The car racers are a lot of fun, but racing simulations have their place too. Every player wants to know, what the most realistic driving games and simulators on the market are. Car racing and driving video games have been around for almost as long as the industry itself. With the introduction of new and better hardware, car racing video games have also evolved and so has the demand for realistic driving games.
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1. City Car Driving
According to its Steam page, City Car Driving prefers to experiment and create a realistic driving simulator “to help you master the basic skills of driving.” Whatever its purpose, the game does a great job at what it advertises. City Car Driving has the usual dynamic weather that affects the way you drive, but its defining feature is what it calls “ smart” traffic. Pedestrians are unpredictable and car traffic is pretty much the same, emphasizing the need to always keep your eyes on the road in the digital or real world.
2. RACE Injection
RACE Injection, the last game in the RACE 07 series, ended the series with a bang while everything was going well while creating a realistic car game. The game offers 38 car models in 13 classes to give everyone something. What’s unique about this game though is that it has a variety of real-life championships, each following its own regulations. This forces the player to not only really focus on driving, but also remember the rules of each championship or risk easy disqualification like a real race car driver.
3. Richard Burns Rally
For a game that came out in 2004, at a time when many realistic car games weren’t as popular as they are today, Richard Burns Rally was something different as it was completely immersed in realism. This game is not for the heartless as it is extremely difficult to understand how ultra-realistic a driving simulator it is.
This makes the game difficult to pick up for beginners due to its complexity as the cars basically handle how they are in real life, and the tracks themselves mimic their real-life counterparts to a tee. While the visuals aren’t as good as driving, this one is worth checking out for anyone looking for a truly realistic car game.
First released as a subscription-based game in 2008, iRacing is still going strong to this day. iRacing was truly ahead of its time when it came to its approach to realistic driving games that aim to mimic auto racing as closely as possible to reality. Players can only race in a first-person cockpit view unless otherwise permitted and have realistic feedback on the steering wheel, pedals, and gear shifting. It loses a few points for not implementing realistic damage physics or dynamic weather models, but iRacing is still worth checking out for any racing simulation fan.
5. Need For Speed
The Need For Speed series may not be as realistic as some of its competitors, the developers preferred a more solid racing game with Need For Speed: Shift. The Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed has realistic crash physics and a variety of different motorsports you can participate in; this in many ways continues to influence the series to a capacity to date.
6. Forza Motorsport
The Forza series got off to a rough start on Xbox One with Motorsport 5, Motorsport 7 managed to completely straighten the ship for the mainline Forza series, unlike the equally good but unrealistic Horizon spinoff. Besides the smooth and realistic handling of cars, the game also includes dynamic weather patterns. For example, the rain will wet the roads and affect your car’s handling, while customizable drivers make you feel like you’re driving the car yourself.
7. Assetto Corsa Competizione
The newest entry in this lesser-known sports racing simulation lets players take their love for competitive racing in online or offline modes against AI drivers. Assetto Corsa Competizione uses Unreal Engine 4 to create dynamic tire and aerodynamic physics models that mimic reality as closely as possible. It also accurately renders real-world traces to ensure that it is as close as possible to the re-creation of appropriate events.
8. Gran Turismo Sport
The latest entry in one of PlayStation’s longest and most successful franchises, Gran Turismo Sport may not offer much in terms of tracks and cars compared to its predecessors. However, it offers a game with great visuals and realistic driving. Along with the stunning visuals, the game’s cars give a realistic feel of how they handle it. Gran Turismo Sport also offers a great online game that has kept it updated for several years.
9. Dirt Rally
Instead of focusing on the concrete roads, people are normally used to driving, Dirt Rally 2.0, a spinoff of the main Dirt series, creates realistic off-road rally car racing. A variety of different surfaces are offered, from ice to black and of course dirt. The game features dynamic seasons above the air to prepare the player for the right type of terrain to drive. Damage to the car will affect its performance and the terrain you are driving will degrade over time from being driven continuously. This keeps the player alert at all times and forces them to make every move carefully.
The fact that this is free-to-play may make the game look like it’s not a realistic driving game, but it’s actually quite the opposite. This PC-exclusive features cars that not only sound like their real-world counterparts but also handle them. It is very important to handle your car with precision because even the slightest hiccup will not only cost you the race but also damage the car in realistic ways. It’s also compatible with VR headsets to further immerse the player as a race car driver, unlike other games on this list.