Many people think that street racing is a thing of the past, but these games have stood the test of time.
People have been interested in Street Racing ever since it started with hot-rodding in the 1950s. Thanks to Vin Diesel and his “family,” demand for video game versions has gone through the roof. Great street racing games are pure electric adrenaline, with neons, NOS, cops, and a busy city at night all blurring by as you try to keep control at 160 mph.
Here, we’ll talk about racing games that have firmly established themselves as part of the street racing genre. These games don’t just race on street tracks; they also try to adopt and communicate aspects of street racing culture, like customization, music, cruising, or in-game free-roaming, etc. These are the ten games that define the street racing genre and are still a lot of fun to play.
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition
The DUB edition of Rockstar’s last well-received Midnight Club game is still a great street racing game. The game’s free-roam story mode is back from version 2, with updated graphics that are clearer than those in version 1. The game adds customization and real car manufacturers to the Midnight Club formula, which gives it a realistic feel. However, this game is anything but realistic.
Power-ups that make slow-motion, shock waves that clear the road, or even battering rams change the tone of the game in an odd way, but they are very fun. Even though the cars and buildings don’t look as good as they could and the cars don’t feel as good as they could, this game is still a great time if you like racing on the street.
Need for Speed Underground
Need for Speed Underground is the best street racer because it has great racing modes, a good way to customize real cars, and a nice arcade-like feel. The first-person drag racing mode was and still is the best way to show what it’s like to try to push a 10-second car to its limits. Also fun are drifting, racing around a track, and customizing, but drag races really take the checkered flag.
Even though it doesn’t have a free roam mode or a free roam story, this is still one of the best street racing games. The drag races are worth the price of admission all by themselves. Each one is a fantastic rocket ride into joy-filled tunnel vision. Underground remains awesome.
Do Burnout games involve street racing? Well, hmm. We say yes! Burnout Paradise is a fast-paced and clean experiment. Its open world and lightning-fast cars make it a great game for street racing. The huge open world does a great job of making it feel like street racing, and the controls and sense of speed don’t let you down either.
Even though showtime mode tries to make up for it, the lack of a designated crash mode really keeps it on this list. The crash mode was a big part of what made the Burnout series great and a big part of what made it Burnout. Still a great open-world street racing trip into turbocharged chaos and one of the best and fastest street racers ever made.
The Crew 2
The Crew 2 is a crazy and amazing game that lets players cannonball run across the whole United States. They can use planes, boats, motorcycles, and more, and it all feels like one big street race. This HUGE map that can be broken and explored makes it feel like anything is possible, which has led to a huge number of different races.
Even though not all of the content, and to be honest, most of it, is street racing in the traditional sense, and because it was a mistake to get rid of the police from the first game, The Crew 2 is not as high on this list as it could be. However, the street racing feel is still great. The Crew 2 does a great job of making all the different races and modes still feel like a wild, illegal race.
Need for Speed (2015)
Need for Speed 2015 is a great street racing game that gives the genre a much-needed boost. This game really felt like a next-generation street racing powerhouse, with its overly cheesy but great story mode, great free-roaming exploration with cops and shops, sleek and beautiful car models, and fun online play.
Even though it’s not as high on this list as it could be because of its sometimes stiff controls and slightly glitchy overworld, don’t let that stop you from playing the best street racing game of the last generation. It’s still very exciting to be in a big police chase that goes all over a city.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 is the best way to start a digital police chase with two people. It combines illegal street racing and lap racing in a way that is both interesting and fun. The cars, the courses, and the police chases all keep getting better and better as the game goes on. First there are a few cops, then a cop in a Lamborghini, then spike strips, and finally a helicopter that drops depth charges while you and a friend are sliding around at 200 mph.
Even though the game is a course racer, which keeps it from being at the top of our list of street racing games, it is an illegal police-chasing fun fest that feels just like a street racing game. The charm of the cheesy radio calls and slow-motion jumps, along with the music from the early 2000s, make for a great, campy time.
Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero
TXR Zero perfectly captures the Japanese street racing scene of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which is based on Wagan racing. Every race is fast and full of pride because there is no traditional finish line. Instead, the winners and losers are determined by how far apart they are. The feeling of cruising down the highway is great and just as addicting as racing on the street.
Even though it only has a few courses and looks like a very early PlayStation 2 game, it is still a great game. This game captures the tone, mood, and attitude of street racing better than any other. It really does feel like illegal highway racing in Japan. The high beams have never felt so good to flash.
Burnout 3 Takedown
Burnout 3 Takedown gave street racing a violent, fast-paced, and much-needed boost. It also set a new, more violent standard for racing games to follow. Takedown is still the best arcade-style street racing game because of its crazy crashes, slow-motion crash breaker mode, and an endless supply of nuclear turbo-NOS. This game is always a rush, like a shot of adrenaline straight to your heart.
Burnout 3 Takedown isn’t at the top of our list of street racing games because it isn’t very customizable and takes place mostly during the day. However, there is nothing wrong with it and there never will be. Play this today, now, or yesterday if you like cars, cars crashing into each other, explosions, or going fast.
Midnight Club 2
Midnight Club 2 is a true classic and a very challenging and rewarding game. MC2 is the best late-night exploration game because it has great music, beautiful cars, and the most fun map to explore of any street racing game. The game is a great mix of realistic and arcade elements, and the cars still feel better than those in any other racer.
There’s something special about this game. The level of detail in the graphics lets just enough imagination in to fill the beautiful, well-lit dreamscape. One of the first real attempts in the genre turned out to be one of the best works ever made in it. Driving around Paris at dawn is a divine experience that has only been topped once.
Need for Speed Underground 2
Need for Speed Underground 2 is still the best way to feel like a quarter-mile king. It is the best street racing game ever made. 8 Ball Pool game is perfect for street racing in every way: the bright colors, the loose and perfectly slippery cars, the music, and the licensed cars. One of the best and most fun parts of any game is finding a new shop while free roaming. A perfect mix of realism and arcade.
This game really stands out because of how it looks. The lighting and color palettes of the environments and streets are beautiful and dreamy. They really stand out on a CRT while still looking beautiful and hazy. Underground 2 was the best piece of media ever made about street racing because of how it sounded, looked, and felt.