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Best VR Racing Games: All the best games for your headset

Virtual reality continues to evolve and find new ways to play games. VR shooting games are very popular, while ASTRO BOT shows that platformers can work well on the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, or HTC VIVE. VR does not replace these experiences; it highlights certain aspects, and adds a new dimension to gameplay. VR racing games are no exception.

For the fans of Mario Kart or realistic experiences, VR offers numerous ways to race through new tracks. Choose the game carefully, and have fun with friends and family.

Virtual Perceptions has compiled a list of experiences, based on the headsets available. Please navigate the Table of Contents to find the information you need. RaceRoom Racing Experience

Table of Contents

  • Which VR headset is best for VR racing games?
    • HTC VIVE
    • Oculus Rift
    • PlayStation VR (PSVR)
  • RaceRoom Racing Experience
  • Project Cars 2
  • DiRT Rally
  • Assetto Corsa
  • iRacing
  • Driveclub
  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • Trackmania Turbo
  • Wipeout Omega Collection
  • What are the best VR racing games?

Which VR headset is best for VR racing games?

Like choosing between Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, there is a choice between platforms for VR racing games. These choices normally come down to personal choice, finances, and software.

Like the console market, VR racing games are dependent on the consoles.

HTC VIVE

Made by HTC, the HTC VIVE and HTC VIVE Pro are high-end VR headsets for really hardcore fans. The HTC VIVE offers room-scale VR where players can walk around and interact with objects. These experiences are incredibly realistic, requiring a powerful PC to run and sensors to be set up around a room.

However, racing games are unlikely to need room-scale VR to be enjoyable. Most of the time, the racer would be seated. As such, a HTC VIVE should be purchased if users wish to expand beyond gaming into other games and experiences. While VR racing games are fun, there is a wider world of experiences avalable.

Games available: RaceRoom Racing Experience VR, Project Cars 2 VR, Assetto Corsa VR, iRacing, Trackmania Turbo.

Oculus Rift

Owned by Facebook, the Oculus Rift is a tethered VR headset which offers realistic virtual reality experiences. The system requires a powerful PC and sensors on a desk to run, and players can interact with virtual enviroments with 6DoF controllers.

Militaries are now using virtual reality to train soldiers in ways that will help better prepare them when they are actually deployed in combat.

Like the HTC VIVE, the Oculus Rift can offer room-scale VR by adding a new sensor for a small cost, letting people roam around a virtual space and interact. While this is not necessary for VR racing games, it opens the door for other games to play.

Games available: RaceRoom Racing Experience VR, DiRT Rally VR, Project Cars 2 VR, Assetto Corsa VR, iRacing, Trackmania Turbo.

PlayStation VR (PSVR)

Played with the PS4 or PS4 Pro, the PlayStation VR is said to be the most accessible version of VR in this list. The headset just needs Sony’s console to run, as opposed to a powerful PC. The games can also be played with the DualShock controller which can sense movement, instead of a steering wheel.

However, some experiences are not as good as the HTC VIVE or Oculus Rift. While it is ‘good enough’ for many software titles, users may be able to tell the difference between the realistic driving games on PCs, and the muddier graphics on the home console. Regardless, it is serviceable for the games it can play.

Games available: Gran Turismo Sport, Driveclub VR, Trackmania Turbo, Wipeout Omega Collection.

RaceRoom Racing Experience

RaceRoom Racing Experience VR is a free-to-play racing simulator released in 2013. The game also features a VR mode for players who want an added layer of immersion in their games.

Like with many games on this list, a steering wheel improves the driving experience. While a controller works, holding a physical object brings a new layer of realism as a person drives around the bend. The game is also credited for having excellent sound design, as the engine revvs up in power.

The game also had a new update in November 2017 which improved the quality of the game, so is as good a time as any to jump in.

Available on: Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE.

RaceRoom Racing Experience VR, one of several VR racing games available. Out of many VR racing games, RaceRoom Racing Experience in VR is for the general fans of racing. Photo credit: Sector3 Studios

Project Cars 2

Project Cars is already seen as one of the most immersive and beautiful racing experiences available. Strap on a VR headset, and Project Cars in VR brings it to ridiculous levels.

While the experience needs powerful specs, it is one of the best experiences available for the PC. There are options available to have a race overlay on the sides of the screen or, for those who want to go deeper, remove overlays entirely. If the engine is too loud (and most of the time it is), captions can be toggled on.

The Biggest Concerns. Despite the positives, there are some concerns about virtual reality. For example, some critics point out health and safety issues. If the technology is not used properly, users might suffer from health issues like seizures and other major discomfort. Some people could also trip and fall. There are also major privacy concerns with virtual reality. Some people fear that the headsets could lead to government surveillance, although there is no proof of that as of yet.

Project Cars 2 is seen as one of the best VR racing games available, as it has been built from the ground up for virtual reality. Just get ready for your eyes to bleed.

Available on: Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE.

Project Cars 2 in VR, for those who want a realistic experienceProject Cars 2 is one of the best VR racing games avalable. Photo credit: Slightly Mad Studios

DiRT Rally

Want to get off the clean roads and try something more rough-and-tumble? DiRT Rally VR is for those who prefer grit over slick sheen, with challenging new stages to play.

As the driving experience takes place in mountains and tracks, the cars fly through the air at high speed. The rides can be bumpy, harsh, and terrifying. For many, this sounds like exactly what they want. For others, it may make them feel nautious.

The experiences include Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, as well as Rallycross. As one of the most authentic experiences out there, it is for the true lovers of realism.

Available on: Oculus Rift.

