The PlayStation Portable launch was a surprise for many gamers around the globe, bringing the PS2 experience to the palm of our hands. The PSP library was rich with titles of all genres, and the racing genre was no exception offering a huge exhibition of games.
To be fair, there isn’t much for racing simulation fans to appreciate on the system, but the PSP brought a full-blown arcade-quality racing experience on the go, covering ports, originals, and series reboot. Actually, i consider the PSP to be the definitive portable arcade racing machine to this day.
In today’s list, we are here to suggest to you the best racing games on the PlayStation Portable, including famous, hidden gems, and underrated titles.
Table of Contents
- 1 OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
- 2 Burnout Legends
- 3 Sega Rally Revo
- 4 MotorStorm: Arctic Edge
- 5 Gran Turismo (PSP)
- 6 FlatOut: Head On
- 7 M.A.C.H.
- 8 ATV Offroad Fury Pro
- 9 Wipeout Pure / Wipeout Pulse
- 10 Test Drive: Unlimited
- 11 Race Driver 2006
- 12 Midnight Club: L.A. Remix
- 13 Crazy Taxi Fare Wars
- 14 Need for Speed: Carbon - Own the City
- 15 Split/Second
- 16 Ridge Racer / Ridge Racer 2
Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is an arcade racing game, the game takes part in the sega’s Outrun franchise and marks the ninth game in the series. Coast To Coast is a re-imagining of the first game in the series, completely redone in glorious 3d and adding some extra features to the package.
The game is split into two main modes: Outrun 2 SP which port a lot from its predecessor Outrun 2, and a whole new mode called Coast 2 Coast where you can complete different challenges and missions ranging from racing events to completing the passenger’s request and many more. Coast 2 Coast feature 15 playable vehicles, including 5 new cars and 15 locations.
Burnout Legends is an over-the-top arcade racing game, the game marks the first entry to hit the portable market both on PSP and Nintendo DS. The game borrows a lot of elements from Burnout 3 making it more of a best-of port of the game.
The player competes in a series of events, including pursuit, crash, road rage, eliminator, and more. Over 90 vehicles are unlockable through the course of the game including different classes: Muscle, Coupe, Sport, and Super. Overall, i hugely recommend Burnout legends especially if you’ve enjoyed the previous games in the series.
Sega Rally Revo is an arcade off-road racing game and marks the fourth installment of the mighty Sega Rally series. The game is far from being realistic focusing totally on arcade gameplay, responsive controls, and stunning colorful visuals, delivering a very fun and delightful 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. In my opinion, the PSP port was more promising than its console counterpart, especially if you enjoy a small portion of gaming on the go.
Motorstorm: Arctic Edge is a PlayStation exclusive arcade racing game, and takes part in the Motorstorm racing games series franchise. This new installment takes place in Alaska’s wastelands, in a cold snowy environment.
The player competes in offroad racing events, including classic races, time attacks, and checkpoints. The game feature 25 playable vehicles scattered across 8 different classes, in addition, 12 playable tracks are available with their reverse counterpart. Altogether, Arctic Edge is a perfect console transition to handhelds offering smooth fps, fun gameplay, and amazing graphics.
Gran Turismo is a full-fledged simulation racing game, the game marks the ninth installment of the Gran Turismo series and the first and only Gran Turismo game on a handheld device. The game brings the console enjoyment at the palm of your hand with a big arsenal of contents and a graphical leap pushing the hardware to its limits.
Just like the previous games in the series, the player competes in different challenges including races, time trials, and drift challenges. The gameplay leans more toward realistic aspects offering tight responsive controls, amazing car physics, and authentic environments. In terms of content, the game doesn’t disappoint offering a total of 800 licensed cars to drive and 60 layout tracks. In a word, Gran Turismo is the pinnacle of the sim-racing experience on the PSP, presenting massive content that will keep the player busy for a long time, and a beautiful crisp 60 frame per second visuals pushing the hardware to its absolute limits.
FlatOut: Head On is a demolition derby racing game, the game is a remake of Flatout 2, developed exclusively for the PSP handheld. The game mixes several gameplay elements such as high-speed racing, demolition derby, and crash modes.
The game is similar to its predecessor offering a physics-based racing game where everything is destructible. Up to three-games modes can be played such as normal races, destruction derbies, stunt mode, and time trial. While the PSP port is visually inferior to the console’s counterpart, that doesn’t stop the game from being a joyful ride with many game modes and an outstanding presentation.
M.A.C.H. (Modified Air Combat Heroes) is an action racing game developed exclusively for the PlayStation Portable. The player controls one of several aircraft in a combat racing session with the ability to use powerups, and weapons.
The player can participate in two main events: a race mode where the player race against Ai opponents aiming to reach the finish line first, and a free for all arena where the goal is to reach the highest score by attacking opponents. Both modes include powerups scattered all around the tracks and the ability to use a nitro booster. In a word, M.A.C.H. is well worth it, especially for combat racing fans.
