Select Page

The 10 Best Racing Games for Mac

The last time I tried to make a list of racing games for Mac, I couldn’t even find 10 racing games, let alone 10 good ones. But things have changed. In 2015 alone, we got Dirt 3 and Distance (and maybe Grid Autosport too).

After rounding up the best MMOs, Strategy games and First-person shooters, it’s time we tackle the best Racing games for Mac. As always, there will be no web-based freemium here. Sorry!

This list will include a wide variety of racing games, from arcade games to life-like simulations. If you want to discover even more top-notch Mac games, this resource has the 100 Best Mac games available. In no particular order, these are the best Mac racing games:

 

The Best Mac racing games

Sonic & All-Stars Best Racing for Mac

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing is perhaps the best racing game on this list if you consider the purest definition of racing. With proper arcade racing roots, it’s a game that is simple to play but hard to master. The racing is always close.  Positions are violently fought for and there are ridiculous power-ups to boot. This game is a Sunday afternoon treat with friends. With a multitude of SEGA characters to play as this game is a great way to relieve your arcade cravings. The AI is superb and the tracks are incredibly detailed. This game is accessible and should even appeal to those who aren’t usually into racing games.

With a multitude of SEGA characters to play as this game is a great way to relieve your arcade cravings. The AI is superb and the tracks are incredibly detailed. This game is accessible and should even appeal to those who aren’t usually into racing games.

A Good Match for: Gamers who grew up with (and loved) Mario Kart. Also, fans of arcade racing.

Mac App Store Badge

 

Grid 2 Best Racing for Mac

Grid 2

The successor to the popular Grid, this game had a lot to live up to. But we didn’t have to worry because Grid 2 is probably one of the best racing games on Mac or Windows. The car selection is immense and the real-world tracks detailed. They both make Grid 2 a delight to play. Plus, the physics engine makes every car feel different. Grid 2 also has a multitude of racing modes. You can go racing with a field of cars, overtake as many cars as possible, drift your way down a hill or even race through the streets of Paris. Grid 2 is not as hardcore as Gran Turismo, but it takes the best from the simulation genre and puts it into a more manageable package.

And that is Grid 2’s biggest appeal, the combination of realism and ease-of-play. The only thing that holds it back are the empty multiplayer rooms, which can get frustrating as a lot of the fun is in the multiplayer modes. You can also pick up the cheaper Race Driver: Grid. That game still has a lot of appeals, with its own cars and tracks, but the 24 Hours of Le Mans race remains the highlight.

A Good Match for: Gamers looking for a more realistic experience filled with real-life cars and competitions.

Mac App Store Badge

[quads id=”3″]
  F1 2013 Mac

F1 2013

Hardcore racing fans, stop your search right here. This is a game meant for you. F1 2013 is Codemasters’ latest Formula 1 game available on Mac. With its screaming V8 engines, chess-like strategy and extreme handling, this game was made for the committed. It’s definitely a difficult game to play but put in the effort and the game pays you back with interest. Codemasters tried to make the handling as realistic as possible but still managed to allow novice drivers to get the hang of this game. Formula 1 fans, this is the only racing game you need, but other racing fans should also give it a try. Get this game right and winning a race will definitely give you a high. The multiplayer is also loads of fun, with plenty of crashes.

The best part, though? You can also drive the mad turbo era cars of the 80’s and 90’s. Intimidated by the F1 series? You can pick up the older version of this game, F1 2012. That game is friendlier for beginners, cheaper, and almost arcade-like by comparison.

A Good Match for: Gamers wanting a challenging, yet realistic experience. And F1 fans of course.

Mac App Store Badge

 

Dirt 3 Mac

Dirt 3

If you are familiar with the words Ken Block, gymkhana or rally, this is the game for you. Dirt 3 is a contemporary take on rally games. Rally purists were disappointed, as it simply wasn’t as good as previous editions (read: Colin McRae Rally). Still, this game is perfect if you simply want to have lots of fun racing in the dirt. Dirt 3 is what you would get if you crossed Tony Hawks Pro Skater with rally. The game encourages you to pull off magnificent stunts in cars plastered with logos and lets you watch it all again in delicious slo-mo. To be completely fair, Dirt 3 does offer a number of racing modes, and yes, rally as well. But really, the highlight is the gymkhana challenges and the breathtaking rallycross races.

Dirt 3 is nowhere near as serious as the Formula 1 games but is still damn entertaining. And in case you haven’t paid attention, the 4 racing games listed so far were all developed by Feral Interactive, and they all work great on Mac OS X.