DiRT Rally VR, for those who want a bumpy rideDiRT Rally in VR is for the drivers who want a gritty and bumpy experience. Photo credit: Codemasters Racing Studio

Assetto Corsa

Similar to the other titles in this list, Assetto Corsa has a VR option which lets people race along tracks in VR. Like with the base game, the graphics can be tweaked a lot to cater to many PC systems.

One of the main complaints of the game is the FOV. A wider FOV helps to widen the amount of info a driver can see, while a more narrow FOV can feel restrictive. The game is also said to be unoptimised, with laggy performance and quirks in gameplay. Regardless, it is one of the few realistic VR racing experiences available.

Available on: Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE.

Assetto Corsa in VR, for a serviceable experienceWhile it has technical issues, the driving game works well enough in VR. Photo credit: Kunos Simulazioni

iRacing

iRacing is not as popular as the other titles on this list. Even so, it still provides an excellent experience which even Palmer Luckey commended.

The track list is long, and it has great features for making new tournaments with friends and family. It is not for the faint of heart and new racers may be drowned by the features, though it is a great game for the hardcore fans.

Many people comment that some features should be added into the game to help improve its capabilities, such as tire limits and proper restart zones. Regardless, many agree that it is a solid racer.

Available on: Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE.

iRacing in VR, one of the deepest VR racing gamesWhile it has some hitches in its features, it is still considered a solid VR racer. Photo credit: Codemasters Racing Studio

Driveclub

The PlayStation VR has its own realistic VR racer, which scratches the itch of those who own a Sony console. Like with the other racers in this list, it aims to provide an immersive experience for the petrol heads who want to drive the latest cars.

However, the visuals are compromised by the limitations of the hardware, as the textures are poor quality. The developers had to cut back a lot to make sure it runs, sacrificing frame rate and graphics. While the lighting is decent, it lacks the flair and colour of the normal Driveclub experiemce.

Virtual I/O created a $1000 pair of virtual reality glasses called “iGlasses” in 1995.

Regardless, PS4 fans have a simulator which may service their need for a VR racing game.

Available on: PlayStation VR.

Driveclub VR, one of few games on the PlayStation VRWhile it had to make sacrifices to run on the PlayStation VR, Driveclub VR scratches the itch of those who want a realistic driving experience on their Sony console. Photo credit: PlayStation

Gran Turismo Sport

Similar to Driveclub and Need for Speed, Gran Turismo Sport is a great game for those who love the franchise. Compared to other entries in the list, it is a decent experience.

Fans say that the experience is very impressive considering its hardware, though it has its limitations. On the PS4 Pro, it looks impressive compared to the normal PS4. For instance, the scenery can look flat. It also has no campaign aspects, focusing instead on one-to-one races.

Otherwise, it is a serviceable mode of gameplay. Users can select the modes they want, then race along their favorite tracks to get the best time possible. The game is similar to Driveclub VR, though many fans agree that GT Sport provides a better experience for its fans. For those with a PS4 and a PlayStation VR headset, this one may be for you.

Available on: PlayStation VR.

Gran Turismo Sport VRWhile it is basic, Gran Turismo Sport VR is a decent experience for PlayStation VR owners, as one of the few VR racing games on the system. Photo credit: PlayStation.

Trackmania Turbo

Trackmania Turbo is a rowdy VR game with a few tracks available for play.

Like with other PlayStation VR entries in the list, the game is held back by graphical difficulties and performance hitches. In addition, the perspective is above the cart during the game initially, rather than above it, which makes it seem a bit off.

The PlayStation VR has better games on the system. While serviceable, superior experiences are available for the PS4 owner. And for owners of the other systems, there are far better games as well.

Available on: PlayStation VR, HTC VIVE, Oculus Rift.

Wipeout Omega Collection

Blinding speeds, a sci-fi setting, and a slick soundtrack. What more could you want? Wipeout is famous for being one of the best racing games out there, and this one is no exception.

The VR mode received some love to optimise the textures and gameplay, and the users are rewarded with smooth performance and dizzying heights. Fans agree that it is a great version to play if nostalgic for the series.

One of the best racing PlayStation VR games available, Wipeout Omega Collection shouldn’t be missed.

Available on: PlayStation VR

Wipeout Omega Collection, a great PSVR gameWipeout Omega Collection is one of the best games on the PlayStation VR. Photo credit: PlayStation.

What are the best VR racing games?

Overall, the Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE provides the most realistic experiences. Both headsets have access to the most realistic driving experiences available, from Project Cars 2 to the RaceRoom Racing Experience. BAcked by powerful PCs and high quality headsets, the games on the systems provide the most depth for any fans of cars.

It Makes Playing Sports Thrilling. By now you know that virtual reality can make the sports viewing experience better. As it turns out, virtual reality can make playing sports a better experience, too. There are already simulations on the market that put you in the middle of a sporting contest to see how well you do. There are some additional props required, such as a machine for driving a bobsled down a mountain. It is a cool and one of a kind experience.

Meanwhile, the PlayStation VR has lesser quality experiences which are held back by the system hardware. While serviceable, the driving games lack the graphical power of PCs and the realism available, with the exception of Wipeout Omega Collection. The games are decent, they are simply not as good as, say, Project Cars 2.

While VR racing games have a ways to go before they are more accepted, currently they are good enough for gameplay. In the next few years, as headsets and hardware evolve further, so will driving games as a whole.

As standalone headsets come over the next few years, it is an exciting time to be a fan of immersive racing games.

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Tom Ffiske

Editor, Virtual Perceptions

Tom Ffiske specialises in writing about VR, AR, and MR across the immersive reality industry. Tom is based in London.

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