Some people just want to go fast. There’s a thrill to blowing away the competition with a vehicle that’s been tuned to perfection, nosing past one’s rival for a photo finish, or hitting the perfect drift around a notoriously tricky turn. Racing can be about skill and attention or it can just be a wacky ride with friends.
Cars, planes, and ships offer radically different racing experiences, but all of them have featured in racing games, and that’s only the start of the list. With so many racing games to choose from, some excellent ones will always escape players’ notice. Only older Steam games with less than 5,000 reviews or newer games with less than 500 reviews are considered here. Here are some of the best unsung racing games on Steam.
7 Drift King
Racing games come in many forms, from professional auto races in F1 2021 to recreational bike and boat races. Each type of race is further separated from the others by the equipment and techniques used as well as the venues in which the races occur. Because of this variety, players who love one specific aspect of the genre can find a game that celebrates it.
Drift King is a celebration of one thing: drifting. Acquiring new cars, tuning them, and adjusting to different weather and track conditions are all part of the game, but all of these elements exist for one reason: to make drifting fun. The good news is, the game succeeds on this front, and players will be gliding around tight corners in no time. If the AI becomes boring, there’s always the option to challenge other players to drift battles online.
6 over drift festival
Another game devoted to the art of drifting, over drift festival packs a variety of features as well as a high level of polish to provide an engaging racing experience all the way through. Drift races and freestyle drifting on public roads with traffic are both options, and with great physics and a solid variety of tuning options, every race will provide a unique challenge for players to adapt to and overcome.
Featuring a huge number of roads and tracks to choose from, covering more than 30 square kilometers, the player isn’t stuck staring at the same left turn all game, and weather, seasonal effects, and day and night differences all keep the tracks fresh. Multiplayer is incorporated directly into the open world, and thanks to the Unreal Engine, cars and environments look and feel the way they should. The game also supports keyboards, controllers, and steering wheels, letting the player handle their car how they wish.
5 TRYP FPV: The Drone Racing Simulator
Don’t let the cumbersome title distract from the quality of the actual product. TRYP FPV: The Drone Racing Simulator is out in early access now, giving players the chance to test their piloting skills maneuvering a variety of drones around expansive and gorgeous maps. Indeed, the maps are one of the best parts of the game. They may not be the biggest in gaming, but their size, beauty, and level of detail are impressive and by themselves give players enough reasons to keep coming back.
All the beautiful maps in the world won’t save a game if it isn’t actually fun to play, however. tryp fpv is a blast and includes important quality of life features like a minimap to help players explore and get the most from the game. It’s evident from the physics that this game still needs more time in early access, but it’s already a must-play for drone enthusiasts.
4 Pro Cycling Manager 2022
Some sports and racing games receive a new installation every year, and franchise fatigue is always a concern. Will the new game improve enough and add enough new content to bring new fans on board and convince old fans that they have a reason to upgrade?
Pro Cycling Manager 2022 is one of the best biking sims that cycling fans have received in a while. Everything about the sport is in the player’s hands: recruiting racers, allocating the budget, training, determining strategies for races, dealing with sponsors, and more. It’s easy for sims like this one to become overwhelming due to the sheer amount of things there are to keep track of, but Pro Cycling Manager 2022 does a great job at walking players through the process.
3 Shadow Racer
The story often takes a backseat in racing games so that the focus can remain on the races themselves. Some racing games nonetheless make an effort to tell a quality tale, even going so far as to let that tale influence the mechanics themselves. If done right, the races are usually the best for it.
In the third-person adventure game Shadow Racer, the player controls the Shadow Rider, a vehicle built to fight back against the evil empire in a post-apocalyptic future. The Grand Canyon is the only place free from the empire’s control, so it’s there that the Shadow Rider makes its home. Players need to master the game’s four elements (Drifting! Flashing! Boosting! and Bumping!) to save the Grand Canyon and the world. With an interesting story, great atmosphere, and fun driving, Shadow Racer delivers everything a gamer needs.
two Fly Dangerous
Fly Dangerous is all about speed and ridiculous stunts pulled off while going way, way too fast. Using a flightstick, mouse, controller, or steering wheel the player races a rocket ship, testing themselves against the leaderboards and trying to beat their own personal best. The game is still in early access and has a ways to go before it’s fully fleshed out, but even in its current state, it offers an almost unparalleled “six degrees of flight” experience.
The developer stresses the high skill ceiling involved in mastering rocket ships in Fly Dangerous, and for good reason. Flight assists and other features exist to help new pilots get their bearings, but by turning those off and diving into the nitty-gritty of piloting, Fly Dangerous becomes an extremely intricate (and difficult) experience.
1 Kayak VR: Mirage
Kayaking isn’t for everyone, and neither is VR, which would seem to make Kayak VR: Mirage a niche product. The appeal of this game is much broader than it may initially seem, however. Competitive players looking for a race can hop in a kayak and start chasing their friends through checkpoints, but players looking for a more casual experience can enter free roam mode and just enjoy the sights.
Speaking of which, the sights in Kayak VR: Mirage may be some of the most beautiful that gaming has yet produced. Hyperrealistic water effects, kayak movement, and killer sound design combine to make this game a stunning testament to just how far VR has come in the last few years. Featuring a variety of locations, day and night changes, weather conditions, time attack, leaderboards, customization, and solid optimization make for one of the best unsung racing experiences on Steam.
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