If you're a fan of racing games, the Xbox One has a huge selection of top quality racing titles to choose from. With bi-annual releases in the Forza Horizon and Forza Motorport series, a yearly refresh of the officially licensed F1 games and regular best-in-class rally games coming from Codemasters, it can be hard to choose which one to get behind the wheel of next.
To help you decide, we've used a combination of our site review scores and your community ratings to answer the burning question: what are the best Xbox One racing games?
By this stage, it should come as no surprise that Playground Games finds a way to raise the bar for each release in the Horizon series, and they've once again found another gear in Forza Horizon 4 that leaves its competitors trailing in the dust. The roster of cars is bigger than ever, the setting of Britain is stunningly recreated down to the finest detail, the shared online world is a resounding success, and the addition of seasons adds something completely new and unique to the series both in terms of the gameplay and the aesthetics of the world. I don't know how they do it, but Playground Games has once again set the standard for other racing games to strive for.
Turn 10 Studios has created a title with extremely high production values — highly polished, extremely playable and as much fun as all of the previous titles in its illustrious history. Fans will love the racing experience, which is as good as ever. The new dynamic weather brings an extra challenge to those willing to brave it, and the new driving gear brings an extra level of personalisation allowing fans to express themselves even more than before. Fans will also be happy to see the return of particular circuits including Mugello, Suzuka and the newly embellished Maple Valley. With a potential garage of 700+ cars there will be something for everyone, including those who want to race trucks — where else will you get that opportunity? For now, Forza Motorsport 7 remains the benchmark for console racing and it will be seventh heaven for all Forza fans everywhere.
F1 2018 is the best game in the series we've seen in this console generation. It is just about as complete an F1 experience as it can get without going into the realm of full-blown simulation both from the action and management side. The extra depth added by contracts, rivalries, media and team management may not be for those who just want to race, but die-hard fans of the sport who follow the headlines day in and day out will have a sense that they are really being involved in a virtual career. Racing remains the core of the game and Codemasters has continued to make this accessible to all players regardless of their racing proficiency. Like all of the other parts of the title, it has been tweaked, improved and is more engaging than ever. This year's entry may not have quite the same wow factor as 2017's game, but it doesn't need to. It quietly and in an understated way surpasses its predecessor quite brilliantly.
Inevitably comparisons will be drawn with between DiRT 4 and Dirt Rally. When stacking one against the other, it feels like Dirt Rally is the elder, more scholastic, and slightly serious sibling. Dirt 4 on the other hand, is the younger, outgoing sibling who whilst not exactly bouncing off the walls, still knows how to have a little fun. It allows for an awesome and technical approach if you find yourself among those who crave the purest racing simulation worthy of Codemasters' reputation, but DiRT 4 now invites others less experienced to the table with alternate driving modes. They have listened to the critiques of their previous games and created a rally game that truly is for everyone.
Despite showing its age in occasional places the purity and simplicity of Burnout's arcade racing is as refreshing now as it was when the title was first released. Its world may not be as expansive or as good looking as some of today's titles, but its racing experience is still up there with the best and arguably superior to some modern-day counterparts. Burnout Paradise still has the ability to hook players in and keep them playing, making it difficult to put the controller down while promising yourself "just one more event." Everything is contrived to keep you moving and keep you racing. There's no fluff, filler or distractions, just high-adrenaline racing in it's purest form. If you're planning to visit Paradise City, then Burnout Paradise Remastered is clearly the best way to do it.
Project CARS 2 really does feel like Project CARS version 2.0 with virtually all aspects of the title having been polished and improved. All of the minus points and complaints from the previous title have been addressed, including the all-important playability with a standard controller. In single-player mode, Project CARS 2 has much more to offer than nearly every other title in the genre — though this can be undermined by the patchy and unpredictable multiplayer. The combination of weather and the new LiveTrack 3.0 engine is simply superb. Each track becomes so much more alive, shining most in less than optimal racing conditions and leaving other track implementations feeling horribly static. Those who only want to race two or three laps at a time will miss the amazing changing track conditions, so this is a title that is for racers — those more interested in the details of motorsport and a much more immersive experience. The title continues to push the genre forward where other series fail to innovate.