Published on January 15, 2023

17 Best Xbox Racing Games

The original Xbox console was home to the best racers during its era. From classic arcade racers to realistic racing sims, the Xbox library offered a huge array of games satisfying every type of gamer.

Whether you’re looking to race against a friend or take on against the computer, the original Xbox got you covered. Today we are here to offer you a list of the best racing games on the original Xbox that you should definitely check out.

Project Gotham Racing / Project Gotham Racing 2


2001 / 2003
About
Full Name
Project Gotham Racing
Release Date
November 15, 2001
Developer
Bizarre Creations
Publisher
Microsoft
Genre
Arcade Racing
Graphics
3D
Perspective
Third-Person
Interaction
Real-Time
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
Xbox Releases
2001-11-15
2002-03-14
About
Full Name
Project Gotham Racing 2
Release Date
November 18, 2003
Developer
Bizarre Creations
Publisher
Microsoft
Genre
Arcade Racing
Graphics
3D
Perspective
Third-Person
Interaction
Real-Time
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
Xbox Releases
2003-11-18
2003-11-20
2003-11-28

Project Gotham Racing debuted on the original Xbox with two outstanding titles that paved the way for the well-known sequels. The game offers a well-put mix of arcade and simulation gameplay, the player can choose from a wild selection of cars including classic and sports cars. The goal is to reach the finish line first while scoring enough points.

The gameplay features a variety of different race types including circuit races, lap knockout, and time attacks. Unique to the game is the Kudo system. This system rewards the player with points for performing stunts, drifting, and driving clean. These points can be later used to purchase new cars or upgrade the already owned vehicles. Overall, both games are a must-own on the system as it acts as a good introduction to what the original Xbox is capable of.

Forza Motorsport


2005
About
Release Date
May 03, 2005
Developer
Turn 10 Studios
Publisher
Xbox Game Studios
Franchise
Forza
Genre
Simulation Racing
Players
Online PvP, Single Player
Country of Origin
United States
Xbox Releases
2005-05-03
2005-05-13

Forza Motorsport was the first entry in the long-running Forza Motorsport series, the game was developed exclusively for the original Xbox targeting simulation fans with realistic physics and a huge selection of licensed cars. The game features a full-blown career mode where the player can participate in various events taking place in different parts of the world.

The game feature over 200 licensed cars from over 40 manufacturers, including classic and modern vehicles. Aside from the huge content, the game was praised for its realistic physics as well as its deep customization option. On the whole, the first Forza Motorsport is well worth it offering unlimited content that will keep you busy for a long time.

Furious Karting


2003
About
Release Date
March 18, 2003
Developer
Babylon Software
Publisher
Atari SA
Genre
Arcade Racing
Graphics
3D
Perspective
Third-Person
Interaction
Real-Time
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United States
Xbox Releases
2003-03-18
2003-03-28

Furious Karting is another unique exclusive racing game on the system. Unlike most cartoony Kart Racing games at the time, Furious Karting took a different approach with realistic visuals and an edgy atmosphere. The player competes in a series of racing events where the goal is to follow the instruction of your team coach, but that’s not all of it.

Aside from the typical kart racing elements where you can use various powerups and attacks to help you during the race, the game focuses heavily on teamwork. During the race you must follow the orders of the coach and do as he says, this means that finishing first isn’t always the best way to win the race. Sometimes the coach will instruct you to let one of your team take the lead because he’s ranked higher than you. Overall, while the game is a bit rough around the edge, a hardcore kart fan will definitely find some enjoyment in this unique little gem.

Apex


2003
About
Release Date
February 17, 2003
Developer
Milestone
Publisher
Atari SA
Genre
Arcade Racing
Graphics
3D
Perspective
Third-Person
Interaction
Real-Time
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Italy
Xbox Releases
2003-02-17
2003-02-28
2003-03-28

Apex is an outstanding arcade racing game developed exclusively for the original Xbox. The game gives you the freedom to build your own racing team, where you can build your own machines with the help of blueprints, sell cars, buy cars, upgrade owned vehicles, and many more.

The main focus of the game is your own company, by competing in the main mode you can unlock new parts for your car while upgrading your own headquarter bit by bit. Also unique to the game is the linear story where you can progress through racing in various championships. Visually the game still holds up to this day with smooth polygons, detailed tracks, and beautiful car design. Overall, the game is well worth it since it is still an Xbox exclusive to this very day.

