The 15 Best Nintendo Switch Racing Games

The racing genre is filled with video game titles, and there is a nonstop influx of new titles coming out into the marketplace. So if you have a Nintendo Switch and are looking for some of the best racing video games available, check out our list below. You’ll find that there is something for just about everyone below, whether it’s arcade racers, racing simulators, to kart racing titles.

#15 Redout

There’s always a market for fast-paced futuristic racing titles. We’ve seen several of these franchises thrive, such as F-Zero and WipeOut. Another title that was looking to make a big splash in the video game industry was Redout. This title came out in 2016, which offered players a chance to experience this new AG racing title. While set in the future, there is still plenty of physics placed into this racing title. Every turn and dip will affect your vehicle. Outside of the racing gameplay, a career mode pins players against a series of event races and the ability to make adjustments to your vehicle. Likewise, you can expect online multiplayer where you’ll have the ability to race against twelve other players around the world. At the same time, we haven’t received a new F-Zero game in a good long while now. Hopefully, this should be another title to suffice as a replacement until Nintendo decides to bring the IP out of dormancy.

#14 Cruis’n Blast

If you frequented the arcades back in the 1990s, then you might recall the Crusi’n racing franchise. Now 2021 we have a new installment with Cruis’n Blast. This game acts much like the original titles, and it’s an over-the-top arcade racing experience. You’ll have muscle sports cars to barrel down the road in wacky environments featuring anything from bustling cities to a land before time with dinosaurs roaming around. It’s also a very bright and colorful game. It offers four-player racing, and it’s a suitable title for all ages. Those not thrilled over the high realism of simulation racing should take a look into this game.

#13 Team Sonic Racing

Nintendo has dominated the genre with the iconic Mario Kart franchise when it comes to kart racing video game titles. However, that doesn’t mean that there are not many alternatives that are worth the pickup. Sega opted to get into the Kart racing series, which initially featured Sonic the Hedgehog and a wide assortment of other iconic Sega-owned IPs represented. Players would have different transforming vehicles depending on the terrain they would be driving onto, along with a slew of Sega characters and map designs being featured. However, their latest installment to this series strictly focuses on the Sonic IP. Players would be able to race through the game as characters from the Sonic franchise. With that said, the kart racer is what you would expect, and it’s fast with colorful level designs and a series of power-ups that players can collect and use to get an advantage within the race.

#12 Descenders

Often when someone thinks about racing games, it’s the traditional vehicle-based titles. However, there is also Descenders, a game that’s based around downhill biking. Within the game, players are racing through different maps, such as a thick forest course where you’ll have a bike to barrel down the side of mountains and hills. Along the way, players can take different jumps and perform tricks like a backflip giving your race a bit of freestyle when peddling down to the finish line. As mentioned, this game has different maps, and they are procedurally generated, so you should have a new course and scenery every time you load up the game. While you’re not racing, you can adjust your cosmetics which this game has a wide variety of skins to unlock. Everything from the goggles, helmets, flags, shirts, pants to bike colors are available to grab up. You can even earn new bikes in general, so there should hopefully be enough unlockables here to keep players busy and enjoying the game.

#11 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered

In general, the Need for Speed franchise has a strong following, but there are a few titles out of the mix that has received a new installment or remastered edition. One of those titles was the Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit franchise. While first making a debut in 1998 as Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, this title saw a remake of sorts in 2010, and then it was remastered for modern platforms in 2020. This title is a typical street arcade racing title with players having an assortment of supped-up vehicles to barrel down California, Oregon, and Washington. However, while players are not only racing against other vehicles, they will be racing to flee the law. The police force is a strong component of the game as they can place roadblocks and radar jamming while the street racers are faster. With that said, players can even step into the role of a police officer and participate in high-speed pursuits.

#10 SnowRunner

SnowRunner is not much of a racing game, but it is a title centered around vehicles. In SnowRunner, players are working in a harsh terrain environment. You’ll take on several jobs where either you’re picking up cargo and delivering it or winching vehicles out of the mud. This is one of those games where you can play while tuning into your favorite podcast. It’s a bit of a relaxing experience, but the goal here is to make sure you’re aware of your surroundings. Likewise, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right vehicle to handle the job. This means making upgrades to your vehicle or jumping into another heavy-duty truck.

