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Some games are better suited to the VR experience than others. Point and click adventures? Yeah, not so much! VR racing games on hand are definitely elevated greatly beyond the normal flat-screen experience. Getting to sit in the cockpit and use your head as you would in a real car is perfection in VR. Whether you get to use your joypad, use your hands independently with VR controllers, or splash out for a steering wheel controller, every experience is elevated by the use of virtual reality. The only obstacle to how amazing driving in VR can be the sheer amount of options out there.
There is an abundance of VR racing titles for every platform. While sadly, we don’t have Forza Horizon 5 VR yet (someone please add a mod), there are still a ridiculous amount of options out there. So whether you’re looking for racing games for Oculus Quest 2, PSVR, or PCVR we’ve got you covered. Below is a hand-picked list of the best of the best VR driving games on the market today. From VR racing simulators to offroad rally outings and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get into it!
Project Cars 3 VR is a polished VR racing game from Bandai Namco. The games try to provide an authentic racing experience with VR support. The visuals, although not quite as stunning as the likes of Forza are still crisp and vibrant and help to add the feeling of polish for this triple-A title. There are up to 120 tracks to choose from and over 200 hundred cars for your driving pleasure.
This amount of content is absolutely staggering and whether you’re a casual racer or a hardcore car enthusiast, you’re bound to find the car of your dreams to play with here. The gameplay itself has an arcade-style feel to it. Less accurate simulation but good fun nonetheless.
This may put off some hardcore enthusiasts looking for a realistic simulation, but for those who just want to have a great time, then Project Cars 3 is a great recommendation. The driving although simplified over previous installments feels good, and the cars feel quick and responsive. By making the cars zippier and easier to handle the game really becomes quite fun to play and helps lead to some more exciting and well-balanced races.
The game really opens up by offering you credits for completing in-game challenges. With your credits, you can buy new vehicles and customize them. Again, the detail here is not as in-depth as other titles but offers enough variety to bring overall improvements to your driving experience. You can install parts that will provide some handling and performance differences to your custom vehicle. So whether you’re looking for a quick race with plenty of variety with courses or a more in-depth simulator that lets you tinker under the hood … Project Cars 3 has a lot to offer. A fun racer with lots of depth.
Couldn’t have a racing VR sim list without an entry for PSVR now could we? PS4 VR racing games aren’t exactly in vast supply but that doesn’t take away from how impressive Wipeout VR is to play. Taking flatscreen experiences and porting them to VR has been hit and miss in the past, but it’s clear here that the combined developer teams of XDev, Creative Vault Studios, and Clever Beans spent the time and effort on porting Wipeout VR properly. The end result is something truly special.
Called officially the Omega Collection and launching exclusively for PSVR, every aspect was considered again for virtual reality. The motion options available alone show you that they care about player engagement and want you to be able to tailor a great experience for yourself. Depending on how strong your stomach is, the minimal HUD mode with no blinkers is definitely a game-changer. Wipeout was always a lightning-fast sci-fi racer similar to the F-Zero series on the Nintendo. These fast-flying speedy hover vehicles whizz round at unrealistically fast speeds, and it’s glorious fun to play. Getting your reflexes and your brain to keep up with the speed of each race is half the challenge.
Speed strips, pickups, and collision all add to the excitement of each race and the overload of neon and techno is a sensory delight. Comparing the VR version to the original I only have one gripe, and that is the field of view. Being used to seeing a larger overview of the surroundings as you race is now gone but the experience is so much more superior and enjoyable in almost every other aspect that it’s not really worth mentioning.
Also, this is the full game. Nothing has been stripped down or compromised on here. The developers have uploaded every track, vehicle/aircraft, and game mode from the original series. Combining content from three full games in total (Fury, HD, and 2048) the sheer amount of content available here is actually staggering. Nine different game modes with close to fifty vehicles to control on 26 different tracks! Add to this the killer techno soundtrack and arcade-like floaty racing gameplay and you’re in for a treat. An essential purchase for anyone who is using PS4 VR.
