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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 (PCVR)
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.
Wipeout VR (PSVR)
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.
Dirt Rally 2.0 VR (PSVR)
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.
Dash Dash World (Quest 1 & 2, PCVR, PSVR)
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!
Auto Mobilista 2 (PCVR)
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.
Gran Turismo Sport (PSVR)
The brand Gran Turismo has been synonymous with quality racing titles since as far back as the PlayStation 1. Taking those years of experience, pinpoint accurate driving controls, and sheer quality, the developers have tried melting them together in a virtual space. Taking all the things you’ve ever loved about the Gran Turismo franchise and adding a virtual reality experience is a surefire way to make people pay attention. Gran Turismo Sport for the PSVR is a somewhat flawed VR masterpiece. Let’s find out why!
The surface level is exactly what you imagine. Sitting behind the steering wheel with the track and stunning scenery around you feels truly remarkable. Getting to fulfill your fantasy as a Formula 1 racer with this new layer of immersion might even bring goosebumps to your arms as you wait for the green lights. For PSVR these graphics are amazing at first glance and seem on par with other racing titles like Dirt Rally VR. That said, if you stop to look in any great detail, you’ll notice the textures are a little grainy and not as crisp as you might hope. PSVR is quite dated so it’s hardly a surprise though.
Control settings allow players of different abilities still have a fun time. If you want razor-sharp realistic controls then you can have them. If you want a more forgiving level of control you can adjust it in the settings. The developers have gone to great effort to be inclusive and make this a VR experience for all the family. This level of compromise has never been seen before in the franchise and it’s refreshing to see that the developers are evolving along with the player base to allow more casual racers to get involved in the wonderful world of Gran Turismo.
The biggest downside though to Gran Turismo Sport for the PSVR is the lack of content. Sure it feels amazing to traverse the tracks in your vehicle of choice but the lack of game modes and options is very disappointing. There is no time trial mode for a start which seems like a basic game mode to have in almost all racing simulators. There is also no multiplayer option that pales in comparison to Driveclub VR. You unlock more tracks to race on by game progression but this can feel a little slow and grindy compared to other racing titles.
On the whole, this is a very decent effort from Kazunori Yamauchi and his creative team but it’s a little lacking. Sure the experience is great and the immersion is top quality. The feeling of being inside a Gran Turismo game is overwhelming if a little too short-lived. A bit more content, some extra game modes, and sharper visuals would have made this one a masterpiece. Here is hoping that the next Gran Turismo VR experience lives up to our expectations. Roll on PSVR2, and all its potential.
You can find out more about Gran Turismo Sport VR by visiting here
Touring Karts (PSVR)
For many years there have been lots of Mario Kart clones produced to try to rival the overall-wearing mustached racing legend! Many have tried and none have succeeded. It stands to reason then that with VR being the next big thing we’d have a few VR Mario Kart clones too. Enter VR Karts for the PSVR. A cartoonish go-kart racer with whacky characters and insane weapons. You should not let this one slip you by.
Variety is the spice of life and in the case of Touring Karts, it’s the strongest positive the game has going for it. The level variety, multiple kart selections, and ridiculous weapon combinations you can pull off mean there is never a dull moment when playing Touring Karts.
The cartoonish graphics suit the game and look crisp and colorful which is great. The onscreen insanity is what will keep you coming back though and you’ll barely have time to admire your surroundings as you’re launching bazookas or firing chickens at your opponents! Better yet, why not combine weapons? What do you get if you mix a banana with a bazooka? Why … a banana launcher of course!
There are over 48 combinations of weapons for you to explore so get creative and take out the other racers in whatever unique way you see fit.
Track choices are varied enough but lack a little of the imagination we’ve come to love from team Nintendo. Characters too are lacking any real imagination. Different colored helmets are all that distinguish one driver from the next and there are no real personalities to speak of. You certainly won’t be seeing Luigi’s stink eye in this kart racing game.