Group S Challenge


2003
About
Release Date
August 28, 2003
Developer
Capcom
Publisher
Capcom
Genre
Arcade Racing
Graphics
3D
Perspective
Third-Person
Interaction
Real-Time
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Japan
Xbox Releases
2003-08-28
2003-09-26
2003-11-11

Group S Challenge is another exclusive on this list brought to us by Capcom, the game leans more toward simulation offering an experience similar to the PlayStation-exclusive Gran Turismo. The game offers a generous amount of 50 licensed cars and a decent array of tracks taking place in different locations around the world including Japan, the UK, and Australia.

The main mode of the game is Circuit Mode, which is broken down into three different subcategories. Championship where you compete against AI working your way through the rankings and gaining GP points. Duel mode lets you go against the computer in a one-on-one duel, and Line Line mode where you have to mirror the leader’s path and follow him in a predetermined path. The visuals are what makes this game stand out compared to other simulation game on this list, the game offer one of the greatest graphics on the system pushing the console to its limit. On the whole, the game offers a great challenge for simulation fans and great visuals for the players who came late to the party.

Quantum Redshift


2002
About
Release Date
September 17, 2002
Developer
Curly Monsters
Publisher
Microsoft
Genre
Arcade Racing
Graphics
3D
Perspective
Third-Person
Interaction
Real-Time
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
Xbox Releases
2002-09-17
2002-10-04
2002-11-21

Quantum Redshift was the perfect alternative to Wipeout on the original Xbox offering a fast-paced futuristic racing game with great visuals and unique aspects. Just like your typical futuristic hoverboard racing game, you compete in a series of racing events taking place in the future. The goal mostly is to reach the finish line first while using several powerups and weapons across the track to help you achieve your goal.

The game offer over 16 playable pilots each with its own vehicle and stats, these stats can be buffed later using the game currency that you can get from competing in different championships, you can upgrade your weapon, shield, and turbo. Also unique to the game is the track design, while futuristic games tend to focus more on tight tracks, Quantum Redshift offers a wide track where you can get out of boundaries without getting a penalty or slowing down. Overall, this is the real deal if you’re looking for a Wipeout alternative on the system, or if you’re even looking for a change compared to your typical modern-day racers.

Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open


2001
About
Release Date
August 24, 2001
Developer
Rockstar San Diego
Publisher
Atari
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United States
Xbox Releases
2001-11-15
2002-05-24

Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open takes a different approach compared to the racing games at the time, offering a full-blown arcade racing game with a huge emphasis on offroad racing. The game offers a generous array of off-road licensed cars including Ford, Jeep, Hummer, and many more. Each one of these vehicles has its own stats differing in speed, handling, and physics.

Just like every classic arcade game Test Drive Off-Road offers a decent career mode where the player competes in different off-road racing events. Winning each one of these events will reward the player with money that can be used to upgrade owned vehicles or buy a new one if possible. Despite the outdated graphics compared to many games on this list, the smooth controls and unique physics make this game well worth it for veteran players.

Burnout / Burnout 2: Point of Impact / Burnout 3: Takedown


2001 / 2002 / 2004
About
Full Name
Burnout
Release Date
November 01, 2001
Developer
Criterion Games
Publisher
EA Sports
Franchise
Burnout
Genre
Arcade Racing
Concept
Modern
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
Xbox Releases
2002-03-05
2002-04-30
About
Full Name
Burnout 2: Point of Impact
Release Date
October 03, 2002
Developer
Criterion Games
Publisher
EA Sports
Franchise
Burnout
Genre
Arcade Racing
Concept
Modern
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
Xbox Releases
2003-05-01
2003-05-09
About
Full Name
Burnout 3: Takedown
Release Date
September 08, 2004
Developer
Criterion Games
Publisher
EA Sports
Franchise
Burnout
Genre
Arcade Racing
Concept
Modern
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
Xbox Releases
2004-09-08
2004-09-10

Burnout trilogy was a technical marvel on the original Xbox offering the pinnacle of arcade racing games that still holds up to this day. The games offer a new take on the racing genre encouraging the player to be more aggressive during the race. For example, the act of ramming or crashing the opponent will reward the player with a boost of nitro helping him to reach the finish line faster.