#9 Trials Rising

The Trials games have done well in the past, and one that is worth checking out if you haven’t already done so is Trials Rising. The video game is a physics-based motorbike game. Throughout the game, players will be going through intense side-scrolling courses where the goal is to reach certain platforms. Since this game is heavily focused on physics, it’s easily possible to topple over and be forced into restarting the course. Add in the fact that racing against an opponent’s time only brings more fuel to the intensity.

#8 Burnout Paradise Remastered

The Burnout franchise is another iconic arcade-style racing game where it’s all about intense street races. However, what made this game series a bit more thrilling is the fact that there is a focus on crashes. Even if you fail and end up wrecking, it’s usually over the top, and thrilling cinematic plays out. Burnout Paradise Remastered is one of the latest installments available for the franchise, where players not only have races to participate in but an open world map to roam as well. Now players can enjoy this classic title on the Nintendo Switch platform. With this definitive version of the game, players are receiving the base game, all the main DLC packs, new locations, challenges, and over a hundred different vehicles to use. Best of all, this game does feature multiplayer with up to eight-player support.

#7 Grid Autosport

Grid Autosport is another game available on quite a few different platforms, whether consoles or smartphones. A good selection of the games we mentioned already is more in tune with arcade-style gameplay. With Grid Autosport, players have a more simulation-based video game. Players will be racing through several events and taking control of various vehicles, whether they are supped-up muscle cars to hypercars. Again, there’s a good selection of simulation-based racing video games out in the market, but for the Nintendo Switch, you can’t go wrong with Grid Autosport.

#6 Hot Wheels Unleashed

Hot Wheels is a beloved toy franchise, and chances are you played with these toy cars growing up. They featured all kinds of vehicles, from classic cars, modern releases to makeshift fake hybrids. Then there’s the different tracks and courses you could make. The course creation gave children creative freedom to make a track around their home with the bright orange track pieces. Now, we have a racing game we would recommend checking out. Hot Wheels Unleashed is an arcade racer where players get to race around in these iconic cars. Likewise, the game features a track builder where you can once again build up unique courses digitally. There’s even the ability to share your creation online.

#5 Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

For years Nintendo thrived at making Mario Kart video game titles popular for a broad audience. To compete with Nintendo and offer a kart racer for the Sony PlayStation, Naughty Dog brought out Crash Team Racing. It was essentially a Mario Kart clone, but rather than being a game based around Nintendo’s IP, and we got a title based around the popular platformer IP, Crash Bandicoot. Now years later, a remake has come out. Much like the original installment, this remake features the same overall experience. Players will have an assortment of characters from the Crash Bandicoot series to take control of while racing through various courses. During the race, you’ll find different power-ups that can help give you a boost or an attack power to fight off other racers on the course.

#4 Fast RMX

Another game that acts much like the F-Zero and WipeOut franchise is Fast RMX, and it’s a solid futuristic racer. This game has players controlling anti-gravity vehicles in intense courses. Players will have their skills put to the test with this high-octane video game. At the same time, there are only fifteen different vehicles. However, the game does offer some diverse vehicle models to keep things interesting. Not to mention the visuals of this game are pretty incredible. Players are not only getting some stunning visuals, but the visual effects make the game feel like you’re flying down these courses at record-breaking speeds.

#3 Horizon Chase Turbo

Another old-school retro-style video game that came out was Horizon Chase Turbo. This game acts much like the different arcade cabinet racing games you might have seen and played during the 1980s to 1990s. Within the game, players have a supped-up muscle car and must race against time or other players in a series of exotic locations. For only $19.99, you can find a good bit of fun here, and of course, there is multiplayer within the game. You can have up to four players racing against each other.

