Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the Nintendo Switch’s greatest successes and set a new standard for arcade-style racing games when it released in 2017. With plenty of in-game things to do that most gamers never discover ever, that alone makes the Switch an attractive platform for racing game enthusiasts.
However, although Mario Kart 8 made headlines, there are plenty of alternatives for racing game content on the platform, from other arcade-style racing games to more serious racing simulators. Review aggregator Metacritic highlights the best titles for gamers to try.
ten Autosport Grille (2019) – 79
Codemasters is one of the most prestigious names in racing games and together with Grid Autosport they have signaled their intention to return to a more traditional and realistic racing experience. Although the game was originally released in 2014 and a sequel has since been released on other platforms, the game is holding up more than well enough to justify porting it to the Nintendo Switch.
The game doesn’t stray too far from convention, but is a racing simulator with enough variety of game modes and race types to keep the player invested. Car enthusiasts will also likely be happy with the 100+ car roster, though the absence of some major manufacturers like Toyota might be a small downside.
9 Mindball Game (2019) – 79
One of the few racing games without a car or motorbike in sight, Mindball game is a unique physics-based game that puts the player in control of a ball that they must roll, bounce and push to the finish line. Amazingly, the game is as challenging as any realistic motorsport game, requiring incredible concentration. A small mistake can mean the end.
The game features split-screen and online multiplayer modes, making it a good game to play with friends and compete against each other. There’s also a nice variety of tracks to tackle in single-player time trials. The game is simple and fun, which explains its high score of 8.0 on Metacritic.
8 Inertial Drift (2020) – 79
It’s rare for a modern racing game to be able to introduce a whole new way to control the car, but Inertial drift manages to achieve this goal, using the right control stick to give the player full control over how the car drifts. The reason for this unique control scheme is the game’s emphasis, as the name suggests, on the art of going sideways through retro-futuristic city streets.
The controls are surprisingly intuitive and getting better with them is a rewarding process, which is part of why it’s one of the best racing games out there. Mario Kart. Although it may not match Mario Kart for thrills, there’s more than enough fun in this title to justify its high critical rating.
7 The Next Penelope (2017) – 79
Ancient Greek mythology and racing games may be an unlikely pair, but they come together in style in this action-packed racing game. The next Penelope uses elements of Greek mythology in its futuristic original story which allows the player to freely explore the galaxy in search of Odysseus.
The gameplay itself uses Micro machines-style controls as the player competes in high-stakes races and uses powerful weapons to gain a significant advantage. There are bonus missions outside of the main story and, of course, a local multiplayer mode that allows players to compete with their friends.
6 Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled (2019) – 80
There aren’t many kart racing games that could compete Mario Kart in terms of pleasure, but no doubt Crash Team Racing is up there. In this comprehensive 2019 remaster, everything only gets better with better graphics and more intense racing than ever before. Above all, the game still retains the lighthearted tone and upbeat style that made the original so beloved.
While the game is likely to easily win over fans of the original, newcomers to the Crash Team Racing experience should also be pleasantly surprised. The game is far from a Mario Kart clone and some players may even prefer the charm of single stages which Nitro powered has to offer.
5 Fast RMX (2017) – 81
For fans who miss the futuristic racing gameplay of the F-Zero franchise, fast RMX can be a great way to get that thrill back. The player takes control of an anti-gravity vehicle that allows them to traverse the game’s wide range of different environments, from futuristic cities to abandoned mines.
The game is all about multiplayer gameplay, with a local split-screen mode as well as the ability to compete against other players online in high-octane, lightning-fast competitive races. The game has a high degree of polish and holds up well, earning its high critical rating of 81 on Metacritic.
4 Sega Ages: Virtua Racing (2019) – 82
It may come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the title to see a 1992 Formula 1 arcade game among the best racing games on Nintendo Switch, but there’s a lot to appreciate about this one for fans. race. The game’s 3D polygon graphics are more than impressive for its time and are just one example of how far the arcade title has come.
The racing is obviously not up to par with modern racing games and Formula 1 fans hoping for realistic simulations of motorsport tracks and cars will also be disappointed, but Virtual race is always great fun. Gameplay feels fast and can be tricky for beginners, and it’s one of the great retro Sega games to enjoy on the Switch.
3 Horizon Chase Turbo (2018) – 82
Not to be confused with the Forza Horizon racing series that came to dominate the genre, Horizon Chase Turbo is a much simpler attempt to emulate the fun of classic arcade racing games. With gameplay full of high-speed thrills in nostalgic retro graphics, many gamers will love Horizon Chase Turbo.
The game features split-screen multiplayer to enjoy the game with friends as well as a nice variety of single-player modes to try. Fans of classic arcade racing will also appreciate that the game features Barry Leitch, the composer behind the iconic music for games like Top of the line and Lotus Turbo Challenge.
2 Sega Ages: Out Run (2019) – 84
A port of one of the most iconic arcade racing games of all time in the form of the 1985 title To go past, this 3D driving title is worth a try for anyone interested in arcade games and the history of the racing genre. Rather than an all-out competition against other drivers, the main objective is to avoid traffic jams and reach one of five destinations.
The game holds up surprisingly well and remains an enjoyable racing experience in its own right. The player can select the music they want and then cruise along busy highways at high speed in the game’s iconic red Ferrari. The game play is not easy, but the challenge of avoiding crashes is addictive. There’s more than nostalgia behind this top-rated racing game for the Switch according to Metacritic.
1 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017) – 92
Unsurprisingly still the best of the best when it comes to racing games on Nintendo Switch, there’s a reason why Mario Kart 8 Deluxe became the best-selling game in the series last year, as reported NME at the time. The game still has a level of polish that few other titles can match, as well as iconic characters recognizable by players around the world.
With the recent announcement of new DLC that includes a ton of classic tracks from the series, there will soon be even more reason to play the best racing title on the platform. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to win critics and fans alike with its incredibly fun gameplay and enjoyable soundtrack and it has one of the highest critical scores of any Switch game on Metacritic.
NEXT: The 10 Best Nintendo Switch Video Games Of 2021, According To Metacritic
6 Biggest PlayStation State of Play Announcements, According to Reddit