The Best iPad Racing Games

Car Driving Fun on the Go

Some of the best iPad racing games include realistic racing that can be taken to your HDTV and a game that lets you blast holes into your opponent and win by survival as much as speed. But you don't always have to equip your car with machine guns to win this race. In order to get on this list, you simply need to be fun and addicting.

Asphalt 8: Airborn

YouTube

What We Like

  • Awesome graphics.

  • Updates often.

  • Supports multiplayer.

What We Don't Like

  • Massive download size (over 2 GB).

If you want a beautiful racing game with great controls and a lot of nice features, Asphalt 8: Airborn is your game. In fact, if it weren't for the free-to-play model that (like many Gameloft titles) is a little too annoying, it might be the first game listed. But while I'm not trying to put this list into an order of best-to-worst, which is more a matter of opinion when looking at the top racing games, it's still hard to put a freemium title at the very top.

As the name implies, Asphalt 8 adds air stunts to your bag of tricks, granting you nitro boosts as a reward. The game contains eight seasons of racing and has different race modes to mix up the fun. 

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit

YouTube

What We Like

  • Compete on the leaderboard.

  • Realistic, HD graphics.

  • Local and Bluetooth play.

What We Don't Like

  • Infrequent app updates.

The Need for Speed series has long been associated with the best racing games, and Hot Pursuit doesn't buck that trend. Both a racing games and, at times, a strategy game, Hot Pursuit features 20 real-world cars that you can use to out race your opponents and dodge various traps, like EMPs and road blocks.  The multiplayer mode supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Death Rally

What We Like

  • Single-player career mode.

  • Relatively small download size.

What We Don't Like

  • Hasn't updated since 2015.

  • Doesn't work with iOS 11+.

When I first sat down with Death Rally, I intended only to take a quick look at it. A couple of hours later, I knew it was one of the top racing games for the iPad. It's not that it features the coolest cars or the best races -- though it is not shabby in either of those categories -- but that you can race in a cool car on a challenging track while blowing your opponent to bits using a Gatling Gun or some guided missiles. In a vehicular combat genre that has little representation on the platform, Death Rally shines.

VS Racing 2

What We Like

  • Earn upgrades for your performance.

  • Local multiplayer mode.

  • Downloads quickly.

  • Easy-to-use controls.

What We Don't Like

  • Outdated since 2015.

  • Coin purchases often don't work.

If you prefer your racing games to be top-down rather than first person, this arcade racer might be right up your alley. VS Racing has all of the arcade racing fun, including nitro, oil slicks, mines and other neat power ups to give you an advantage over your rivals.

The one big feature missing here is an online multiplayer mode, though the game does feature a local multiplayer mode that allows you to play via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Zombie Highway

What We Like

  • Simple to understand.

  • Low impact on storage.

  • Easy to play over and over.

What We Don't Like

  • No update in years.

  • Few levels.

  • Crashes often.

What do you get when you mix together a racing game, a zombie apocalypse and an endless runner? A zombie highway. I won't say the game is unique -- I was playing Spy Hunter way back in the 80s -- but it is definitely fun. 

As you race along the highway, brain-desiring zombies will fling themselves at your vehicle, giving you the opportunity of using your pistol or shotgun to blast them off or just scrape them off by side-swiping an obstacle. But the party stops if you actually crash into one of those obstacles, so be careful. Not a traditional racing game by any means,but if you love cars, guns and zombies, it's worth the download. There is also a free "Lite" version. 

Riptide GP2

What We Like

  • Unique racing game.

  • Several controller options.

  • Realistic graphics.

What We Don't Like

  • Costs a few dollars.

  • No update since 2016.

  • Online gameplay issues.

Racing need not be tied to the streets. Riptide GP2 puts you in control of an upgradable jetski and turns you loose on the open water. You can race up to 9 hydro jets, perform stunts, play through a career mode, and go online to challenge your friends. 

The game lets you buy in-game currency for a price, but as you might expect from a game that isn't free, this is more of an option than a requirement, and players can obtain upgrades for free if they stay patient.

Reckless Racing 3

What We Like

  • Detailed maps.

  • Two dozen challenges.

  • Over 30 racing routes.

What We Don't Like

  • Game isn't free.

  • Often uninteresting gameplay.

  • Large download.

Yee-Haw! If your idea of racing is slipping around in the mud while you try to get the better of opponents named Bubba, Otis, Cletus and Floyd, Reckless Racing is your type of game. This top down racing game lets you compete on Bronze, Silver or Gold settings in three different modes: Dirty Rally, Hot Lap and Delivery. The only thing missing is Boss Hogg

Lane Splitter

What We Like

  • Must think quickly.

  • Super responsive.

What We Don't Like

  • Last updated in 2016.

  • Expensive in-app upgrades.

You need not have perfectly polished graphics or the backing of a major game studio to make one of the best racing games for the iPad, as Lane Splitter proves. You might not see it listed in every race, but Lane Splitter has some of that old-fashioned coin-operated arcade fun mixed together with an addictive game play that lets you ride wheelies between cars on the highway and collect bonus points from it. Not exactly the best driver education game on the app store, but definitely a whole bunch of fun.