2022 has been an exceptional year for racing games so far. Gran Turismo 7 is a glorious return to form, despite a few issues at launch. F1 22 also introduces driveable supercars and redesigned F1 cars with radically different handling.
If you prefer accessible arcade racers, GRID Legends is criminally underrated. It revolutionises storytelling in racing games and was unfairly overshadowed by GT7.
We’ve also had some superb indie racers this year. Slipstream is a sublime homage to old-school arcade racers, while the absurdly fast Redout 2 is probably the closest we’ll get to a new WipEout game.
That said, some of our most anticipated racing games have been pushed back to 2023. Originally planned for a September release this year, Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is delayed until sometime in 2023.
Forza Motorsport was expected to arrive on Xbox Series X later this year, but Microsoft confirmed it’s coming in spring 2023. The long-awaited official British Touring Car Championship game is also delayed to 2024.
Don’t despair, though. From F1 Manager 2022 to WRC Generations, there are plenty of new racing games still to come in the second half of 2022 to get excited about.
Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels
Formats: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Release date: 19 July
Forza Horizon 3’s Hot Wheels expansion was so popular that Playground Games is revisiting the world of Hot Wheels in Forza Horizon 5’s first expansion.
This time, the Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels expansion will introduce gravity-defying magnet stunt tracks as well as ice tracks and even water slides. Ten new cars will arrive in the expansion including four new Hot Wheels scaled up to life size.
With the core game starting to get stale, we’re hoping the Hot Wheels expansion will reinvigorate Forza Horizon 5, adding new content to a game that sorely needs it.
Turbo Golf Racing
Formats: PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Release date: 4 August
What if Rocket League was a golf game? That’s the basic idea behind Turbo Golf Racing, a new arcade sports racer in development by Hugecalf Studios. Combining turbocharged cars with crazy golf, up to eight players drive, jump, and flip cars and slam into a giant ball, with the aim to be the first to knock the ball into the last hole.
Powerups known as power cores also encourage tactical play, giving players special abilities such as boosting, hitting the ball further, and fly faster. It looks like a lot of fun and if the balancing is done right, this could be the best sports driving game since Rocket League.
Turbo Golf Racing tees off on Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview this August.
F1 Manager 2022
Formats: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Release date: 31 August
A new era of F1 management games is about to begin. Arriving in August, F1 Manager 2022 is one of the most exciting games in years for F1 fans. Whereas Codemasters’ F1 games put you in the driving seat, F1 Manager 2022 puts you in the shoes of a Team Principal.
From managing budgets and hiring drivers to planning pit strategies and developing new car parts, every decision you make affects your team’s performance and morale.
With a comprehensive suite of management options, thrilling real-time races, and authentic broadcast-style presentation immersing you into the world of Formula 1, F1 Manager 2022 could set a new benchmark for motorsport management games.
Formats: PC, iOS
Release date: 8 September
A sequel to the popular mobile racer CarX Drift Racing 2, the CarX racing series is making a comeback with CarX Street. This time, the series is going open world. A huge map has you racing and drifting on busy streets, twisty mountain roads, and coastal highways. Tuning options will also be expanded, with parts that degrade over time – something you don’t see in racing games often.
With a focus on street racing and car customisation, CarX Street looks like a modern spiritual successor to Midnight Club and Need for Speed Underground. After being delayed for almost a year, CarX Street is sliding onto Steam and iOS this September.
Formats: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Release date: 15 September
After a ten-year absence, the SBK game series returns in September. SBK 22 is developed by Milestone, the Italian studio behind the MotoGP, MXGP, and Monster Energy Supercross games.
The first officially licensed SBK game since SBK Generations in 2012, SBK 22 will feature all the riders, teams, and tracks of the 2022 Superbike World Championship.
Career mode will see you manage staff from your Personal Manager to your Chief Engineer and upgrade your bike, while the AI learning system replicates the performance and riding styles of the real riders.
While it looks eerily similar to MotoGP 22, the bikes in SBK 22 will feel noticeably different as they are based on production models modified for racing in contrast to MotoGP’s purpose-built racing machines.
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Release date: 13 October
Kylotonn’s WRC game series has improved leaps and bounds since WRC 5, the French studio’s first effort in 2015. This year marks the end of an era, however, because WRC Generations is Kylotonn’s final WRC game before Codemasters takes the reins of the official rally series next year.
