The PlayStation 3 was home to some big titles that still maintain their charm to this day. The racing genre was no exception as the PS3 was full of amazing racing games varying from exciting unrealistic arcade racing games, to hardcore sim-racers, there is enough to satisfy every kind of gamer.
While a lot of the games on this list are over a decade old, you will be surprised at how good the PlayStation 3 graphics are (looking at Wipeout HD), some of these games are unbelievably stunning leaving me to surprise.
So without any further delay, get your PlayStation 3 and put on your seat belts as we drive through the best PlayStation 3 racing games of all time.
Table of Contents
- 1 Fuel
- 2 MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
- 3 Burnout Paradise
- 4 GRID Autosport
- 5 Gran Turismo 6
- 6 Test Drive Unlimited 2
- 7 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
- 8 Midnight Club: Los Angeles
- 9 DiRT 3
- 10 Blur
- 11 Wipeout HD
- 12 MotorStorm: Apocalypse
- 13 Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends
- 14 Sega Rally Revo
- 15 Split/Second
- 16 Driver: San Francisco
- 17 Need for Speed: Carbon
Fuel is an Open World arcade racing game. The game takes place in an alternative post-apocalyptic United States, offering a huge map that covers over 14 400 square kilometers to roam freely, the terrains include forests, deserts, and mountain hills.
The gameplay consists of playing various races located across the map, each race is different, you can experience various weather changes such as tornados, lightning, thunder, and sandstorms, as well as a night and day cycle, there is a decent vehicle selection to choose from as you unlock them over the course of the game.
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift is an offroad arcade racing game and a sequel to the first game on the series Motorstorm. The game takes place on a green and lively island, giving the game a beautiful vegetation look while differing from the previous titles with occasional post-apocalyptic elements such as volcanic eruptions.
There are 16 tracks to enjoy varying from beaches to jungles and volcano mountains. You have the ability to boost your speed with a nitro push, but you need to be very careful as abusing the nitro can lead to overheating and exploding, water is present in every track to cool off your engine and play it smart, over 51 vehicles can be unlocked as you progress varying from bikes, buggy, ATVs , rally cars, trucks and more.
Burnout Paradise is an open-world arcade racing game and the sixth entry in the Burnout series. The game takes place in a fictional city called Paradise City, you can play various events scattered across the city varying from races, stunt runs, road rages, and more.
Unlike the previous games, Burnout Paradise is completely open even when you take a race you are free to approach the route as you like as long as you get to the finish line. There is a lot to enjoy here single-player wise you can spend hours to finish the game’s tracks but unfortunately, the online multiplayer servers were shut down on the PS3. If you’re more into online than single-player, the newer remastered version of the game might please you. Overall this is a must-own on the PS3 for arcade lovers.
Grid Autosport is a simulation racing game and the ninth game in the Toca series. The game leans more toward realistic driving, as you build your career taking off various rivals and competitors to satisfy your sponsors.
The career mode is divided into various seasons, the player has the option to choose between numerous racing teams at the beginning of each season. There is over 108 cars selection to choose from including DLCs, each vehicle is divided into tiers and classes, over 15 real-world circuits are accessible in addition to a few fictional tracks to satisfy all kind of racing fans.
Gran Turismo 6 is a realistic racing simulation game, and the twelfth installment on the Gran Turismo series. This is the pinnacle of racing simulation games on the PlayStation 3 system, presenting both realistic driving and stunning visuals, the game physics are insanely realistic and polished giving both old and new players a whole new experience.
Gran Turismo 6 is tremendously huge in terms of content, you have over 1200 cars to choose from and more than 20 vehicles designed exclusively for the game, 37 tracks are also available with a few new exclusive tracks, you can compete on career mode or enjoy the game locally with a friend.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 is an open-world racing game and the nineteenth entry on the Test Drive series. You start the game as a driver working for Tess Wintory, while driving her to a certain location she was surprised by the player’s skills giving him a chance to participate in a big racing championship taking place at various locations on the island.
The game takes place on two main island Ibiza and Oahu giving the player a huge map to explore, there is over 100 car to unlock varying from sports cars to SUVs and more. Your progress is done by earning experience points to level up, there are 60 levels to claim. The experiences points can be earned by playing various events across the map as well as buying new cars and discovering the islands.
Need For Speed Hot Pursuit is an exciting arcade racing game and the sixteenth entry on the Need For Speed series. You have the choice to either be an outlaw racer on the run or be the chaser and play as a police member.
This game is considered one of the last good arcades Need For Speed games, as it takes it’s inspiration from the previous classic Need For Speed Hot Pursuit I and II, there is a full career mode for both racers and police, each side has several power-ups and attacks varying from nitro boosts to road spikes and many more. Visually the game is eye candy and still holds up to this day. I was amazed by how this game still looks and plays fantastic, both visually and technically, this game is a must-own on the Playstation 3 system.
Midnight Club: Los Angeles is an open-world arcade racing game and marks the fourth game on the Midnight Club series. The game takes place entirely in Los Angeles, providing a huge detailed city to explore while cruising at midnight. Though the game sticks to its predecessor’s formula there is a lot of new things to enjoy such as a day and night cycle, a new weather system, and new driving physics.
