We’ve rounded up the best racing games found in the Google Play Store. With so many options to choose from, we’ve compiled a list that covers a whole slew of sub-genres — from stylized arcade racing to highly realistic racing sims — so no matter your preference, you should find an outstanding game that’s right for you.
And if you want some great games in other genres, we have our list of favorite Android games overall, too. Ready? Let’s hit the road!
GRID Autosport brings console-quality racing to Android with no compromises in terms of graphics or gameplay. The game offers some of the best-rendered graphics and textures that I’ve seen from a mobile game. The physics engine is dynamic and you’ll see real-time damage on your vehicle as you swap paint with opponents in the corners.
There are over 100 cars to drive and an equal number of tracks to race across a wide range of disciplines — from open-wheel and touring circuits to street drag races and more arcade-style demolition races. GRID Autosport also lets you choose how you want to race with scalable difficulty allowing for an easier and more arcade-style experience for casual gamers or ramped-up difficulty for fans yearning for a pure racing simulation.
While the game does offer nice flexibility for touchscreen controls, you’ll want to take advantage of the support for Bluetooth controller. It’s simply better with a physical controller, and if you need to find one for mobile gaming we’ve got you covered.
It’s unfortunate that there’s a lack of support for the NVIDIA Shield TV, since it should be perfectly suited for running a game like GRID, but them’s the breaks. GRID Autosport is a premium game but well worth the money if you’re looking for the best racing action on Android.
Mario Kart Tour
Nintendo making Mario Kart Tour free-to-play is as much a blessing as it is a curse — it means that millions of people can jump in and play without having to pay a dime, but it also means the game has been carefully designed to entice you to subscribe to a monthly Gold Pass and spend on in-app currency to unlock more characters and rewards at a quicker pace.
The gameplay itself is as frantic and chaotic as you’d expect from a Mario Kart game, and it’s easily the most fun I’ve had with a mobile racing game in some time. In most aspects, this does look and feel like a true Mario Kart experience complete with item boxes and coins scattered across each course, fun shortcuts to discover, and that familiar thrill of victory and the more familiar sting of defeat. This is, however, despite the oversimplified controls, invisible bumper rails preventing you from going off course, and other bizarre limitations that Nintendo has imposed.
In many ways, the only novel aspect of Mario Kart Tour is that it’s available to play on smartphones. There’s less courses and characters available and to unlock them all would likely require spending cash than it would take to simply buy the latest Mario Kart game for the Nintendo Switch. But again, you don’t need to spend money to enjoy Mario Kart Tour — until you start getting matched up against those players who have spent gobs of it to upgrade their drivers and karts, of course.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9: Legends is the latest entry in one of the most popular racing titles games available in the Google Play Store. It skips all pretensions of realism and provides an over-the-top, high-octane experience with all the fixings. Players can work (or pay) their way through the career mode to unlock new rides or upgrade the ones they have. You can race against online opponents in eight-car races that are wild and fast.
The controls default to “TouchDrive,” which allows you to focus on shifting lanes to hit specific jumps or routes, drifting and using nitro while the game itself handles your acceleration and steering. There are other control options available including on-screen controls and tilt-steering, but honestly, you’re best off playing with TouchDrive on to start until you get a handle on the game.
The incredibly polished graphics and outstanding soundtrack make Asphalt 9 an adrenaline trip you won’t soon forget.
Riptide GP: Renegade
Riptide GP: Renegade is the latest and greatest in futuristic jet ski racing franchise on Android. Harkening back to memories of games like Jet Moto or Wave Race 64, Riptide GP: Renegade features a story-driven career mode alongside options to run a quick race or battle against online opponents. The graphics are top-notch, with water and motion blur effects, giving the game a good sense of speed.
It uses tilt-steering to control your hydro jet, which is less than ideal, but Bluetooth gamepads are also supported and make things smoother. Speaking of controls, one key aspect of the game is pulling off insane stunts, which are easy to do with quick swipes. There’s plenty to unlock and upgrade as you play through the career mode, and the AI is top-notch, providing a real challenge compared to other racing games for Android. You’ll need a pretty good phone to handle the graphics and gameplay, and also plays wonderfully on the NVIDIA Shield Android TV box.
If you’re looking for some tips before diving in, check out our Beginner’s Guide for Riptide GP: Renegade.
This game stands out from other racing games with the way it blends a high-speed car chases with the best elements from the endless runner genre. Immediately, you are drawn in by the great art style that uses procedurally generated maps to plot out the curbside attractions and towns you must pass through on your outlaw tour. You’ll need to become a skilled driver to collect all the bottle caps as you go, which are spent on unlocking your choice of 29 uniquely cool vehicles. Completing the ambiance is your anonymous sidekick, who reminds you every time you pass a gas station and comment on every near miss.
Although endless runners are often casual games, the touch controls require your full attention with quick inputs used to drive your car through tight spots. Each car you unlock has its own speeds and handling, but you can master each one as you unlock them and race across the three terrains — deserts, snow, and jungle — each with five cities to tour through. The free version you download from the Play Store includes ads that you can watch to extend a run — or you can pay a one-time in-app purchase to remove ads and get permanent in-game bonuses.
