Top 15+ Best Open World Racing Games You Must Play

best open world racing games

Top 15+ Best Open World Racing Games You Must Play – What do you value most in games? For me, it’s the freedom of choice. Linear games often get shelved after the first playthrough because repeating the same steps according to the developer’s guidelines can feel tedious.

On the other hand, open-world games offer a different experience, allowing for exploration and variety that keeps them engaging. In this article, I’ll talk about racing games where you can take a break from the races at any time and explore hundreds of kilometers of tracks in an open world. So, let’s get started.

16. Riders Republic

best open world racing games

Riders Republic is an expansive and exhilarating sports game that immerses players in a vibrant open world filled with diverse activities. The game offers a variety of extreme sports, including mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and wingsuit flying.

Each sport is designed to provide a unique and thrilling experience, and the game encourages players to explore its stunning landscapes while engaging in a variety of competitions and challenges.

The dynamic environment of Riders Republic ensures that there’s always something happening, whether you’re racing down a snowy slope or performing tricks on a mountain bike​​.

15. Need for Speed Unbound

best open world racing games

Need for Speed Unbound offers a refreshing take on the long-running racing franchise, blending vibrant visual aesthetics with solid racing mechanics. The game stands out due to its unique visual style, which integrates flashy anime-inspired effects that, although controversial at first, blend seamlessly into the racing experience.

Players navigate through an open world filled with a variety of activities such as drift zones, speed traps, time trials, jumps, and radars. Collectible items like golden bears, graffiti, and billboards add depth and rewards to exploration. The game also introduces new garage mechanics, which serve as both safe havens and checkpoints for transitioning between day and night races​.

Gameplay focuses on a blend of realistic driving physics and arcade-style racing, providing a satisfying challenge. The customization options for cars are extensive, allowing players to fine-tune their vehicles’ performance and appearance.

14. The Crew Motorfest

best open world racing games

The new installment in the series transports players to the scenic Hawaiian island of Oahu, where an exciting racing festival unfolds. Players can explore diverse landscapes, including the streets of Honolulu, tropical rainforests, mountain roads, and sunny beaches.

The game features over 610 vehicles. The dynamic gameplay and high-quality graphics set it apart from other arcade racing games with open worlds. However, its strong resemblance to Forza Horizon has sparked mixed reactions among the audience.

13. Forza Horizon 5


This game continues the successful series of arcade racing games, offering a vast open world inspired by the diverse landscapes of Mexico. The game retains the core mechanics of its predecessors while adding numerous new details and improvements.

Special attention has been given to the visual aspect — the environment looks incredibly realistic thanks to detailed graphics and an improved lighting system. The immersion is enhanced by a variety of biomes, from hot deserts and dense jungles to colonial towns and modern cities. The gameplay offers a multitude of events and activities, including traditional races, stunt challenges, and exploration missions.

The developers have improved the driving physics and added new car customization features, allowing players to personalize their vehicles in great detail. The dynamic weather system and day-night cycle add further depth and variety to the gameplay, making each race unique.

12. Midnight Club: Los Angeles


In this game, Los Angeles has been turned into a racing playground. You can freely drive around the city in one of 40 types of cars and motorcycles across four different classes. Each vehicle can be upgraded to your liking, changing its technical specifications and appearance.

The gameplay is similar to Most Wanted, but the city here looks much more lively and realistic, and you can compete with other racers in twelve different game modes. Since the races are illegal, you might find a whole army of police cars and even helicopters on your tail during a race. They will try to stop you by any means.

11. Forza Horizon 4


The fourth installment of the arcade racing series takes place in a large, open-world representation of the UK. The game features stunning graphics, an engaging storyline with multiple endings, a vast selection of vehicles with over 450 licensed cars, and extensive customization options.

There is a dynamic day and night cycle, as well as changing weather and seasons, which significantly impact gameplay—for example, cars behave unpredictably on wet roads, making handling more challenging.

Additionally, different game modes become available depending on the season, including off-road, circuit races, and drifting. The game map is filled with numerous bonuses and rare cars, making exploration more interesting.

10. The Crew 2


The second part of the racing series expands not only the geography of the world but also the number of available modes of transportation. While players could only drive cars in the first game, the second installment adds motorcycles, boats, and even airplanes, which you can switch between on the go.

The open world is a vast representation of the USA, divided into four zones. It’s also an MMO game, offering the chance to compete in numerous races, tune cars, participate in festivals, and chase criminals in police cars.

9. Fuel


A racing game that once boasted the largest open world, spanning nearly 15,000 square kilometers without any barriers. The action takes place in an alternate reality where climate change has led to drastic changes in the Earth’s climate.