We had the rather successful Dirty Rally VR way back in 2016 releasing on both PCVR and PSVR and the follow-up sequel is definitely no slouch. Rally driving has always been an acquired taste for drivers. Highly intense rapid driving through some of the tightest most dangerous courses in the world with your co-pilot barking out upcoming turns as you try to keep yourself from wetting your pants! Thankfully tackling these courses in VR is a little bit more manageable and a hell of a lot of fun.
Dirt Rally 2.0 puts you right in the driver seats in a very realistic simulator. You’ll feel those bumps and knocks as your view shakes and you strain to see the track ahead of you through torrential rain. The wipers doing very little as you slide through muck and try your best to stay out of the ditch! This visceral approach to realism is where dirty rally VR shines. You really do feel like you’re living this high intense extreme sport as the sounds blare in your ears and the visuals keep you immersed and pinned to the driver’s seat. Trust me, this is a challenging game to play but also an incredibly enjoyable one to master.
The driving is intense and difficult, but nailing those tricky turns and drifting around narrow hairpins is so satisfying to pull off. You get to test your off-roading skills all across the globe too from Argentina to Poland. Boasting eight official tracks and fully licensed supercars to help recreate the most realistic and white knuckle riding driving experience. Single-player events, championships, and even an online mode will help test your mettle as you try to beat your best times. Add to that the career mode, and it won’t be long before you challenge your mates online to try and knock you down a peg or two.
The visuals also deserve a special mention. Whereas Dirt Rally VR could be accused of having poor draw distance and slightly blurry visuals, this same can’t be said here. Dirty Rally 2.0 VR steps things up in the visuals with crisp clear graphics and great attention to detail even while running at lightning-fast speeds. Stable frame rates, impressive visuals, and amazingly addictive gameplay mean you really shouldn’t pass on this one. A whole lot of fun to be had here.
From the serious simulator to a fun cartoon go kart game now! Dash Dash world is far from realistic but definitely a fun addition to the collection. Visually, it looks something akin to Mario Kart with its cute characters and focuses on combat. Using your Oculus controllers to steer with one hand and shoot a weapon with the other is oddly addictive. Getting the drop on the leader of the pack with a crossbow while you skid around the bend feels fantastic and may awake the inner child in you. The vibrant colors and wacky track design instantly brought to mind playing Mario Kart 64 with the tracks themselves offering plenty of variety and challenge.
Also, the obvious game modes are available such as single-player career and multiplayer Grand Prix. Eleven tracks in total are available to play and each one is a wild and colorful dip into the insanity pool. The weapons you get to use too are equally ridiculous in the best possible way. Shooting eggs from a chicken gun has to be one of my favorite though! Gameplay is competitive and fast-paced. You get rewarded for your drifting skills with a boost meter filling up. This encourages you to drive recklessly and adds to the fun.
Controls are adjustable too, but I think there’s nothing better than having one hand resting on the wheel and the other free-to-fire weapons. If you don’t like this, you can opt to use the analog stick on your controller for steering instead although definitely not as much fun. The overall gameplay and visuals are striking and quirky. It definitely borrows heavily from its Nintendo counterpart but what kart racing game on the market today doesn’t owe some thanks to Mario Kart at this stage. Not a very realistic experience in the VR car games department but definitely a very fun and light-hearted game nonetheless. One for all ages too which is certainly a plus. If you own an oculus quest, you owe it to your inner child to pick up this title!
Borrowing its graphics engine from Project Cars 2, it’s clear to see just how stunning these visuals are right out of the box. Very well optimized for virtual reality, you should be able to run smoothly with high frame rates even on a lower-end PC. Gameplay and physics real quite grounded and realistic which is nice in comparison to other titles on this list. The vehicles on offer to play with here are quite varied.
From modern racing cars to classics and even concept cars, Auto Mobilista 2 has got you covered. Also offering different weather conditions, tire wear, realistic force feedback, and multiple game modes including online multiplayer, it’s clear the developers have built a well-rounded full package here. Considered by many to be the one true serious simulation experience rather than an arcade racer there is definitely lots of depth here to enjoy. It is recommended you play this one with a steering wheel too to maintain that authentic driving experience.
