The Xbox 360 is one of the world’s most popular gaming consoles of all time. Since its original release in 2006, the Xbox 360 has gone through nearly half a dozen different models, over 90 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold, and the Xbox 360 boasts over 1200 fully featured games, over dozens of genres.
Driving and racing games, in particular, have had great success on the Xbox 360, with franchises such as Forza, Burnout, Need for Speed, GRID, and Project Gotham releasing multiple games for the console. So if you’ve got an Xbox 360, and you’re looking for a great driving game, you’re in luck. We’ll go over some of the best racing games for Xbox 360, and give you some recommendations and suggestions about which driving games might be right for you.
Top 10 Racing Games for Xbox 360 Table
Here are a few tips to help you narrow down the choices to find the perfect racing game.
Game Type: Open-World or Track-Based
- Open World. Racing games feature seamless integration of racing within a larger world. Games such as Burnout Paradise, PURE, and Need for Speed Carbon feature open world gameplay designs. These games give you a chance to do more than just race, letting you explore the world and often partake in challenges beyond racing. These games are usually less realistic than track-based racing simulators, and feature more customization and exploration.
- Track-Based. Racing games don’t feature an open world – rather, you’ll be placed on a set track and race your opponents, AI or human. Games like F1 2011, DIRT 2, and Forza Motorsport are in this category. Track-based games generally are more realistic and “simulator” based than open world games, as the stricter design and smaller area allow higher levels of physics simulation and deeper gameplay.
Arcade or Simulator
- Arcade-Style. Racing games usually aren’t very realistic – but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun. In these sorts of games, racing damage isn’t usually a factor, and physics is optional – you can pull crazy stunts and do tons of fun stuff without worrying about damaging your car or destroying it. These sorts of games are lots of fun, especially if they support local multiplayer.
- Simulation-Style. Racing games are more realistic, incorporating real-world physics and body damage to increase the sense of realism – if you crash too much, or pull a wicked stunt that your car can’t handle, you could destroy your car in the game, and lose a race. These games are better for a deeper, single player experience if you’re trying to simulate real-world racing styles.
Type of Vehicles and Environment
Racing games are extremely diverse – even among games that focus on driving cars, there are tons of different vehicles. In games such as F1 2011, you’ll be driving high performance Formula 1 cars, whereas in Need for Speed, you’ll drive more conventional street cars, and in a game like DIRT 2, you’ll drive rally cars off-road.
You can even find driving games focused exclusively on non-car racing, like PURE or MX vs ATV, which feature ATVs, dirt bikes, and other off-road vehicles, or “kart-based” racers which are inspired by Mario Kart’s arcade gameplay, and focus on local multiplayer with powerups and other fun twists.
Most of the time, the best choice for you depends on what kinds of vehicles you want to drive, and what environments you’d like to drive them in.
Top 3 Best Racing Games for Xbox 360 Reviews
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is a “kart-style” racing game focused on fun, frenetic gameplay, especially when played locally with friends. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a fun, simple game with plenty of unique tracks, characters, and vehicles to drive, and want some fast-paced action that’s a blast to play by yourself, or with your friends.
The Career Mode in the game is quite extensive too, involving not only standard races, but also drifting challenges, and special modes like maneuvering around traffic, and “Tank Attack” mode where you have to chase and destroy a huge tank with powerups. By completing these modes at various levels of difficulty, you can unlock bonus tracks and characters.
There is a 4-player local multiplayer included so that you can play with your friends, as well as a fully-functioning online mode allowing you to take your skills to players across the world.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is great for all ages, and it’s a blast to play with friends, especially split-screen, for a classic “kart racer” experience, and it’s one of the best racing games for Xbox 360.
Forza Motorsport 4 is a comprehensive, realistic racing simulator, with heavy emphasis on making all cars included in the game look, sound, and drive realistically.
Forza Motorsport 4 even makes use of the Kinect feature, if you have it, allowing you to move your head to look within the first-person cockpit view in the car, to check out approaching turns and look at nearby cars.
Forza 4 also features an enhanced career mode, featuring a huge variety of different events and races all within the closed-track racing courses, including drifting modes, autocross, bumper-to-bumper races, and more. These races take place in real-world cities and tracks across the world, allowing you a true global experience.
In addition, Forza 4 poses a very tough challenge for experienced racers, as the difficulty in the Career Mode adapts to your personal skill level, increasing the modifications, difficulty, and aggressiveness of the AI controller competitors. Forza 4 also features 16-player online races, as well as 2-player local split screen, so whether you want to face off online or with a friend, you can have a great racing experience.
Driver: San Francisco is a great example of an open-world racing game. In this game, the player has the ability to warp between any car on the road, and begin missions at will. The player can also drive around as they wish and explore the game area, which is made up of over 208 miles of roads, based off of the real-life roads of San Francisco. It features an arcade-style driving experience, with speed boosts and less realistic handling than a simulator game such as Forza 4.
The main Driver: San Francisco game features a complex, story-based plot that takes place across a variety of different missions, game modes, and areas within the open-world setting, and Driver: San Francisco introduces local and online multiplayer for the first time in the series’ history, containing over 19 different game modes, and playable with up to 4 players locally, and online races available if you’re looking to take your skills to the net.
Featuring a deep and interesting story, great gameplay, and a ton of multiplayer options, Driver: San Francisco is a great game if you’re interested in something different from both realistic racing simulators, and more casual, arcade-style kart racing games, and not only is it a super unique gameplay experience, it’s one of the best racing games for Xbox 360.