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As part of our Holiday Gift Guide for 2021, we’re here to help you find the best racing video games for the car enthusiast in your life. Whether you know someone who likes to drive or just look at cars, games like these can help scratch that itch. There are loads of different games out there so finding the perfect one can be tough. Here are some of the best options available, with these you can’t really go wrong.

Best racing video games – open world and realism

If your favorite car enthusiast would like to drive real cars anywhere they want, these games are for them. Our holiday gift guide for 2021 offers games that allow them to pick and choose real-life vehicles and take them on or off-road as much as they’d like. It can be a great option for someone who wants to race but also likes to wind down and chill.

Forza Horizon 5 – Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Forza Horizon 5 cover graphic featuring the AMG Project ONE
Forza Horizon 5 main graphic | Xbox
  • Available for $54.99 on Amazon

Forza Horizon 5 is one of the most beautiful video games ever released. Not just racing or car games either. The realistic graphics and beautiful environments are unmatched, as are the details of every vehicle. Players can pick and choose from hundreds of vehicles, unlock more, and drive anywhere in the world with each one. This game allows players to drive around Mexico in a Ford Bronco, Warthog from the Halo FPS series, or a Ferarri 250 GTO. It’s still fairly new but it’s already being called one of the best racing video games ever made.

Burnout Paradise Remastered – Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC

  • Available for $21.99 on Amazon

The original installment of Burnout Paradise was released in 2008 but has since been remastered for a new generation. The Burnout series features all the fun of driving and realism, plus the ability to smash into other vehicles. If simply driving around might get old after a while, your favorite car lover might enjoy smashing into other racers. Its open-world gameplay is freeing, and running from the cops every once in a while adds a thrill.

Holiday gift guide 2021: Best arcade racers

If you’re buying video games for a car enthusiast who has a friend or relative to play with on the couch, these games are perfect. This type of game gives the thrill of racing but combines it with combat. That way racers can do anything necessary to make sure they’re in the lead when crossing the finish line.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Switch

Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe box art, one of the best racing video games for a car enthusiast this holiday.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Box Art | Nintendo
  • Available for $49.94 on Amazon

Only available for the Switch, the latest installment in the Mario Kart series might be the best one ever. With loads of popular characters and buildable carts to choose from, this game is wildly entertaining. Any Nintendo fan knows it, and will love visiting the many different courses based on various Nintendo game series. It’s one of the most popular and best racing video games ever for a reason. Buyer beware: this game is known to cause losers immense anger.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled – PS4, Xbox One, Switch

  • Available for $34.07 on Amazon

This is the perfect game for someone who wants Mario Kart but doesn’t own a Switch. Though it isn’t the exact same thing, it is very similar. It plays just like Mario Kart, providing a bunch of Crash Bandicoot characters, cars, weapons, and tracks. Players will fight to the finish in an all-out brawl to see who is the fastest.

Best racing video games – Virtual Reality

For those who own a virtual reality setup of some kind, our holiday gift guide has specific games available for just that purpose. VR racing can be a whole different experience, but some games are better than others. Most VR racers are realistic, so players feel like they’re actuallty driving.

Assetto Corsa – Xbox One, PS4, PC

  • Available for $19.99 on Steam

The original Assetto Corse, especially on PC is one of the best VR racing simulator video games available. The emphasis on PC is becuase of the available mods. Basically, there are loads of modifications users can make to the game which are downloadable on PC. These new tracks and experiences completely change the game, and make this game worth the small price tag.

Dirt Rally 2.0 – Xbox One, PS4, PC

Dirt Rally 2.0 cover art featuring a car on a dirt road, it's one of the best virtual reality racing video games for a car enthusiast this holiday season.
Dirt Rally 2.0 | EA
  • Available for $19.99 on Steam

The Dirt series is one that goes back long ago, and focuses on simulating off-road driving. It’s widely considered the best option for that purpose, and now it’s available in virtual reality. Those who have a VR headset and steering wheel setup will never feel more alive than when they’re cruising through the mud on Dirt Rally tracks.

The holiday gift guide of 2021 has all the best racing video games for a car enthusiast in your life. No matter what type of racing or driving they want to do, these games have them covered. There are tons of other options available as well, from F1 racing to Hot Wheels so be sure to find out what the gift receiver loves the most.


Forza Horizon 5: Best Off-Road Vehicles