Last year I shared my top 10 racing games on Xbox One. At the time that I wrote that list there were only ten or eleven racing games available on the system. This year has soon a raft of great racers appear on the console, so I thought that it was about time that I updated my list. To give more games a fair chance of making the list, I will only be including one iteration of each franchise in this top 10. This rule means that games like Forza Motorsport 5, Forza Horizon 2, F1 2015, etc. aren’t eligible.
10. The Crew
Last year’s number eight may have dropped a couple of spots, but it hangs on to a spot in the top ten thanks to improvements to the game. Alongside the Wild Run DLC added to the game, Ivory Tower have done a good job improving stability and adjusting the level of catch-up your opponents have. The game could still look better and the community has dwindled, but if you haven’t already got access to the game through the Games With Gold program, you can now pick it up quite cheaply.
9. Need for Speed Rivals
Last year’s number six does well to hold on to a spot in the top 10 as a new entry to the series was released last year. Need for Speed Rivals beats out its more simply titled cousin (2016’s Need for Speed) for a couple of reasons. First and most importantly, the handling model is much better. The handling in Rivals feels much looser than reality. Last year’s entry feels detached from reality. I also feel Need for Speed’s requirement to always be online was a mistake. When it just comes down to it though, Need for Speed Rivals is an absolute blast to play and that’s why it deserves to keep a spot on this list.
8. Action Henk!
The first new entry on this list is one that most people haven’t heard of. Action Henk! is a 2D racer along the lines of the Trials series. Where that series uses motorbikes, Action Henk! has you running, jumping, and sliding along the tracks. While the game may not be as impressive a technical feat as The Crew or Need for Speed Rivals, it is a complete blast and absolutely incredible when you race with friends on the sofa next to you. One of the best things about the game is that it is incredibly simple to pick up, yet absolutely devilish to master.
7. Trials Fusion
Last year’s number four has dropped a few places but is becoming better value for your money as time goes on due to the fact that people are still creating levels for it. There is such a wealth of free and premium content available for this game. This abundance allows you to play the game however you like. Trials Fusion can be absolutely absurd or just like any other Trials game; the choice is yours.
6. Project CARS
Last years number three is still a really great hardcore racing simulator. While Slightly Mad Studios has done a brilliant job of keeping the visuals up to date on PC, they haven’t been able to on consoles as the port was pushing what the consoles could do in the first place. Once again, there is now a huge selection of cars and tracks available for the game, and while some of the minor stability issues have been addressed, it is starting to show its age.
5. F1 2016
The latest iteration of last year’s number five is still the best F1 racer around (a slim category admittedly). This year’s version has a more substantial career mode and the already impressive graphics have also been given a polish. With this being a fully licensed title, all of this season’s tracks, cars and drivers are present and correct. If you love Formula 1, this is the racing game for you
4. DiRT Rally
A new entry and another game from the racing experts at Codemasters. DiRT Rally has moved on from the Ken Block influenced previous entries and gone back to its hardcore (Colin McRae style) rallying roots. This game is unapologetically hard and is all the better for it. Rallying is one of the toughest disciplines in motorsport and this game relishes in it. DiRT Rally looks gorgeous and handles superbly, the only reason it’s not higher on this list is that its scope is quite small.
3. TrackMania Turbo
This is the first TrackMania game to come to home consoles and what a perfect fit it is. The over-the-top tracks and emphasis on leaderboards work brilliantly on console. While the difficulty level is high, the short, sharp nature of the tracks and quick reset option smoothes it out a little. The handling model is brilliant but it is the creativity of the track design that earns this title a spot on the podium.
2. Forza Horizon 3
I’m sure many people would have thought this game would be number one, and if you’re into a more arcade-style racing game, this is the game you should get. The third Forza Horizon is a superb racing game, and could well end up being my favourite game of this year. The visuals are superb on a standard HD TV, but if you have a HDR capable TV, it is breathtaking. The handling model is fantastic with some of the edges smoothed off of the Forza Motorsport handling for a more arcade feel. There are loads of races & championships available and the Showcase events include some truly memorable moments. Forza Horizon 3 is superb game and deserves to be played by everyone.
1. Forza Motorsport 6
In my opinion, Forza Motorsport 6 is as close to a perfect racing game as you will see. The game looks fantastic and plays superbly. The reason I think it is better than Forza Horizon 3 comes down to one thing and that’s the racing tracks featured. Forza Motorsport 6 features some of the best racing tracks ever created, because they are based on classic real-world tracks. I’m not saying that Forza Horizon 3 doesn’t have good tracks, but they are always going to pale in comparison to classics like Le Mans, Silverstone, and Spa Francorchamps. As someone who loves hardcore racing games you just can’t get any better than Forza Motorsport 6 and that is why it takes the top spot.