Representing a new era of rallying, the 2022 season Rally1 cars are debuting in WRC Generations. Thanks to their hybrid powertrains combining a 1.6-litre turbo engine and a 100kW motor producing over 500 hp, these new rally cars are significantly more powerful and will be a handful to drive.
There’s a new element of strategy too, as you’ll need to optimise the electrical power and battery to set the fastest stage times. We can’t wait to take them for a spin.
With 22 locations, 165 special stages, 37 historic rally cars, and an expanded career mode, WRC Generations promises to be the most complete rally game yet, ending the series on a high.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release date: October
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway takes us back to a time when mascot kart racers were all the rage. Characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are set to return in the latest Nickelodeon Kart Racer. This time, every character is voice-acted to give them some much-needed personality that was lacking in the first two games.
The 36 tracks are inspired by Nickelodeon shows, with some featuring water sections where your kart or bike transforms into a watercraft like in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3 could be a fun if unoriginal kart racer – just don’t expect it to knock Mario Kart off the podium.
Need for Speed 2022
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Release date: TBA November
EA still hasn’t announced the sequel to Need for Speed Heat, currently in development by Criterion Games and Codemasters Cheshire. But we know it’s coming. EA has confirmed the next Need for Speed game will launch between 1 October and 31 December this year.
Latest rumours suggest the new Need for Speed game will be set in a fictional city called Lake Shore City inspired by Chicago and combine realistic graphics with anime elements. There’s no official release date yet, but it’s expected to arrive in November as a current-gen exclusive for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S along with PC.
With Criterion Games back in the driving seat, we’re hoping Need for Speed 2022 will put the series back on track.
Stuntfest – World Tour
Release date: TBA late 2022
Stuntfest – World Tour looks like a cross between Wreckfest, Destruction AllStars, and FlatOut, with its mix of racing, crashing, and over-the-top stunts.
As well as traditional demolition derbies, Stuntfest lets you eject your hapless driver out of the car, fly through the air, and find shortcuts to gain an advantage. The ragdoll physics reminds us of the stunt minigames in FlatOut.
Developed by Pow Wow Entertainment, Stuntfest is smashing onto Steam Early Access later this year.
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC
Release date: TBA
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3 isn’t the only new family-friendly kart racing game launching this year. Developed by Gameloft (the maker of the popular mobile racer Asphalt), Disney Speedstorm is free-to-play kart racer starring an eclectic cast of Disney and Pixar characters including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Mulan, Sully, Captain Jack Sparrow, and more.
Each character has their own unique ability and tracks will be set in the worlds of Pirates of the Caribbean, Monster Inc, and Jungle Book among others.
Considering it has the Disney license, is free-to-play, and is launching on a wide variety of platforms, this could be a popular Mario Kart alternative when it arrives later this year.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBA
KartRider Drift is yet another free-to-play kart racer that has Mario Kart in its sights. On the surface, it looks like a typical Mario Kart clone with colourful visuals, crazy powerups, and cutesy characters. Hopefully, the deep character and vehicle customisation system will help set this kart racer apart.
Originally announced in 2019 as a timed Xbox exclusive, KartRider Drift is speeding onto PS4, Xbox One, and PC later this year following last year’s closed beta.
Dakar Desert Rally
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBA
Dakar Desert Rally was announced last December as a sequel to Dakar 18 with over 30 stages and a vast open-world environment. Based on the demanding Dakar Rally, you’ll be navigating through treacherous terrain from thick mud to steep desert dunes. Adding to the challenge is a dynamic weather system featuring sandstorms, rain, and a full day and night cycle.
Worryingly, there have been no updates since the game’s announcement, but Dakar Desert Racing game is still on track for a 2022 release.
Victory Heat Rally
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
Release date: TBA
From Horizon Chase Turbo to Hotshot Racing, there’s been a slew of retro-inspired indie racers. Victory Heat Rally’s stylish visuals and breakneck pace attempt to recapture the glory days of old sprite scale racers like OutRun. The car designs remind us of the forgotten Choro Q series, also known as Penny Racers outside of Japan.
Following a successful Kickstarter funding campaign, Victory Heat Rally is screeching onto PC and Nintendo Switch later this year.