Top 25 best racing and driving games for iPhone and iPad (iOS)
25 essential racing games to start your iOS collection
Updated on May 9, 2023 - re-checked the list. Original article by Job Mundy, updated by PG staff.
Time was you had to go to a murky arcade parlour if you wanted to play a full-blooded racing game. Now you just need an iPhone or iPad.
Dashing around a virtual track has always been a hoot, but the genre has expanded greatly on mobile. You still get your graphically lush arcade racers, but there are also console-style kart racers, hardcore simulators, racing management games, and loads of weird spliced efforts that exist in the spaces in between.
Indeed, there are a number of loosely affiliated titles that don't quite fit the description of 'racing games,' even if they still involve commandeering a vehicle. That's why we've also specified 'driving games' on this list.
We've included a bit of everything here in our top 25 round-up. We're also aware that we've left an awful lot of very good titles out, so if your favourite is nowhere to be found, let us know in the comments section below.
Even if you don't consider yourself a driving game fan, we're pretty sure you'll find something to love among our recommendations. As we said, it's about a lot more than just haring around a track these days.
Possibly the best racing game on iOS, GRID Autosport offers a startlingly faithful premium console racer experience with some truly stunning 3D graphics. The visuals are some of the best we've ever seen, but when it comes to gameplay it's pretty limited. Actually, the entire gameplay revolves around races but also about managing your own team. The number of cars and circuits is impressive, so you definitely will enjoy driving here.
Coming from a developer with a genuine console racer pedigree, it's no surprise that Gear.Club is one of the most exciting new iOS racer for years. It's got great car physics, top graphics, and a large roster of real-life rides. You can manage your own garage, customize your rides and enjoy every single aspect of a true racing experience.
You will never get bored with the plethora of tasks to be done, and the actual experience when driving the racecars feels, simply put, right.Get Gear.Club (free)
Rush Rally 3
A brilliantly balanced racer that combines authentic muck-specked simulation with intuitive arcade racing. The graphics are not exactly as good as in GRID Autosport, but they're good enough to give you a detailed perspective on the track. In fact, they feel a tad bit less science-fiction, more realistic.
The overall experience when playing Rush Rally 3 is a really nice one, and you'll be thrilled to drive some of your favorite cars in the environments present. You'll have a day/night cycle, various time conditions and you can even change the perspective to make it feel more genuine.Get Rush Rally 3 ($4.99)
Reckless Racing 3
Reckless Racing 3 is all about churning through dirt, elbowing your opponents out of the way with your steering wheel on the opposite lock. It's gleeful, messy fun that you can enjoy in solo campaign mode or together with your friends.
Furthermore, Reckless Racing 3 has another feature that is going to appeal to a lot of players - highly customizable touch controls. We all know just how annoying some touch controls can get, clogging up the screen and whatnot, but here that won't be the case.
If this was not enough to convince you to try it, we have a Reckless Racing 3 review with additional information.Get Reckless Racing 3 ($2.99)
CSR Racing 2
Definitely, the one that will keep you glued to your device for hours, CSR Racing 2 is one of the titles that never seems to get outdone. This stunning racer that does it all features all customizable cars, super intuitive controls and much, much more. Many players turned to this sequel after winning race after race on the first one, without regrets.
If you decide to give it a spin (pun intended) we recommend you take a look at our CSR Racing 2 tier list, which will help you pick the fastest car in the game.Get CSR Racing 2 (free)
Motorsport Manager 3
You don't actually race any cars in Motorsport Manager Mobile 3. But your job as a manager - hiring and firing racers, choosing tires, and investing in sponsors - is just as important. Of course, the game is all about race cars but think of it as doing it from your 'desk office' instead of the racetrack.
Motorsport Manager 3 is as great as one might imagine, so if you're looking for one of the best iOS racing games but don't quite fancy hectic driving and spur-of-the-moment decisions, this game has all the ideal elements for you.Get Motorsport Manager 3 ($6.99)
This technically stunning futuristic racer from Apple Arcade sees your hovercar teleporting around the brightly-hued tracks. It's a racing and driving game like no other, where you can take your tuning skills to the next level - quite literally.
