As with pretty much any form of entertainment these days, gaming subscription services are on the rise. Microsoft arguably does it best with Xbox Game Pass, but those on PlayStation have an alternative.
PlayStation Plus has three tiers to pick from, with the top two - Extra and Premium - giving access to an inclusive library of games to pick from as and when you feel like it. Among those, there are some pretty tasty driving games.
Granted, pickings are a bit slim compared to Game Pass. It's in its relative infancy and, unlike Microsoft, Sony doesn’t guarantee first-party titles will arrive on the service when they launch - meaning no Gran Turismo 7 for the time being. Boo and hiss.
However, if you’re looking to fill your driving appetite, these 10 games are worth a go.
10. NASCAR Heat 5
If you’re looking to drive, go real fast and turn to the left sometimes, oh boy. Have we got news for you.
The officially-licenced game of the 2020 season, NASCAR Heat 5 wasn’t the most warmly received of games at launch (to be polite), but fans of the series appear to rate it highly.
Granted, it's not the latest NASCAR title, but Heat 5 still has plenty to offer. There’s a full career mode, with three National Series to race in, along with the Xtreme Dirt Tour to take your oval racing off-road. 40 player online sounds like a fun bit of carnage, too.
9. Trials Rising
For physics-bending arcade side-scrolling racing, Trials Rising is hard to beat. The motocross-inspired series has been going for well over a decade now, and Rising takes it global. Levels range from the Great Wall of China to New York and pretty much everywhere in between.
The beauty of Trials is in its community though, with an in-depth track builder integrated giving a theoretical infinite number of tracks to take on.
8. Split/Second: Velocity
Split/Second (with the addition of Velocity to its name outside North America, for some reason) is a bit of a forgotten gem these days. Launched way back in 2010 and published by Disney, it’s one of the last true blockbuster action-packed arcade racers before the genre fell away to all but a few indie developers.
Set in a fictional reality TV show, Split/Second has you crashing and boosting your way through circuits that evolve through destruction and chaos as you put the laps in. One of its unique features was the ability to trigger obstacles to hinder your opponents, though they could do the same to you.
The series never quite took off, which is a great shame, but the sole title is worth a revisit.
7. FIA European Truck Racing
Who needs to race cars when you go wheel-to-wheel in trucks?
This is the officially licenced game of the FIA European Truck Championship (yes, that’s a thing) and may be the most unique simulation racer on the market. There’s a fully-fledged career mode, alongside quick race modes letting you choose from 45 trucks and 14 circuits, including a few outside of Europe.
Worth mentioning now you’ll need to spray water on your brakes to keep them cool. Talk about innovative, realistic features.
6. Hotshot Racing
Remember what we said earlier about indie developers being the only ones making true arcade racers these days? Well, Hotshot Racing is one of the finest examples of those.
16 circuits will take you everywhere from coastal cruises, the deserts around Las Vegas (well before F1 thought of heading there) and even through a jungle. In a rare move on a modern game, it even has a four-player split-screen mode.
Not every great driving game has to be a racing game, as Snowrunner proves.
This is rather different to everything else on this list. The sequel to Mudrunner, Snowrunner has you taking on some seriously harsh terrains to deliver cargo to help with construction and repairs of locations across areas.
While that’s happening, you’ve got to manage fuel and run the risk of it all going in the mud if you place a tyre wrong. It’s like Dark Souls meets Euro Truck Simulator.
4. WipeOut Omega Collection
It seems the WipeOut series of anti-gravity racers is all but dead, save for a mediocre-looking mobile title. A shame, as it was one of the definitive games of the early eras of PlayStation.
If you’re looking for your fix, WipeOut Omega Collection is arguably the definitive game in the series. Effectively merging WipeOut HD Fury and 2048 together in one game, it offers to most content of any in the series - 26 tracks (not including the reverse layout of each), 46 ships and nine game modes.
The soundtrack is suitably late ‘90s and early ‘00s too, with The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers on the list. Thankfully though, the graphics are bang up to date - enhanced further if you’re playing on a PS5 or PS4 Pro.
Sometimes, it’s nice to just kick back and indulge in some absolute chaos. Wreckfest more than satisfies that need.
Though sort of simulation-focused in its handling, Wreckfest takes the art of banger racing to the extreme. Cars range from city-focused hatchbacks to sports cars, big limousines and even a toilet - talk about a diverse line-up.
Racing can be as varied as simple circuit races, chaotic figure-of-eight tracks or outright last-man-standing deathmatches. It’s a game best enjoyed with friends to aim at.
2. Assetto Corsa Competizione
Hardcore sim racing games are pretty much non-existent on PlayStation Plus, but fortunately, the sole option is a pretty good one.
Assetto Corsa Competizione faithfully recreates GT World Challenge, with a line-up exclusively made up of GT race cars. The benefit of focusing on one niche though is the handling model is incredible, and widely regarded as the best way to experience the category of any genre of racer.
Granted, to make the most of the realistic racer, we’d suggest playing with a wheel. Controller users may find it just a little too much compared with more ‘simcade’ oriented titles like, oh I don’t know, Gran Turismo. If only the rightsholders of that game had their own subscription service, right?
1. Ridge Racer Type 4
Though PS Plus’ racing pickings are slim, one of the greatest games of all time is here and in its original form.
Despite being the oldest game on this list, launching in 1999, Ridge Racer Type 4 takes the cake. The defining game in the series of arcade racers still holds up well today, with handling that’s just as fun on a DualSense controller as it was on an original DualShock.
The career mode feels pretty short initially, but you can complete it in a couple of hours if you really try. The real challenge is replaying it with every team, and unlocking every one of the 321 cars - which isn’t as straightforward as just winning every race. We’ll leave that one for you to find out.
The only way it could be knocked off the top of this list is if Gran Turismo 2 ever makes an appearance. We’ll wait with bated breath.