The Best Xbox Racing Games

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Microsoft’s first entry into the console gaming market, the Xbox released in 2001 to critical acclaim and eager fans. Named after Microsoft’s gaming API DirectX, this console was dedicated to giving American audiences games targeted to them, while providing one the first dedicated online services for gamers. Xbox LIVE introduced gamers to online play, downloadable content and friend lists on console before it had become standard. The Xbox also introduced the world to Halo, one of the best-selling games of all time, which launched the console into mainstream popularity. The original Xbox is still one of the most fun consoles to play with one of the best libraries of its time.

Driving games have only gotten better with each console generation, and the Xbox was full of exciting new games for fans of the genre. Being able to realistically drive cars players cannot afford without worrying about insurance payouts has always been a draw to the genre. Who does not want to take a souped-up car on the road and drive it as fast as it could possibly handle? There were plenty of legendary racing titles on the Xbox as well including Burnout 3, Forza, and MotoGP which all featured some of the best graphics, physics and controls of their time.

Burnout 3: Takedown

This sequel has taken the awesome action of the Burnout series and made it bigger and better than ever before. There is more of everything that players loved from the last two entries. Takedown features four game modes to choose from, Risk and Reward, Crash, Race, and Online, giving players lots of ways to enjoy the game.

Once players get into a race, there are plenty of other options which allow the race to be changed up greatly. There are plenty of unlockables as well, giving players plenty of content to race around and crash. Burnout 3 is a fantastic upgrade for fans of the series.


Forza Motorsport

This title is the best simulation of driving a souped-up race car with tight controls, realistic weather, and excellent AI. Microsoft’s flagship racing title is the main competitor to the Gran Turismo series, giving players an awesome realistic driving game that is exclusive to Microsoft’s line of consoles.

There are over 200 cars to choose from, giving the player plenty of fun toys to play with. Forza also contains seventeen tracks that really show off the power of the Xbox’s processor with some of the most realistic graphics possible on the system. Forza Motorsport is a must-play for fans of serious driving simulators.


Project Gotham Racing 2

Project Gotham Racing 2 is what you get when you combine fast-paced racing like Forza with crazy tricks from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. This title is all about pulling off the sickest tricks on the way to the finish line. Players can receive tokens by pulling off tricks which can be exchanged for even more cars to play around with.

There are three game modes to choose from which change the gameplay up nicely. This title is the perfect racer that will have players glued to the screen for hours upon hours of gameplay. PGR2 could not be recommended enough.


NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup

NASCAR 2005 is the ultimate, personalized NASCAR racing game. Own your own team, drive your own customized car, and take your team to any track across the country. Players can now menace their opponents with the new intimidator button which can create fierce rivalries and cause post-race fights.

Players will be able to create a devoted fan base on their journey to capture the cup and become the best racer in the league. There are four different series to race through along with plenty of prototype cars to play around with. This is the essential NASCAR game for fans of the sport or fans of the genre alike.


RalliSport Challenge

RalliSport Challenge is one of the best rally car racing games out there. Play through plenty of environments with up to 25 licensed cars at neck breaking speeds. The environments in this title are not just fun, but beautiful too, showing what the Xbox is fully capable of. There are also plenty of crashes in this game with realistic damage to vehicles.

Players will also be able to experience four different modes of rally car racing such as Hill Climb, Rally, Rallycross, and Ice Racing, which all change up the gameplay nicely. Rally car racing games has never been the same since RalliSport Challenge.


MotoGP 2

MotoGP 2 brings back the white-knuckle racing of the original with even more content to play around with. Players will be able to choose their rider and bike which allows for tons of combinations, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

There are three different circuits to choose from which include Suzuka, Phasika, and Jerez, or the player can play through an entire season which will allow the player to unlock more circuits. Racers can be unlocked by pulling off sick tricks in the stunt mode which is pretty reminiscent of Tony Hawk. This title is the best bike racing game on the system and a definite must-play.


F1 2001

The action of Formula 1 racing has made its way to the Xbox. F1 2001 successfully simulates the white-knuckle racing of Formula 1 without getting too complex or overbearing. There are 17 tracks and 22 racers from the 2001 Formula 1 season to play around with. Each track is beautifully rendered, fully showing what the Xbox is capable of.

There are also five modes that the player can play through, changing up the pace nicely and adding fun new rules to an already awesome game. Racing is as realistic as can be in this title as well, with plenty of convincing crashes, pit stops, and weather effects. F1 2001 is the must-play Formula 1 game on Xbox.


Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix

Xbox fans can now experience the insane action of street racing without worrying about the cost or the law! Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix is all about customizing your car with the best aftermarket parts and taking it to the streets for some high-speed racing. Players will be able to explore the streets of Atlanta, San Diego, and Detroit in awesome open-world fashion.

Not only can players race cars, but this title also includes fully customizable motorcycles which add a different way to play this awesome series. This title is everything a racing enthusiast could ask for and one of the best on the Xbox.


Colin McRae Rally 3

The first in the Colin McRae Rally series on the Xbox, this title takes players through a full three-year contract of awesome racing. Everything in this title has been updated and upgraded for the Xbox, making this entry the most exciting and beautiful yet.

Players must play as Colin McRae through eight international rallies in order to make it to the World Championship and claim the title as the fastest racer in the league. There are plenty of weather conditions that will greatly affect driving, so be on your toes and listen to your copilot. Rally fans will love this title and it’s a definite must-play for Xbox owners.


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  • Updated July 10, 2020
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