Putting aside the lack of character flair, this is a great little racing sim. The controls are arcade like and fun and the massive arsenal of weapons makes taking out your enemies a blast. The price is also quite good as it regularly sells for a budget price of under $20 so this is a good bargain.
Control-wise, it’s clear the game was designed with VR in mind with several control options available. You can use move controllers, Joypads, or even steering wheels to fully enjoy this title on your PSVR. For me, using the move controllers and having individual hand movements is the best way to play. Grabbing the wheel with one hand while you lob a chicken with the other is insane and extremely fun to pull off. You can of course play this game in flat-screen mode on your PlayStation 4 but it’s nowhere near as fun. Using just the joypad on PS4 makes it feel like an average racer at best. VR is the way to go with this one and sitting amongst all the chaos is very appealing.
There is plenty of fun to be had here and for $20 it’s pretty much a steal. I would have loved the addition of local co-op as one player could use the headset while the other used standard TV and joypad but alas they haven’t included it. That minor gripe aside, there is plenty to like here and Touring Karts for the PSVR isn’t going to win any awards but it is going to give you and your friends some much-needed fun!
You can find out more about Touring Karts VR by visiting here.
Drive Club VR (PSVR)
Drive Club was a flat-screen Sony exclusive that was released way back in 2014. The game itself was packed full of content and was considered a decent rival to the Gran Turismo franchise albeit a little inferior in some categories. Flash forward many years and Sony have revamped the original Drive Club for VR users. Drive Club VR is a full-fat game thanks to this evolution of the brand. This is not a VR tech demo or short experience, it is the full game meaning you have lots of hours of content awaiting you.
Evolution Studios have taken the base game made in 2014 and re-adjusted content and gameplay settings to make it work in VR. Not a direct carbon copy of the original but rather a reimagining with newer menus, faster progression, and slightly watered-down graphics. Don’t get me wrong, the visuals are some of the most impressive for PSVR on this list but they’re still a little lacking. The lighting and detail are really impressive but everything just looks a little bit blurry in the mid-to-far distance. Nothing is quite sharp enough compared to its flat-screen counterpart. A sign of the PSVR limitations more so than a slight against the developers though.
The game itself is great and hard to put down. If you’ve played the original you might start to feel a little fatigue early on as you replay races and tracks you’ve done before. That said, progression feels quicker than in the first game, and unlocking new tracks and cars is still a whole pile of fun. Whizzing around the tracks and the sense of speed and motion is exciting to experience. Motion sickness may be an issue for those inexperienced so please take regular breaks and adjust the settings to suit your comfort levels.
Drive Club VR tries to improve upon the original by tweaking options, scaling faster progression, and adding new content including tracks. Unfortunately, the hardware lets this VR title down a bit. Stunning visuals up close become muddy blobs on the horizon when you’re racing which is a real shame. If you can get past the blurry visuals though, the is one hell of a racing title to be enjoyed here. The fully packed content will keep you busy for hours and the up-close tour you can take of your prized vehicles is stunning. A well-made racing title considering the hardware restraints. As it’s quite old now, it can also be regularly found on sale for $25 or less so it’s a bargain for any PSVR lovers out there.
You can find out more about Drive Club VR by visiting here.
Mini Motor Racing X (PSVR)
Mini Motor Racing X is a PSVR racing game developed by ‘The Binary Mill’. You get behind the wheel of a small car racing across several tracks and game modes including career, time trial, and bumper ball.
The typical speedy arcade racer that has you trying to beat your opponents and finish first or break your lap records. You can choose from several different vehicles which boast their stats although none are too drastically different from the others. Racing around the tracks consists of tight handling and decent gameplay controls. You can use a boost or other pick-ups to enhance your lap times. Mastering the handling is the key aim of the game and you’ll be fighting for pole position in no time.