Warp Drive doesn't feel as realistic as the other names on the list, but it's a fun and colorful game that you might, surprisingly, enjoy just as much!Get Warp Drive (free)
If you are a Minecraft fan, here we have a perfect title for you, it is an unusual racer in a Minecraft blocky art style. A deceptively accomplished, finely honed take on the Trials template. Get your blocky car to the finishing line by scaling hills, dips, and improbably large chasms. Unlike the other iOS racing games here, you've actually got some pretty fun-looking graphics, and - wait for it - a farm!
It also leaves room for a lot of creativity when creating your own car, since you can build it block by block. Sounds interesting?Get Blocky Roads ($0.99)
Asphalt 9: Legends
Physics and gravity are purely optional when it comes to Asphalt 9, a riotously OTT arcade racer that can't help but make you smile. It's easy peasy to get into, and boy does it look pretty. This is the latest title in the Asphalt collection, and after 8 other titles, you can imagine this one features all the best elements of a racing game.
If you haven't had the chance to dive into the other Asphalt titles, give Asphalt 9: Legends a shot. We (almost) guarantee that it'll become your next favourite game.Get Asphalt 9: Legends (free)
GT Racing 2
This beautiful realistic game is one that stands out through its multitude of customizable controls. With racing games we know that touch controls can get a bit clunky or crowd the screen, taking away from the experience - and gravity doesn't help much when you're trying to play with tilt controls.
However, in GT Racing 2 you have many options available and they all improve its quality. You can join teams alongside other players and try to accomplish various goals together, so overall it's a game that ticks all the right boxes of the genre. Easily one that you should check out!Get GT Racing 2 (free)
Carnage: Battle Arena
This title is unlike any other featured in this list. Carnage: Battle Arena is basically a battle royale meets racing game that meets fully destructible cars and the environment. It is super fun, competitive and it is, simply put, unforgiving. You can try various game modes, such as survival, a battle arena, and many more. The gameplay is simple, choose one from more than 80 fantastic cars and destroy your opponents on different awesome maps.
If you want a more accurate and unorthodox description of Carnage: Battle Arena, think of it as the blocky cousin of a generic game, but with PvP in mind that encourages dirty plays. It's something to behold.Get Carnage: Battle Arena (free)
It might not look like any similar game you've ever played, but Data Wing is a thrilling example of the genre. Imagine a top-down racer with Lunar Lander spaceships in place of cars, and you'll begin to grasp the basics of this ingenious game.
You can immerse into the beautiful graphics and racing elements, but there is also a really great narrative that drives the game further. Oh, and if you play it with sounds on, its background music feels spot-on.Get Data Wing (free)
Those who were left a little underwhelmed by Mario Kart's mobile showing will be thrilled with KartRider Rush+. And perhaps a little annoyed with Nintendo. This is how you cram a premium karting experience onto a tiny pocket device.
You have tons of collectables (cars and characters), more than enough modes, and really well-done touch controls. It's a title that hits all the right spots and easily deserves a place amongst the top iOS racing games.Get Kartrider Rush+ (free)
An intriguing combination of Rocket League and True Skate, 3D racing game adds stunts, tricks, ramps, and loop-de-loops to the usual dash to the line. This highly colourful title makes a great addition to every enthusiast's collection because it's super simple and focuses solely on the actual races.
There are several cars to collect and tracks to conquer, and it's one of those games where you'll never feel like you missed out on something if you don't open on a daily basis.Get REKT ($1.99)
Battle Racing Stars
A fun online side-scrolling platform-racer from the legendary Halfbrick Studios, in which characters from Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja, and Dan the Man face off against one another. It is highly competitive, and if you're familiar with the other titles from the developer you'll know that it's something common in all of their games.
The only difference is that in Battle Racing Stars you can really focus on the racing part of the game more so than anything else. It's even better with your friends in the Friendly Race mode!Get Battle Racing Stars (free)
Hutch Games turns its attention to the pure 3D arcade racer in Rebel Racing, with gloriously slick results. Stunning graphics and greatly streamlined controls make this game shine on mobile. It is quite realistic, and you can drive your dream car, whatever that might be. You've got everything from trucks to luxurious cars, and they are all highly customizable.
Rebel Racing is one of the greatest in the niche to dive into in 2023, so make sure to try it for yourself.Get Rebel Racing (free)
Riptide GP: Renegade
This grittier, more spectacular brother of Riptide GP 2 proves that racing games don't have to have wheels and roads. This splishy splashy jet ski sim trades pavement for water, and lets you do massive stunts in mid-air to gain boosts. You can customize your own hydro jet and boost it to win all the water races.
