4 of the Most Hardcore Racing Simulators You Can Play on PC Right Now

Dave LeClair 17-04-2014

On console, gamers will find a few fairly hardcore racing simulators 2 Ultra-Fast Racing Games That Truly Test Your Driving Abilities I came across a couple of racing games I hadn't spotted on SourceForge before. They're both well rated by the user base there, and they both promised to offer realistic physics engines that would make... Read More like Forza and Gran Turismo, but over on the PC is where the truly crazy racing games dwell. These games are designed for the most hardcore racing fan. They are meant for the player who wants to live every detail just like they were driving a real car.


The games we are going to talk about today are for big racing fans only. If you’re the kind of person who would consider spending hundreds for a premium racing wheel Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition Review And Giveaway The Thrustmaster TX Ferrari 458 Italia Edition racing wheel is the only real high-quality option on the market that works with the Xbox One. For the time being. Read More and even more for a dedicated cockpit to play in, you’re going to love these games. However, even if the hardware isn’t for you, you can still enjoy these games with a keyboard and mouse or controller. All you need is a good gaming PC Can You Really Get A Good Performing Gaming PC For Under $1000? For many the $1000 mark is an important cut-off. Computers under this are generally considered affordable, even “mainstream,” while those exceeding it are looked at as luxurious items. The average selling price for a PC... Read More and a love for racing.


iRacing is a mind-blowing racing simulator that features everything from deep controls and customization to beautiful visuals. It’s been called the best PC racing game of all time, and that’s really not too much of a stretch, because it is that damn good.


In iRacing, you can play all kinds of cars from open wheel to NASCAR and even highly modified production cars. Speaking of the cars, iRacing does use a pricing model that is a little different than your traditional video game. Instead of buying the game for one price, users pay a subscription that includes a few cars and tracks, with additional ones available for purchase. Subscriptions start at $6 per month, with the monthly cost decreasing for longer terms.

What really makes iRacing special is the community. It’s filled with players looking for competitive matches at all times. It has all kinds of private leagues for you to jump into, so if you are looking for a racing game you can really sink your teeth into and play for hours on end, iRacing is the perfect option for you.


F1 2013

Formula 1 Get Up To Speed With Formula 1: The Resources You Need The new Formula 1 season is already underway, but how will you keep in touch with the sprawling racing calendar, an annual competition that runs for nine months of the year and takes place across... Read More fans take their open wheel racing very seriously, and the same goes for the video games based around the beloved sport. The F1 games come from Codemasters, the same team that made DIRT, another fantastic racing games based around rally cars. It’s a team that knows its way around making racing games that appeal to fans, and F1 2013 is no exception.


Before we get into how the game simulates racing, I should mention that it features all 11 teams and 22 drivers from the real-life F1, so fans can get behind the wheel as their favorite driver with ease. It also features some classic teams, so fans of retired drivers can still get in there and have some fun.

Unlike iRacing, F1 2013 can be played as an arcade racer or a simulation, depending on your preferences. However, it’s best played without the assists for a truly intense F1 racing experience. The simulations are accurate, and once you get used to feel of going over 200 miles-per-hour down a track, it’s just a fantastic good time, even if you don’t actually enjoy watching F1 racing as a fan.


R3E – RaceRoom Racing Experience

This is a hardcore racing simulation built around the free-to-play model Is Loadout The Free-To-Play PC Shooter You've Been Searching For? Loadout, a F2P third-person shooter available on PC, features none of the typical F2P issues. But is the shooting any good? Read More we see so often on mobile. It lets you get a taste of the racing experience without spending a dime, and the game really grabs you, you can start buying things that interest you.


The name of the game alone should give you a clue as to the audience at which this game is aimed. It’s all about creating the most authentic experience possible in your home, and even though it’s still technically in open beta, it delivers on that promise in a big. It includes plenty of high-end performance cars, tracks, and it features beautiful graphics and an accurate physics model that any fan of racing will enjoy.

Often times, free-to-play is construed as a negative The Simpsons: Tapped Out Is A Free-To-Play Game That Mocks Free-To-Play Games The Simpson's Tapped Out is a free-to-play game that mocks all of the genre's most annoying aspects, all while still trying to sell you in-app purchases. Read More , but in a game like this, it’s actually a good thing. If you are new to the world of racing simulations, this is a perfect place to start because it allows you to jump in and see if it’s something that suits your taste. It saves you from making an investment in a game with a traditional model like F1 or a subscription like iRacing. Just don’t think the fact that this game is good for beginners makes it easy, because it’s definitely one of the most hardcore simulations you will find.


