10 Best PS5 Open-World Racing Games

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The leap from PS1 to PS2 brought about an increase in graphics and processing power, allowing developers to create larger and more expansive, open-ended worlds that gamers can get themselves lost in. 

Hit titles such as Need for Speed: Underground 2, Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition, and even Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas have paved the way for how open worlds should look in the years to come.

As the PS3 to PS4 Era rolled around developers enjoyed a fluidity in the connection between themselves and gamers allowing for more post-release content and support. Now with the PS5 being out for over two years already, we’ve decided to compile a list of some of the best Open World Racing Games that you can get on Sony’s latest generation platform.

#10 Riders Republic

  • Singleplayer
  • Co-op up to 4 players
  • Online Multiplayer up to 8

Take Steep and take the Crew, mash them up and you get Rider’s Republic an open world, racing game with an emphasis on extreme sports rather than cars. Participate in intense BMX races, Snowboard or ski down mountains, jetpack down canyons or speed downhill faces in a wingsuit.

All of the gear is switchable while playing, so if you find yourself at the top of a mountain with a BMX. Fear not! Just drive off the edge, do a couple of backflips and switch to your wingsuit!

It’s got all the bells and whistles that a next-generation game would have – a populated social open-world, Crossplay between Xbox, PC, and PS5 and of course, enough post-launch content to keep your character eye-popping as long as your wallet holds.

#9 Need For Speed: Rivals

  • Singleplayer
  • Online Up To 8 players

Released back in 2014, Need for Speed: Rivals pits two factions of Lawmakers and Lawbreakers against each other. It’s both an all-out battle between who can outsmart who when it comes to gadgets and gear and who has the fastest cars in the garage. Judging by the reviews it looks like there is enough exploration to keep you driving for hours, but not much in the way of “free” exploration. It’s more so that you drive following roads, occasionally going off the beaten path which is still more or less a demarcated path.

The game is most definitely an arcade action racer, which outshines the free-roam aspects. Both factions have their own unique abilities to take on the opposing faction. Multiplayer looks like tons of fun and builds on Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit’s Autolog system – this time with another social system called Alldrive. Alldrive allows other players to also free-roam in the same map as you who you may race with or against. The more players that there are in a group the bigger chance there is to gain points.

#8 The Crew 2 

  • Singleplayer
  • Multiplayer up to 4 players

Originally released for the PS4, The Crew 2 puts you in the shoes of an ambitious racer looking to become the best in both lands, air, and sea racing. You’ll compete with 4 different families of racers unlocking specific car bodies and parts per family. The game really shines in its recreation of United States. You can explore The Rocky Mountains, lock into the grid of New York city or drive along the Mississippi River. As usual, the cars are customizable and have unlockable parts based on rarity which you can earn throughout the game.

#7 Dakar 18 

  • Singleplayer
  • Splitscreen
  • Online Multiplayer up to 8 players

Developed by Deep Silver Dakar 18 is a game based on an intensive annual off-road rally race organized by the same group which does Tour De France.

The game is absolutely massive, featuring over 18,000km of explorable land split over South American countries Bolivia, Argentina, and Peru. The environment is also completely dynamic, simulating a real environmental cycle. Driving in heavy rain? Try to avoid getting stuck in the mud. Cruising over rocks? Just make sure that your tires don’t get stuck in crevices. Braving the blistering Sun? Avoid the dry sand!

Besides the in-depth exploration aspect, you will be able to compete in races online and offline in three different modes Rookie, Competitor, and Legend. In Rookie Mode players have a compass and vehicles are more difficult to repair. In Competitor Mode there is no compass, vehicles are more fragile and repairs cost more points. Legend gets once the player beats competitor mode.

#6 Mad Max

Hands down one of the best free-roam racing games you’ll play on the PS5. Take my word for it. Mad Max is absolutely awesome, you’ll drive your scrappy V8 powered car of death throughout the wasteland scavenging parts for upgrades, take down bandit parties using vehicle weaponry, and partake in “Death Runs” which are essentially arcade-style races where you get to pit your car up against other wasteland natives like yourself. But remember your car is only as good as your driver! So don’t forget to upgrade your character’s survival skills, armor and hand-to-hand combat abilities.

