Everybody loves a great racing game, whether you want the simulation of a real driving experience, or the thrill of going head-to-head against AI drivers, your friends, and networked opponents.
But which are the best racing games on Xbox One and PS4 this Christmas? We’ve selected some of the titles with the highest Metacritic ratings below – so you know they’re loved by their players.
1. Rocket League (PS4)
One of the highest rated games for either platform, Rocket League has been praised as one of the best multiplayer racing games currently available.
It’s not a conventional racing game – in fact it’s more like a football game – but it uses many of the same skills and offers something a little different for seasoned racers.
Best of all for 2015, there’s a Back to the Future downloadable content pack, which adds the DeLorean DMC-12 to your available vehicles, a perfect tie-in with us reaching the movie’s ‘Future Day’ on October 21st of this year.
2. Forza Motorsport 6 (Xbox One)
You can’t argue with the dominating force that is Forza Motorsport, and this instalment keeps to the highest of standards as you’d expect.
A choice of 26 real-world locations and an insane garage of 450+ cars, with up to 24 drivers per race, split-screen multiplayer mode and intelligent AI opponents all makes this an epic gaming experience.
3. Need for Speed (PS4)
Need for Speed’s PS4 reboot wasn’t universally well received by the critics, but players seemed to welcome its detailed graphics and customisation options.
Be warned though – the ‘always online’ nature of this title picked up the most criticism from players and reviewers alike, so it’s perhaps only a worthy investment if you have a good enough broadband connection.
4. Spectra: 8bit Racing (Xbox One)
Proving you don’t need photorealistic graphics to be a crowdpleaser, Spectra is charmingly nostalgic, with throwbacks to the original Wipeout, Sonic bonus stages, and the Nintendo Game Boy.
For players of a certain age, it’s the ideal combination of old-school gameplay with modern-day performance and an insanely catchy soundtrack that you’re gonna love.
5. WRC 5 (PS4)
This one didn’t please the critics, but again the players seemed to enjoy it much more. While it lacks some of the pizzazz of the big-name racing sims, WRC 5 is often referred to as a solid and dependable game.
In particular, some of the harder difficulty settings are optional – so if you’re new to racing games or just want to relax for once, dial down the difficulty and enjoy the scenery.
We’ve focused on cars in our top five list, but it’s worth sending out some honourable mentions to the two-wheelers too.
Tour de France 2015 is actually Xbox One’s highest-rated racing game on Metacritic, according to user reviews, despite being all about pedal power rather than horsepower.
Over on PS4, Driveclub Bikes is flying the two-wheeled flag, although you’ll need the original Driveclub if you want to install this expansion pack.
Both prove the versatility of driving games, from the arcade-like to the more realistic simulations – it’s no wonder they remain among the most popular genres year after year.