At its heart, it is a detailed and varied simulation of the Brazilian motorsports scene, featuring all major Brazilian racing series, race tracks, and manufacturers. Well-known brands outside of Brazil are also well represented here such as Mclaren and BMW along with famous racing circuits such as Silverstone, Mount Panorama, and Imola.
The graphics as mentioned are stunning and the overall realistic driving experience on offer is incredibly detailed and satisfying to explore. This feels polished and professional for those wanting a more realistic VR racing simulation. The game still receives regular updates, DLC, and support making this a truly special VR experience.
Now to one of the original and still best racing VR experiences out there. Releasing way back in 2014, it still boasts one of the largest most dedicated player bases out there. Drive 177 different cars over 19 tracks for a really robust racing simulator. The handling of each car feels varied and satisfying to get to grips with. You can have fun drifting and sliding around corners in one race and then completely switch to a highly intensive formula one experience in the next.
Small details have been added that make the VR experience that bit more special over the flat screen version. Looking around the cockpit and seeing the detail for example helps with immersion and the hud has been done away with. Instead, if you want to see how fast you’re going, you look at your speedometer. Sounds like a simple touch but it helps keep you immersed. You can host or take part in online lobbies and creating your own custom lobby with your mates is a fun experience all round.
The visuals are showing their age a bit here though I’m sorry to say. Low texture details and last-gen graphics are quite noticeable although not a deal-breaker by any means. Oh and remember that dedicated player base I mentioned? Well, that dedication has expanded into the modding community also. There are mods available for visual updates and extra content which pulls this game from the bottom to the top of the pile. In fact, the amount of mods available is staggering here and the customization you can have at your fingertips is simply endless.
Be mindful of running too many mods at once as this can be a buggy game and it may not just be the cars you see crashing if you catch my drift! Puns … we got ’em! Assetto Corsa is regularly on sale on the Steam Platform as it’s an old title and the longevity plus quality of life that mods can add here makes this one get if you plan to do some VR sim racing on PC. Go get it and install the Sol mod … you won’t be disappointed!
So switching gears here we bring you iRacing. This is a subscription-based racing service. You’re going to need some deep pockets to enjoy this one. On top of your monthly subscription, you’ll also have to purchase the cars and tracks you want to use. Visually as well it’s not the most impressive on this list and the graphics seem quite dated even compared to Assetto Corsa.
Why would you still want to play iRacing then I hear you say? Simple, the level of design put into making the physics work properly and the cars handle realistically is second to none! This is one of the most realistic driving simulators on the market period. Often used by professionals to improve their abilities you can’t find a more realistic gameplay experience out there. The tracks and cars have been laser scanned so every detail and bump is recreated inch perfectly to its real-world counterpart.
The multiplayer is one of the most competitive out there and the challenge to better your rivals is palpable. You are completely measured by your driving skills alone and the license you hold with your subscription influences what driving leagues you are entered into. Any crashes or poor driving will affect your safety rating and forums for iRacing are hotspots for naming and blaming drivers who cause crashes.
To put it simply, this is a very competitive experience and one of the most serious and intense driving experiences out there. Definitely one for the hardcore enthusiasts who want to invest in their own driving ability and etch out a name for themselves amongst their peers. So if you can handle the monthly subscription payments and you live and breathe competitive racing, then there is no equal to iRacing.
And that’s our list folks. VR racing is always exciting and a genre that is definitely worth exploring by VR users of any type or taste. You may find that even if you don’t typically enjoy racing games on console or PC, that virtual reality raises the experience to a totally new level. There really is something for everyone here too with a wealth of variety and players’ interests in mind. The only thing restricting you is what headset you own and what style of racer you enjoy.
Do you want the full realistic burning rubber on hot asphalt experience or are you into floaty fast-paced arcade action? Either way, this extensive list has got your needs covered. Investing in a steering wheel is definitely worth considering too if you want to enhance your overall driving experience. So whatever road you choose, be sure to check your mirrors, signal, then maneuver your headset onto your bonce and get stuck in!