#2 Sega Ages: Outrun

If you’re looking for a nostalgia trip, then you can’t go wrong with Outrun. This is a classic arcade game that’s been around for ages. Being an older title, there’s not much we can say that you’re likely not already aware of. Overall, it’s a title that has players racing through different parts of the world to beat the clock. While racing down the streets, you’ll need to make the turns and avoid different obstacles that would spin your vehicle out, causing you to lose precious time.

#1 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

I’m sure you knew this was coming, but we have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the first place. As mentioned earlier, Nintendo has dominated the kart racing genre with the Mario Kart series. Throughout the years, we’ve seen Nintendo put out new installments into the marketplace. Players take the role of different iconic Nintendo Mario characters while going through bright and colorful Nintendo-themed courses. Players can also customize their vehicle by selecting the different body chassis, wheels, and gliders that will be attached to the vehicle when it’s airborne. Of course, a big part of the game is power-ups, and there’s a bunch of options here to either boost you ahead of the race or deliver attacks at other players nearby. It’s a thrilling game that is easy to get into, and by far one of the most addicting Nintendo Switch exclusives available today.

Bonus Games

Absolute Drift

Absolute Drift is a unique kind of racing game and one that can be a bit relaxing. In this title, players are going through a top-down racing video game, but rather than barreling down the track against a slew of other competitors, you’re instead drifting around particular objects. The goal of being the fastest player to drift around the map and the gameplay controls are made to be a bit easier to pick up and go through. Being an indie racing title, there’s not a ton of different vehicles to pick through, but you will find over thirty different courses to participate in. So while it’s not directly a traditional racing title, there is quite a bit of fun to be had here.

Grip: Combat Racing

If you’re able to take the high octane competition, then check out Grip: Combat Racing. This is a futuristic game where players have a wide range of different vehicles that are armed with weapons to take out opponents. This game may not be suitable for those that get motion sickness as the prominent key feature to the title is the vehicles that can flip around on the course. For instance, if you head into a corridor straight away, you might flipping upside down and driving on the ceiling to overlap or dodge an enemy behind you. So players can make use of the entire course and provide some chaotic gameplay.

Star Wars Episode I: Podracer

Star Wars Episode I may not have done well in terms of the film franchise, but it did bring us out an entertaining racing video game. Within the film, we watched a young Anakin Skywalker participate in a fictional race called podracing. These vehicles would hover in the air while being controlled by two jets as it drags the vehicle behind along the course. It’s a dangerous race, but those skilled enough can turn a tidy profit. In Star Wars Episode I: Podracer, players can take control of over twenty different racers and go through race tracks across eight different worlds. As you win and bring in credits, Pit Droids will be available to make adjustments to help give your podracer a bit of a performance boost.

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix

Speaking of Kart racers, there is also Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix. Again, this is a very similar video game style as we just went over with Team Sonic Racing and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The only difference here is that instead of Nintendo or Sonic characters, it’s based on the various Nintendo-owned franchises. Players will be going through races as either character from SpongeBob SquarePants, Rugrats, and Hey Arnold, to name a few shows represented in the game. At any rate, the gameplay acts very much the same as players are racing through several different themed courses while using various power-ups to boost your kart or send out attacks to the different opponents.

Rise: Race The Future

Rise: Race The Future is a futuristic racing game. This game takes some of the familiarity of racing as it stands today but focuses more on drifting. In this game, players are racing through different terrain courses, but racers can drift on any course, both on land or water, thanks to modern vehicle technology. This means that there is the standard style of course races with straightaways, but you’ll see more sharp turns that put players into a drift to maneuver around the corner successfully.

Road Redemption

Speaking of older classic video game titles, another franchise that has had a strong following for years was Road Rash. In this game series, players would race on a motorcycle while also battling opponents by trying to knock them off their vehicle, such as kicking or punching them when racing side by side. Unfortunately, while the vehicle combat racing title thrived during the 1990s, we didn’t see this franchise make any big comeback since. However, with that said, there is a spiritual successor that you might be worth checking into. The game is called Road Redemption, which again acts like Road Rash but with a modern take. Players will be again racing down busy streets while battling against opponents by using different melee weapons. However, you’ll still need to be cautious of the road as you can still find yourself getting taken out by vehicles or racing off the road and losing some significant ground. With that said, you can find quite a bit of mindless mayhem to be had here for both veterans of the Road Rash series or newcomers altogether.

