Looking for a game that allows you to open up the hood and tweak the car’s performance or adjust the cosmetics on the exterior? There are a ton of racing games that offer this feature and in this list, we’re going to highlight some of the video game titles we think were thrilling for their tuning systems. Don’t think of these games as ranked in any particular order, but instead here are just some great games that allowed players to make some adjustments to their rides.
#15 The Crew Series
The Crew is a popular racing game series that offers a wide range of different areas to race around within the United States. However, there is a pretty great tuning system here within the game as well. Players just need to head towards any garage in which case you’ll get to tweak the car you’re racing around within. It’s broken up into categories so you’ll have options to tweak the visuals of your both exterior and interior. However, when you dig into the performance side of things, there are a ton of options to run with. Everything from the exhaust, fuel injection, air system, gearbox, motorcore, tires, breaks, the list goes on. You can really tweak your car to become a powerhouse of a machine.
#14 Mad Max
A game that is often underrated and passed up is Mad Max. This is a video game that takes place in the Mad Max universe which if you’re familiar with the IP then you know that racing around in a car throughout the wasteland is a pretty crucial element. The same can be said for this video game as you’ll have the ability to tweak your vehicle. Now it’s not like the other games on this list where you’ll have more priority of performance and some visuals. Being a Mad Max game, there are areas to tweak your acceleration, handling, and speed. However, there are also areas to give your car more attack and defense powers. For instance, you can add a ramming grill to the front of your car, or throw on some extra bar frames to provide more protection against hostile enemies in the open world.
#13 Need For speed Heat
Need For Speed Heat or better known as NFS Heat came out in 2019 and is one of the latest installments to the franchise. This is another open-world racing game set in a fictional Miami, Florida, and was pretty well received. Here players can purchase cars and from there they’ll have the ability to make an assortment of tweaks and tunings to get their car towards a more powerful state. Similar to The Crew, players just need to take their car to a garage and from there they’ll have the ability to append their in-game cash towards improvements of their car. Again, this includes categories between performance and visuals customizations. There’s a good amount of areas to switch things up as well from the engine, chassis, and drivetrain to name just a few elements players can tweak.
Wreckfest is another different kind of racing game. This is more of a destruction derby type of game and a spiritual successor of the FlatOut series. So players are not necessarily working to get an expensive car to barrel down a track. Instead, the cars are more aimed at delivering a bit of a beating towards another vehicle. While you can work at getting vehicles to perform well in terms of acceleration and speed, you’ll really need strength to go through this game. When it comes to tuning, it’s a bit more basic, you’ll have the ability to adjust certain elements of your car with a slider system. For instance, you’ll be able to adjust the suspension, gear ratio, and break the balance. Likewise, there are some customization options to give your car a bit more aesthetics or improvements to areas such as your engine, cooling system, valves, exhausts, fuel injections. So under the warped hunk of metal, you’ll have a car that can quickly get around the area and bash into another car.
#11 My Summer Car
My Summer Car is another unusual car game with some wacky elements. It’s also an early access game so there may be some changes to the game as the development team progresses through the project. This game is about rebuilding up your father’s old car which you’ll do with various old parts around the area. However, there are also plenty of parts that will need to be purchased which means the game will have players doing various jobs around the neighborhood for money. What makes the car tuning a bit different here compared to the last points mentioned on this list is the fact that everything needs to be assembled for the car. It’s all in pieces so everything from the frame to the bolts is required by the player to put together. Mix in the fact that there are also some survival elements here as well such as thirst and hunger, this is one car building game that you’ll likely not forget about.
#10 Need For Speed Underground
During the early 2000s, the Fast and Furious franchise dominated the theaters for young adults. It was all about street racing and customizing your vehicle. Your car couldn’t just be fast, it needed to look dope and have a killer audio system. One of the game franchises that came out during that era to capitalize on this movement was Need For Speed: Underground. It was a street racing game that had plenty of bright colorful cars and neon lights highlighting the ground underneath. While there were plenty of customization options to make your vehicle fast and handle great, the tuning here was more focused on the visuals and you would even have a rating system to see how well your car looked. The more attention you spend on the visuals the better your car is.
