The best VR racing games for PSVR, PC, Oculus and more

Fancy living the life of a racing driver from the comfort of your home? Here are our picks of the best racing games for VR.

iRacing in VR

by Seth Walton |

Once the stuff of classroom day-dreaming, racing around in virtual reality is now an established truth and an increasingly high-profile branch of the gaming world. The tech involved - in conjunction with video sharing platforms and a growing social media presence - has gone supersonic over the last decade, creating the perfect storm of VR-mania within the racing game community.

Although still an expensive piece of kit, with Oculus and the HTC Vive firm leading the way in headset development, the demand and interest for VR racing show no signs of slowing down, and with it, the racing game arms race continues.

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The true quality of any VR racing game should be measured by its ability to detach you from the real world; to put you in that Mk1 MX5, Mclaren Senna or Isetta 300 (whichever way you’re inclined), and immerse to the point of disconnection. You’ll find no frills here, no pop HUD graphics or gimmicky light show. Just hardcore simulated VR racing for the discerning enthusiast. Plus WipEout.

Here are CAR’s picks of the top racing games for a virtual reality set-up.

Gran Turismo Sport

Gran Turismo Sport

Platform: PS4/PS5/PSVR

Gran Turismo Sport

Gran Turismo Sport
Amazon

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If youu2019re into racing sims and you own either a PS4 or PS5, thereu2019s a pretty strong chance you already own Gran Turismo Sport. One of the most enduring racing titles of the generation, GT Sport boasts a great VR Drive mode. Itu2019s a thrilling mode that lets you go head-to-head with an AI racer, but admittedly, itu2019s a more limited experience than youu2019ll find in newer releases. Weu2019re pretty sure that GT Sport will be overtaken by GT7 once the PSVR2 launches and the new release is patched, but for now, itu2019s still a brilliant experience.

Project CARS 2

Project CARS 2

Platform: Multi (VR on PC only)

Best VR racing simulator

Project Cars 2 on VR

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Although a third instalment in the series - Project CARS 3 - was released in 2020, Project CARS 2 remains the most venerated, both by critics and fans alike. The general consensus was some of the raw driving thrills of the first two Project CARS editions were lost by the third instalment, replaced by a softer arcade feel. The good news is Project CARS 2 remains as sharp and potent today as it was five years ago, only now it can be picked up for a bargain. We particularly like the vehicle physics and dynamic track conditions for peak realism.

Assetto Corsa

Assetto Corsa on VR

Platform: Multi (VR on PC only)

Best VR racing game for drifting

Assetto Corsa on VR

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After eight years in the business, Assetto Corsa remains the go-to for many discerning sim fans, particularly with VR operation in mind. In fact, AC has been offering Oculus Rift support on the game since as early as 2013. The Project CARS vs Assetto Corsa debate remains fierce and probably will for some time, with partisan fans fighting their corner every day over driving physics, image quality and game depth on both. However, most of the community can agree that AC pips PC on drifting realism and physics any day, attracting more drift-minded racers to the platform. If thatu2019s your thing, this could be the one for you.

DiRT Rally 2.0

DiRT Rally 2.0 in VR

Platform: Multi

Best VR rally game

DiRT Rally 2 on VR

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For those of an off-road inclination, DiRT has you covered. The second DiRT Rally game was released in February 2019, allowing fans to try their hand at off-road time trial racing in VR for the first time. Available on Valve Index HTC Vive and Oculus, youu2019re covered on where to play but be advised of the motion sickness that can occur when driving on the particularly bumpy or twisting stages. First time VR users on this game might find it a bit overwhelming (with rather unpleasant consequences), so we would recommend trying a softer stage, to begin with, just to get your bearings, then working your way up.

rFactor 2

rFactor 2 in VR

Platform: PC

Best historic car list

rFactor 2 on VR

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Perhaps not the most technologically advanced title in regard to graphics complexity and design, the racing is undoubtedly some of the most exciting. We like the large range of vehicles on offer, and especially the historic racing cars complete with matching period circuits. With a VR set on, you may not feel quite as though youu2019ve been transported back to 1966 Spa Francorchamps, but itu2019s about as close as you can get, and the experience is still undeniably exhilarating. Worth picking up if youu2019re just after some enjoyable light-hearted racing fun.

iRacing

iRacing in VR

Platform: PC

Best VR online racing
iRacing on VR

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iRacing is a subscription-based online racing simulation game, pitting players against each other in as close to real-world environments as possible. The racing quality is like no other, attracting professional racing drivers, and even world champions, to get in on the fun. For honing your skills as a racer it might be the best choice on this list, but be prepared to dig deep in your pockets; unlike the other titles on this list, the subscription model of IRacing requires monthly payments to stay onboard. Over the course of a year, you could end up paying five times as much as you did on Assetto Corsa on this game. Just something to keep in mind.

WipEout: Omega Collection

WipEout: Omega Collection

Platform: PS4/PS5/PSVR

WipEout: Omega Collection

Best sci-fi racing in VR
WipEout: Omega Collection
Amazon

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One of the modern wonders of video games is the ability of developers to patch titles. Sometimes these patches fix an annoying bug, but sometimes they fundamentally change the gaming experience - such is the case with WipEout: Omega Collection when the VR patch was added. Now, over three remastered WipEout games (HD, HD Fury and 2048), you can don your PSVR headset and take part in some truly brilliant high-octane spaceship racing to the beat of futuristic electro and tripped out lighting effects. Thereu2019s not a Mercedes in sight, but it's still one of the best VR racing experiences you can have today.

Don’t have the kit? Here are a few options...

PSVR

Best for PlayStation
PSVR
Amazon

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The PSVR is Sonyu2019s PlayStation VR headset. Though it's one of the more modestly powered headsets around, it makes up for it in ease of use and accessibility - no overclocked PC required, just an off-the-shelf console. The PSVR comes in packs loaded with over games, so not only will you be able to experience some racing games in VR, but a small selection of excellent VR-specific titles. Compatible with PS4 and PS5.

Oculus Quest 2

Best Value VR Set
Oculus Quest 2
Amazon

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One of the most popular VR headsets on the market, the Oculus Quest 2 is the continuation of the Quest headset line u2013 just under 70 grams lighter than its predecessor. Included in the package are two third-gen Oculus Touch controllers, with battery life four times greater than those of the first Oculus Quest.

HTC VIVE Pro

Highest Quality VR Headset
HTC VIVE Pro
Amazon

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At the top end of the VR headset market is the HTC VIVE Pro. One of these kits will set you back well over a thousand quid, which may seem a lot, but the bells are abundant and whistles plentiful. This HTC VIVE Pro features dual OLED displays, spatial audio with noise cancellation and precision 360-degree tracking.

Valve Index VR

Most Comfortable VR Headset
Valve Index VR

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This VR from Valve Index is another top of the range model, featuring the headset, controllers and two base stations, supporting Valveu2019s lighthouse 2.0 tracking system. This VR set comes in a sleek black finish, and a head strap padded with memory foam for improved comfort.

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