ATV Offroad Fury Pro is an offroad racing game, the game is a port of ATV Offroad Fury 4 developed exclusively for the PlayStation portable. The game allows you to customize your own rider participating in different ATV racing events, more than 30 tracks to engage including many terrain environments.
The game borrows a lot for ATV Offroad Fury 4 including physics, terrains, and vehicles, but the game contains some exclusive content such as mini-games and ad hoc local multiplayer. The main mode championship mode offers a selection of events to play on including stunt challenges, single races, and sponsor events. Overall ATV Offroad Fury Pro is a fine example of an amazing port with extra contents.
The Wipeout series didn’t disappoint offering two amazing games on the PlayStation portable system, just like the previous games on the series the player competes in a series of anti-gravity futuristic racing events, including single races, combat races, checkpoints, and many more.
The first game Wipeout Pure was developed exclusively for the PSP, including 16 tracks and 8 team ships to choose from. While the follow-up Wipeout Pulse was not exclusive to the PSP many gamers consider the PSP version to be the definitive version to try, Pulse includes the same gameplay elements from the previous game and the series as a whole, with some additional tweaks such as loyalty points, tracks variation and new ships. In a word the wipeout dilogy on the PSP is well worth it offering amazing graphics regarding the hardware limitation, decent framerates, and ton of content, this is a must-play and can serve as an amazing introduction to the series as it was for me.
Test Drive Unlimited is an open-world racing game, although the game is a loose port of the amazing PC and Xbox 360 version, the developers did an excellent job porting such a gigantic game to the hugely inferior PSP hardware.
The game offers the whole map of Oahu to discover including free roams, participating in many events across the island (tournaments, single races, time trials, speed trials, etc..), and a huge arsenal of licensed cars to unlock and buy. While the PSP version looks hugely inferior to the console counterpart, the graphics look awesome for a handheld device getting the job done and offering tight control, decent physics, and a massive map to explore on the go.
Race Driver 2006 is a sim-cade racing game developed by the mighty Sumo Digital known for their amazing work on racing games. The game takes part in the Toca series and acts as an expansion to Toca Race Driver 2. Unlike most racing games, Race Driver 2006 includes a story mode enriched by cutscenes, dialogues, and a sense of choice.
The player competes in the story mode choosing between two main events to compete in, most of the events feature a closed-circuit racing session including different teams, and many different Motorstorm to choose from. In terms of content up to 50 cars are playable through the course of the game and over 60 racing circuits to compete on. Overall the game is an amazing updated port with great visuals and huge content that will keep the player busy for a long time.
Midnight Club: L.A. Remix is an arcade racing game, it represents a portable demake of Midnight Club Los Angeles. The game offers a small portion of L.A map using elements from Midnight Club II map. In addition, a small portion of the Tokyo map is also available borrowing elements from Midnight Club 3.
The player competes on a series of street racing events across two huge maps, with the ability to free-roam at ease. Up to 60 fully licensed vehicles can be unlocked and purchased including SUVs, muscle cars, sports cars, and motorcycles. Overall this a great game combining a lot of the previous game’s elements, resulting in a nicely wrapped package, amazing graphics, and responsive controls.
Crazy Taxi Fare Wars is an arcade racing game, the game is a compilation of Crazy Taxi 1 and 2 ported to the PSP. The game put the player in the shoes of a taxi driver, controlling one of several taxi cabs, driving around the city, and picking up passengers to their destination.
Both games share the same arcady concept with some improvements in the second game, such as the ability to pick up multiple passengers and the ability to jump while avoiding traffic. In addition to the ported games, mini-games and ad-hoc multiplayer mode were added by developers. Overall this is a fine port for players who wants to revisit the Crazy Taxi series or even newcomers.
Need For Speed Carbon Own The City is an arcade street racing game, while the game holds the same name as its console counterpart, the gameplay and graphics differ a lot making the game more of a demake for handheld devices. You play as an illegal street racer who suffers amnesia after a car crash, after discovering the man who was involved in the accident putting him in a coma and killing his brother, the player must climb his way along street racing teams to discover the truth.
The gameplay setting allows the player to free roam the city, with the ability to participate in events across the map. The city is divided into territory controlled by street racers gangs, the goal of each event is to gain more territory by pushing the other gangs all the way to the last encounter with the boss. In a word, NFS: Own The city is a nice little surprise despite the big graphical downgrade, the game offers responsive controls, amazing graphics (regarding the hardware limitation), and an amazing cast.
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. While the PSP version is a graphical downgrade compared to the consoles version, Sumo Digital did an amazing job porting the game to the PSP exceeding every limit and pushing the hardware to the limits.
The PlayStation Portable got an amazing treatment regarding the Ridge Racer franchise. the PSP got two excellent reboots paving the way for newcomers to discover the outstanding series.
Both games stick to the old series formula making the old fans right at home, the player competes against AI opponents where the goal of each racing is to reach the finish line first. Drifting is a key element of the game’s gameplay, with the additional amazing trademark music and the wonderful graphics. Overall the ridge racer dilogy on the PSP is an amazing reboot serving as both a fresh introduction to newbies and a love letter to old fans.