The Best Xbox Arcade Racing Games Available in 2018

By Mark Delaney,
For racing fans, there often comes a divide between simulation racers and arcade racers. They each have their obvious perks, their strengths and weaknesses, but it's the arcade variety that typically offers the colorful worlds, wacky mechanics, and a sense that everything needn't be so serious all the time. If that's the kind of racing you like to do on Xbox, the below list is a great place to start. Arcade racers are thankfully still coming out all the time. We've got a new and exciting addition coming next week, in fact. These are our picks for the best of the arcade racing genre on Xbox.

Burnout Paradise Remastered

Announcement screens

Despite showing its age in occasional places, the purity and simplicity of Burnout's arcade racing is as refreshing now as it was when the title was first released. Its world may not be as expansive or as good looking as some of today's titles, but its racing experience is still up there with the best and arguably superior to some modern-day counterparts. Burnout Paradise still has the ability to hook players in and keep them playing, making it difficult to put the controller down, promising yourself "just one more event." Everything is contrived to keep you moving and keep you racing. There's no fluff, filler or distractions, just high-adrenaline racing in it's purest form, and if you're planning to visit Paradise City, then Burnout Paradise Remastered is clearly the best way to do it.

Download from Microsoft Store

Table Top Racing: World Tour

ttr 1

Table Top Racing: World Tour dares to be familiar, which could've been a deathwish. Instead, competitive gameplay, fun cars, adjustable tracks, and an enticing unlock system make the total package something greater than the sum of its common parts. Speeding around colorful tracks launching missiles, dodging oil slicks, and earning coins is something we've seen countless times in the past, but TTR gets most of it right so it still feels like a race worth winning.

Download from Microsoft Store

Mantis Burn Racing

XBX Screens

Mantis Burn Racing is trying to be nothing more than a fun, top down arcade racer and it easily succeeds in this. If you simply take the game at face value, you'll definitely have some fun. It's easy to jump into the game with no hard controls or techniques to master. With XP steadily rolling in from winning races, completing objectives and performing tricks, you'll be levelling up and earning money and upgrades in no time. Unfortunately, the game is let down by the repetitive tracks, less than impressive environments and some handling issues that stop it from being a must-buy racer. On the other hand, fans of the genre or those looking for a new arcade racer into which to sink a few hours will definitely enjoy what is on offer here.

Download from Microsoft Store

Riptide GP: Renegade

1

Riptide GP: Renegade is a masterclass in how to take a good concept and execute it well. While nothing the game does is exceptional in any way, its faults are few and minimal. The water physics are fun to navigate and the tracks are absolutely stellar thanks to unique attributes and environmental effects which change the way you race. There's a mediocre story but it's filled with likeable characters and it doesn't take itself seriously. The faults are nitpicky with the biggest grievance being police that show up occasionally during races for no other purpose than to bother you. Renegade is a game that had a clear identity and the developers did a fantastic job designing every element of the game around that identity to create a game that works really well. If you're a fan of racing games or even just generally enjoy arcade games, Renegade is an essential experience for a few hours of fun.

Download from Microsoft Store

Joy Ride Turbo

Drift

Still available via back compat — and surprisingly still populated by some active players — Joy Ride Turbo is one of the best uses of Xbox avatars to date. It remains to be seen what will happen to the game when the new avatars roll out later this year, but if you haven't played JRT yet, now's a great time. It offers lots of tracks, sandbox stunt parks, and all sorts of multiplayer. It's the full suite of classic kart racing gameplay and is one of the best kids and family games to come out of the 360 generation.

Download from Microsoft Store

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sonic & All Stars Transformed

Many more of us are about to become acquainted with this one. It goes "free" with Xbox Live Gold tomorrow, June 1st, and is exactly what it looks like: SEGA's answer to Mario Kart. That's a good thing for anyone without a Nintendo system, or even for those who do own one. With a cast of characters spanning much of the developer-publisher's classic library, it can be nostalgic for one type of gamer and a totally eye-opening experience for the younger crowd. SEGA's heroes haven't quite had the staying power of Mario and his friends, but they're still iconic, colorful, and fun, and so too is this sequel.

Download from Microsoft Store

Trackmania Turbo

Trackmania Turbo Courses

Trackmania is a bit of a different beast than anything else on this list. It's an arcade racer, sure, but that doesn't make it the more lax experience a lot of the games on this list represent. It's about as challenging as anything in the genre. It'll have you shaving milliseconds off of your lap times over and over as you race ghosts of your past self and others online in a bid to clear all the medals. If you can get through this whole game, or maybe already have, I assure you I'm very impressed. For those who like this sort of challenge, there are few games as rewarding.

