Gaming

Best Racing Games On PS Plus Extra & Premium

Sony’s PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium try to cover most genres, and racing games are naturally not an exception. Compared to some other categories like RPGs, racers are not as plentiful nor are new games added as frequently; however, the service still has a respectable selection of projects that cover a few different styles. There are both arcade and sim racers, along with a few niche titles that focus on other aspects of driving.


Arguably, PS Plus does not have enough racing games to justify a yearly subscription solely for them. Therefore, if the genre’s availability plays a part in somebody’s decision to invest, they should mostly regard them as one part of the overall puzzle. Still, the best PS Plus racing games are pretty great.

Each entry states whether the highlighted game is accessible using a PS Plus Extra subscription. If a game has an Amazon listing, a link will be provided just in case somebody prefers to pick up a physical copy.


Redout 2

Metascore: 66

racing in Redout 2

Redout 2

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
June 16, 2022

Developer(s)
34BigThings

Those craving absolute speed, above all else, should check out Redout 2. The sequel to the original Redout, this game prides itself on being one of the fastest racers currently on the market. Inspired by retro releases like F-Zero, Redout 2 will have players racing across futuristic tracks at blazing speeds.

The cars themselves are quite the spectacle, thanks to their futuristic designs, and there are some seriously cool (and striking) visuals. Redout 2 features a single-player campaign for those looking to get their feet wet and also contains a multiplayer mode for those itching to get a bit more competitive against other players.

Ridge Racer 2

Metascore: N/A

ridge racer 2

Ridge Racer 2

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
September 14, 2006

Up until the PS3 era, Ridge Racer was a staple of Sony’s PlayStation launch lineups. The franchise’s games often acted as showcases of a console’s hardware, all the while being very good arcade racers in their own right. The PSP kept up this trend with Ridge Racer, which is still among the highest-rated games on the console. The 2006 sequel is not quite as decorated, but that primarily comes down to a lack of notable additions and improvements rather than a decline in quality.

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That’s not to say Ridge Racer 2 has nothing new to offer, just that the additions come in the form of tracks rather than mechanics. Consequently, this release can feel like a glorified expansion rather than a proper sequel. As valid as these criticisms are, they are not that relevant in this day and age, particularly for PS Plus Premium subscribers. If only one of these two titles could be added to the service, the 2006 entry was the right game to highlight.

Ridge Racer Type 4 is also on PS Plus Premium, and an argument could be made that it is the best entry in the Ridge Racer franchise.

Assetto Corsa Competizione

Metascore: 80

Realistic Racing Games - Assetto Corsa Competizione - Player zooming past competition

Assetto Corsa Competizione

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
May 29, 2019

Developer
Kunos Simulazioni

Like most other categories, racing games cannot be pigeonholed into one bracket. PS Plus is filled with racing games that are so far removed from each other that they barely seem like they belong to the same genre. Assetto Corsa Competizione is a hard-as-nails racing sim revolving around the Blancpain GT Series.

Realism is the name of the game here, and Assetto Corsa Competizione comes as close as any of its contemporaries to capturing the feel of being behind the wheel. Unsurprisingly, this results in a package that is not friendly to beginners, especially those who wish to jump straight into offline or online races. However, if someone puts in the time to master the game’s mechanics, they will find perhaps the best racing sim on PS Plus.

Jet Moto

Metascore: N/A

Playing a match in Jet Moto

Jet Moto

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
October 31, 1996

Developer(s)
SingleTrac

How Long To Beat
6 Hours

PS Plus Premium is slowly but surely starting to bring over some long-dormant franchises that, once upon a time, were poised as leading properties in Sony’s arsenal. Obviously, the service still has a long way to go before its library can be described as “expansive,” but baby steps are better than nothing. Jet Moto was a fairly big deal during the PS1 era, with the series producing three games in half a decade before fizzling out due to diminished sales. Although opinions vary on the top entry in the series, the trilogy is relatively consistent in terms of quality, and the first entry is still fun to play all these years later.

Jet Moto takes jet skis and gives them a sci-fi twist, allowing the hard-to-control vehicles to work on land alongside water. This futuristic advancement is utilized to great effect by the racetracks, all of which combine the two terrains to create unique and exciting environments. With a decent range of courses and drivers, Jet Moto has a respectable amount of content, especially since the controls come with a somewhat steep learning curve when compared to other arcade racers.

