Consoles can provide gamers with a great simulation experience without requiring a powerful computer setup. They also tend to work well with racing games, but some are better than others. This article will particularly be discussing the best PlayStation sim racing games.
The 6 best PlayStation sim racing games are:
Each of these games provides a unique take on sim racing, and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Our list comprises racing games for every genre, and there is sure to be something for every type of sim racer. However, you must know what to look for before you choose one.
What To Look For In A Good Console Sim
Console racing sims can offer a different experience to sim racing games for the PC, but most of the things that you should be looking for are the same. Knowing everything that goes into making a good racing game will make it much easier for you to choose the right console sim for your specific playstyle and experience level.
This brings us onto our first point, and that is deciding what kind of sim racing experience you are looking for. If you are just starting out, you might want to go for a more arcade-style sim to get the hang of the controls. This can be a good way to get used to the sim racing experience, and it can make it a lot of fun without being too difficult.
If you are more experienced however, and if you perhaps already have a sim racing rig setup, you might want to go for a simcade. These games involve finding the right balance between fun and realism and are the perfect choice for those that want to get a taste of what racing sims have to offer, while still being able to play the game just for fun as well.
If you are much more advanced you might want to put a focus on realism, and perhaps even the realism of the in-game competition. These games are full racing simulators and can often be intimidating for beginners. They work much better with racing rigs than with control pads. However, they still provide a fun racing experience once you get the hang of things.
Look & Feel
Aside from playstyle, you also want to consider how the game looks and feels. All of the games on our list are handpicked for many reasons, but one thing they all have in common is exceptional graphics. Consoles have improved dramatically in recent years in terms of visuals, and so you always want to make sure you pick a game that takes advantage of the console’s capabilities.
The way the game sounds is also important, and this includes everything from the in-game soundtrack to the sound effects of the cars and the environment. If the game sounds bad, you will probably struggle to enjoy playing it. However, if the game does well at emulating the sounds of the real cars, it can make for a much more immersive racing experience.
The next important thing to consider is the playability of the game. This can include what style of game it is, but it also covers aspects such as progression. You might want a heavily multiplayer-focused racing game, or you might instead want one with a long career mode. Some of the games on this list have plenty of room for progression-based gameplay.
If you are looking to play with your friends or simply take on the world of sim racers out there, you will obviously want to make sure that your game of choice has multiplayer capabilities. However, you will then also need to pay attention to how old the game is, as some older games won’t have active servers and even if they do, you may struggle to find other players online.
Compatibility & Realism
You also have to consider the compatibility of the game with any equipment you have. If you are just a beginner and you are looking to play exclusively on a gamepad, you will be able to play all of the games on our list with ease. However, some of them are more optimized for wheels and pedals than others, and so if you want more immersion, you need to consider equipment compatibility as well.
If you are going for full immersion, you will then need to think about the realism of the game itself. You need to consider things like driving physics and how accurate the car and track modeling is to the real thing. Customization of the car can make things more realistic, and dynamic weather and track surfaces can also make things feel a lot more lifelike.
How many cars and tracks are available will help to determine what is and is not a good console racing sim, as you will want some variety. Not only do you want choice, but you also want the cars to have realistic specs and driving styles. This can help to make things feel more real, but it also ensures that the cars don’t all just feel like the same one.
So, there are clearly plenty of things to consider when choosing a console racing sim. Each of the games on our list covers all of these points, but some will definitely be more suited to others. So, what are the best playstation racing sims?
The 6 Best PlayStation Sim Racing Games
1. Gran Turismo Sport
Released: October 2017
Gran Turismo Sport, or GT Sport, was released in 2017 as a PS4 exclusive. It tops our list of the best racing sims for PlayStation for many reasons, and is often compared to the Xbox/PC exclusive Forza series of games. This game has lots to offer sim racers of all levels of experience and can be enjoyed by those that want a simcade experience as well as some enhanced realism.
Lots To Do
The game has several different game modes that ensure you will never be bored. There are standard time trials and quick-play arcade events that will allow you to dip into this game as often as you like, while you can also try to win all of the possible races in the four separate divisions of GT Sport’s career mode. Aside from that, there is even a great multiplayer mode too.
You can challenge your friends whenever you like, or you can take advantage of GT Sport’s live competitive races that change every day. These races pit you against other players from around the world that are of a similar experience level, and they aim to provide realistic competition for those that want it. The game even utilizes FIA rules to make it that bit more realistic.
Plenty Of Realism
In terms of gameplay, Gran Turismo Sport really does a good job of mixing playability with realism. The game holds up very well with a racing rig setup and is compatible with many of the big names in sim racing equipment. It also plays well with a gamepad, and so is a good choice even if you are a beginner.
The driving physics are pretty on point, and there are lots of in-game tuning and customization options. These range from tire compositions to brake biases, and they give you plenty of control over the finer aspects of your racing experience. There are over 300 vehicles to choose from, and over 80 track layouts which pave the way for hours of fun.
