsepower it more than makes up for with innovative gameplay and surprising multiplayer chops. Online matches pit you against 49 other players — each one racing to be the first to the finish line. Whether you’re an action-sports fan or just need a break from your standard car-oriented racing games, Riders Republic stands as one of the most unique titles on Xbox Series X.

DIRT 5

DIRT 5
70%
E
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre
Racing, Sport, Adventure
Developer
Codemasters Cheshire
Publisher
Codemasters
Release
November 06, 2020
One of the few off-road racing games available on Xbox Series X, Dirt 5 differentiates itself from the competition with arcade-inspired gameplay and several over-the-top game modes. When you’re not speeding through muddy off-road courses, you’ll be taking your car through 360-degree loops, infecting other cars in the popular “Vampire” competitive mode, and gliding across frozen lakes in a variety of ice racing competitions. Best of all, Dirt 5 supports split-screen play for a bit of couch co-op. You can even take the fight online to other players on PlayStation 4, PS5, and PC. If you’re looking for a high-octane racer, look no further than Dirt 5.

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5
86%
4/5
E
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Racing, Sport
Developer
Playground Games
Publisher
Xbox Game Studios
Release
November 09, 2021
Explore everything Mexico has to offer in Forza Horizon 5‘s massive open world. Featuring nearly 500 cars, miles of open road, and native 4K and HDR support, it’s easy to get lost in various biomes scattered throughout Horizon 5‘s world. Best of all, the game features an open-ended campaign that ensures everything you do is contributing to your overall progress. Arguably the best racing game on Xbox Series X, Forza Horizon 5 not only hits the sweet spot between fun and realistic controls but boasts some of the best visuals on the platform — regardless of genre. It’s only been on the market for a short time, but there’s no doubt it’ll go down as one of the most impressive titles on Xbox Series X.

WRC 9

WRC 9
E
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Racing, Simulator, Sport
Developer
KT Racing
Publisher
Nacon
Release
September 03, 2020
Optimized for Xbox Series X, rally racing fans have the option to enable a “High Visual Quality” mode — further enhancing the game’s 4K graphics at the expense of a few frames. Or, if you like your racing games to buttery smooth, you can turn on the 120Hz mode for a true next-generation experience. Impeccable graphics aside, WRC 9 is without a doubt the best entry in the series. The storied rally racer brings more content than ever to Xbox Series X, including three new rallies, 35 special stages, a completely reworked sound system — so your engines sound louder than ever — and the option to create your own custom championships.

Wreckfest

Wreckfest
72%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
Genre
Racing, Simulator, Sport, Indie
Developer
Bugbear Entertainment
Publisher
THQ Nordic
Release
June 14, 2018
Sometimes the best part of a racing game is pulling off impossible stunts — or crashing spectacularly in the process. If you’re the kind of player who likes speed and explosions more than drifting and drafting, consider giving Wreckfest a test drive. Recently upgraded for Xbox Series X, Wreckfest is less of a racing game and more of a demolition derby. You’ll be customizing a variety of cars with bumpers, body armor, and other impact-absorbing mods before jumping into a match. There are practically no rules during Wreckfest tournaments — so do whatever it takes to make it across the finish line intact.

Rocket League

Rocket League
83%
E
Platforms
Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Racing, Sport, Indie
Developer
Psyonix
Publisher
Psyonix
Release
July 07, 2015
Rocket League technically isn’t a racing game, but it’s hard to find a better vehicle-based video game than this 2015 masterpiece. Several additions and updates — including improved graphics on Xbox Series X — have turned Rocket League into one of the best free multiplayer games on the market, and racing fans will find a lot to love with its vehicular action. Instead of vying for a spot on the leaderboard, you and your team will be chasing a ball around a small arena. Your objective? Knock it into the opponent’s goal while defending your own. It requires just as much driving skill as your standard racing game, but also throws in the need for teamwork, goaltending, and aerial acrobatics to up the ante.
Rocket League® - OMG It Has Everything!

Lonely Mountains: Downhill

Lonely Mountains: Downhill
72%
E10
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Racing, Simulator, Sport, Indie, Arcade
Developer
Megagon Industries
Publisher
Thunderful
Release
October 23, 2019
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is more than just a name — it’s also a perfect description of Megagon Industries’ critically acclaimed indie hit. Each level sees you riding solo down a treacherous mountain towards the finish line, with a variety of checkpoints offering you a bit of breathing room during the tense trip. The challenging racing game lacks true multiplayer support, but you can track your times on a global leaderboard and take on a variety of daily challenges to prove your worth. One of the best parts of the indie title is finding your own path through the course to beat your old time — just be careful not to inadvertently send yourself tumbling down the mountain.