Fuel prices have skyrocketed, and the only way to survive is to participate in races, win precious fuel, and continue racing through deserts and canyons. This enormous area is enhanced with dynamically changing weather, day and night cycles, stunning sunsets, destructive tornadoes, and sandstorms.

8. Need for Speed: Payback


Another installment in the Need for Speed racing simulator series, this time with a Fast & Furious-style plot, car upgrades, and an open world to explore between races. The game takes us to a city similar to Las Vegas, where three main characters join forces to fight a cartel that has taken over the city.

The gameplay revolves around street racing, criminal missions, and police chases. By completing various challenges, tracks, and races, players can unlock new cars, tuning parts, and advance in their careers, increasing their ranking. Payback allows players to roam a large open world, discovering new racing tracks, finding rare vintage cars, and much more.

7. Test Drive Unlimited 2


The second installment of the racing simulator features a vast open world comprising two islands: Ibiza and Oahu. Players will participate in races, buy houses and clothes, collect expensive cars, and hang out in clubs. There are three classes of cars available—classic, off-road, and racing.

You can customize race conditions to your liking: drive on plains or off-road, along the coast or in the city, during the day or at night. At the beginning, you can create the main character, giving them the desired look. From there, you’ll compete for the title of the best racer and the chance to get a car with the best technical specifications.

6. MOTORM4X Offroad Extreme


An off-road racing simulator featuring 10 fully detailed off-road vehicles to choose from. You can select any direction to drive, with several hundred square kilometers of open and rugged terrain available.

Fans of this kind of extreme racing will experience changing weather conditions and temperatures, which can cause engine overheating. The game includes a destructible environment and other details, such as mud tracks on the vehicle and the need to refuel.

5. Need for Speed: Rivals

best open world racing games

Another entry in the Need for Speed series with tuning and an open world, focusing on the rivalry between street racers and the police. Players can choose either side, with the risk of losing all their money upon arrest adding excitement to the chases.

Each side has its own advantages and disadvantages, vehicle types, special moves, and more. As a racer, you will compete with other street racers, evade the police, and ram SWAT trucks. As a police officer, you will chase offenders, deploy spike strips, set up roadblocks, and more.

4. Dakar 18


A large-scale off-road rally racing simulator based on the real annual Dakar Rally, emphasizing realism and a huge open world. Players can drive various vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, and quad bikes. The game features all official teams and tracks from the original tournament.

Players will navigate vast territories, repair vehicles when they break down, interact realistically with physical objects like sand and water, and experience dynamic weather and time-of-day changes.

3. Need for Speed: Most Wanted

best open world racing games

Need for Speed: Most Wanted stands out as one of the most beloved entries in the series for many fans. The game offers a thrilling open-world racing experience set in the city of Fairhaven, where players aim to become the most wanted driver by outracing rivals and evading the police.

The seamless integration of the Autolog feature allows players to compete with friends by sharing high scores and achievements, adding a competitive edge to the experience. The game’s emphasis on high-speed chases, combined with the ability to discover and drive any car found in the game world, enhances its dynamic and engaging gameplay.

2. Need for Speed: Heat

best open world racing games

Need for Speed: Heat combines legal daytime races with illegal nighttime street racing, offering a dynamic shift in gameplay as players move between day and night. During the day, players compete in sanctioned races to earn cash, while at night, they race illegally to gain reputation. The game excels in customization, allowing players to fine-tune their cars to their liking.

The driving mechanics, especially drifting, are intuitive and add a layer of fun, making it easy to navigate corners at high speeds​. However, Heat has its drawbacks. The game’s world often feels lifeless due to the minimal traffic and destructible environment elements, which reduce the challenge.

The police chases provide a thrill but can become frustrating due to the limited tools available to evade capture. The game imposes significant penalties for getting caught, including losing nearly all your earned money and reputation.

1. Steep

best open world racing games

Lastly, I want to tell you about a great extreme sports simulator called Steep. In this game, players get to conquer the vast open worlds of the Alps and Alaska on a snowboard, skis, wingsuit, or paraglider, performing various tricks and earning points for them.

You can switch between these activities at any moment during the game. The game features various hidden races, challenges, and secret areas that can be discovered while exploring the world. A binocular feature helps you spot new locations and uncover these secrets.

That is it from today’s post on Top 15+ Best Open World Racing Games You Must Play. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. Keep visiting Animesoulking for more information about Anime and Manga.

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Chandan is the writer of “Top 15+ Best Open World Racing Games You Must Play”. Also, Connect with me on YouTube and Facebook.

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About the Author: Chandan

Hey there! I'm Chandan and I'm from India. I'm a writer and youtuber. I love to watch anime and reading manga. You can contact me at: [email protected]

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