Nostalgia might play a role in determining someone’s enjoyment since there is no escaping Jet Moto‘s age; however, the game has enough to offer newcomers to justify a quick download.

Hotshot Racing

Metascore: 77

hotshot racing

Hotshot Racing

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
August 13, 2020

Developer
Lucky Mountain Games, Sumo Digital

A throwback to classic arcade racers like Virtua Racing and Daytona USA, Hotshot Racing wears its inspiration proudly on its hood. Utilizing a vibrant, blocky art style that just screams ’90s arcades, this charming racer features eight drivers and more than 30 unlicensed vehicles that pay (obvious) homage to recognizable cars.

In terms of its actual racing mechanics, Hotshot Racing drives like a dream. The cars are responsive and weighty, and their stats do impact the way they feel. Similar to its inspirations, Hotshot Racing is not particularly overflowing with content, and players can experience almost everything the game has to offer within a few hours.

Wipeout Omega Collection

Metascore: 85

WipEout Omega Collection

Wipeout Omega Collection

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
June 6, 2017

Developer
XDev, Clever Beans, Creative Vault Studios

Wipeout Omega Collection contains remasters of the PS3’s Wipeout HD and the PS Vita’s Wipeout 2048, both of which are great futuristic racers. Over the last decade, Studio Liverpool’s franchise has been mainly dormant, and that does not appear set to change soon. In the meantime, PS Plus Premium subscribers can at least experience two of the license’s highest points.

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Offering a stylish presentation and challenging gameplay, Wipeout Omega Collection is the perfect game to throw on for a few quick races. Although it has an arcade feel, the package is not lacking in depth and offers a decent challenge. The collection is also not lacking in content.

Riders Republic

Metascore: 77

Riders Republic Relic Locations

Riders Republic

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
October 28, 2021

Developer(s)
Ubisoft Annecy

Ubisoft’s Riders Republic is an extreme sports game set in a beautiful and diverse open-world. An online-focused experience, the title launched with a few extreme sports for players to specialize in, and Ubisoft has continued to add activities post-launch. Be it snowboarding, bikes, or wingsuits, the sports control fairly differently from each other, which extends the game’s replayability.

Riders Republic did not get too much attention at launch, and it has faded from the public’s consciousness over the last year. Nevertheless, the game’s fundamentals are strong, and they are backed by a good range of content.

Rally Cross

Metascore: N/A

rally cross ps1-1

Rally Cross

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
February 28, 1997

Developer(s)
Sony Interactive Studios America

A PS1 classic that has gotten a second run in the sun through PS Plus Premium, Rally Cross is certainly a product of its time, which is not a negative statement. The series only produced two games, with the first entry being developed internally by Sony. Although fairly rudimentary by today’s standards, they offered a fun alternative to Sega racers of their era by incorporating a learning curve without raising the bar of entry too steeply. Rally fans who are mostly accustomed to modern projects like the Dirt series may appreciate a trip through memory lane to see one of the earliest attempts to adapt this side of racing into video game form, even if Rally Cross tends to be overshadowed by Sega Rally Championship and Colin McRae Rally.

The game comes with a few options. Players can engage in standard single-races across a few tracks which come with different versions (and many courses need to be unlocked). Rally Cross also has a respectable selection of cars that do feel different from each other, at least to the extent that this decision has some weight to it. The main mode is “Season,” which largely allows players to run through an array of courses after each other. The unlockables are tied to this mode too.

Rally Cross controls pretty well for its era, and it toes the line between sim and arcade action. The former element largely comes from figuring out the ideal route to take in each track rather than the actual feel of the cars, although drivers do need to be careful of over or under-stirring.

Jak X: Combat Racing

Metascore: 76

Jak X Combat Racing

Jak X

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
October 18, 2005

Naughty Dog’s Jak X: Combat Racing tends to be overshadowed by the studio’s other kart racer, which is a shame as the PS2 title is nearly as great as Crash Team Racing. Along with exhibition and multiplayer modes, Jak X has a single-player campaign that casts players as the franchise’s heroes in a competition consisting of four cups.