A Good Match for: Fans of rally racing, but also those who want a racing game that doesn’t require hours to master.

Mac App Store Badge

 

Toca Race Driver 3 Mac

TOCA Race Driver 3

TOCA Race Driver 3 is one of the first fully featured games to hit Mac OS X. It’s also the predecessor of Race Driver: Grid. This is an unforgivingly difficult game, with no driver aids or flashbacks to prevent those silly errors. But with a wide range of playable motorsport disciplines, this game still has lots of appeal. It has many race series and feels like multiple games combined in one.

With hours of gameplay to offer, you can enjoy this game for what feels like an eternity, especially because of its difficulty level. Of course with a game this old, multiplayer is defunct. If you do manage to get your hands on this game, though, you won’t regret it.

A Good Match for: Gamers who want to take on a challenge!

 

Real Racing 2 Mac

Real Racing 2 / CSR Racing

Most of the games on this list were made for computers or gaming consoles. But these are the exceptions. Real Racing 2 and CSR Racing are ported over from iOS. Keeping this in mind, don’t expect too much from these games. CSR Racing is a simple drag racing game where you have to win so that you can upgrade your car or buy new ones. The controls are very simple, as you only have to control the revs at launch and then shift gear at the right time.

With limited controls and little interaction with the game, it can get boring quickly. Real Racing 2 however, is a genuine effort to make the game feel more “hardcore”. With Real Racing 2 installed on your Mac, you can use your iOS devices as a controller. The accelerometer on your iOS devices acts as a decent controller for the game. With a decent amount of gameplay, it is a good effort, and worth a try.

A Good Match for: Casual gamers. Also, players who want to experience a  “new” control style.

Mac App Store Badge

 

Race the sun Mac gameplay

Race The Sun

Race The Sun isn’t a racing game in the truest sense, as you aren’t really racing with anybody else. But what it lacks in head-to-head competition it more than makes up in thrills. The game is about how far you can go in your solar-powered spaceship before the sun sets. Once the sun sets, power turns off and you’re done. The controls are simple, but the game is still challenging. The weekly leaderboards provide plenty of motivation to keep on playing and the points they give you can be used to upgrade your ship.

With a world builder, you can build your own worlds, or try out others’ creations. After every good run, you’ll either end up sitting back in your chair, sighing with satisfaction, or screaming in frustration. It is that intense.

A Good Match for: Gamers who love to take on the leaderboards.

Get it from GOG.com (DRM-free).

 

Road Redemption Mac

Road Redemption

Back in the good old days of pixelated gaming, there was one game to rule them all: Road Rash. It was one of the best racing games ever made. The goal was to finish first on your motorbike, whilst fighting other riders and weaving through traffic. Released in 1991, it’s obviously a bit old now. But worry not, for Kickstarter helped create a  worthy reboot. Road Redemption is Road Rash reborn for the modern world.

The game is essentially the same, but with better graphics, new weapons, procedurally generated worlds and online multiplayer! The game is still in Early Access on Steam, but you can give it a try and help the developers iron out bugs and test the latest features.

A Good Match for: Old-school Road Rash fans. Also, gamers eager to kick some (literal) butt.

Get it from Steam.

 

Flatout 2 Mac

FlatOut 2

If you’re not one for following racing lines and clean overtaking maneuvers, your search ends here. FlatOut 2 is a demolition derby themed racing game, with absolutely no limits. Often hailed as the best game in the FlatOut series, almost everything in the game is destructible. The tracks are designed to be fast, dangerous, and to promote edge-of-your-seat racing.

The multiplayer is no longer functional (unless you use GameRanger), but the AI is programmed to kill and is more than capable of serving your needs. Flatout 2 is slightly old now, but with its quality and graphics, it still can be considered one of the best racing games for Mac.

A Good Match for: Gamers more focused on the destruction than the actual racing.

Mac App Store Badge

 

Distance Mac

Distance

Distance is a Tron-esq racing game with some ridiculously challenging maps and flying cars. The drool-worthy futuristic graphics alone are worth getting the game, but the gameplay is even better. Cars can use crazy parkour-style stunts to get through laser fields, spike attacks and more. All while trying to survive as long as possible and race other cars. With an online multiplayer mode available, it promises hours of fun.

You can also make your own maps using a level editor, which is another huge draw of this game, as every map has the potential to look like a work of art. A dangerous work of art. Although it’s still in development, you can buy the Steam Early Access version.

A Good Match for: Fans of arcade games.

Get it from Steam.