Horizon Chase – World Tour
Horizon Chase is a fun retro-style racer with gameplay reminiscent of the classic 80s arcade racer Pole Position. Featuring bright and colorful retro graphics and over 70 tracks spanning 32 cities, there’s plenty of fun to be had here. You start each race from the back of a 20 car pack and must weave your way past your opponents to take the crown. Keep winning to upgrade and unlock up 16 available cars.
You get to play the San Francisco tracks but then must pay to unlock the full game. Given how beautiful and fun this game is, we bet you will. Horizon Chase is an ode to the arcade classics of old, from Pole Position to Outrun to Cruis’n USA. The soundtrack is just plain awesome and all of it just makes me feel like a kid again dropping in quarters or booting up my N64.
Want to race, but only have one hand free? Thumb Drift is the perfect game for you! Featuring charming graphics and a simple premise, your goal is to drift sideways through four increasingly challenging courses. With over 100 cars to buy via in-app purchases, or unlock randomly using coins collected on the track or via special tricks, there are hours of mindless fun to be had here.
Thumb Drift is the casual, endless racer you’ve been waiting for. It’s not exactly the most engaging or endearing racing game on this list, especially with how in-your-face the IAPs are, but sometimes a bit of mindless fun is worth the install. There’s really not that much else to Thumb Drift. Give it a shot if it sounds like something you’d enjoy.
Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3 is a stunning mobile racing game that is bound to keep hardcore gearheads entertained. It puts real brand-name cars on real-world tracks – hence the name — and features an interesting asynchronous multiplayer system whereby lap times are recorded from your friends, and you race against a bot that’s driving at that time.
Of course, you can bump them out and affect their track time, and there’s a single-player career worth playing through too. Over time, players earn new cars and can upgrade various mechanical bits with their winnings, but make sure you take it easy on your car — you’ll have to keep your ride in good condition to avoid repair costs.
This being an EA game, you can expect the usual slew of microtransactions on offer. including three different in-game currencies with accomplish different things. It’s a typical EA move and sours an otherwise fun racing game for me, personally.
CSR Racing is a clean-cut drag racing game. Players needn’t worry about steering — all you have to do is perfectly time your gear changes. Indicators tell when to make your next shift, and assuming your timing is up to snuff and your ride is amply upgraded, you should pull across the finish line before your opponent, and earn some winnings.
Premium currency can be used to buy high-end cars, while the standard currency can be used to buy the others, as well as upgrade specific parts such as the gearbox, engine, intake, and body.
Top Speed 2: Drag Rivals
Top Speed was a very popular racing game back in its day, but the sequel takes things up a notch. It comes standard with multiplayer, over 70 cars to unlock, plenty of customization and racing options, and a lot more. It’s a racing game that packs in a lot of what you’d expect, with the only downside being the freemium model.
You play as a disgraced cop who gets into drag racing with the mafia. Sounds pretty weird, but the story takes second place next to the high octane racing action. You have a ton of cars to choose from as you make a name for yourself and work to be the best driver in the city.
Top Speed 2 offers some good vehicular customization, but it’s not without its faults. There are plenty of in-app purchases to be found here. You’ll be asked to spend money on “refueling” (the stamina meter), lootboxes for car parts, and upgrades for your cars. It all feels pretty slimy, but the game itself is fun enough.
Motorsport Manager Mobile 3
What if, instead of being the racer, you wanted to manage the racers? Well, Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 does just that. You build up your own racing team from scratch and compete in international events to become the best. You control everything, from hiring the drivers to upgrading the cars.
Strategy is the name of the game here, with you even working to have the most efficient pitstop. You’ll need to be prepared for anything, including weather changes and crashes. It’s really quite the robust game, forcing you to see the whole picture of what goes into a given race.
With the challenge constantly evolving to meet your increasing skills, Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 (what a mouthful) promises less high octane action than some of the other games on this list, instead offering an excellent experience that makes you excited to manage a racing team.
Grand Prix Story
Source: Google Play Store
Grand Prix Story is another racing sim, though quite different in function and form from Motorsport Manager Mobile 3. This pixel art adventure is more cutesy and fun — much less serious than MMM3. You’re still in charge of a racing team instead of being a singular driver, but some of you might prefer that. If so, read on.
Realism isn’t what’s important here; it’s about having a fun time with a great art style. Since you’re the manager, it’s up to you to recruit and train drivers, build sponsorship deals, and ensure that your team wins as much as possible. Build new cars and parts to ensure you succeed.
Grand Prix Story is a one-time purchase with no ads or microtransactions. It’s just a wholesome, quirky, and fun experience that puts you in the manager’s chair.
Another incredibly enjoyable game that’s 100% free with no nonsense. Data Wing is a racing adventure through pure neon style. The visual styling is striking for sure and I love every minute I’ve spent with Data Wing. The touch controls are absolutely on point and incredibly sharp, the levels look amazing, and it’s got a good skill ceiling.
There’s a fun story behind Data Wing, a bit like the original Tron in some ways. You’ll probably finish it pretty quick, but it’s really fun to go back and do it all over again. There’s high replay value here. That soundtrack is pretty great, too.
