Put the pedal to the metal as there are many electrifying racing games that are available on the PlayStation Plus Premium service. Kids and adults alike can enjoy most of these experiences, and if you're a fan of the genre, you should be happy with what's on offer. From a surprisingly decent movie tie-in game to destruction derby, there's a lot to keep track of on this subscription offering. Here's a much-needed breakdown of the best PlayStation Plus Premium racing games that the service has to offer.
10 - Cars 2: The Video Game
Cars 2: The Video Game delivers in spades, and as a Disney-licensed game, that's saying something. Playing similarly to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, you're drifting around corners, using items (gadgets) to gain an advantage, and speeding through the course at breakneck speed with a turbo boost.
It's actually fun to play as Lightning McQueen, Mater, and many other Cars characters through each of the vibrant tracks included in the game. The tracks are inspired by the film itself, taking in the locations and making them unique for this racing experience. If you're hankering for a Mario Kart-like experience on the PS4 or PS5, crank this on. Unfortunately, it's streamed as Cars 2: The Video Game was on the PS3, but if you have a solid connection, it is worth checking out.
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9 - Monster Truck Championship
Generic name aside, Monster Truck Championship provides the thrill of driving such a huge vehicle and living to tell the tale. The game has 25 different arenas from around the world and 16 trucks that you can customize to your heart's content.
You can alter the performance, visuals, paint, stickers, and tuning however you'd like, creating the monster truck you want to ride. As you progress, you'll need to learn how to drive the trucks through ramps and perform skills like doughnuts and wheelies to impress the crowd.
8 - Carmageddon: Max Damage
If you want carnage, you've come to the right place with Carmageddon: Max Damage. You'll cause a lot of chaos as you complete the single-player career mode and go online (if anyone is playing). You can also check out the game with your friends on the couch, making this a rare couch experience.
If you want a complex racing game with up-to-date physics and graphics that sticks to the rules, this game is not for you. However, if you like to dent the cars and smash them to bits, Carmageddon: Max Damage is a PlayStation Plus Premium racing game you might want to check out.
7 - MX vs ATV All Out
MX vs ATV All Out is an open-world take on this long-running racing series of motorbikes and all-terrain vehicles. You'll be managing your speed, trying to land daring jumps through the bumpy dirt tracks, and accelerating as fast as you can to defeat your competitors. While it's not as pretty as Gran Turismo 7 or Xbox's Forza Horizon 5, it still manages to present a decently beautiful depiction of an off-world racing open world.
To maximize the performance of your vehicle, you'll be able to upgrade it with new parts that you earn throughout your playthrough. Also, like Carmageddon: Max Damage, MX vs ATV All Out also supports a two-player split-screen mode, so you can play this motorbiking game with friends.
6 - Hotshot Racing
Hotshot Racing is a retro throwback to the likes of the popular Outrun series, and the concept parks into drive on PS4 successfully. That is because it was created by the veteran U.K.-based developer Sumo Digital. The graphics are a wonderful blend of classic untextured 3D racers with a modern coat of paint to give it a unique look. The tracks are colorful and really pop on screen.
However, the graphics shouldn't be the main reason why you play Hotshot Racing. The driving feels smooth as you drift around corners and boost at the most opportune moments. It has all manner of cars as well to entertain any gearhead. It's a relatively small download at under 10GB, so give this a go and tell us what you think.
Read more about Hotshot Racing:
5 - Jak X: Combat Racing
If you want a grittier version of Mario Kart, you can find it in Jak X: Combat Racing. This PS2 classic features the famed protagonists Jak & Daxter as they are placed within a deadly racing tournament. There is a story attached that will provide laughs and some decent drama in between each race, adding to the experience overall.
The racing is fast-paced as you boost, drift, and use weapons to climb to first place. It's overall exciting as you triumph over the relatively difficult opponents that Jak X has you competing against. Jak & Daxter fans will be happy to know that most of the characters are playable and that the track locations are based on the games' main hub Haven City. The weapons also kick a lot of butt as you blast your foes' cars into pieces with rockets and mines.
Read more about Jak & Daxter:
4 - Grip
High-speed action, check. A variety of weapons, check. Being able to drive on a road above your head, that wasn't on the list, but check. Grip is an exciting thrill ride of a racing game as you use weapons similar to the Wipeout series and flip in the air as a two-sided vehicle. In addition, Grip has a unique setting within a sci-fi landscape, so you'll be able to play races within an outer space area.
While Grip isn't a looker in terms of its graphics, it still excites you with its elaborate track design and the unique premise of racing on the walls, taking your opponents out with rockets and what have you. Give this a whirl and let us know what you think of this PlayStation Plus Premium racing game.
3 - Motorstorm: Apocalypse
The series has been long dead, but Motorstorm: Apocalypse is still worth playing in 2022 through PlayStation Plus Premium. Yes, it's being streamed through the internet, but driving through these post-apocalyptic environments in deep acceleration is absolute bliss. Like Burnout, you have a turbo, and if you or someone else crashes, you'll see the immaculate detail of the vehicle slamming into a wall.
The tracks are well-designed as they constantly change every lap. At one point, you'll be crossing a bridge or a tunnel and then it crumbles under you. It's exciting to experience the absolute craziness that this game provides its players. In addition, the tracks feature unexpected terrain and obstacles you'll need to avoid; it's bursting with creativity. These facts make up for the aged graphics, and it's a significant sign that Motorstorm needs a revamp on the PS5.
2 - Wreckfest
Wreckfest is a favorite among racing fans because of the absolute detail that can be found within the destruction derby chaos. Each wreck is nuanced with detail as the shards of the car fly through the air. The driving feels solid as you're racing on the track, and races can be won or lost based on the damage you receive. There's a particularly fun mode where you intentionally crash into your opponents.
You can deck out your cars with all manner of paints. accessories, wheels, hoods, and designs to make you look unique among the pack of racers on the track. In addition, you can customize the performance of your vehicles as you change up the suspension, tires, and bumpers to make you the fastest around. Make sure you give Wreckfest a try as it's one of the best PlayStation Plus Premium racing games as of the time of writing.
1 - Ride 4
Milestone is a studio that's known for their racing games (they made Hot Wheels Unleashed), and Ride 4 is an impressive showing of their dedication to the genre. It has the best visuals out of any on this list with the sunlight reflecting off the metal and some gorgeous weather effects like riding on a wet road. It looks realistic because the Italian developer created every asset based on CAD data, which is laser and 3D scanning technology. The game also has a fully dynamic weather conditions system and has a day/night cycle.
Ride 4 has hundreds of bikes to choose from, making this a motorhead's dream. The publisher says on the game's Steam page, you can "ride on dozens of tracks all around the world, carefully designed with an extraordinary level of detail."
Are there any PlayStation Plus Premium racing games we missed? Let us know in the comments below.
PlayStation Plus Premium access was provided to the writer by PlayStation Canada.