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The Best Racing Games of 2021

Run, don't walk, to play our picks for the best racing games of 2021!

When you just gotta go fast, jumping in your car and putting the pedal to the metal isn't always feasible. There are rules of the road to obey, after all. And you probably don't own a Bugatti Chiron. So what do you do? Turn to games, of course! This past year was a great one for various genres of games, but an especially good one for racers. Here are our favorites of the year, the best you can get right now.

Forza Horizon 5

Hands-down the best racer of the year, Forza Horizon 5 speeds past the rest to make a memorable open-world adventure that anyone can enjoy. Forza Horizon 5 is a triumph in terms of sheer number of activities to complete, cars to unlock, and ways to enjoy the game and its massive open world with friends and even strangers. Its customization options are unmatched as well, with plenty of wrap options and other cool ways to take your favorite car and make it your own. Whether you're more into import cars and souping them up or you want to try out the most luxurious names in racing history, it's all there for you in Forza Horizon 5 — as is an awesome, gorgeous landscape to tear up alone or with friends.

Hot Wheels Unleashed

A Hot Wheels game may not seem like best of the year material, but that's where Hot Wheels Unleashed will prove you wrong. This was, by far, one of the most enjoyable racers that debuted this year. It didn't have to introduce a whole inventory of realistic cars or tracks to be fun. Instead, it served up some of the coolest, toy-centric racing the industry has seen in some time. Drive a DeLorean, paint a Corvette glittery pink, and race around basement man caves, construction zones, and fanciful destinations that make you feel like you've been transported to the realm of childhood once more. It feels fantastic to drive every single one of the cars you unlock, and it channels the Hot Wheels spirit exceptionally well. If you need a little more childlike excitement in your life, this is the way to get it.

Riders Republic

Riders Republic may not center solely around cars, but that's what makes it so exciting. You can power down a mountain on jet skis, explore the National Parks of the United States, and rocket around with some of the coolest extreme sports you can think of. It's a fun mishmash of unique experiences that no one has placed together in a game quite like this before, and the way it approaches bringing all of these things together feels like you're playing a well-developed collection of mini games more than anything else. If you're looking to do a few different types of racing, this is the game that'll strike your fancy as soon as you jump in.

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Which racing games get your blood pumping? Join the official SteelSeries Discord to chat about your favorites of the year!