With a wealth of brilliant racing games available on iOS, you don’t need to fire up your console to feel the need for speed. Here, we’ve gathered up the best racing games you can play, all from the convenient confines of your iOS mobile device.
With the new mobile racing game Offroad Unchained, the entire world of offroad racing awaits you on the road. And it's completely free of charge. Here you get behind the wheel of numerous racing cars, which you also equip with upgrades. In addition to a career mode, the focus is primarily on multiplayer, in which you compete in real time with drivers from all over the world in PVP races on gravel, snow or in the deep forest.
Eden Games’ brilliant Gear.Club arrived with a bang in 2016, setting new standards for mobile racers with its brilliantly refined gameplay, glorious visuals and reasonably deep customisation options. This should come as absolutely no surprise from the developers behind the ace V-Rally series, and the console-level polish on this handheld racer is truly something to behold.
Races are tight, robust affairs (with bruising contact between cars offering plenty of polishing opportunities for those who enjoy time in the garage), with the intensity of the competition never undercut by the more arcade-y gameplay stylings. Gear.Club is a must for mobile-friendly petrol heads.
Kart racing should, in theory, be something of a no brainer on mobile. Short, adrenaline-spiked races replete with vibrant colours, outrageous weaponry and squeal-worthy overtakes seem perfect for the handheld format, and yet it has been surprisingly tricky for developers to deliver on this rich promise. That is, until Kartrider Rush+ arrived earlier this year, to make it all look so very easy.
Oodles of modes, including a brilliant, launch-ready multiplayer, a gloriously eye-popping visual style, and a determination to get the basics right ensure that KR+ is exactly what we’ve always wanted from a kart racer on mobile. It may have taken a while to arrive, but it was worth the wait.
Real Racing 3
Looking for a mobile racer with a high level of polish? Real Racing 3 may be the title for you. The excellent series has always prided itself on delivering a comprehensive package that delivers slick racing and even slicker visuals. The third in the series, from developers Firemonkeys, may well be the best. Superb physics means you feel every fender bender, there are customisable control settings for everyone and anyone, and the sheer sheen of the package makes it hard to resist. For one of the best mobile racers around, keep it Real.
Dirt Bike Unchained
With stunning controls, brilliant visuals and courses as thrilling as they are tricky, Red Bull’s brand new racing game for Android and iOS is the best way to experience moto racing on the go. It’s up to you to nail jumps and tricks on courses from around the world, unlocking new bikes, gear and real life riders as just reward for your skills. You can even unlock your very own prized Red Bull helmet. If you want to hear more about how this ace racer was made, check out our recent feature.
Bike Baron 2
The sequel to the Trials-alike Bike Baron was a long time coming, but time has not diminished the superb gameplay, excellent visuals and brilliant sense of chaos of Cornfox’s stunt biking racer. Boasting fierce difficulty that you’d expect from a game of this ilk, Bike Baron 2 really is more of the same – seemingly impossible tracks filled with mind-bending obstacles that you’ll need to overcome with the help of your big-headed protagonist, and some very tight controls. Anyone who’s played the original, or indeed Trials, will know what to expect from Bike Baron 2 – and that’s a very good thing.
Codemasters’ GRID series may have been warmly welcomed back to consoles last year, but the series had been a long-held favourite for mobile gamers, thanks to the brilliance of GRID Autosport. A lesson in less-is-more, GRID Autosport is mainly focussed on delivering a superb racing experience – and certainly achieves this. Stunningly realistic and incredibly tough, the sim offers endlessly customisable controls and beautiful visuals to place it comfortably in the upper echelons of mobile racers.
CSR Racing 2
NaturalMotion Games’ CSR Racing 2 arrived back in 2016, and quickly became one of the most popular racers around – and it’s not hard to see why. The drag racing title offers up a wealth of content, while the relatively simple gameplay is brilliantly bolstered by its addictive loop of victory, currency and customisation. Superb visuals finish off a package that may not be for the most hardcore of racers, but surely appeals to those eager to carve out their own path with their own souped-up monster.
Motorsports Manager 3
A slight cheat given you don’t actually race any vehicles, Motorsports Manager 3 earns its place on this list as the best racing management sim around. For those who want the tactical thrill of Football Manager but without the balls being kicked around, Motorsports Manager 3 delivers in spades – there are countless options to tweak stats, hire and fire staff and sponsorship opportunities to give your team an edge, while pitstop menus are brilliantly comprehensive. What this lacks in the visceral thrill of putting pedal to the metal, it makes up for in the joy of success through meticulous management.
Not quite a racing game, but REKT! makes it onto this list by virtue of being really, really fun. Plonked into an arena with a host of ramps, jumps and other obstacles designed to encourage you to test gravity and sense with your tiny vehicle, this stunt racer brings to mind other games (Rocket League, for one) but is very much its own beast. Its vibrant, eye-popping visuals are a suitable accompaniment to the instantly enjoyable but surprisingly tricky arcade action, and a one-more-go point scoring system makes this an incredibly moreish experience for those sick of driving from A to B.
Less a racing game than a chasing game, Pako Forever certainly delivers on the second word in that title – as your adorably boxy car is endlessly pursued, with your goal to make it as difficult as possible for your pursuers to do so. Traversing obstacles dotted around the enormous car park, you also gain power-ups (hello, shrink rays) to throw increasingly mischievous spanners in the works for the beleaguered chasers eating your dust. Don’t let its humble appearance – chirpy music and graphics that are unlikely to test even the most basic phone – put you off; this is a fiendishly addictive blast of vehicular mayhem well worth your time.
Asphalt 9: Legends
The ninth entry in Gameloft’s whopping racing franchise proves that practice makes perfect, with Asphalt 9: Legends showcasing the mobile studio’s grasp of how to bring fullscale gaming experiences to smartphones. Combining stunning graphics and the ability to roar around courses with any number of licenced supercars, as well as keeping the touchscreen action streamlined and extremely silly, this is a serious game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Asphalt 9: Legends is one of the best racers on iOS.
Rush Rally 3
Brownmonster’s Rush Rally 3 is a brilliant surprise. Boasting glorious visuals, even on a small screen, cracking weather effects, plenty of tracks and heaps of modes, the game is as generous as it is fun to play. For hardcore rally fans, the game errs a little on the easy side, but its wealth of customisable options more than makes up for this, with a fun, accessible campaign mode for drivers to scale the ranks with their own lovingly crafted hunk of metal. A thoroughly enjoyable overall package, Rush Rally 3 fully deserves its place on this list.