Download from Microsoft Store

Driver: San Francisco

Cars

Looking for a racer with more narrative content than most others? Look this way. Driver made a return from the shadows with this bizarre, inexplicably and lightly fantastical racing game that sees players return in the role of the "Wheelman," after many years away from the franchise. The driving is tight and the open world nature of this Ubisoft title predates The Crew in the classically Ubisoftian way of giving you lots to do at your own pace. The strange story has you in a coma which lends itself to a mechanic that allows you to swap cars in an instant while driving. It's unlike anything else and because of these quirks and a solid racing foundation, it's worth your time.

Download from Microsoft Store

Split/Second

Split/Second

Many people likely played Split/Second for the first time this year when it as included in Games with Gold. This racing title is what it would look like if Michael Bay directed Need for Speed instead of... well, whoever directed that forgettable movie. Each race tasks players with building up their power meters to where they can trigger explosions and obstructions to ruin their opponents' chances. Huge demolitions can create shortcuts, send construction equipment barreling down the roads, or even totally blow bridges and alter routes. It's half racer, half action movie, and it still holds up today, as many of you likely realized just recently.

Download from Microsoft Store
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He has written for GameSkinny, Gamesradar and the Official Xbox Magazine. He runs the family-oriented gaming site Game Together.
Posts on this article have been added to a thread in the Editorials and Features Forum.
  • Posted on 31 May 18 at 16:43Permalink
    I miss Blur.
  • KJer25KJer25571,039
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 16:55Permalink
    Blur is another fantastic racer!
  • NawtyCawtyNawtyCawty508,926
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 16:58Permalink
    They are all very good but Burnout Paradise gets my vote every time.
  • DoggyDog420DoggyDog420396,824
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 17:18Permalink
    Forza Horizon 4 will blow em all away!! Nice list though. Thanks.
  • Dr MartyDr Marty527,634
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 17:20, Edited on 31 May 18 at 17:21 by Dr MartyPermalink
    Nightmare Clown said:
    I miss Blur.
    KJer25 said:
    Blur is another fantastic racer!
    I second that... Where is Blur in this list?
  • rocking23nfrocking23nf400,600
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 17:42Permalink
    Cars 2 should have made your list, it was free, its decent fun.
  • Posted on 31 May 18 at 17:46Permalink
    Dr Marty said:
    Nightmare Clown said:
    I miss Blur.
    KJer25 said:
    Blur is another fantastic racer!
    I second that... Where is Blur in this list?
    I third that...Where is Blur?!
  • Yinga GartenYinga Garten1,486,926
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 17:47Permalink
    What about Coffin Dodgers?
  • Posted on 31 May 18 at 17:58Permalink
    Missing the best one: Pocketbike Racer
  • DefaultDefault498,897
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 18:00, Edited on 31 May 18 at 18:01 by DefaultPermalink
    Paging Oddworld X. This was your chance to talk about Hydro Thunder again.

    Edit: "Gamer has been removed" Whoops. facepalm
  • Posted on 31 May 18 at 18:29Permalink
    this article is misleading. these are all old games.
    Rob
  • SchinderdivSchinderdiv438,620
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 18:31Permalink
    I'm surprised there isn't a Forza Horizon game on here.
    Streets Ahead
  • Posted on 31 May 18 at 18:33Permalink
    Burnout Revenge is surely better than a few of those.
  • zoidberg1339zoidberg1339376,866
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 18:41Permalink
    No Harm’s Way? I’m outraged.
  • LiquidSodasLiquidSodas189,217
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 19:00Permalink
    I want a modern update of rc pro am, with a ripoff mode that is pretty much rocket league lite.
    Drinking all that soda
  • ParadoxReal8ParadoxReal8665,530
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 19:09Permalink
    No Forza horizon?
  • Posted on 31 May 18 at 19:18Permalink
    II SkeltorCZ II said:
    Dr Marty said:
    Nightmare Clown said:
    I miss Blur.
    KJer25 said:
    Blur is another fantastic racer!
    I second that... Where is Blur in this list?
    I third that...Where is Blur?!
    I’ll be the fourth for this. Blur was an excellent game.
  • Posted on 31 May 18 at 19:45Permalink
    Dropkick Weasel said:
    II SkeltorCZ II said:
    Dr Marty said:
    Nightmare Clown said:
    I miss Blur.
    KJer25 said:
    Blur is another fantastic racer!
    I second that... Where is Blur in this list?
    I third that...Where is Blur?!
    I’ll be the fourth for this. Blur was an excellent game.
    I've tried not to include games that aren't on Xbox One either originally or via back compat.
  • CryofuseCryofuse220,604
    Posted on 31 May 18 at 20:03Permalink
    If only there was a arcade racer where you could create and share your own tracks and race against other players or AI at the same time.
    Cryofuse "Do not look with your eyes... See with your mind".
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