 

Audiosurf 2 Mac

Bonus Pick: AudioSurf 2

Sequel to Audiosurf, Audiosurf 2 is not a bonus picks because it lacks quality. It’s a bonus picks because it’s a completely different beast. Audiosurf 2 is a rhythm racing game that focuses on music. In fact, it uses your very own music library tAudiosurfa specific course accordingly. You will have to navigate it using your levitating vehicle while collecting blocks that appear in sync with the music. Audiosurf 2 introduced a wakeboarding mode that lets you distort the songs and lets you jump and pull off tricks. If you’re into music or rhythm games, this one is just for you.

A Good Match for: Gamers eager to experience something completely new.

Get it from Steam.

 

Your turn

As with other genres, the Mac doesn’t have all the racing games out there. Yet, when you look closer, many of the best did make their way to our favorite platform. Whether you’re a hardcore racing fan with a pedal and steering wheel setup or a casual gamer who likes the occasional arcade racer, this list provides quality games to meet every need.

So next time someone tells you there are no good racing games on the Mac, just point them to this list and get back to the starting line. So what is your favorite racing game for Mac? Let us know in the comments section, perhaps you’ll even find fellow Mac users to play with.

  • mattwsmac

    Racing games are one of my favourite genres especially F1 – I’m more into a simulation type experience though so I do need my wheel and pedals to play.

    It’s never been better for us OS X gamers than in recent years especially with Feral’s work and the Codemasters titles. I am however expecting to find the Logitech Force Feedback kernel extension will break with El Capitan and the new requirement for developer signed kexts (it dates back to 2002 before signing existed).

    As someone who always keeps up to date with the OS I’m not sure I will be content playing without it as it does add a lot to the experience. I’d buy a new wheel but no-one (including Logitech) even offer one with Force Feedback support on OS X these days.

    Not sure what I will do to get my racing fix going forward therefore, I really don’t want to dual boot or spend time maintaining a Windows machine just for racing games and buying a console would mean giving up on 1440p and probably dealing with optical discs again which I’m glad to leave behind.

    • edddeduck

      You could create a certificate and sign the extension yourself that would (in theory) work not that I have tested that idea myself.

      • Beamerboy

        I will be keeping an eye out of the Forum boards, Ed before upgrading to El Capitan, to see if anyone tries that idea and gets it to work. I feel the same as mattswmac about the potential loss of Force Feedback on OS X for wheels, as I have enjoyed many of the Feral releases of racing games as far back as Colin McRae Rally.

        • @sean_mckone:disqus@mattwsmac:disqus @edddeduck:disqus This is something people keep pointing out to me. Would be great if you could let us know if you ever find a solution. I would gladly write a how-to post, as I truly believe MANY Mac gamers are having this issue.

          I’m not at all familiar with wheels so I won’t be able to help find the solution, but will spread it and share it if you guys find one.

          • mattwsmac

            Well I’m now on El Capitan and the good news is that the ForceFeedback Kext didn’t get removed when upgrading, in fact it is one of several kexts (including the ones also for my Elgato TV Tuner) that are white listed in an Apple kext called “AppleKextExcludeList.kext” despite not being signed itself 🙂

            In my first test with F1 2013 it wasn’t working but after reading a post from someone on macrumors saying it was working for them I tried again with F1 2012 and F1 2013 and it worked!

            I’m really not sure what had changed as all I had done since the first test was use the machine and sleep it a couple of times but this is a huge relief and I can stick to using my Mac for my racing fix.

          • That’s good to know! I should write about this stuff, as a ton of gamers wonder what wheel support exists on Mac OS. Too bad I have 0 experience there! In anyone here wants to help, let me know!

          • mattwsmac

            Anything HID compliant should work, however if you want force feedback it needs to be a Logitech, mainly older models like Wingman, formula Force EX, Momo etc. The newer GP27 etc work as well but if you want the full rotation on these you can’t have the force feedback. Feral list a lot of popular models in the various game FAQs

          • Thanks for the info. Will check Feral’s documentation too. Cheers!

          • Beamerboy

            Upgraded to El Capitan 10.11.1 awhile back, and there’s currently no problem with getting force feedback on my Feral racing games.

          • That is good to know, thanks for the info!

      • mattwsmac

        I’d certainly be willing to try anything like that , I was under the impression you needed to be a registered Apple developer with an annual fee to sign them?

        Of course in an ideal world Logitech would just sign it themselves (pretty sure they are a registered Apple developer as they still offer other software for mice and remotes) and then offer it for download as this would take minimal effort on their part but given as nothing happened when it was no longer offered in Lion (10.7) and we had to put it back ourselves then I can’t see it…

        It represents an opportunity for any other wheel maker but again no one has stepped up to offer one since 10.7.

