Switch-Ing Gears: 20 Best Racing Games on Switch

Mobile Games

Wanting to feel the dirt between your rims? How about going out for a high-octane lap in a Ferrari? Or maybe a Mad Max-style fighting race? Either way, the Nintendo Switch has exactly what you need with over 300 racing titles available on the Nintendo Game Store alone. Below is our list of the best racing games on Switch.

Also read: The 21 Must-Play Racing Games on Mobile

 

The Best Racing Games on Switch in 2021

Racing games have always been part and parcel of every gaming platform and the Nintendo Switch is no exception. Starting with Fast RMX as a launch title, the Switch has only steadily gained more games since its 2017 release. We’re making this an unordered list due to the variety of vehicles in the racing genre with motorbikes, cars, and even monster trucks going on- and off-road. There’s also an ESRB rating per game to help parents decide if the games are good Switch games for kids.

 

1. Star Wars Episode I Racer

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $14.99

A fan favorite when it originally released to PCs and Nintendo 64 in 1999, pod-racing is back! Remastered for the Switch, the game still features the planets and characters from the Star Wars franchise. The game includes 25 playable racers including Anakin Skywalker, Ratts Tyerell, Sebulba, and Ebe E. Endocott, Esquire. It also has upgraded graphics for all eight racing worlds like Tatooine, Malastare, and Ando Prime. This version isn’t just a graphics upgrade though as it now allows players to drive using motion control.

Star Wars Episode I Racer on the Nintendo Game Store

 

2. WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $49.99

WRC 9 is the official video game for the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship season. It has 14 rally locations with several tracks like those used for the XION Rally Argentina, Rally Japan, Rally Guanajuato Mexico, and Rally New Zealand. Aside from this, there are also crews from the WRC, WRC-2, WRC-3, and J-WRC categories to play as. You can also access the online Clubs System. The system lets friends create and compete in online championships over the internet. Driving on asphalt, on concrete, and off-road, WRC 9 is one of the definitive best racing games on Switch.

WRC 9 on the Nintendo Game Store

 

3. Monster Truck Championship

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $39.99

Who wouldn’t want to drive around in gigantic five-ton trucks? Monster Truck Championship features more than 10 of these behemoths to choose from. This game is close to a full-fledged driving simulation due to its physics and collision handling. It also features 25 playable arenas and three playing leagues. You could also link up and play with seven others in online mode.

Monster Truck Championship on the Nintendo Game Store

 

4. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered

ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Price: $39.99

Ready for another ride in Seacrest? This title is another remaster of a beloved franchise. Hot Pursuit has been upgraded with modern visuals but retains the same gameplay and experience. This version features all previous downloadable content (DLC) and cross-platform online multiplayer. Hot Pursuit’s main draw in the Need for Speed series is still the chance to play from the other side of the fence. Use your supercharged police cars to chase down rogue racers and use tactical weaponry to bring them to justice.

Hot Pursuit Remastered on the Nintendo Game Store

Want it on mobile? A version of Need for Speed is also on our list of 21 must-play racing games for mobile.

 

5. Burnout Paradise: Remastered

ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Price: $29.99

Burnout Paradise comes from Criterion Games, the same creators as Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Featuring a destructible wide-open world, upgraded graphics, and all eight DLC packs, this game lets players race and destroy Paradise City. The game has more than 130 vehicles available for you and your friends to literally wreck the town with.

Burnout Paradise: Remastered on the Nintendo Game Store

 

6. GRID Autosport

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $34.99

A competitor to the PlayStation-only Gran Turismo series, GRID brings the detail of racing simulation to the Switch. Focusing on pure racing, the game has done a good job of modeling each car and track to feel like the real thing. It features 22 locations including the Circuit of the Americas, Mount Panorama, and the Indianapolis Speedway. The game also has over 100 cars separated into touring, endurance, open-wheel, tuner, and street modes.