#5 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition 

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy combines three games into a singular edition remastered for the PS5. Giving players the iconic worlds of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas but on new generation platforms. You’ll get access to a wide variety of cars that you can store at your home and drive around at your leisure.

That is when you aren’t caught up in the chaos of San Andreas, or in the mobster career of Tommy Vercetti in Vice City. Racing isn’t the only thing while there are segments in each of the games where you will be racing, I wouldn’t say that this is the goal of the grand theft auto series. As most gamers already know, the fun in Grand Theft Auto is messing around in the open world. To some that may mean blasting a rocket launcher off a Skyscraper to unsuspecting civilians, to others that may mean trying to survive a 5 star police chase.

#4 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered 

  • Singleplayer
  • Multiplayer up to 8 players

Originally released in 2010, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit throws players into the world of cops and outlaws. You’ll experience thrilling speeds, quick-handed takedowns, and speedy getaways as you explore the diversity of California in the career mode. The game’s Autolog system is also quite cool, working as a social network, you’ll see how your friends are progressing and will be faced with challenges to keep up with them. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit also features cross-platform multiplayer allowing you to play with your Switch or Xbox Friends.

The game’s remaster includes all the base game DLCs as well beefed-up textures and lighting.

#3 SnowRunner 

  • Singleplayer
  • Multiplayer up to 4 players

While not necessarily a racing game, Snowrunner is more of an open-world-driving sim with RPG elements. You’ll drive a variety of trucks over challenging terrain transporting materials to complete “tasks” which will help you navigate the map more easily. You’ll deliver materials for drilling contracts, build pipelines, restore railways, rebuild truck factories, and much more. The game features 3 different regions challenging the player From the Winding mountain paths in Michigan to the Rugged Peninsula of Northen Russia each region brings about its own environment with different challenges.

If you are looking for a cooperative game this one is for you! SnowRunner features Crossplay between Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch platforms.

#2 Burnout Paradise: Remastered 

  • Singleplayer 
  • Multiplayer up to 8 players

Originally released in 2008. Burnout Paradise Remastered is a racing game defined by destruction: smash the NO2 to speed up or smash your opponents, it’s a high-energy arcade racer designed to make you cruise for hours on end in Paradise City. The game handles really well and has some cool visual effects like the screen shaking or showers of sparks shooting up behind your vehicle as you tear up paradise city. You’ll find yourself not only driving a car but also switching to Motorbike.

The game also features multiplayer and a versus mode called Cops and Robbers.

#1 Need for Speed: Heat 

  • Singleplayer
  • Online free-roam co-op
  • Multiplayer up to 16 players

Originally released for the PS4 and Xbox One, Need for Speed Heat is an open-world racer which features a day and night mode. During the day you can partake in sanctioned races, allowing you to earn money to purchase new cars. At night you can take part in illegal street racing which earns you a reputation to purchase new gear. Both times of day are switchable and are not dynamic. The game also features an app, which allows you to customize your cars from your phone.

The game looks like a really fun Arcade racer, but perhaps a little bit dead when it comes to the population of the world.

Bonus Games

Ride 4

  • Singleplayer
  • Online free-roam co-op
  • Multiplayer

Ride 4 is more than happy to put you behind the wheel of some of the fastest motorcycles that have ever been made, and then take on the world on them.

The game will let you travel the world in order to race on dozens of tracks, take on professional leagues, and everything in between. All the while letting you customize your bike and your character in order to truly showcase just what you can do, and can be.

And when you’re done taking on the games AI, you can jump online and play with your friends to see who is the best racer among you.

Driveclub

  • Singleplayer
  • Online free-roam co-op
  • Multiplayer

As the name suggests, Driveclub is very much about going into the racing world and proving you’re the best while also being part of a club as well. Through the game, you’ll be able to play as a member of a club alongside other players. You’ll race together and through other competitions in order to raise the rank of your club, and fight to become the best club of all!

And when you want a bit more “solo time”, you’ll have the Tour mode, which will let you participate in all kinds of racing styles all over the world. Including taking on time trials, drifting competitions, or being a part of some really big tournament matches.

So whether you go it alone or play with others, you’ll have a lot to do here.

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