10 Most Kickass Car Racing Video Games

Racing a car next to your best friend will get your blood flowing, but also has a tendency to spill it — unless you're playing video games. Racing games are, in some ways, better than real life. You can choose your vehicles, choose your tracks, outrun the police and not get arrested, and you can wreck and die in fiery car crashes without getting so much as a papercut. And the numbers don't lie: as a whole, racing games have sold hundreds upon hundreds of millions of units. To satisfy your need for speed, try out these 10 most kickass car racing video games:

  1. Gran Turismo

    Gran Turismo has sold more than 60 million copies, making it the stalwart game for car racing enthusiasts, and the all-time best-selling PlayStation exclusive game franchise. With buyable and customizable cars from specialty shops, interesting tracks, many demos and available mods, Gran Turismo is accessible to casual and pro gamers alike, and is gaming's best example of racing — and truly kickass for those who geek out about the intricacies of cars.

  2. Midnight Club

    In this fan favorite cross-platform game, you can pilot both cars and motorbikes. With fun graphics, a great soundtrack, and a lineage of badass games throughout the franchise, Midnight Club continually improves its interfaces and story lines to create a truly awesome, if underappreciated, street racing game.

  3. Cruisin' USA

    If the '90s taught us anything, it's that you can't go to a video arcade and stand watching your boyfriend play Mortal Kombat with your little brother for six hours without being lured in by those seats. This campy classic is full of cheese — and may just be what the boredom doctor ordered.

  4. MarioKart

    What good is a new media office without the ocasional MarioKart tournament? With a classic format and well-loved characters, MarioKart has been a crowd favorite since the days of the SNES. Whether you're having a bad day or good, nobody doesn't love tripping up Bowser with a banana peel.

  5. Real Racing

    One of the most heavily decorated iPhone apps, this one's good alone or with up to five friends. There's lots that's customizable about this racing favorite — choose your own adventure and its soundtrack with 48 vehicle options and iTunes capability.

  6. Forza

    Largely regarded as one of the best racing games ever developed, there's always a bunch of buzz at tech conferences when versions of Forza are released. A favorite of the more discriminating racing enthusiast, this hyperrealistic flashy game sucks in even the most skeptical racers.

  7. Grand Theft Auto

    A point of pride for the UK, Scottish developer Rockstar North catapulted this concept into more than 100 million units in worldwide sales. GTA broke barriers and sales records, and provides everyone the virtual thrill of running from the police. With lots of versions, several car and motorbike options, and morally ambiguous missions, GTA is a super kickass way to have a little adult fun.

  8. Need for Speed

    Like Grand Theft Auto, the Need for Speed franchise revolutionized the concept of the car racing video game. With lots of choices for cars and tracks and a rabid fan following, Need for Speed is considered a standard in the industry. Difficult to outdo and perennially popular, Need for Speed uses intricate graphics and painstaking detail to cement it as a long-time gamer franchise favorite.

  9. San Francisco Rush

    Vintage favorite San Francisco Rush was one of the toeholds of racing games for the Nintendo 64. One of the best features of this game was the cheat code to put gameplay in slow motion, as well as being able to race your cars through a skate park.

  10. Gears of War

    A mix of MarioKart and Call of Duty, in cultish fan favorite Gears of War, you can race around in tanks and shoot people. Though not technically a racing game, Gears has catapulted to video game stardom, and with the malleability of the interface, you can race and combat your tanks with friends when not in mission mode.

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