GRID Autosport on the Nintendo Game Store

 

7. MotoGP 21

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $39.99

MotoGP 21 is the motorcycle equivalent to GRID Autosport. It features most of the official line-up of the 2021 seasons’ MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 classes. The game has over 120 riders and more than 20 rideable tracks. You can choose from three game modes. The Quick mode has Time Trials, Grand Prix, and Championship while the Career mode has you manage your team including rider customization, factory proposals, and calendar events. The last is an online Multiplayer mode.

MotoGP 21 on the Nintendo Game Store

 

8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $59.99

Currently considered the best racing game on Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an upgraded port from the Wii U. As the title suggests, the game features Mario characters duking it out through a friendly game of go-karts. The game lets players pick up weapons and use them along the way to disrupt their opponents or boost their own rides. It has all the previous DLC and new characters like Bowser Jr. and King Boo. The upgrade also brings over 40 playable characters and 48 race tracks. Although it was released in 2017, the game still has a competitive online scene with regional and worldwide servers available.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Game Store

 

9. Horizon Chase Turbo

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $19.99

A blast from the 16-bit past, Horizon Chase Turbo is a tribute to 80s and 90s arcade racers. Similar to Top Gun, Pole Position, and Virtua Racing, this game feels and plays like the classics with a few modern conveniences. Horizon Chase has split-screen multiplayer available for World Tour, Endurance, Tournament, and Playground modes.

Horizon Chase Turbo on the Nintendo Game Store

 

10. GRIP Combat Racing

ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Price: $39.99

Another game with two-player split-screen gameplay, GRIP is a mix of classic arcade and Mario Kart elements. True to its name, GRIP features 30 four-wheeled vehicles that grip most surfaces. This mechanic lets players go on physics-defying “carkour” runs. It also features 10-player online gameplay, nine power-up pickups, and five battle maps.

GRIP Combat Racing on the Nintendo Game Store

 

11. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $99.99 for the Mario Set and $99.99 for the Luigi Set.

Live: Home Circuit is an improvement to the Mario Kart idea by bringing it into the home. Similar to Super Mario Maker, the game uses augmented reality to turn your house into a racetrack. Attached to a radio-controlled “kart” with a camera, the game lets you set up a full track inside your home. The game supports up to four players, but players can also race against the AI. A little different from other titles on this list, this game requires a set of accessories to work. The Mario Set comes with a complete goal post, four radio-controlled cars, and checkpoints.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Mario Set on the Nintendo Game Store

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Luigi Set on the Nintendo Game Store

 

12. MX vs ATV All Out

ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Price: $39.99

MX vs ATV All Out focuses on motocross (MX) and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) racing. The game can host up to eight players in a Multiplayer Mode. It also has a traditional racing mode, in addition to other modes like Supercross, Opencross, Waypoint, and Tag. You can do tricks on dunes, go up mountains, or just explore the open world in a true off-road experience.

MX vs ATV All Out on the Nintendo Game Store

 

13. Gear Club Unlimited 2

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $39.99

Gear Club Unlimited is another traditional game focused purely on racing. The game has over 250 race tracks and 51 brand-name cars giving it infinite replayability.  It also has local multiplayer through a four-way split-screen. A Club mode is also available with traditional worldwide multiplayer leader boards. The game also has several DLCs available from $1.99 to $14.99.

Gear Club Unlimited 2 on the Nintendo Game Store

 

14. Road Redemption

ESRB Rating: Mature 17+
Price: $19.99

Another shining candidate on our list of the best racing games for Switch, this entry is a spiritual successor to the Road Rash series of games. It continues the series’ unique genre of motorcycle racing and combat. The game introduces modern graphics, a motorcycle fighting system, and an expandable skill tree of permanent player upgrades. Players can upgrade and expand their arsenal of motorcycles and weapons or increase their lethality. This combination helps you during the time attack races or character elimination missions. The game also features local two-player split-screen and online multiplayer.