      • As a racing fan yourself, do you also use a wheel with force feedback?

    • Things definitely changed thanks to Feral and their relationship with Codemasters! Hope it will continue after Grid Autosport (and specially hope they will continue reducing the gap between the windows release and the Mac release dates).

    • Mark Hanna

      Hi, You seem to have a good understanding of my problem. Having read this article I bought Grid Autosport and a LogitechW Wingman Formula Force GP.!!!

      I am using a Macbook Air mid 2012 running os X 10.10.5.
      I have finally got the game to recognise my Wingman Formula Force GP (not as branded GT Force)
      I say this because when using Controller App to map to keys it sees it as Wingman.
      No FFB although i have installed kext file.
      Logitech Gaming Installer does not recognise the wheel.
      As a beginner I have no control whatsoever over the car.
      It swings wildly from right to left and the game is unplayable because of my lack of skill
      and my not knowing how to change the settings.
      Can anyone help me start to play this game properly?
      Is there beginners material for steering wheel settings and over all game control.
      I have another macbook pro running 10.6.8, I will downgrade os x to suit if necessary to get Grid and force feedback. Can anyone help me?????
      Many thanks,
      Mark

      • mattwsmac

        Hi Mark

        Grid Autosport I believe uses Feral’s own ForceFeed back driver – they made this themselves as Logitech don’t support the old kext – although you do still need that installed for older games (both can co-exist).

        I had problems with my Formula Force Ex with some games (I didn’t try the old Wingman but would assume the same is likely) as it was unsupported by Feral (and their driver).

        I managed to get a used Logitech Momo however which is supported by both the old Logitech driver and the new Feral one so far. After selling on my Formula Force EX it cost me practically nothing more and it is a much nicer wheel. If you can’t stretch to a G27 or similar I would recommend this route personally at least for the short term.

  • mikelyons

    Great selection of games there. I own the Feral titles and particularly love Dirt 3 racing in the snow. I wasn’t aware of the Road Redemption game. I’ll have to follow its development on Steam and hope it turns out well. That looks very fun too. I enjoy racing titles although I am just a casual who is content to use a gamepad to get around. I’m glad to see Flatout 2 mentioned also. That game is a classic. A little while ago there were issues with controller support and it might show some negative reviews still from that on the app store but those were all corrected with my help I might add. They were very good at VP working on that and communicating with me about it. I sent them various logs, a spin dump, etc. to help them nail it down as they were having trouble reproducing the issue in-house. It works great now and is a ton of fun to play. They even gave it a little graphics update in the last patch.

    • Great to hear that VP came through. People love to hate them (probably because their support wasn’t that good in the past) but their latest work is getting better and better (at least when it comes to performance of their wrappers).

  • MVMn

    Driver: San Francisco

    • Good point there, will be sure to check it out!

      • MVMn

        Definitely do that. It’s a great game, more than just “start here, finish here” race – it has a plot and some unique gameplay features. And a decent modern graphics. In short, it’s a good stuff.

        • Benjamin Pugh

          Yes, great game in my opinion. I have it on steam and I have racked up nearly 45 hours on it! I also really enjoy the open world aspect to it. Amazing game!

  • Camilo López Cristoffanini

    Racing games are not my thing, but that Flat Out 2 game seems worthy of trying!
    A derby match seems a lot of fun!

    • Yeah or even Sonic, as it’s perfect for non racing fans but gamers who just want to have fun with friends.

  • Ja

    Any hope for Grid autosport this year ?

    • Sure hope so. It is planned for this year so I would say yes. But we never know. Just check Alien Isolation. It was supposed to be out last week but got delayed at the last minute….

    • Koushik

      it is on Mac now 🙂

  • Benjamin Pugh

    Hey Ric, have you heard of Dirt Showdown? It’s got nice destruction physics and two sweet freestyle arena’s which are quite big. The drift mechanics are pretty smooth as well. A definite buy if you like destruction derbies, crashes, hardcore racing, or jumping Ken Block’s Gymkhana 5 Ford Fiesta over 20 foot dirt ramps.

    • Yep I’ve heard about it, but haven’t really played it much. I will keep it mind for the next update (I update these guides around once every 6 months IF there are newer games deserving a spot).
      Thanks.

  • Frank Woolf

    The best racing game I ever played was Star Wars Pod Racer that was I think from Lucas arts. It was a bit buggy but very fast. I wish there was a newer version. I would grab it.