A pursuit system is here to keep things heated, police can chase you over any lawbreaking, you have the choice to slow down and face the consequences of your behaviors, or of course, run and enjoy the chase. The game offers 43 cars to unlock, in addition, there are also 4 motorcycles to ride, while the graphics are a bit outdated for my taste the gameplay covers up for it offering an exciting ride to enjoy.
Dirt 3 is an arcade racing game and serves as the eighth installment in the Colin Mcrae series. The game takes place in several places around the globe as you take a tour of each country completing several challenges.
There are over 50 cars to enjoy if you count the DLCs. Just like its previous predecessor you can rewind time as you please during the races, up to 5 times this ability can be used depending on the difficulty you choose. With stunning graphics and responsive tight controls, this is a must-have for off-road racing lovers.
Blur is a creative arcade racing game, made by the famous studio Bizarre Creation known for their awesome racing games. The game combines elements of a realistic arcade racer and combat kart racing games generating a very creative and new idea.
Over 64 events are available varying from racing, checkpoint, boss battles, and destruction. The game can be played solo or with a friend locally and online, visually the game still looks beautiful and stunning for its age, unfortunately, Blur didn’t get the love that it deserves upon its release but you know, as they say, it’s better late than never.
Wipeout HD is a fast-paced futuristic racing game and marks the eighth installment of the famous Wipeout series. The game takes place in a futuristic setting, where you compete on an anti-gravity high-speed racing events.
The game uses the tracks of the previous game and upgrades them to stunning 1080p HD graphics, and smooth 60fps. Five game modes are here to keep you busy varying from standard racing events, tournament mode, time trials, speed lap, and zone mode. The game looks awesome for its age providing a modern look, tight controls, and an enjoyable challenge.
Motorstorm: Apocalypse is an arcade racing game and the fourth installment on the Motorstorm series. The game takes place in an apocalyptic environment where the earth is collapsing over natural disasters. You can play as 3 characters on the main story mode, each one of them representing a game difficulty Mash the rookie, Tyler the pro, and Big Dog the veteran.
Just like the previous games on the series, the gameplay sticks to the old formula with some minus tweaks such as air cooling which acts just like water cooling after a nitro boost. Graphically the game still looks great offering beautiful colorful experience. Overall this is a must have for sony lovers as it’s still a PS3 exclusive to this day.
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends is a simulation racing game and acts as the twentieth game on the Test Drive series. The gameplay is similar to the earlier games on the series offering a realistic perspective. You race on closed-circuit tracks taking several laps to finish, the career mode is divided into eras each era has its own vehicles selection.
The game takes simulation aspects to the hardcore level offering responsive controls, realistic physics, and accurate tracks. Over fifty licensed Ferrari cars are available to unlock through the course of career mode, thirteen tracks are accessible, a few of these tracks can be played through different eras. Graphic wise the game still looks stunning despite its age.
Sega Rally Revo is an arcade off-road racing game and marks the fourth installment on the Sega Rally series. The game is far from being realistic focusing totally on arcade gameplay, responsive controls, and stunning colorful visuals, offering a very fun and enjoyable experience.
Sega Rally Revo has over 30 licensed cars divided into different classes, 16 tracks are available in total, some of them can be played in reverse. Tracks terrains offer a huge selection varying from safaris, arctic, canyon, jungles, and more.
Split/Second is an arcade racing game that focuses on combat racing using destruction mechanics. The game takes you on a fictional reality tv show where racers compete on several tracks in which everything is chaotic and destructible.
The main focus of the game is to take on various challenges such as racing, survival, elimination, and many more. You have the ability to trigger special events where you can wreck your opponents to pieces in countless creative ways, this can be done by filling a meter called the power play meter through drifting, jumping, and doing tricks across the race.
Driver San Francisco is an open-world racing game, the game marks the fifth and last installment of the well-known Driver series. The player takes control of John Tanner a police detective who falls into a coma after an accident. John finds himself stuck in the dream world pursuing the same criminal that put him in this situation.
The game differs a lot from its predecessor by removing completely the ability to free-roam on foot, instead, the player can jump from one driver’s mind to the other using an ability called shift. The player participates in different missions including chases, street races, and stunts. The game also offers a fictional representation of San Francisco featuring over 300 km of roads, making the map one of the biggest in the game series. Overall, this is an absolute must-play, especially for the original Driver fans, it’s never too late to pick this up!
Need For Speed Carbon is an arcade racing game, the game act as the tenth installment in the Need For Speed series. NFS Carbon takes place in the fictional city of Palmont City, taking place just after the events of Need For Speed Most Wanted.
The player participates in a huge selection of street race events across the city, earning money and fame will allow the player to buy new cars or upgrade owned cars to the maximum performance. The game feature over 80 cars to be unlocked, divided into 3 tiers, the cars are fully customizable including colors, outer looks, and upgrades. The HD consoles version is the best visually including the PS3 offering up to 720p resolution. In a word, Need For Speed Carbon is arguably one of the best Need For Speed games to date, marking a true modern classic.