Burnout Paradise Remastered

Burnout Paradise Remastered
69%
E10
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Racing, Adventure
Developer
Criterion Games, Stellar Entertainment
Publisher
Electronic Arts
Release
March 16, 2018
Although it’s not optimized for Xbox Series X, Burnout Paradise Remastered is still playable in 4K. It also boasts one of the most exciting open worlds available in the racing genre — and if you missed out on the original, now is the perfect time to dive in. As one of the cheapest games on this list, Burnout Paradise Remastered packs in an incredible amount of content for just $19.99 — including dozens of cars and motorcycles, hours of challenges, and online modes that let you explore the city with a few friends.
Burnout Paradise Remastered - Reveal Trailer | PS4

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Remastered

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Remastered
73%
E10
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Racing
Developer
Criterion Games, Stellar Entertainment
Publisher
Electronic Arts
Release
November 06, 2020
Now running in 4K at 60 frames per second, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is a joy to play on Xbox Series X. The iconic racing game was well-received when it launched over a decade ago, and the remaster for Microsoft’s new console proves that great design is timeless. Available with all previously released DLC, you’ll get to drive a variety of supercars as you attempt to evade the police and their variety of road-blocking equipment. If you grow tired of running, you can switch sides — and chasing down the bad guys is arguably the best part of the game.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
87%
E10
Platforms
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Racing, Arcade
Developer
Beenox
Publisher
Activision Blizzard, Activision
Release
June 21, 2019
Xbox Series X might not have Mario Kart, but Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is the next best thing. In fact, some players think CTR offers a more robust racing experience than Mario Kart — thanks to better vehicles, more content, and unique gameplay mechanics. Regardless of your side of the debate, there’s no denying Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is the best kart racer on Xbox. With online multiplayer, HDR compatibility, and enhanced graphics on Xbox Series X, Crash proves he’s a serious contender for Mario’s crown.

F1 2021

F1 2021
80%
E
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Racing, Simulator, Sport
Developer
Codemasters
Publisher
EA
Release
July 16, 2021
F1 2021 takes the series to new heights, offering a new story experience, a two-player career, and a new “My Team” mode that sees you following the long-term success — or failure — of your favorite racing crew. Dedicated F1 fans will find plenty of depth to the action, too, as Driver Stats have been expanded this year and there are more ways than ever to test your racing mettle. With a variety of competitive modes, dozens of ways to customize your ride, and even a few casual options for less intense gaming sessions, F1 2021 is the perfect way to get your racing fix on Xbox Series X.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Bitner

Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites beyond Digital Trends, including The Wall Street Journal, Metacritic, GameSpot, and Slickdeals. He holds a degree in Biology and previously worked as a Medical Editor.

When not playing video games, he can be found running, reading, or checking out the latest series on Netflix.

Best gaming PC deals: Lenovo Legion, ASUS ROG, Acer Predator
young woman playing video games on a PC

While it can be fun building a gaming PC from scratch, a lot of folks don't have the time or the know-how to really sit down and do it, which is where pre-built gaming PCs come in handy. You can save yourself a lot of time and effort, and if you have a basic understanding of what sort of specs you need, you can find some great deals that will absolutely make up for the costs of putting everything together for yourself. That's why we've gone out and collected some of our favorite desktop computer deals, and while the more budget-friendly options might struggle with the latest best PC games on the market, they're still excellent for more casual or free-to-play gaming.

Once you've grabbed a pre-built, check out gaming monitor deals for a chance to save on a nice display. If the machine you pick up needs some upgrades, you can save with GPU deals, SSD deals, and RAM deals.
Best gaming PC deal for entry-level gamers
Lenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5i -- $650, was $808

Read more
Best video game deals: PlayStation 5, Xbox S and X, Nintendo Switch

While gaming PCs can be pretty great, a lot of folks don't want to spend the money, or time and hassle to get involved with PC gaming, which is why consoles like the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch are perfect. Not only are they relatively budget-friendly, but they also offer a quick and user-friendly way of playing games that don't involve having a lot of PC knowledge. So, if you've already bought one of these, then be sure to check out our roundup of some of our favorite game deals, including some of our lists of PS5 games, best Xbox Series X games, or best Nintendo Switch games.
On the other hand, if you're just doing a bit of window shopping, then check out some of our other favorite PS5 game deals, Xbox game pass deals and Nintendo Switch deals for more specific offers.

Best PS5 game deals
Deathloop -- $25, was $60

Read more
Best Xbox Series X and Series S deals: discounts and bundles
Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S game consoles.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have really come a long way from when they first came out, especially with a lot of support from Microsoft and excellent Xbox Game Pass deals for folks to enjoy. Of course, if you want to pick one up now, it's a lot easier, and there are some good sales and bundles that are worth grabbing, and the same goes for various accessories. On the other hand, if you already have one, then you may want to check out these video game deals, and if you're more of a PS fan, then these PlayStation deals may be more up your alley.
Xbox Core Wireless Controller -- $55, was $65

Whichever Xbox you buy, you get a standard controller but how about having one that shows off some of your personality? Or one that means you can play games on the couch with your buddies or family. That's where the Xbox Core Wireless Controller is so useful. Available in many different colors, you get all the benefits of an ergonomic design with sculpted surfaces and refined geometry for enhanced comfort. Up to 40 hours of battery life is convenient while it connects via Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth so you can use it with your PC, phone or tablet too.

Read more