Each game offers a championship mode where the player competes in a different series of events including, normal races, road rages, chases, and many more. Every one of these championships is divided by car class varying in difficulty from the easiest to the hardest. Overall, the Burnout series is a must-own on any system if you are focusing on collecting for the original Xbox the trilogy must be your next pick. In addition, the game offers a huge array of licensed cars that fall into eight different classes ranging by performance and handling.

MX vs. ATV Unleashed


2005
About
Release Date
March 16, 2005
Developer
Rainbow Studios
Publisher
THQ
Genre
Arcade Racing
Graphics
3D
Perspective
Third-Person
Interaction
Real-Time
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United States
Xbox Releases
2005-03-24
2005-06-24
2008-03-13

Mx vs. ATV Unleashed is an exciting and fast-paced racing game that offers plenty of customization options for players. The game features an all-new career mode that allows players to progress through the ranks as they compete in a variety of races and events. The game also includes a unique stunt system, allowing players to perform daring stunts and tricks.

The game includes over 30 customizable vehicles, including dirt bikes, ATVs, trucks, and buggies. Players can choose from a variety of terrain types, such as deserts, beaches, and snow. Players can also customize their vehicles in a variety of ways, including changing the color, adding decals, and upgrading the engine and suspension. Overall, the game is a true classic that still holds up to this very day whether you’re looking for a nostalgic experience or you are trying to add a new motocross game to your collection, this game might be what you are looking for.

Juiced


2005
About
Release Date
June 13, 2005
Developer
Juice Games
Publisher
THQ
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
Xbox Releases
2005-06-13
2005-06-17

Juiced is another street racing game, the developers made sure to ride the wave of the nightly arcade games at the time, and they nailed it in every aspect. Juiced is set in the fictional city called Angel taking inspiration from the streets of Los Angeles.

The game offers a decent career mode where you compete against rivals all around the city gaining money and respect. Obtaining more respect points will get the player to take on harder challenges and get faster cars.

Midnight Club: II / Midnight Club: 3 DUB Edition


2003 / 2005
About
Full Name
Midnight Club II
Release Date
April 09, 2003
Developer
Rockstar San Diego
Publisher
Rockstar Games
Franchise
Midnight Club
Genre
Arcade Racing
Concept
Modern
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United States
Xbox Releases
2003-06-04
2003-06-20
About
Full Name
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition
Release Date
April 11, 2005
Developer
Rockstar San Diego
Publisher
Rockstar Games
Franchise
Midnight Club
Genre
Arcade Racing
Concept
Modern
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United States
Xbox Releases
2005-04-11
2005-04-15

The Midnight Club series was and still is one of the best racing series games to date, with the amazing rockstar development the trilogy on the original Xbox was amazing. While the first game was a bit rough around the edge the two sequels nailed it with an amazing setting and gameplay.

In each game, the player starts with a basic unmodified vehicle making his way by winning street racing events. The main goal is to defeat a bunch of street racers, including city champions and world champion racers on the way to becoming the new conqueror of the Midnight Club. MD: Street Racing includes a huge map covering parts of New York City and London. Midnight Club II also includes an open-world setting with a map covering Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo. The last game of the trilogy includes San Diego, Atlanta, and Detroit as playable open-world locations. In conclusion, the Midnight Club trilogy on the original Xbox didn’t disappoint with the amazing open-world setting, nightly design, and perfected controls.

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast


2006
About
Release Date
March 31, 2006
Developer
Sumo Digital
Publisher
SEGA
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Multiplayer, Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
Xbox Releases
2006-03-31
2006-04-25

Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is an exciting racing game that provides intense and fast-paced action. Its unique game modes, colorful graphics, and smooth gameplay make it an enjoyable experience for all kind of gamers.

The game features over 30 different stages, with four different game modes. These game modes include Outrun, Heart Attack, Time Attack, and Mission. In Outrun mode, the player races against other computer-controlled vehicles on winding highways, while in Heart Attack mode, the player must complete missions such as collecting items and passing other cars in order to reach the end of the stage. Overall, the game was the perfect reboot for the classic Outrun game built from the scratch on a whole new engine with exciting visuals and beutiful music.