Riptide GP: Renegade

Riptide GP: Renegade is a title that’s pretty accessible to play, whether it’s on consoles or smartphones. This game throws players behind a hydrojet, a water-based armored vehicle that allows players to race down waterways. However, to make things a bit more intense, the levels are full of over-the-top moments, whether it’s throwing players down a massive waterfall, jumping over a pedestrian overpass, or speeding down tight corridors. Not only are you racing opponents, much like our previous point, but this game also has law enforcement attempting to stop the fun and crash your race, meaning that you need to keep ahead of the law and your opponents to come out on top. While this game can be played in a single-player experience, you can also find online gameplay featuring up to eight players. Not to mention that this game is relatively cheap to enjoy, and at the time of writing this list, players can pick up the game for $9.99 or as low as $2.99 if you happen to catch it on a sale.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Mario Kart is an iconic racing franchise for Nintendo. While Nintendo has brought out several installments for both consoles and their portable handheld systems, there was a pretty drastic change up to the IP with the release of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. This is a different game as it places on mixed reality games where players are given all the tools to set up a race track within their home. Afterward, players would sync their Nintendo Switch to an RC vehicle supplied with the game, allowing players to race around their homes. With the RC car featuring a camera, players can see the course ahead while adding in opponents and the various power-ups to be used virtually. It’s a different kind of a Mario Kart experience for sure, but one that may appeal to a broad audience.

Hotshot Racing

Hotshot Racing is a new take on retro arcade-style racing video games. It’s bright and colorful while providing a thrilling, fast-paced racing gameplay experience. Throw out the physics and simulation for this game as it’s all about exotic location maps while speeding down the courses. Fans of the classic 90s style arcade cabinet racing games will have plenty of nostalgia here. This game has a few different game modes to enjoy. For instance, outside of standard Racing and drifts, there are cops and robbers. In this game mode, one player starts as a cop and must attempt to catch up to a robber who would convert them into police and add to your ranks in hopes of catching all the robbers in time. Meanwhile, there is another game mode called Drive or Explode. Here players all have a bomb attached to their vehicle, which will explode if players drop below a certain speed limit.

Mantis Burn Racing

Mantis Burn Racing is a game that looks a bit like Absolute Drift in that it’s a top-down racer. However, it’s a lot more intense than Absolute Drift as it’s a vehicle combat racer with intense courses that range from cities, tundra to off-road courses. Players will not only be going through races, but players can also compete in a series of weekly challenges and other thrilling game modes such as time trials or knockout-based gameplay. This game may take a bit to get used to with the top-down perspective, but once you get the hang of things, there’s plenty of options to make upgrades to your vehicle for better performance.

Inertial Drift

Initial Drift is a visually stunning video game racer. It’s set up to look like a synthwave video game. However, the gameplay mechanics are what makes this game unique, as it features twin-stick controls. Players are using the left analog stick normally to steer the vehicle along the course. The right analog stick is what would initiate drifting around corners. As mentioned, this game features synthwave visuals while the game course mainly takes place through different futuristic cities and landscapes. If you’re not up to the event-style races in single-player, there are still multiplayer game modes to put players against one another to challenge your twin-stick racing skills.

Mindball Play

Mindball Play is another unique racing game that acts like Super Monkey Ball if you’re familiar with that franchise. In this game, players take the role of a ball going through a series of obstacle courses full of pathways that can knock players off the course and put them back to different checkpoints. It’s simple to get and extremely difficult to get through while also being quite intense when racing against other players. Trust me, this game is fun to play with friends, but even watching it play out is entertaining.

The Next Penelope

The Next Penelope is a mix of a racing game along with a narrative storyline. It’s an arcade action game at its core. Players take on a futuristic vehicle and race around different courses in search of someone that’s gone missing in the galaxy. As a result, players will be traveling to different planets and going through a barrage of courses.