The five best racing games to play on your smartphone

Racing games walk the fine line between competitive and casual as you outrun your opponents with superb flair. In fact, they were among the first to take advantage of smartphone hardware, enabling gyroscopic controls that allowed for quick turns with a slight tilt of the device. Technology has also advanced, delivering detailed graphics and sound design that feels like burning tires and a great racing experience on mobile. So here is a list of the best racing games to play on Android and iOS.

Asphalt 9: Legends

An absolute no-brainer on this list – Gameloft’s Asphalt series set the benchmark for mobile racing games, emulating a similar feel to the Forza Horizon securities. Players sit behind the wheels of lightning-fast licensed vehicles ranging from Ferraris, Porsches and Lamborghinis to drive and perform stunts in dynamic real-world locations.

Developer Gameloft has set a benchmark for mobile racing games with its high resolution rendering and sound design on the Asphalt series. (Screenshot)

Customization options galore, as you swap between rims, body paint and spoilers to compete in single player and online multiplayer against 7 rival countries. The game can be played in both auto and manual racing controls, and comes with a career mode consisting of 60 seasons.

Mario Kart Tour

Sure, you’d be competing with the AI ​​(bots) 50% of the time, but that’s the cheapest alternative you could have to relive the Mario Kart experience. With MK: Tour, Nintendo has completely rebuilt the classic tracks to fit mobile hardware, despite only lasting two short turns. You have access to a huge roster of playable characters from the Mario universe, as you swipe the screen to throw objects and confuse opponents.

best mobile racing games, mario kart tour, Mario Kart Tour is Nintendo’s foray into mobile gaming, as they bring the iconic racing experience with revamped maps and graphics. (Image credit: Nintendo)

There is also a world tour element, where every 2 weeks the game features new rotating destinations with bonus rewards. Completing challenges and simply winning races earns Grand Stars, which can be used to unlock new players, karts, and drivers.

GRID: Motorsport

With this well-optimized port of the PC version, developer Codemasters has returned to its roots, bringing in traditional racing elements such as manual handling. Players can compete on a myriad of levels ranging from online multiplayer to offline career mode, and switch between 100 cars and tracks to test their skills, through dirty streets or rowdy drag races.

best mobile racing games, grid autosport, GRID: Autosport is a direct port from PC, including all DLC and external gamepad/controller support. (Screenshot)

The controls are also fully customizable, offering choices between tilt, wheel touch, arrow touch, and support for an external gamepad (controller). GRID: Autosport is priced at Rs 149 though, and includes every bit of released content with barely any sacrifice in visuals – making it hard to complain.

CSR Racing 2

The thrilling pursuit of a 1v1 racing experience comes to life in CSR Racing 2, as players drive in over 200 high-end cars such as the McLaren and Ferrari. As a drag racing game in the veins of the Fast and Furious franchise, you can team up with others online to build a crew of elite drivers and compete against rivals to earn points, which allows for Extensive vehicle upgrades in your custom garage.

best mobile racing games, CSR Racing 2, After each drag racing session, players can go to their garage to repair and upgrade their vehicles. (Image credit: RSE Racing 2)

The graphics look hyper realistic for mobile standards and it also comes with a separate campaign mode. Keep in mind that this is a freemium game, so some of the content unlocks will require real money.

History of the Grand Prix

Think of Grand Prix Story as a management mode for racing games, where you lead your pack of cute, pixelated drivers to victory. Try not to be fooled by the (mobile) platform, as the in-depth coaching system gives you a relaxing experience training drivers, acquiring sponsors and reviewing vehicle upgrades for better opportunities at the future.

best mobile racing games, grand prix history, Grand Prix Story offers a fun, hands-on experience where you watch races and lead your team to victory through immense training and sponsorship acquisition. (Image credit: Kairosoft)

As the game progresses, the terrain changes, requiring players to account for varying road conditions and rain. You can simply watch the races, assess mistakes and grow into multiple teams by winning Grand Prix events. That said, the game is a bit pricey – Rs 520, but it promises a comfortable racing experience and you’d be supporting an indie studio at the same time.