Start your engines!
Best Racing Games for Android in 2020
Speed your way past the competition in these outstanding racers for Android!by Marc Lagace
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. Let's hit the road!
Check out the Best Games for Android of 2020
- GRID Autosport
- Mario Kart Tour
- Asphalt 9: Legends
- Riptide GP: Renegade
- Horizon Chase: World Tour
- Thumb Drift
- Real Racing 3
- CSR Racing
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.
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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.
GRID Autosport is a full-featured racing game for Android that features a huge roster of cars to choose from and a ton of tracks and circuits to burn rubber down. Choose from more traditional racing modes, hit the streets in drag or drift races, or smash 'em up in a demolition derby.
Mario Kart Tour
A brand new mobile Mario Kart game is going to be one of the most exciting racing games titles released on Android this year. Nintendo making this game 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.
Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart Tour lets you play some of your favorite race tracks, along with several new ones, right from your phone. There are plenty of characters, karts, and items to unlock. Compete against others from around the world to see how well you match up!
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.
Download Asphalt 9: Legends (Free w/IAPs)
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9 is one of the best racing franchises for mobile that features high-octane racing with over 50 of the world's top racing cars. There's a full career mode to enjoy with wild arcade-style racing action.
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.
Riptide GP: Renegade
Who's ready to get a little wet? Riptide GP: Renegade is a stylish wave racer that's still one of the best looking racing games on Android.
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.
Download #Drive (Free w/Ads)
This is an endless driving game where you're on the run across multiple counties. All you have to do is keep your car fueled up and avoid crashing while outrunning the police — easier said than done!
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 World Tour
Race through bright and colorful locales in Horizon Chase, a throwback racer that delivers fun arcade action with or without a controller in hand.
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, there are hours of mindless fun to be had here.
Thumb Drift is the casual, endless racer you've been waiting for.
Download Thumb Drift (free)
Featuring simple, one-thumb controls, Thumb Drift is a casual endless racing game that features over 100 cars to unlock and drift through six unique tracks.
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
Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3 is gorgeous, and the white-knuckled racing action will keep you coming back for more.
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.
There are a couple of other racing games in this franchise including CSR Racing 2 and CSR Classics, but the first is still the best in our books.
CSR Racing boils down drag racing to pure twitch reflexes. Featuring over 100 licensed cars that can all be upgraded and customized, how far will you make it on the World Tour?
What's your go-to racing game of choice? Let us know in the comments!
Updated February 2020: Added GRID Autosport to our list. Happy racing!
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