What makes Mini Motor Racing X a different experience from most of the titles on this list, is the views. You are not perched behind the wheel with a first-person view. Instead, you have an overview of the action and drive your car remotely. The perspective can be adjusted too to have you placed close to the action or pulled back like you’re overseeing everything. This might not appeal to the petrolhead junkies who want to be immersed in the action but it offers something different than we’re used to seeing at least. It’s also great for those who are prone to VR motion sickness as the overview will do very little to upset your stomach while racing. Very accessible and comfortable for all users.
Career mode pits your wits against the AI-controlled opponents and is fairly standard as is the time trial and free play mode. You’ve seen them in almost every racing game out there and can pretty much know exactly what to expect. The bumper ball adds a little flair as a gaming mode. It’s a clone of Rocket League and your objective is to score as many goals as you can. Certainly not an original concept but still great fun to play. The physics aren’t as finely tuned as you may be used to from playing Rocket League and the ball feels a bit light and floaty but there’s still a lot of fun to be had here. The bumper ball will bring out your competitive side and can be quite addictive to play.
With standard races, you can choose a normal mode or a Type X mode. The normal mode is just racing with boost items only, but Type X adds several different items to use on the map. Type X is the only way to go as it’s much more fun overall and adds a little bit more challenge than just standard racing. Weapons akin to those found in Mario Kart also give you a better chance of closing the gap on the leader if you start to fall behind. Again, nothing too original on offer here but it is done well and doesn’t take anything away from the fun you can have.
One of the strongest features of Mini Motor Racing X is the online multiplayer. You can have up to four of your friends or relative strangers compete against each other. Getting to mash your friend’s car into a paste as you whizz passed is always good fun but may lead to a few sore losers here and there. The built-in voice chat also helps you to rub salt in the wounds as you cream your opponents online, not that we would ever suggest you should do that…sssshh! The ability to race and use pick-ups though immediately brought me back to my Mario Kart days with my friends. The nostalgia you’ll get from playing this VR title is worth the price of admission alone. Graphically there is nothing incredible on display here but it’s serviceable and does the job. It’s the addictive gameplay that will keep you coming back for more.
Mini Motor Racing X can be bought currently for approx. $25 but regularly goes on sale and is an absolute bargain if you manage to find it for less than $20. Well worth your time and your money.
You can find out more about Mini Motor Racing X by visiting here.
GRIP Combat Racing VR
GRIP Combat Racing instantly transported me back to my youth. Playing games like Wipeout on my PC or title like F-Zero X and Star Wars Podracer on my Nintendo 64. These types of face-paced sci-fi racing games have long been missed. GRIP is here to fill that gap and has taken inspiration from some of my favorite racing games from the past.
Fast-paced, high-octane with a pumping soundtrack is the order of the day for GRIP Combat Racing. Playing such a quick-paced game in VR feels exhilarating and there are enough comfort options in the menus to suit all players. That said you may want to make sure you have your VR sea legs as only the most experienced VR users are likely to avoid motion sickness with so much fast movement and flipping going on! Barrelling around a sharp corner in what looks like the Bat Mobile or Tumbler from Christopher Nolan’s era is not only an incredible amount of fun but also takes some lightning-fast reflexes and a decent amount of skill. The risk/reward during races is addictive and pulling off some crazy stunts and squeaking over the finish line is so much fun to experience.
Originally a flat-screen title, VR was added after the fact so the fast pace and especially the flipping upside down might put some users off. The controls feel intuitive though and personally, the level of immersion and feeling of speed is incredibly fun. New VR users might feel motion sickness so please use caution and only play in short bursts with plenty of breaks in between races.
The graphics are smooth and nice to look at. Lots of varied-level designs and vehicles to choose from. Since its launch in 2018, there have been plenty of updates and DLC added making this a bigger experience and great value for money. Race across 29 tracks over 4 different planets with levels ranging from icy caverns to far-flung alien city skylines.
Currently sitting at a Very Positive score on Steam with just under 3,000 reviews, it’s hard to argue that this is a very enjoyable racing game and with a price tag of under $20 it’s truly a great bargain. Just don’t go jumping into the driver’s seat with a full stomach … you have been warned!
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!