Racing games have been around almost as long as mobile gaming itself, and it’s no surprise that they’re among the most popular in terms of individual genres. And we can’t blame those who love these games — although beating another AI driver or a human opponent is as simple as it gets, there are many other things to take into account, such as the type of car you’re driving, the type of track you’re navigating, and many others. Then you’ve also got those games that have their own storylines mixed in with the racing action. There are consequences for those who win and those who lose in these races, and naturally, you’ll want to complete those storylines as soon as possible!
For the iOS gamers who are having a hard time deciding which racing games to download and play, we’ve got a list that we compiled specifically for you. Here at Level Winner we’ve picked a list of 10 best iOS racing games that were released this year, or are from recent years but remain popular among iPhone and iPad users. And we’ve also made sure to include different types of racing games, to ensure that we’ve got something for everyone! Whether you’re into arcade-style retro racing, drag racing, formula racing, super bike racing, or whatnot, we’re sure to have a game that’s right up your alley in this list.
Be that as it may, Hot Wheels: Race Off is not for everybody. While it comes with Mattel licensing, the game doesn’t include real cars like the Hot Wheels series of toys does. And it’s not your typical racing game where you race around a track, or take part in straight-line, quarter-mile races. Instead, it’s all about the aerial exhibits here, as you take your ride across any one of the many orange tracks, clearing jumps and performing stunts as you go along. There are more than 30 Hot Wheels cars to choose from, as well as more than 60 tracks for you to unlock in single-player mode, though you can also choose to challenge other human players in multiplayer races. Again, your goal here is not to reach the finish line first per se; instead, it’s about scoring as many points as possible, and most importantly, not blowing up your car through a stunt done wrong!
We’ve made sure to include some motorcycle racing games in our list of best iOS racing games, and the first one we’ll be mentioning is the one that should appeal to the more casual gamer. We’re referring to Traffic Rider, which was released last year and has since made it to Apple’s Best of 2016 list of top games. This is the type of racing game for you if your idea of racing is maneuvering through traffic — that means you’ll need to master the art of the close shave, or coming ever so close to colliding with another vehicle. The points you earn while playing the game can be used to upgrade your bike, or to purchase new ones, and if you want to get more immersive, there is also a career mode that allows you to take part in various quests and challenges, among other game modes.
Are you a fan of OutRun and other classic arcade racing games from the ‘80s and the ‘90s? Yes, those were simpler times with less bells and whistles, and you can relive those times by playing Horizon Chase, a throwback iOS racing game from Aquiris. Of course, you’ve got the retro graphics as a main selling point, but aside from that, there’s the game’s overall simplicity combined with the modern touch of having more than 80 original racetracks to unlock. The catch here is that you won’t be able to unlock them all in the free version, which is basically “Horizon Chase lite,” or a demo version of the paid title. If you like the game enough, you’ll need to pay $3 or its equivalent in local currency, which, we’d say, isn’t too bad considering what you’ll be getting, and how much premium in-app purchases normally cost.
7. AG Drive
This one’s a rather unusual entry, as it does not involve your usual cars or motorcycles. AG Drive is a paid ($4 or its equivalent) title from ZORG that actually involves hovercraft racing. That’s right — there aren’t any wheels in this game, and as you could possibly surmise, you’ll be zipping about and rounding some intricate tracks at blazing speed as your hovercraft flies in midair. We’d also say that this is a game for those who like a good challenge. As you’re going to be in control of a blazing fast hovercraft, with several to choose from in the game, you’ll need to master how to precisely maneuver these vehicles across the tight and twisting tracks. One mistake could mean race over, so it’s very important that you don’t just prioritize speed in this game, but also make sure you’re driving as accurately and precisely as possible!