It's a game that doesn't care about typical races. It gives you a lot of freedom to explore the futuristic world of the game and to truly immerse yourself in the thrill of the competition.Get Riptide GP: Renegade ($2.99)
Mario Kart Tour
Nintendo's signature kart racer screeches onto mobile. And while it's far from perfect, and perhaps a little too casual and 'freemium' for Nintendo die-hards, there's no doubting that its one-finger controls still feel like Mario Kart. It is exceptionally fun, and if you're familiar with the series, you probably know that it's one of the best racing games for iOS.
The game is a favourite among many iOS racing players, considering it a classic - together with a few other titles. If you haven't played it yet though, make sure to give it a try! We have a special surprise for the fans, as we have created the tier list of the best drivers in Mario Kart Tour, and also a list of best karts in the MKT.Get Mario Kart Tour (free)
As the name suggests, Pako Forever takes the series's automotive carnage and applies it to an endless game mode. This driving game's about stamina and manoeuvrability rather than speed. But, there is something else that makes it incredibly addictive and fun - there are secret spots where you can unlock various cars and boosts, and you'll want to discover them all!
Want a racing title without fancy-looking graphics and some crazy free exploration modes? Pako Forever can be that game.Get Pako Forever (free)
Asphalt Xtreme is another racing game in the list which allows you to drive off-road cars of various classes such as buggies, pickups, and monster trucks. Moreover, all vehicles in Asphalt Xtreme exist in the real world, so here you will see names such as Jeep, Ford, Dodge, and others.
In addition to five game modes, hundreds of career events, and challenges, it has multiplayer, which allows you to play with up to seven other players. If you are looking for a racing game to play with friends, Asphalt Xtreme is one of the best options.Get Asphalt Xtreme (free)
F1 Mobile Racing
F1 Mobile Racing is a technically brilliant representation of elite-level motor racing, but with a welcome sense of accessibility. If you've been following the F1 races, you might recognize a lot of the drivers featured here. It's basically one of the most enjoyable racing games on iPhones and iPads at the moment and the closest thing to the real deal.
It might not have Asphalt 9 or GRID Autosport graphics, but the actual gameplay feels genuinely good, especially from the pilot's perspective.Get F1 Mobile Racing (free)
A brilliantly bizarre drifting game that sees you producing wobbly bean curd product through the medium of pinpoint car drifting. Don't ask why. Just slide. Even though it has pretty simple and unremarkable graphics, as well as a regular art style, the drifting here is a pure pleasure. You can drift in almost any racing title, but in Tofu Drifter, this gameplay feature is simply incredible.
And now on to the real purpose of the game - tofu delivery. Yep, you read that right. You're basically speeding your way through the mountains, hills and desert to deliver the best tofu ever! That should be enough to make you want to try this little heart-pumping title for yourself.Get Tofu Drifter (free)
Although it's not really an action racing game, a manager simulation F1 Clash still has the racing thrill within. You'll be in the role of the F1 manager that handles everything from the recruiting and handling of the drivers to the deep strategic choices during the race. You can tell your drivers to bite from the first moment which is risky but could prove like a good tactic, or you can tell them to wait for the right moment and attack at the end of the race.
You know, sometimes a manager can stress himself much more than the driver himself. Do you think we are wrong? Try the game and let us know how it went. You can read our guide for F1 Clash, it will clear out most of the starting conundrums.Get F1 Clash (free)
Do you know those bits in Bond films where our unflappable agent causes mayhem behind the wheel of a supercar? Agent Intercept basically turns those into a very slick Apple Arcade game. It is not one of those hyper-realistic iOS racing games, and it doesn't aim to be one either. Instead, it's aiming in the complete opposite direction.
Agent Intercept is fun, colourful, action-packed and really addictive! Do you want a game that turns you into a secret agent with a fancy car? This is the one.Get Agent Intercept (free)
Traffic Rider is a great first-person motorcycle racing game that once appeared at the top of the best apps in the App Store. You will receive extra time or points for successful collision avoidance with cars and trucks. And the more dangerous manoeuvre you complete, the greater bonus you will receive.
You can spend the points on improving your motorcycle or buying a new one. There is a plethora of quests and challenges available in the solo career and many other modes.
With this title, we are closing off the list of best racing games for iOS! We hope that you found your adrenaline filler somewhere above and that you'll have lots of fun!Get Traffic Rider (free)