Road Redemption on the Nintendo Game Store

 

15. SnowRunner

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $39.99

SnowRunner has a different mechanic compared with other Switch racing games. It challenges players to complete contracts and missions over the toughest terrain and weather imaginable instead. The game has an advanced physics engine with 40 fully modeled vehicles ready to be driven. You’re able to go off-road to climb the worst peaks or drudge through the wettest mud in an expansive interconnected world. It also features four-player co-op modes.

SnowRunner on the Nintendo Game Store

 

16. Redout

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $39.99

Redout is another high-speed racing game, but this time, with a futuristic twist. Set in 2560, you’re selected as the pilot of one of the anti-gravity vehicles for the quickly growing Solar Redout Racing League. You’re able to join seven teams with four different ships each. Each ship is highly customizable with upgrades and power-ups to six base stats. While it’s called a ship, gameplay handling is closer to airplane movement than cars or ships. The game itself has five race tracks and multiplayer lobbies of up to 12 players.

Redout on the Nintendo Game Store

 

17. Team Sonic Racing

ESRB Rating: Teen
Price: $29.99 on Switch and $4.99 monthly as part of the Apple Arcade Service

Similar to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Team Sonic Racing is another go-kart-like racing game. Its main difference, however, is in cooperative gameplay. The game works on a team play system that encourages teammates to help each other during the races. An obvious example of this mechanic is the golden slipstream the team “leader” leaves behind that lets lagging teammates boost their speed. The game also has power-ups and projectile pick-ups that a team can pass between them. Sonic Racing has an iOS port on the App Store as part of the Apple Arcade Service.

Team Sonic Racing on the Nintendo Game Store

Team Sonic Racing on the Apple App Store

 

18. Rise: Race to the Future

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $9.89

Rise is another arcade-type racing game on the Switch. Set in the future, the game has beautifully detailed car models that can drive and drift on the water. Vehicle handling is somewhere between racing simulators and arcade games, only highlighted by a moderately accurate physics system. Cars feel like they’re on dirt or asphalt when you drive over them. The game also has several features like two-player mode, 10 different car models, three-speed boost modes, and almost 25 miles of track.

Rise: Race to the Future on the Nintendo Game Store

 

19. Riptide GP Renegade

ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Price: $9.99 for Switch and $2.99 on Google Play Store and on the App Store.

Renegade is the only water-based racing game on this list. Water vehicles are some of the rarer vehicles to grace racing games, but in this game, you race on hydrojets. Similar to an up-powered jet ski, your character illegally flies on them through city waterways and sprawling factories. The game features a Career Mode, which tells your character’s fall from the top of the Riptide GP League and your attempts to regain that height.  Renegade also has four-player local split-screen and online multiplayer modes. Aside from Switch, this game is also available for Android and iOS.

Riptide GP Renegade on the Nintendo Game Store

 

20. Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix

ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $19.99

Kart Racers 2 plays similarly to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with a few stark differences. The game’s main feature is its collection of more than 100 Nickelodeon characters and 28 different race tracks. You’re able to choose between 30 racers including Spongebob Squarepants, Tommy Pickles, CatDog, Korra, and Rocko. The game also features a pit crew dynamic with 70 characters to pick from.

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix on the Nintendo Game Store

 

So, Which Is the Best Racing Game on Switch?

There’s no real way to definitively answer which the best racing game on Switch is right now. This is even harder due to the new title releases we look forward to each year.

If we really had to pick though, it would have to be Nintendo’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Although it’s an older title, Deluxe is still the one that started the go-kart trend on Switch, which was copied by other titles soon after. Aside from that, years after its original release, its servers are still fairly full with racers raring to compete for the leader boards. If you can only get one of the titles on our list, be sure to check out Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

We shouldn’t forget that the Switch isn’t just about games though, there are also some Nintendo Switch apps to enjoy.

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