The 8 Best Xbox 360 Racing Games to Buy in 2018

Get in the driver's seat and go

 

Just like the first Xbox, the Xbox 360 has a great lineup of racing games and a controller perfectly crafted for the genre. Need some help finding which ones you should play? We've done some digging and found a handful that won't disappoint. So whether you're looking for a casual cart-style option or have a serious need for speed in competitive driving on a NASCAR track, our picks for the best Xbox 360 racing games to buy will have you putting the pedal to the metal in no time.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Forza Horizon 2

With some of the most detailed graphics for the Xbox 360, vast car selection and realistic dramatic weather and day-to-night cycles, Forza Horizon 2 bring in one of the best and immersive racing games around. The game features over 200 of the world’s greatest cars all made to look and act exactly like their real-life counterparts that you can drive in some of the most captivating atmospheres.

Forza Horizon 2 throws players into action-packed, open-world driving scenarios where they can smash through fences, plow through fields and race past forests for shortcuts while they compete against other players on slick two-way roads. Players are encouraged to accumulate points by being more daring by driving fast, drifting hard and even causing crashes. If you have Xbox Live, you and a few friends can join up and roam the streets in a playground mode while waiting to join up for competitive matches. You can even start your own Car Club online with up to 1,000 other players.

Best for Kids: Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed is a zany fun cart style racer where players pick from over 20 of their favorite Sega video game characters to compete in dynamically changing course environments. Each player gets their own vehicle that can transform from a car to a hovercraft or boat, adjusting for the various terrain tracks.

It wouldn’t be a cart genre racing game without weapons and power-ups; Sonic & Sega All-Stars Transformed has a variety of different items you can pick up such as turbo boosts, heating seeking missiles, and blowfish that help you beat out the competition. Levels are creative and have you dive onto aircraft carriers in the middle of a war, tropical jungle islands with deep temples with mazes and even inside a few casino machines. There’s also a multiplayer option where you and three others can play offline in split-screen and square off.

Best for Stunts & Tricks: Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver

Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver doesn’t take itself seriously with all the intricacies you’d expect in a typical racing game, but instead, focuses on passing obstacle courses and performing tricks. The game features numerous Hot Wheels-style cars that range from race bikes to unique sedans and trucks.

Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver gives players a set of different missions that test one’s speed and quick thinking, guiding through obstacle courses and beating time challenges. Drivers choose from one of four different racing teams with their own unique abilities and vehicles while performing risky tricks like wheelies, spins or drifts that can be chained together for points and power-ups. Anyone who wants to take a break from competitive racing and pull off some sweet stunts with unique objective based gameplay should pick this one up.

Best Movie-Based: Cars 3: Driven to Win

Cars 3: Driven to Win feels just like its movie equivalent; it includes over 22 player characters unique to its cast and features similar cinematics that you’d find in the film. Of the racing games listed, this one also takes the cake for most relaxing, and debatably, easiest to learn — you won’t feel tense playing it.

Cars 3: Driven to Win has six different game modes, including a campaign race mode, battle mode and even a takedown mode where your aim is to crash other cars. The game provides players a thorough walkthrough that helps them get familiar with the controls, so they can easily learn to drift, use their turbo boosters and even jump over objects. There are different options for difficulty, too, so you can set the game to a very easy setting for younger kids or they can up it themselves if they are bored and want a challenge.

Best for NASCAR Fans: NASCAR 15

It’s just like the real thing. NASCAR 15 is very true to its nature and hooks you up with over 43 licensed NASCAR driver stars and their cars such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bobby Labonte and Jimmie Johnson. NASCAR 15 will make you feel immersed like you’re in an actual NASCAR race with its zooming speed of 200 mph on intensive loop tracks where timing and control are everything.

Sticking true to its authenticity, NASCAR 15 features real raceways such as the Bristoal Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Homestead Miami Speedway. The game lets you start off in a rookie career mode, so you can become your own NASCAR champion across multiple seasons while defeating the best in the business, all of whom, have their own skills and styles you have to match up to. The game can get a little intense and competitive, especially with its 16-player online multiplayer where crashes can come easily in massive car pileups.

Best for Bikes & ATVS: MX Vs. ATV Reflex

If you’re looking for something a little grittier, MX Vs. ATV Reflex is an exciting off-road racing game full of muddy courses with big bumps. The game does an impressive job with detailed graphics, physics systems and audio, all capturing the feel of the whirring engine as your tires skid and blast on though terrain.

MX Vs. ATV Reflex is loaded with different diverse play modes suitable for any type of player (there's an easy going freestyle mode, a motocross, as well as a serious national championship campaign). Racers pick up high speeds on tight winding dirt tracks, flying in the air on their bikes, ATVS, super buggies or trucks while pulling off cool tricks like the “Superman.” MX Vs. ATV Reflex includes a 12-player multiplayer mode, too, so you can challenge your friends, even offline.

Most Unique: Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine

Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine is a ridiculous cart-style racing game where the possibilities are endless; you’ll be able to race as a sumo wrestler that drives a motorized toilet. The crazy cart racing game features 12 unique vehicles and weapons and plays similar to Mario Kart, where players pick up specialized items on the course to fire at their opponents.

The structure of Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine’s main career mode is basic and starts you off with a series of cups with 13 uniquely styled tracks such as carnivals with hazards, ruined cities and medieval lands. The game includes six different racing mode types and there are multiplayer modes, too, with two to four players in an offline split-screen mode and online competitive matches with up to eight other players.

Best RPG Elements: Need for Speed: Rivals

Fully customizable from head to toe, Need for Speed: Rivals is kind of like a roleplaying game where you can level up and upgrade your own specific car with new technology, paint-jobs, rims, plates and decals. Players are given a set of different objectives that they can jump into anytime (think escaping a pursuit from the police or going head to head with various other cars).

Need for Speed: Rivals is a bit of an unconventional racing game, but that’s part of what makes it so fun. With an Xbox Live connection, players can jump seemingly in and out of multiplayer with no lobbies or waiting, creating events in a world where no two moments or events are the same. Players can even play as the police, upgrading their vehicles with shockwaves, deployable roadblocks and helicopter support, so you can purse and bust racers.