The best rally games 2023

We love racing games very nearly as much as real-world cars. Periodically updated with the latest winners, this is the ultimate guide to rally games.

Dirt Rally 2.0 gameplay

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

The genre is vast and caters to any car fan's preferences. Assetto Corsa Competizione and iRacing for serious people; GT Sport, Grid and Forza for casual racers; Dirt Rally 2.0 for rally fans; Need For Speed for boyracer and arcade fans. Whatever you want, there is a racing game for you.

If you've dabbled with rally games you'll know that they vary a lot. Just like the general racing genre, some rally games are aimed at serious sim racers while others are developed purely for fun. This article is all about the best rally games, and what we look for are rally games that not only perform brilliantly but cater for their target audience as well as possible.

Please note: All prices correct at time of writing. Prices, stock and deals subject to change without notice.

The best rallying games 2023

Editor's Choice

Forza Horizon 5 Xbox Series X
Price: £59.99 (save 3%)

Forza Horizon 5 is all about Mexico. Certainly, there is that Fast And Furious vibe that many of us find so appealing. Without question, Forza Horizon 5 is the best and most exciting racing game to come out last year. It's also the best instalment of the Horizon series yet.

There is a mountain of stuff to get stuck into, both in closed circuit and open-world racing. But the game manages it well, certainly better than Forza Horizon 4 - you choose what to unlock as you progress rather than all cars and quests thrust upon you at once.

Forza Horizon 5 is also a technical showcase. It's designed for Xbox Series X and can run in 4K Ultra HD at 60fps. But you can run perfectly well on an Xbox One too. There is gorgeous detail in the massive and varied landscapes that befall you. This alone is a huge drawcard.

The tone is the same as its predecessors. Well, more of the same, just better.

Pros

  • Simply unbeatable car selection
  • Varied terrain for road racing and rallying
  • Beautiful scenery

Cons

  • Cars are locked behind time-sensitive events

On Offer

A paid expansion for Forza Horizon 5 adds a whole new Mexican map to explore that's been crafted solely for rallying. Featuring crests, hairpins and even a dirt quarry to race in, the map is teeming with routes all supported by proper rally races, with co-driver included. There's a smattering of challenging tarmacked roads for testing your abilities in road cars and even a small dirt bike track. It's a nice refresh for Forza Horizon 5 and just as chaotic as usual.

Pros

  • Even better terrain for rallying
  • Includes iconic rally cars

Cons

  • Still a simcade game

Best looking rally game

art of rally
Price: £19.99

www.xbox.com

A stylish and artistic take on a rally game, art of rally focuses on the 'golden era of rally' with artistic takes on Group B, Group S and Group A rally cars. Also included are 72 stages, an integrated photo mode and different driving modes. It may shun hyper-realistic graphics but that doesn't mean this isn't a serious and stunning-looking game.

Pros

  • Looks stunning
  • A rewarding game

Cons

  • Hard to master

Best pure rally game

Dirt
Price: £11.24 (was £44.99)

www.xbox.com

DiRT Rally 2.0 is more about driving skill and finesse than it is simply having an average speed of 120mph. As such, a racing wheel goes very well with this game. But don't write DiRT Rally 2.0 off if you haven't got a racing wheel because it remains 100% playable with a controller, though we suggest using minor assist options with a controller because analogue sticks aren't as precise as a racing wheel.

That being said, Rallycross mode does take DiRT Rally 2.0 into more arcade territory. Disregard the precision and caution demanded, you need to put your foot down and just go for it.

In DiRT Rally 2.0, the crash detailing is as pleasing as it is gut-wrenching. And you now have to pay for repairs. There is also the chance that something may start to malfunction in the car, injecting a little of the real-world mechanical frustrations that can make rallying the unpredictable and thrilling sport that it is.

With Codemasters picking up the WRC license in 2023, we'll be very keen to see what comes next.

Pros

  • Beautiful graphics
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Getting a little long in the tooth

The best serious rally game

The latest instalment of the WRC games, WRC 10 was launched in mid-2021. Long story short, the driving physics can rival DiRT Rally 2.0 and the rally stages, of which there are hundreds, are doused in wonderful levels of detail that vary in both time and weather.

The career mode is very involved. You even accumulate staff as you progress. In terms of racing, there are both shorter and longer races, with the latter requiring a lot of concentration to see you through the entirety safely.

Pros

  • Solid driving mechanics
  • Deep story line

Cons

  • Not one for casual racing

The best arcade rally game

DIRT 5 Xbox One/Series X
Price: £22.02 (4% off)

This latest instalment of DiRT continues with the stunts, mud and fun of previous games but now takes full advantage of the next-generation of consoles for some seriously stunning graphics. Never a game for sim racers, the arcade-style handling is easy to master and you'll find yourself pretty quickly winning every race with ease. The game isn't the most rewarding to play either, lacking the depth that other racing games offer. At least it looks spectacular.

Pros

  • A lot of chaotic fun
  • Looks great

Cons

  • Lacks depth

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