Just like the first Xbox, the Xbox 360 has a great lineup of racing games and a controller perfectly crafted for the genre. We list our picks for the Top 10 Xbox 360 Racing Games right here.
Forza 4 isn't just a new coat of (ridiculously gorgeous) paint. It is an overhaul of the handling and overall gameplay as well as the way the career mode has worked in the series. New community features like car clubs and rivals races add a fun competitive feel, and new race types give it much more variety. Plus it looks really, really pretty now with a new lighting model. Forza 4 is the best racing game of the current generation.
PGR4 takes everything that was great about previous entries in the series and improves it. It looks better, has a far better car list, has a better career mode, and just plain has more stuff to do. The gameplay is as sharp as ever as well. Project Gotham Racing 4 is a solid racing game that Xbox 360 owners will be proud to have in their collection.
DiRT 3 takes the series back to its roots. The wild X-Games attitude of DiRT 2 has been greatly toned down and a focus on real traditional rally racing has returned. The gameplay is spectacularly good, as always, and the presentation is absolutely gorgeous. The new gymkhana mode is also very interesting as well (we liked it). Best rally racer on Xbox 360, without a doubt.
Just like it revitalized the Colin McRae Rally series with DIRT, Codemasters has tweaked and tuned the Pro Race Driver series into GRID and turned an enjoyable but niche series into one of the best racers on the market. It straddles the line between simulation and arcade to produce a racer that rewards you for driving correctly, but also doesn’t penalize you if you want to break the wheels loose and throw the car around corners. GRID is just plain fun.
Codemasters' first F1 game with F1 2010 was solid but flawed in many key areas. F1 2011, on the other hand, fixes all of those glitches and issues, greatly improves the presentation, and balanced the game a little differently to make it more accessible (optional, it can still be a hardcore sim if you want) and the result is an absolutely fantastic Formula 1 racing game.
EA and Criterion have finally delivered the first true next-gen Burnout, and the results are pretty impressive for the most part. The game maintains the blazingly fast racing, slick visuals, and bone shattering crashes of the past, but adds in a few new bells and whistles to keep the series fresh. Not all of the changes were for the better, however, but even with a few lackluster race modes, Burnout Paradise is still an excellent racing game overall that is worth a look.
Split/Second takes the best parts of kart racers, Burnout, and Project Gotham and mashes them into one game with fairly spectacular results. This is a game about blowing stuff up to not only crash your opponents, but dramatically alter the layout of the entire course. It isn't particularly deep, but when everything clicks together it is amazingly satisfying and fun.
Criterion's take on Need for Speed: Most Wanted is easily the best Need for Speed title in years. The graphics are fantastic and the fresh take on open world racing - where cars are scattered around the city and you just have to find them to use them - is fantastic. The gameplay takes some getting used to, but the end result is pretty darn fun overall. It also uses Kinect voice commands surprisingly well, which is a nice bonus.
Not a traditional racing game like the other games on this list, Driver: San Francisco is a sort of cinematic driving action game that lets you live out your movie police chase fantasies. It isn't a shooter or action game, since you only ever drive and don't have to do all of that other open world junk that has plagued the series for more than a decade now. It is a pure driving game with great presentation, awesome handling cars that are just the right balance between realistic and Hollywood, and a ton of content to play through. Driver: San Francisco is awesome.
Forza Horizon is an open world racer that uses Forza's award winning physics and presentation in a more arcade-style gameplay setting. This isn't a hardcore simulation like Forza 4. This is a more laid back affair where you explore and race on and offroad, day or night, through the back country of Colorado. It plays really exceptionally well and looks gorgeous to boot.