Assetto Corsa

This game sits right in the middle as far as levels of simulation go. It’s not the hardest sim on the market by any means, but it’s most definitely not for the player looking for a casual arcade game. It’s still in early access on Steam Steam Early Access: These 5 Games Are Worth Buying Early Would you like to play games before they're even released to the public? With Steam Early Access, you can! Read More , which means the game is not completely done and features will continue evolving over time, but it’s only going to get better, and it’s already quite good.

Assetto Corsa

This game has plenty of modes and variety to keep you busy, with a career mode, tons of cars, and real-life circuits that are all tons of fun. Of course, like all racing sims, it’s going to take some practice, but if you’re willing to put in the time and dedication required to master this game, you are in for a great time.


If you love racing on your PC but want it to feel like you are out in the real world driving an actual car The True Cost Of Driving: Find Out The True Cost Of Driving a Car Read More , these games have you covered. Whether you want free-to-play, a subscription, or a traditional one-time purchase option, you’ll find a game on this list that suits your budget. Seriously, check them out, and you just might forget that you are playing a video game at all.


What are some of your favorite hardcore racing game simulations on PC? Hit the comments section below and let us know!

Related topics: Racing Games, Simulation Games.

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  1. Ugur
    October 10, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    If you looking for realism; handling, physics? (and not willing to pay for every other car/track)
    LFS and Richard Burns Rally are the best two simulator still in 2016.

  2. joe weinstein
    August 23, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Does anyone know of any racing sim that allows yo to make your own track? I would like to practice slalom/SCCA SOLO/autocross.

  3. Zalex
    August 19, 2016 at 12:36 am

    I played most of the race sims both on PC and consoles since beguining of it (i'm 48 and i got about 10 wheels yet) and my favorite is now Project Cars in multiplayer.

  4. Lucan
    May 12, 2016 at 12:38 am

    GTR2 is the ultimate Pc sim for hardcore racing ...nothing comes close!!

    • Pablobasay
      May 27, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      WFT are you talking about? that game is old and not accurate

      • Markus
        January 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm

        What is wrong with you? If a game is old is that means that game is not realistic? GTR is by far one of the best racing simulators, alongside with rFactor.

    • Klatuu
      June 7, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Raceroom Racing Experience (R3E) is from the guys who brought you GTR2

  5. Andy
    February 27, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Where the HELL is Grand Prix Legends on this list?

    • Zalex
      August 19, 2016 at 12:37 am

      That was a really good one ! :)

  6. Rony Ith
    December 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    RF2 is overhyped ..The truth is graphic is cartoonish, the tracks drive the same ..there is no diff between slippery silverstone track and grippy track like Sepang.., The drive also the same in all type of cars ..meaning u just need to control gas and brake in corners like a rwd car .., Mods mostly are crap like rf1..and the ffb..uh just feel strong force like it gonna brake yur wheel..and nothing else.. I own rf2,AC and iracing..R3e is good..! AC v1.01 is awesome now..iRacing will always be online King ..and i still play RBR and WRC4..!

    • bob
      February 25, 2018 at 2:13 am

      you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.
      RFactor 2 is the best physics out there. its not all about graphics.
      Best simulator

  7. Dunxy
    July 16, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Wow, no Rf2 hey....
    RF2 is far ahead in physics than any other sim. Dynamic track surface,dynamic tire wear/model,dynamic weather and proper turbo simulation to name a just a few.Most sims would be lucky to feature one of the physics options mentioned above, let alone all of them!

  8. Arron W
    April 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Genuinely looking forward to Assetto Corsa - can't afford £30 right now, especially for an unfinished title, but it's on my wishlist for the future. The customisability of the interface is astonishing, and is what most pc games should be aiming for

  9. Esteban
    April 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    LOL all: rFactor2 is the benchmark in physics.

    Also, iRacing's cost can (and will) easily go into the 100s.

  10. Said Bakr
    April 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I wonder! Where is Rally? Did it had been stopped?

    • Izzy G
      February 12, 2015 at 11:06 am

      I am with you on LFS, I am curious about iRacing though!

  11. Anonymous
    April 18, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Don't forget Live for Speed, by far the most realistic, hard to play (you have to really know how to drive, even tire deflation and rubber elasticity is calculated) I have ever played.

    Updates are hard to come by however.

  12. Coco.aviagarwal
    April 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    My first simulator was the BMW M3 Challenge. I played it when I was 15, and I really fell in love with the game, though it took me a mighty amount of time just to beat the track. These days, I tend to stick to more arcade-ized simulators like Shift.