Great Looking, Great Sounding
The game also looks and sounds great, and so you can enjoy the graphics even if you aren’t just going for total realism. The sounds of the cars from the engines to the gear shifts all sound unique and realistic, so you will be able to race in your dream car knowing that it is a good representation of the actual vehicle.
There is a lot on offer in the career mode of the game, but the main focus of GT Sport is definitely in the online aspects. There is an extensive sportsmanship rating system, that usually means you are playing against other people of similar experience and skill. This makes GT Sport a great game for simulator enthusiasts, while also being very accessible for beginners too.
- Lots of cars and tracks
- Great driving physics and graphics make for a lot of realism
- Ideal for all experience levels
- Heavily online focused, which isn’t for everyone
- The penalty system can be inconsistent
2. Project Cars 2
Released: September 2017
Released just a month before GT Sport, Project Cars 2 comes in at second place. It topped our list of Xbox racing sims, and it performs very well on the PS4 as well. The game has some of the best sound effects in the sim racing industry, and this adds to the realism of PC2. There are plenty of other reasons that this game is a great simulator, but it is also really fun to play for beginners.
Lots Of Progression
There is a brilliant career mode that sees you race in championship style events, which means this game has plenty of room for progression. Aside from that, you can also enjoy a solid multiplayer mode, but there are the usual free play modes such as time trials that will keep you entertained if you don’t have an internet connection, or just want to practice.
To go with the excellent and realistic sounds of Project Cars 2 the game also has some amazing graphics. Being a fairly recent release in terms of console racing games, it has taken advantage of the excellent graphical capabilities of the PS4. You will also be able to enjoy some very realistic driving physics, which put this game heavily on the simulator side of simcade racing.
Realistic Track Dynamism
Project Cars 2 also has its signature LiveTrack 3.0 feature, which involves some of the most impressive track dynamism available on console and even on PC. They come close to the track dynamics of rFactor 2, which is arguably the most realistic racing simulator on the market for PC. This means you can enjoy feeling every bump on the road, along with a realistically evolving racing surface.
With 180 cars to choose from, Project Cars 2 doesn’t have the biggest selection of all the games on this list. However, each model handles exactly like the real thing and looks great too. With 140 track layouts, there is nearly endless room for finding combinations of cars and tracks that suit you. There is also plenty of customization available, giving you even more control over your experience.
Overall, Project Cars 2 presents a great option for advanced sim racers and beginners alike. You can enjoy a good mix of realism and fun playability, making it very ideal for those with a decent racing rig that want a lifelike racing experience, as well as for those that just want to play a couple of laps on a gamepad.
- Very realistic gameplay
- One of the best sounding racing sims
- Extensive and enjoyable career mode
- Not a huge range of cars
- Inconsistent AI
3. Dirt Rally 2.0
Released: February 2019
Up next we have Dirt Rally 2.0, which is one of the newest racing games on our list. It is solely a rally simulator, and so is definitely geared towards those that prefer rally racing over other disciplines, but that does not mean it is not a great racing sim for those that just enjoy general sim racing. It is a truly versatile title, with lots to offer sim racers of all experience levels.
The game looks and sounds excellent, and with rally racing being such a chaotic form of racing there is always a lot to look at and a lot to hear. From the gravel spraying beneath your car to the roar of the engine while you are pushing it at max RPM, Dirt Rally 2.0 captures everything perfectly. Not only that but it also has brilliant graphics that make it look very realistic.
The realism continues into the driving physics of the game, which are some of the best that any rally game has to offer. This makes the game ideal for those that are looking for a realistic rally simulator, while also making it predictable enough to allow beginner racers to get the hang of things quite quickly.
Plenty Of Fun
There are lots of different game modes in Dirt 2.0, ranging from career mode to time trials, and there is multiplayer as well. You might find that the rally cross courses are better for multiplayer, as point to point tracks tend to be less exciting in a multiplayer situation given that it is essentially a competitive time trial. However, it is still a very fun mode to try.
With 80 cars and loads of course layouts to test your skills, there is a lot of racing to be done in Dirt Rally 2.0. You can enjoy a lot of fully licensed vehicles that have realistic customization options, and the realistic damage modeling of the cars makes it that bit more lifelike. It also means that you have to hone your skills, with a damaged car becoming difficult to drive.
Dirt 2.0 does an excellent job of a rally simulator and is fully compatible with racing rigs as well as a controller. This means it is a very good choice for beginners that want to try something different, as well as for rally aficionados that really want to get the most immersive rally experience possible.
- Very realistic rally racing experience
- Lots of cars to choose from
- Looks and sounds fantastic
- Rally centered, so not for those that don’t like dirt racing
- Not the best multiplayer setup
Released: October 2019
In fourth place we have Grid, which is another newer release that takes a slightly more arcade-like approach to the sim racing genre. It is the fourth in the series from Codemasters, the same team that brought the number three spot on our list. Grid is more loosely focused on racing in general and is highly accessible for both beginners and advanced sim racers alike.
