What are the main types of racing games? Well, since the dawn of video games, the racing genre has played a pivotal part in the industry. Down the years, we have seen countless renditions of racing games alongside the emergence of many sub-genres.

Due to increased popularity, we have witnessed a significant surge in sub-genres. Especially so, withing the field of racing. With an abundance of types of racing games currently available on the market, the options are seemingly limitless.

Today, we dismantle the racing genre from head to toe. And look in-depth at the various sub-genres to have spawned down the years. Without further or do, let us head to the track and take this baby for a test spin.

These are the main types of racing games, along with some of the key contenders in their respective fields.

Peddle to the metal, and foot on the gas, folks.

Arcade-Style Racers

Unlike simulation racers, which tend to focus more on the aspects of realism and accurate physics, arcade-style racing games tend to be more fast-paced affairs, designed to issue a fun experience.

These can take many forms, and each entry vastly varies in its approach. Instead of reducing speed to execute a tight corner, arcade-style games generally encourage the player to take higher risks by power sliding or drifting through courses.

Typically, Arcade-style racers worry less about precision and more about high-octane, adrenaline-inducing races. They can also feature obstacles, and in some cases, oncoming traffic. The Need for Speed series would be a prime example of this.

Racers of this kind can have fully licensed vehicles. But often offer the player a more exotic choice of vehicle and environment. Races revolve around either checkpoint-based runs or multiple lap circuits in which players will compete in a series of settings.

Some prime examples of the more popular franchises are Motorstorm, which delves into off-road pursuits. But also, Burnout, a game built around the premise of high-impact collisions. Then there is the ever-popular Midnight ClubRidge Racer, and Sega Rally Series. Among countless others.

As is shown above, there are many types of racing games to pick out. Many of which fall within the bracket of arcade racers.

Racing Sims

Moving on, we have racing sims. In truth, this sub-genre is one for all those racing purists out there. The core concept being, to emulate the sensation of driving a vehicle. That is, as accurately, and as true-to-life as possible.

This strict enthesis on driving physics, over high-octane crashes and intense chase scenes, is tailored more toward professional racing. Although, aids are on offer via the menu such as traction control, anti-lock brakes, stable steering, and automatic gear changes. With that in mind, racing sims typically appeal more to players with high-level driving skills.

Where precision and timing when cornering is vital, and the success of overtaking maneuvers plays a massive role in the outcome of each race. Racing sims tend to have better licensing than arcade types of racing games. The prime reason for this is that they strive to reflect real life.

Some of the most notable franchises are Assetto CorsaProject Cars, Forza Motorsport, and Gran Turismo.

If you have not already, try out these types of racing games today.

Kart Racing Games

Lastly, we have Kart racing games. Much like Arcade-style titles, these types of racing games come in many forms. Often, these share oversimplified driving mechanics and pit the player against obstacles found throughout the course.

It is also not uncommon to have ramps, and turbo pads used for speed boosts. That’s not to mention a series of secret shortcuts. 

In the case of Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing, players have various weapons such as projectiles and special abilities. All to outmaneuver the opponent. The first game to feature car combat was Crashing Race, released in 1976.

The main aim of a kart game is to be fun. On that note, kart titles tend to use the premise and characters from platform games. That is, along with some of the more famous cartoon TV series. For instance, Mario Kart’s roster includes most, if not all, of Nintendo’s iconic cast of characters. All the while, Crash Team Racing hosts many of Naughty Dog’s most inspired creations.

No matter which genre you choose in the field of racing, there is something for every type of player. Whether you are a casual or serious one, there has never been so much choice.

Again, I would suggest giving these types of racing games a go only if you favor fun over realism.

What do you think? We want to hear about your favorite types of racing games. Feel free to share any of your top picks via the comments.

See you all at the start line, folks.