We’re getting hot with yet another Special Edition of SwitchArcade, this time watching the best of the racing genre on Nintendo Switch. It hasn’t always been a very strong genre for the system, but there is certainly enough of it to make up a respectable list of ten. This list is a mix of different types of racers, so arcade racers, sims, and go-kart racers are all here in one big purse. The games are presented in no particular order and are simply our favorites. Feel free to share yours in the comments.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe ($ 59.99)
Chances are, if you already own a game on this list, it’s this one. But if you don’t, you should really choose this game. Of course, it’s a family-friendly cart racer with a colorful cast of characters and equally dynamic tracks, but its racing mechanics are solid and the amount of content and polish is almost unmatched by anything else on the system. Whether you want something laid back and easy going or a serious challenge, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has you covered. Just watch out for those damn blue seashells.
Cruis’n Blast ($ 39.99)
Inactive on consoles since the release of the Wii in 2007 Cruise, the Cruise the series made a big comeback with this home conversion of arcade hit Cruis’n Blast. And what a conversion it is. Not only does it contain all the thrills and excesses of arcade gaming, but it takes it a step further with a few dozen new tracks, additional modes, more cars, and improved gameplay. Upgrading all cars and finding all keys hidden on each track will keep you busy for a long time.
Burnout Paradise Remastered ($ 29.99)
Say what you want about Electronic Arts, the company has made some really fantastic racing games. Burnout paradise loses some of the purity of the show’s early episodes, but its open city concept and variety of racing types make it a very compelling experience. The series trademark crashes here are in full force, and you can get some pretty spectacular wreckage chains. But if you just fancy driving around the city, listening to music, and taking in the views, that’s okay. It’s a racing game that you can take at your own pace, and sometimes that’s just what you need.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered ($ 39.99)
The other Electronic Arts racer puts a little more pressure on you. It focuses on exotic cars and police chases, and you’ll be seated in these two seats at different times. There are different types of races, and once again you have an open world to play in. In contrary Burnout Paradise, Need for Speed includes real licensed cars and slightly more realistic handling. Don’t worry though, it’s not that realistic. You’re always going to be in crazy situations no matter which side of the cat-and-mouse chase you find yourself in. When everything clicks, there’s really nothing else like it on the Switch.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled ($ 59.99)
There are a lot of go-kart racers on the Switch, and a lot of them are surprisingly decent. But if one of them at least deserves to go look Mario kart 8it’s coffee, it’s Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. This is a very well done remake of the popular PlayStation racing game that incorporates content from all the others crash runners and much more. It has a very different feel, and it will take you a lot of time and a lot of work to unlock all it has to offer. If you’re exhausted by what Nintendo’s plumber hero has to offer, this is a great alternative.
GRID Autosport ($ 34.99)
You’ve probably noticed that most of the games on this list take a, uh, liberal approach to the approximation of reality. The Switch just doesn’t have a lot of good simulation runners, and that’s probably one of the more glaring shortcomings in the library. If you want that realism in a game that’s also of good quality, GRID Motorsport is easily your best option on the system. Codemasters have been producing great runners for decades now, and Feral Interactive has done a top notch job in making this game work on the Switch as well as it does. So yes, if you want a racing game that doesn’t lean too much on the arcade, this is one of the few solid choices.
Horizon Chase Turbo ($ 19.99)
Horizon Chase Turbo pays homage to a very special era of racing games, and it does so with incredible skill. If you have fond memories of games like Out of race, Lotus Turbo Challenge, Where Top speed, you are going to find a lot of things to love in this game. Get in your car and drive a ton of routes while listening to an amazing Barry Leitch soundtrack. The game has an old school feel, but with enough modern touches to make it appealing even to those who have no nostalgia for this kind of runner. It also continues to grow over time, with additional DLC packs that keep the good times going.
Rise: Race the Future ($ 16.49)
VD-DEV is probably best known for its remarkable work with underpowered portable hardware at the time. He has a lot of experience making racing games on hardware that has nothing to do with them, and that experience has served him well now that he’s making games on hardware that can handle a lot more. It’s a slightly futuristic take on rally racing with deep mechanics but an overall arcade. It was nice enough at launch, but a series of great updates quietly made this one of the best runners in the system.
Hotshot Course ($ 19.99)
I don’t know why Bandai Namco dropped the Peak runner series, but it seems increasingly likely that we won’t see an entry on the Switch. Hope time will ridicule me on this, but in the meantime at least we have Fire race. While this sounds like an homage to SEGA arcade racers, in practice it looks a lot like Namco’s gaming hub corner. Lots of drift, in other words. Still, it’s nice to see a game that targets that kind of target doing such a good job of hitting it. The content was a bit limited at launch, but a pretty big free update has significantly expanded what it has to offer.
Rush Rally 3 ($ 14.99)
Here is another solid choice for those looking for something more on the simulation racing side. It’s an independent effort, so don’t expect fancy licensing. You’ll be able to figure out which cars represent what if you know the history of rally racing I’m sure. You get smooth 60 fps racing on over 70 tracks with varying weather conditions and times, on all kinds of road surfaces. You can customize and tune your car collection to suit your needs, allowing you to tailor your vehicle to the challenge at hand.
These are the runners we choose for the winning circle. Hopefully there is at least one game for all racing tastes. These are only our choices, however. What are some of your favorite Nintendo Switch racing games? Comment below and let us know!
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