A Fun Arcade Experience
With just over 80 cars in the game to choose from, there are definitely more than a few sims that offer more. However, when combined with 16 locations and over 100 different layouts, there are lots of combinations to try as you search for your dream car and track combo. Nonetheless, you will be able to have plenty of fun playing this game.
Grid has put a focus on fun, that’s for sure, and this extends into the way that the game looks and sounds. There are some truly beautiful environments, and the day/night cycle means there is room for some spectacular fireworks displays in the background. Meanwhile, the engine noises and other sound effects really make this game a joy to play.
There is an intuitive AI system in Grid that sets it apart from a lot of racing games that seem to lack consistency in that department. Opponents can become nemeses if you drive recklessly around them, which changes their driving behavior in a similar way to what would happen in real life. This can make the racing feel more realistic and make it more challenging too.
Grid is compatible with a lot of steering wheels and pedal setups, and the game works very well with both a rig and a gamepad. Some might argue that it is designed to be enjoyed on one or the other, but no matter which you choose you are bound to have fun. Although not the most realistic racing game out there, it is one of the most enjoyable.
- Very enjoyable gameplay
- Some brilliant graphics and sound effects
- Excellent AI system
- Arcade racer rather than a simulator
- Not many cars or tracks
5. Dirt 4
Released: June 2017
Next we have another rally simulator, from the same people that brought us Dirt 2.0. Dirt 4 is one of the older games on our list, but it still performs better than a lot of other simulators out there. An accessible game for beginners, while still being highly challenging and ideal for more advanced racers, Dirt 4 brings a lot of unique features to the table.
Excellent Graphics For Its Time
The game looks truly magnificent, with some of the best graphics ever in a rally game. From the finer details in the tracks to the wider environments, Dirt 4 puts a focus on beauty. The sound effects are also on par with the later installment, with engine noises and downshifts being very realistic, making the game that bit more satisfying to play.
However, arguably the most interesting part of this game comes in its endless capabilities to produce new tracks. The procedural generation mode allows you to race on an unlimited number of tracks, all of which are created on the spot. This means you can race on tracks that have never been tried by anyone else and save the ones you like to try again later.
When it comes to playability, Dirt 4 really outshines the rest. There are two physics modes to choose from; simulation and gamer. The simulation mode will turn things up a notch and is ideal for those with a wheel and a bit more experience. However, the gamer mode turns on a few more assists and is perfect for those just getting into sim racing, and those that just want to have fun.
In terms of vehicles, there are over 50 to choose from. Although not the largest number in a rally game, it is still an adequate amount to give you plenty of choice. Then when you combine these with the 5 locations and various tracks, you have lots of combinations. Combine it with the Your Stage procedural generation and you really do have unlimited combinations.
Dirt 4 is a very fun game to play, for sim racers of all experience levels. You can have fun with the gamer settings on a gamepad or a wheel, and then you can tailor it to your liking and experience level with the simulation mode. The procedural generation really makes this a standout game, and it is a great choice for those that want something completely different.
- Unlimited driving with procedurally generated tracks
- Two different physics modes to suit different levels of experience
- Looks and sounds amazing
- Not a huge number of vehicles
- Career mode lacks some variation
6. TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge
Released: March 2018
Finally, we have a very unique addition to our list in TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge. This game is definitely targeted towards fans of motorcycle racing, but nonetheless it provides an extremely enjoyable racing experience for sim racers of all kinds and experience levels.
Experience The Thrill Of The TT
Starting with the gameplay and game modes, Ride on the Edge brings the crazy road race to life in an exceptionally realistic fashion. Dubbed by many as the most insane motor race in the world, the TT is also one of the fastest. The game does a very good job of capturing the excitement, and it has some very realistic driving physics that can make you feel like you are really there.
There is a built-in career mode that features various fictional tracks, and this all builds up to the final real race that is an accurate representation of the real thing. You can also enjoy some free roam riding that will take you on a tour through some truly magnificent countryside, with long stretches of road that really allow you to open up the throttle.
Only To Be Played On A Gamepad
Perhaps the aspect of this game that sets it apart the most from the others on this list, aside from the lack of two extra wheels, is the lack of wheel compatibility. There is no built-in wheel support, and that obviously makes sense given that you don’t steer a bike with a wheel.
However, this means it is limited in its realism, as sim racing rigs for motorcycle games are just hard to come by and often extremely expensive. Nevertheless, although not one for pure sim racing enthusiasts, we have included TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge on our list of racing sims as it is a truly unique and fun experience.
- Very good representation of the real thing
- Lots of detail
- Fun free roam mode
- Very niche gameplay style
- Not too many courses to choose from
- Lacks racing rig support
Our list of the best PlayStation sim racing games really has something for everyone, whether you are a rally fanatic or even a motorcycle buff. There are also games for those that want the perfect balance between fun and realism, but our ultimate top pick for the best PlayStation sim racing game is definitely Gran Turismo Sport.