Electronic Arts’ Real Racing 3 is the title you may be looking for if you’re into the collection aspect of racing games. You’ve got a whopping 170 real-life cars to collect, and that includes NASCAR and Formula E cars that can only be used in specific events. And you’ve got tons of game modes, various special events, and as usual, the choice between solo and multiplayer racing. The first-person view this game boasts of is another key selling point — typically, you get to see your car from outside as it races through a track against an AI or human opponent, but in this game, you see the race unfold from behind the dashboard. Of course, you may reach a point where you’ll realize that it’s best to just stick to a select few cars that work for you on a consistent basis, but gamers who buy into the “more, the merrier” philosophy might find Real Racing 3 to be just their cup of tea.
5. CSR Racing 2
This one’s a bit of an oldie, considering we’ve yet to see CSR 3 arrive, but this is arguably the game that made drag racing games popular on mobile. CSR Racing 2 allows you to compete against AI opponents in the game’s story mode, customize your car with various paint jobs, upgrade it as you compete against tougher opponents, and compete against players from all around the world in multiplayer mode. You can also deep-dive into the customization aspect of things, customizing gear ratios, tire pressure, nitrous boost, and a lot more. You can also fuse vehicles you no longer need to further improve your main ride. One may say that the racing gameplay is too simplistic, but believe us — it takes practice to get that perfect start and perfect shift.
Not all of the best iOS racing games in this list are car racing games. So if you’re looking for a title that allows you to race motorcycles instead of cars in a more realistic setting, you might as well check out SBK16. This is Digital Tales’ official title for the Superbike World Championship, and it allows you to take part in 13 different races against up to 20+ other riders, all of whom are real-life super bike racers, and take part in five different game modes. You can compete in the classic championship mode or quick race against AI opponents, test new bikes out and compete in a series of trials to unlock new features, and do much more as you ride those 200-horsepower bikes designed to mimic the actual performance of the bikes used by the aforementioned SBK riders. There are ads in the game’s free version, though you can get rid of them by beating the Test Ride Challenge, or by paying a nominal fee via in-app purchase.
The popular movie franchise starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the late Paul Walker (among others) has its own mobile game counterpart, thanks to Kabam. Just like the films, Fast & Furious: Legacy features two things that made the films (especially the earlier movies) appeal to lovers of fast cars — drag racing and drifting. You’ll get to face characters from the movie franchise in this action-packed game, take part in different game modes, and collect over 50 cars which you can then customize and upgrade to give yourself a better chance of victory against your opponents. The one drawback of this game is the fact that its free version is a “lite” take on its full version, but other than that, it’s an iOS racing game you’ll want to check out if you’re looking for a realistic, yet arcade-centric play experience.
When it comes to graphics, gameplay, and variety of vehicles, Gameloft’s Asphalt Street Storm Racing ranks right around the top, if not actually on top, as far as drag racing games are concerned. It doesn’t hurt that Gameloft has quite the reputation as a mobile game maker as well. The premise here isn’t too different from what you may know from similar titles such as CSR Racing/CSR Classics, as you take part in straight-line drag races, with cars divided into multiple tiers based on performance. Aside from moving up the ranks against AI-controlled drivers, you can also take part in races against up to four other human players — that’s something not too many racing games, iOS or not, can boast of! There are also special themed events, where you can unlock customization options and other goodies.
While this is a paid title that costs $1.99 or its equivalent in local currency, Playsport’s Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 is arguably the king of them all, the best iOS racing game currently available on the Apple App Store. Instead of testing your reflexes and mobile driving skills, this game tests your ability to manage a Grand Prix racing team, and that means choosing the right drivers and the right parts for your cars, as well as the best racing strategies, such as the number of pit stops, how aggressively your drivers will be driving, etc. All the drivers, teams, and racetracks are fictional, but the game boasts impressive depth, with three racing leagues, and races that feature a complete field of 20 drivers. Few games can claim to be as deep and immersive, and we practically guarantee that you’ll be so hooked you won’t realize it once you’ve completed your 10th season or beyond.
The only thing lacking in this game is a multiplayer mode, but we’re merely nitpicking here — even in a single player-only setting, Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 simply excels.