#9 Tokyo Xtreme Racer
Tokyo Xtreme Racer or Shutokou Battle depending on where you were located was an arcade driving video game series that got started in 1994 and continued until about 2017. This game mainly had players racing around different street races or highways with some tight lanes and traffic to keep an eye out for. As a result, there was a bit of drifting here as you got around some of the tight corners. Since this is an older series as well, some of the adjustments will be varied. For instance, for the earlier titles, players will purchase a vehicle and from there they can head into the tuning shop before racing. It’s here that we get categories such as power, powertrain, tires, body, to like other games on this list, the ability to make some cosmetic changes.
#8 Gran Turismo Series
Sony for years has been able to provide players with a pretty iconic simulation racing game series with Gran Turismo. This is a racing sim that allows players to get behind the wheel of countless vehicles and race around iconic courses. There’s so much love for this franchise that you can even get some official simulator kids to help mimic sitting down behind the vehicle with a racing wheel, pedals, and a racing seat. One of the latest installments right now is Gran Turismo Sport which adds in an arcade mode as well as the sport mode so whether you’re wanting more of a casual arcade experience or a championship simulation run, it’s available here. As players progress and earn the in-game currency, players can make tweaks to their cars. There are several categories to mess around with, but there’s also a quick tune that allows players to do some overall improvements to a car with a simple button press if you’re not wanting to get into the finer details of car tuning.
#7 Assetto Corsa
Another simulation racing game that has been quite popular is Assetto Corsa and while you have a wide range of cars and trucks to pick from officially, one of the reasons this game has received so much praise and attention is the mod community. Players can create courses and upload them online for players to go through. Whether you want specific courses or just open-world maps, there’s a ton of options to pick from online. The same can be said for different car models. Now, this is a bit of a loaded point here because of the PC modding community, players can build up their customize cars to import into the game. That means knowing how to model on the PC in which case the customization will be limited to what’s already available within the game.
#6 Project Cars Series
Project Cars is a bit of a new racing video game series in the marketplace. After getting its start back in 2015, we currently have three mainline installments available. The video game series has players racing through a variety of courses and having access to a wide range of vehicles. Fortunately, you can tweak those cars to be a bit more custom. There’s plenty of tuning options here from tires, brake pressure, alignments, suspension, gearing, the list goes on. Currently, the latest installment to this franchise that you can pick up right now is Project Cars 3.
#5 Midnight Club 3 Dub Edition
Who remembers the Midnight Club racing franchise? This was done by Rockstar Games, the studio mainly known for Grand Theft Auto and it’s a franchise that’s been dormant since 2009. Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition released in 2005 featured an open-world racing game but the first installment to this series that received car modification options. It was a huge hit when the game launched and again the video game tuning was a bit like Need For Speed Underground. There were plenty of visuals to make the car pop, but also a ton of system upgrades to help improve the performance.
#4 Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 is one of the latest mainline installments for the Forza franchise. It took players to Great Britain for players to race around within both as a single-player experience or with players online. There are a few different ways to get cars, but when you do have a car then you’ll have the chance to dive into the tuning aspect of the vehicle. Fortunately, this game also has a variety of upgrade options here so if you don’t want to get very in-depth with tuning, then there are just basic upgrade pathways. You spend some money and aim for what you’re looking for out of the car. From there, the video game will automatically tune the car for you.
#3 F1 Series
The F1 series might appeal to a more niche group of racers. There are plenty of F1 video game titles to pick from and as you can imagine there are a ton of options to make some tweaks and adjustments to your car. There’s even plenty of videos online to show guides, goals, and some of the setups for the different car tunings. It’s very in-depth with plenty of gauges to check out during test rides to ensure you’ve tuned the car efficiently.
Automation is a video game indie title that was released back in 2015 under early access. This game is a bit like PC Building Simulator but for cars. The game has players building up cars from scratch from the frame, engines, chassis, and visuals, everything is your decision. This means also going into the finer details of a car tuning to ensure that the car is meeting your expectations. If you ever wanted to own your garage and just spend time building or tuning cars then this is a title worth looking into. With that said, because it’s in early access, you’ll probably see quite a few tweaks and updates made to the game itself as the developers get closer to the official launch.
#1 Car Mechanic Simulator 2018
Another game that’s quite a bit like Automation is Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 where you’ll tune and repair cars. This means finding up old beat-up vehicles in a junkyard, getting it back in the garage, and repairing them to flip. Likewise, there are plenty of jobs where you’ll need to repair different problems of a car and earning some funds that way. This is also a game that’s heavily modded online so you can expect plenty of content that way or through a variety of DLCs that the developers have put out which gives players more cosmetics or new cars to work with.