5 best driving simulator video games that let you feel like a real racer

An Audi drifts in Dirt Rally 2.0 (image via Codemasters)
An Audi drifts in Dirt Rally 2.0 (image via Codemasters)

Racing video games are a splendid way to pass time, especially when one doesn’t get to drive above the speed limit in real life. With all of the exhilaration and thrills of a high-speed car ride, with none of the danger, racing can be quite the relaxing experience.

Unless, of course, players are actively looking for a realistic and gritty experience of real-life competitive racing. In that regard, racing games might be quite the challenge for some. And yet, there are a number of racing simulators out there that allow such players to live out their fantasies on the race track.

Of course, so many of these games exist out there that it may be difficult to separate the grain from the chaff. So here is a list of five of the best racing simulators out there that can be utilized by aspiring motorsport drivers that players hope to be.

Note: This article reflects the writer's opinon.

5 best simulator video games that will make racing enthusiasts proud

1) iRacing


iRacing launched all the way back in 2008 as a subscription-based service which provided players the opportunity to race in virtual recreations of real world tracks using various types of vehicles.

An example of how a great game can stand the testament of time, the title is still active and has a dedicated player base and continued developer support.

With a large online community and a variety of tracks to choose from, iRacing is a racing video game that rivals many AAA releases in terms of its service. Gameplay-wise, this video game delivers one of the best sim-racing experiences ever, utilizing actual drivers’ telemetry data to make certain that each vehicle's handling is as close to real as possible.

The most praiseworthy aspect of this game is that the skills attained while playing this are transferable to the real world, especially if being played on a simulation rig. Thus many players take their experience into real-life tracks and test out their abilities to the best of their potential. Unfortunately, this game is only available on PC.

2) Project Cars 2


The sequel to Project Cars, this title has become a staple amongst racing video games of the current generation. While still providing an authentic driving experience, this is also a great game for beginners. Allowing for a lot of assist features, it becomes accessible to many who are new to the sim-racing arena.

This game provides a selection of various classes of real-world cars, but also kart racing as well. With more than a hundred courses available, from the iconic Nurburgring to some lesser-known alternatives, Project Cars 2 provides many different tracks to compete in.

Boasting features like realistic track changes over various laps as well as weather and environmental effects, the game can deliver a visually pleasing experience as well. It also includes a VR option, giving players the full racing experience. Only PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows' players can try out this game.

3) Assetto Corsa Competizione


This game is the most recent outing in the Assetto Corsa series of video games, which have made quite a name in the genre so far. Assetto Corsa Competizione consists of a singleplayer offline career as well as a multiplayer mode.

Adding new modes to the series, Competizione incorporates Hot Stint mode and Hot Lap Superpole, along with official race weekends. The game offers a decent selection of cars to choose from, with key emphasis on the real world GT World Challenges event. The available tracks and vehicles are exclusively from these races.

A staple of the series is a force feedback system which, along with a dedicated physics engine, delivers an immersive experience with every different vehicle in the game. This game aims for and delivers an authentic GT racing experience amongst the modern racing video games out there. The title is only available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

4) Automobilista 2


Automobilista 2 picks up after the previous video game in the series with a slightly different approach to racing than other simulators. It allows players to race in a variety of vehicles, from Karts to Classic Grand Prix automobiles to Modern GT vehicles, and even prototypes of racing trucks.

Focusing on the Brazillian motorsport series, the title provides a graphical makeover from the previous entry, now with VR support as well. Featuring iconic tracks as well as legendary racing cars, it allows racing fans to relive some of their favorite moments from history.

Additional features of the game include dynamic track conditions and weather systems, advanced transmission with high-precision tire modelling, and improved realistic physics. With monthly updates coming in with few features and usable vehicles, this video game is still far from the finish line. The title is only available on Microsoft Windows.

5) Dirt Rally 2.0


This one is purely for rally racing fans, as Dirt Rally has always been a true simulator experience since its inception. This video game series was developed by Codemasters and first hit the shelves in 2015 as their first entry. Since then, it has seen successful player investment and in 2019, saw the release of Dirt Rally 2.0.

The successor took the series to new heights by featuring race locations in Argentina, Spain, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. The developers also added further stages in Germany, Greece, Sweden, Monte Carlo, Finland, and Wales.

With a new weather modelling system which affects the tire grip, visibility, as well as track degradation, and improving upon the ‘My Team’ feature from Dirt 4, this video game requires the players' attention. Rally racing has never been this realistic. The title is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Amazon Luna.

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Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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