Colin McRae Rally 04


2003
About
Release Date
September 19, 2003
Developer
Codemasters
Publisher
Codemasters
Franchise
Colin McRae Rally / DiRT
Genre
Arcade Racing
Concepts
Modern, Realistic
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
Xbox Releases
2003-09-19
2004-03-04

Colin McRae Rally 04 was an exciting rally racing video game. It is the fifth installment in the Colin McRae Rally series and the first to be released on the Xbox platform. The game features a variety of cars, tracks, and game modes.

The game features a wide variety of cars, including the Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and more. Each of the cars has its own unique characteristics and handling and can be upgraded with a variety of parts. The goal of each stage is to reach the finish line while scoring a good time, this can be done by handling both the speed and movement of your vehicles while keeping an eye on the corners and the changing environment. Overall, the fourth entry is a well-put title with so much content and a good challenge for veteran players.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2


2002
About
Release Date
October 02, 2002
Developer
EA Black Box
Publisher
Electronic Arts
Franchise
Need for Speed
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Multiplayer, Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Canada
Xbox Releases
2002-10-02
2002-10-25

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 on the original Xbox is a great racing game that has a lot to offer. Its variety of tracks, cars, and modes, combined with its smooth graphics and sound effects make it a great racing game for the original Xbox. Many of the Need for Speed fans consider this titles one of the greatest if not the greatest racing games of all time.

In Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, players can race on a variety of tracks with a variety of cars. Players can also choose to be a police officer and chase down racers and arrest them. The game also features a career mode where players progress through a series of races and earn money to buy cars and upgrades. On the whole, the game is a must-own on any system as it is still a modern-day classic.

Splashdown


2001
About
Release Date
November 05, 2001
Developer
Rainbow Studios
Publisher
Atari
Genre
Arcade Racing
Graphics
3D
Perspective
Third-Person
Interaction
Real-Time
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United States
Xbox Releases
2001-11-09
2002-06-25
2002-08-30

Splashdown is a unique water racing game that offers a good mix of arcade and kart racing elements. Just like every arcade racing game the player participates in a series of water-themed races where the goal is to reach the finish line first. The player can choose from a wide variety of watercraft including Jet Skis, Wave Runners, and Hydro Jets each with their own unique physics and sense of speed.

The player can choose from three different main modes such as Championship and Time Attack. During the race, the player can use a wide variety of power-ups and weapons to take advantage of the enemy’s Ai. On the whole, the game is well worth it for arcade lovers offering a fun experience despite the lack of content.

Auto Modellista


2002 アウトモデリスタ (Auto Moderisuta)
About
Release Date
December 06, 2002
Developer
Capcom
Publisher
Capcom
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Multiplayer, Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Japan
Xbox Releases
2004-01-20
2004-01-29

Auto Modellista is an enjoyable racing game that provides a great amount of customization and challenge. The game’s realistic physics and detailed graphics make it an enjoyable experience for gamers who are looking for a good challenge.

Auto Modellista features several different modes of play, including Arcade, Challenge, and Time Attack. In Arcade Mode, players race against computer-controlled opponents in a series of races. In Challenge Mode, players must complete a set of objectives within a certain time limit. Finally, in Time Attack Mode, players must race against the clock and beat the best times set by other players. Overall, the game is well worth it offering a unique experience, especially with its visual direction and artistic look.

Mad Dash Racing


2001
About
Release Date
November 15, 2001
Developer
Crystal Dynamics
Publisher
Eidos Interactive
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United States
Xbox Releases
2001-11-15
2002-03-14

Mad Dash Racing is a unique arcade racing game that took a different approach compared to other racing games at the time. Instead of riding a vehicle, the player takes control of the character itself running around various tracks. The game features a unique blend of kart racing and racing action, with a wide variety of courses, characters, and weapons. The player control one of eight playable characters each with their own abilities and attack types.

Three main modes are available including Tournaments, Time attacks, and single races. The game also features a wide variety of tracks, ranging from tropical islands to alien landscapes. Each track has its own unique set of challenges, such as jumps, shortcuts, and environmental hazards. Players can also use a variety of weapons to gain an edge over their opponents, such as missiles, mines, and turbo boosts. Overall, Mad Dash Racing is another obscure hidden gem that went under the radar of many gamers during the golden era, but you know it’s better late than never!

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Freecs

A casual gamer who loves everything Nintendo, and swears by arcade racers, platformers, and hack 'n slash games.

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