I love everything about Data Wing and it lacks the downsides and caveats I usually have to note. This is free with no ads or IAPs to be had.
Beach Buggy Racing 2
Beach Buggy Racing 2 is a bit like classic Mario Kart or Diddy Kong Racing (who remembers that??). It’s a cart racer with power-ups and intense competition through wacky environs as you race to the top. But there’s a bit more content here to enjoy and work toward than the classic style of game.
Not only can you collect cars and drivers — and there’s a lot there, for sure — but you can level up your power-ups, which there are plenty to choose from. There are a lot of game modes, including an online competitive multiplayer, and so you’ll have more than enough to do.
Beach Buggy Racing 2 is a fun racing experience and very evocative of the classics I mentioned above. Though it’s free-to-play, it’s not super invasive with its monetization and since the game is so much fun, I don’t feel bad about supporting the developer. You’re really just paying to speed up in-game progress.
Nitro Nation Drag & Shift
It’s hard to believe that I hadn’t heard of Nitro Nation Drag & Shift before, especially given it’s ridiculous name, because it’s apparently very popular. So I decided to give it a go and knew almost immediately that it needed to be here in this list, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t usually like racing games.
Because, despite some in-app purchases, Nitro Nation, as it will be henceforth called, strays away from the usual freemium pitfalls we see with these types of games (some of which are in this list, go figure). It’s just an honest to goodness racing game full of drag racing goodness, with IAPs for high-profile cars and in-game currency.
There’s an absolute ton to do in Nitro Nation, lots of cars to aspire for, tuning, cosmetics to unlock, and just a bunch. It’s almost overwhelming. And without the usual nonsense of energy systems, wait times for upgrades, or anything like that, you can focus on enjoying the experience the game has to offer. I think you’ll really like this one.
Dirt Trackin 2
Dirt Trackin 2 is the sequel to the excellent Dirt Trackin (of course). It may not be quite the looker like some of the other games on this list, but it has a solid gameplay foundation, some variety, and races versus AI and other players. Plus, it has simple yet tight controls, which is all you can ask for in any racing game.
There’s plenty of customization, five car models to choose from, a career mode, and PvP. You also have time trials and some other modes to play. This is a fun game to play to kill some time.
Hill Climb Racing 2
A free-to-play, freemium game like others here, Hill Climb Racing 2 nonetheless presents a fun time racing. It’s got a lot of vehicles to unlock, upgrades to purchase, customization for both vehicles and characters, and a few different game modes (like offline Adventure and Arcade).
As you might have guessed by the name, the game is all about climbing and descending hills as you race others. It’s a simple game, but a lot of fun. I suggest checking it out if you like more whimsical racing games because you won’t find much realism here.
Rally Fury: Extreme Racing
Rally Fury: Extreme Racing tends to get forgotten thanks to its more ostentatious cousins, like GRID Autosport and CSR Racing. But if you’ve already played the other titans of the mobile racing genre, then this lowkey racer is a great choice for racing game enthusiasts.
Rally Fury is a pretty straightforward racer, with a nice level of nuance to keep the gameplay interesting. Using either touch screen or motion controls, you’ll need to hone your steering, drifting, and boosting to win. Rally Fury has been kicking around for a while, so it doesn’t lean into the one-touch racing concept, which is a tick in the pro column in my book. The touch screen controls are simple and intuitive, but if you’re like me then you may need some practice to be able to do well.
In spite of its age, Rally Fury got yet another update earlier this spring, so by now, the game features a good variety of tracks, an upbeat soundtrack, and killer audio effects to create an immersive environment. It probably shouldn’t be a goal, but it is at least kind of fun to crash into trees and have your entire screen virtually crack to show just how badly you did.
There aren’t many negatives to Rally Fury, but I will say that customization is a little lackluster and there aren’t that many cars to unlock compared to other modern racers. Rally Fury does contain in-app purchases, but honestly, I can’t imagine how you would feel like you needed them. Just by racing and playing the game normally, you can earn a lot of cash to purchase and upgrade your cars without spending real money.
The premium, ad-free version is one whole dollar, but you can play the base version of Rally Fury for free and get just as good of an experience out of it!
Project Offroad 20
Maybe drag races have finally lost their thrill. Maybe you’re tired of circling the same tracks over and over again. Or perhaps these newfangled one-touch racing games have got you down in the dumps. If that’s the case, then give Project Offroad 20 a shot!
With it’s dated environmental graphics, Project Offroad 20 may not excel in the visual department, but it makes up for its shortcomings with an array of options and challenges that you don’t find in your everday mobile racer. There’s automotive rock climbing, realistic mud and water physics, a fuel system to keep your eye on, track and hill climbing modes, and more to keep you engaged and interested. To top that off, the customization and vehicle tuning systems add an extra layer of depth, as each change you make to your vehicle will change the way it drives.
The mobile racer genre is flooded with options, and many of them are just more of the same time and time again. When you’re bored of the same old humdrum, give Project Offroad 20 a look and see if it sparks joy.
Update June 2021: Added Project Offroad 20 to our list!
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