While a kart racer, Jak X places a heavier emphasis on vehicular combat than most of the sub-genre’s representatives, and Naughty Dog even goes as far as to give health bars to cars. The adventure mode is a blast and consistently rewards players with new unlockables.

Trials Rising

Metascore: 79

trials rising tandem bike co-op

Trials Rising

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
February 26, 2019

Ubisoft’s Trials series has been going on for a while, and the 2019 entry is among the franchise’s best. Trials Rising challenges players to complete absurd courses filled with physics-defying stunts. While the game loves to inject a dash of silliness into proceedings, its wacky presentation is combined with precise and satisfying gameplay that comes with a reasonably steep learning curve.

Trials Rising is a creative racer that goes out of its way to surprise players. Newcomers to the franchise might initially struggle to come to grips with the game’s controls, but when things finally click, RedLynx’s title starts to shine.

Split/Second

Metascore: 84

Split/Second game race

Split/Second

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
May 18, 2010

Developer(s)
Black Rock Studio

As can be said for several Black Rock Studio games, Split/Second is awesome and underrated. This arcade racer casts players as stunt drivers in a reality TV show, and the goal is to blow up everything while dashing toward the finish line. Unapologetically ludicrous, the game embraces its absurd premise with vigor and style.

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As fun as the over-the-top shenanigans are, Split/Second also does not ignore its fundamentals. At its core, this arcade racer controls very well, delivering an accessible experience filled with mayhem and excitement. While racing games are and will likely always be fairly common, Split/Second is a one-of-a-kind.

Wreckfest

Metascore: 79

Wreckfest feature, massive pileup

Wreckfest

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
June 14, 2018

Destruction derby and vehicular combat games have fallen to the wayside ever since the tragic cessation of licenses like FlatOut and Twisted Metal. The former is particularly important in this discussion as that series’ decline started once it was no longer in the hands of Bugbear; thankfully, the latter returned to the genre with Wreckfest. Existing largely unopposed for the last few years, the game is a throwback to the destruction derbies of yesteryear, and it is a respectful one at that.

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Along with a few online modes that are not dead but neither brimming with life, Wreckfest offers a surprisingly substantial single-player package. Players will get to work their way through a plethora of events that can range from fairly standard to unapologetically quirky. Either way, the result will be tracks filled with the corpses of cars.

MotorStorm: Apocalypse

Metascore: 77

MotorStorm apocalypse

Motorstorm Apocalypse

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
May 3, 2011

Developer(s)
Evolution Studios

From 2006 to 2012, Sony published five Motorstorm games, seemingly setting the license up to be a PlayStation cornerstone moving forward. Then, the franchise just died. Though never reaching the heights of Need for Speed or Forza, Motorstorm is relatively consistent, with each game building on the one that came before it.

Motorstorm: Apocalypse drops players in a world that is falling apart around them, setting races amidst decrepit and crumbling buildings. Even if it is not the most precise or complex racing game on PS Plus, Apocalypse is quite the spectacle.

Metascore: N/A

twisted metal 2

Twisted Metal

$14 $40 Save $26

PlayStation Plus Premium

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
November 5, 1995

Developer(s)
Sony Interactive Studios America , SingleTrac

Even though a few PS Plus racing games takes ideas from the vehicular combat genre, they are ultimately different beasts; however, they overlap quite a bit. Many kart racers incorporate arena battle modes that basically offer the same thrills as vehicular combat games, so fans of one genre will likely get some enjoyment out of the other. When it comes to these sorts of releases, few brands are as decorated as Twisted Metal, even if Sony has spent the last decade ignoring the franchise’s existence. With Peacock’s live-action series debuting in July 2023, Sony opted to add the first two Twisted Metal games to PS Plus Premium, shining a light on an IP that has been starving for love.

The original game is a classic, but the sequel arguably improves on the formula in most ways. The arenas/maps are bigger and more interesting, while the roster of characters is also improved. The gameplay, while undoubtedly dated and clunky, is serviceable, although someone’s mileage may depend on whether they have nostalgia for the PS1 Twisted Metal games. Hopefully, these additions open the floodgates for Sony to introduce more entries to the subscription service as Black and the PS3 Twisted Metal should be on PS Plus.

MORE: The Best PS4 Games On PlayStation Plus Premium & Extra

Antonio Josse

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