The world of mobile racing has come a long way in the past few years, with graphics rivaling those of even the most advanced racing games on PC and consoles. Developers of racing games have gotten more comfortable with utilizing phone touch controls, leading to a more fluid and more comfortable gaming experience.
For those of you who like to go fast on the go, we've compiled a list of the 10 best mobile racing games to date. Whether it's because of graphics, gameplay, controls, or all three, these games have something that put them above the rest.
From the developers at Gameloft, Asphalt 9: Legends brings console-quality visuals to mobile devices. The game utilizes many graphical techniques of modern-day console games such as its motion-blur, minimal pop-ins, and realistic interaction between lighting and surrounding terrain. The cars themselves have an incredible amount of detail put into them, with over 90,000 polygons on some models!
Breathtaking visuals combined with smooth gameplay puts Asphalt 9: Legends high on anyone's top 10 mobile racing games list.
Real Racing 3 from EA's mobile studio Firemonkeys is one of the most realistic racing games to ever grace its presence on phones. The game puts a strong emphasis on controls and how each car feels to drive. Early game cars feel sluggish, while sports cars you can unlock later have great top speed, better off-road handling, and faster acceleration/deceleration.
At launch, the game had 46 car models from 12 different manufacturers, and each has special attention to detail when it comes to visuals and handling. With so many cars to play with, along with several real-life race tracks to drive on, Real Racing 3 gives players an immersive car racing experience on their phones.
Beach Buggy Blitz from Vector Unit takes players to adventurous and wacky destinations where they race against AI on endless race tracks. The tracks are randomized, and every drive is different, making the game always feel fresh and different. Environments are destructible, and the settings are diverse; players can drive on sunny beaches or dark, monster-ridden volcanoes. This wacky, cartoony racing adventure is a fresh new take on the world of mobile racing.
Need for Speed: No Limits is a fun, online multiplayer racing game which offers quick little bursts of racing action. Most of the fun comes from buying a car and continuously upgrading it so that you can drive an unstoppable speeds. Players can race against each other or AI drivers.
The game also features a short story mode that can be played through for free with around 10 different levels. This Need for Speed mobile translation has hours of content to be enjoyed by any racing fan.
Released in 2016 by Eden Games, Gear.Club is another one of the greats in mobile racing. Gear.Club offers fully customizable cars, several story mode missions, solid driving physics, and is all-around fun to play. While Gear.Club doesn't offer a ton of new and different things compared to its competitors, and it polishes up its racing mechanics so that driving feels fluid and intuitive. There are also settings to make driving more or less automatic so that new players can jump right into the action while not boring the veterans.
CSR Racing 2 was released by NaturalMotionGames Ltd in 2013 and still holds up as one of the greats when it comes to realistic graphics. CSR manages to replicate several very specific details in the cars, such as how the paint shines in the light and how the interiors of the cars are fully rendered. Cars even include accurate schematics of what their engines look like.
CSR Racing 2 is the racing game for racing fans that love to dive into the details, the true gear heads at heart.
Horizon Chase throws realism out the window to create a stylized, retro-looking racing game reminiscent of the Super Nintendo days. The game is bright and colorful, with catchy music, fast gameplay, and short-and-sweet level design that get its players hooked right from the start. For the F-Zero or Top Gear fans in all of us, Horizon Chase is a fun and light-hearted entry to be welcomed into any racing game library.
Data Wing, while being a complete outlier on this list, is an addicting and simple racing game that doesn't even need cars to be fun. In this game, you control a small arrow-like ship as you traverse through cyberspace. The graphics are incredibly simple and polygonal, but the gameplay is smooth and endearing. If you need a break from hyper-realistic car races, Data Wing is a great change of pace.
Pako 2 is another racing game that swerves away from realistic graphics in favor of more cartoony retro visuals. The game is similar to the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Crazy Taxi; essentially, you pick up thieves and drive them across town while avoiding obstacles.
The controls are super easy, as cars accelerate automatically; you just have to steer, which can still be pretty challenging with explosions all around. Pako 2 does not have a great amount of depth, but it does have a great amount of character, and its fun arcade-vibe makes it a fun way to pass the time.
Jet Car Stunts 2 takes place far above Earth where players are challenged to perform insane stunts. This physics-based racing game features simple, polygonal-yet-futuristic graphics making for a Jetsons-like aesthetic. The game offers many different modes, including racing modes where players compete for best times, platforming modes where players must make it through obstacle courses, and a freestyle mode where players can mess around and perform cool tricks. This game has a little bit for everyone.