Sure, we all like a race, but car games don’t have to be about winning alone. That’s why, in this list, we’re not focusing on pure simulation. We’re focusing on cars. All the games featured in this list feature cars, and offer you countless wacky things to do with them, from wild stunts to zany customisation.
There are so many car games out there, that it can be hard to narrow it down. People who like cars really like cars, and often go straight for the big simulations. But if you’re looking for something more playful, full of cars not constrained by the laws of reality. These are games that include cars in clever and imaginative ways.
So, what are you waiting for? Get reading and see all the car games out there. There are a lot, be warned. If you want some straight-up speed, we can help there too. Our guide to the best Switch racing games has all the big screen speed you need, or our guide to the best racing games on mobile gets you that thrill in a tiny little form factor.
Anyway, let’s get on with it.
Car games on Switch and mobile
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered – Switch
Released in 2010, Criterion Games developed and EA published Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. It combines the gearheads’ love of exotic cars with hyper-fast police chases. The trick here is, though, that you can be the chaser or the chasee. Want to be a cop? Go ahead, but be warned, I will judge you. If not, go hop in a Lamborghini and give those pigs a run for their money. And the Switch version is the remastered version, meaning it looks much better than the original.
Art of Rally – Switch
Art of Rally is a chill, gorgeous love letter to rallying. The developer Funselektor clearly has a deep love of gaming, having made Absolute Drift previously, but they always put a different spin on car games. With an obsession with the idea of flow, Art of Rally is about enjoying the ride, the pretty procedurally generated tracks, and getting into a groove nailing your racing line through every corner. This, combined with its ace soundtrack and hilarious car names (to get around licensing), Art of Rally is a novel take on the art of rallying.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Switch
Well, of course this is here. Have you played Mario Kart 8? The likelihood is you have, as the game has sold gangbusters. If you haven’t, however, it’s an easy recommendation. Kart racers have a long and legendary history, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe perfects that. Not only is there a bevvy of kart customisation, a massive roster of characters, and great, tricksy racing, but there’s also a whole heap of extra tracks on the way to make the game even better.
Burnout Paradise Remastered – Switch
Another classic remastered and put on Switch, Burnout Paradise was a groundbreaking open-world spin on car games back when it was released in 2008. Full of over-the-top crashes and high-speed action, the game puts you in fast cars and sends you racing around the city, picking up different challenges as and when you want to. In-game, there are a load of cars, lots of customisation, and endless fun for any car fanatic.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled – Switch
Another top-tier car racer, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled did something I never thought could happen – it made me like a Crash Bandicoot game. I do not like those games. Not one bit. My dislike for them makes me sceptical of anything Crash-adjacent. So I went into this game ready to hate. And guess what? I came out having a good time! That means it must have done something right.
Editors note: Ruby wants everyone to know that Pocket Tactics does not echo this sentiment, we all love Crash Bandicoot, but this is Ben’s list so he can say what he wants.
Hot Wheels Unleashed – Switch
Hot Wheels Unleashed set a new standard for what toys could look like in videogames. It may have just been bested by Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, but it’s still a close second. So, not only does it look beautiful, but the gameplay is excellent. Take a cavalcade of Hot Wheels classics and watch them loop around and drift through the wildest tracks. It’s the dream toy car game, letting you do what you’ve always wanted to with those little plastic things on wheels.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit – Switch
Okay, there are a lot of games with cars in them, but how many games have cars with them. This may be the only one. Nintendo, in all their classic outside-the-box imagination, thought up a wild one with Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. What this game does is turn your Switch into a controller for the RC Mario kart, lets you build tracks around your house, and then zoom through them via the camera on the kart, all without looking away from your Switch. Check out our Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit review to see what we thought.
Urban Flow – Switch
Urban Flow puts you in the shoes of a traffic light operator. (I don’t actually know if that’s a job, but let’s assume it is). With various tricky junctions and many, many cars trying to pass through, you need to guide them all without anyone crashing. It is a noble aim, trying to not let people die. And it gets incredibly difficult in the later levels. Good luck!
Mini Motorways – Switch and mobile
Another game all about flow, Mini Motorways is a puzzle game that doubles up as an easy-mode city-planning excursion. You have houses on a gorgeously simplistic map, and have to build roads to connect all of them up in the most efficient way possible. All of this, along with the chill-as-heck music creates a great space to hang out and get people connected.
Motorsport Manager – Switch and mobile
For any spreadsheet fans out there, Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 is an absolute dream. Build up a team from scratch, hire drivers and mechanics, decide what aspects of the car development to focus on, and get out there and win some races. It is a surprisingly deep simulation for a mobile title, and sure to get any motorhead’s motorsport metre way into the red. Oh, and there’s also a version made specifically for the Nintendo Switch if you fancy that.
Okay, is that enough car games for you? It better be, because you’re not having any more. Nope, it’s bedtime, no more games. Stop it, you. Off you go. No, don’t answer back, go on, upstairs, off you go. Ugh alright… just one more, pick from my best open-world games list and then after that it’s definitely bedtime. I mean it.