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Best racing games for Android 2022

A phone displaying gameplay from GRID Autosport
(Image credit: Android Central)

We've rounded up the best racing games found in the Google Play Store. With so many options to choose from, we've compiled a list that covers a whole slew of sub-genres — from stylized arcade racing to highly realistic racing sims. No matter your preference, you should find an outstanding game that's right for you.

And if you want some great games in other genres, we have our list of the best Android games, too. Ready? Let's hit the road!

Asphalt 9: Legends

Asphalt 9: Legends is the latest entry in one of the most popular racing titles games available in the Google Play Store. It skips all pretensions of realism and provides an over-the-top, high-octane experience with all the fixings. Players can work (or pay) their way through the career mode to unlock new rides or upgrade the ones they have. You can race against online opponents in eight-car races that are wild and fast.

The controls default to "TouchDrive," which allows you to focus on shifting lanes to hit specific jumps or routes, drifting, and using nitro while the game itself handles your acceleration and steering. There are other control options available, including on-screen controls and tilt-steering, but honestly, you're best off playing with TouchDrive on to start until you get a handle on the game.

The incredibly polished graphics and outstanding soundtrack make Asphalt 9 an adrenaline trip you won't soon forget.

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Asphalt 9: Legends

Asphalt is one of the best-racing franchises for mobile that features high-octane racing with over 50 of the world's top racing cars. There's a full career mode to enjoy with wild arcade-style racing action.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

CSR 2 Racing

CSR 2 Racing is a clean-cut drag racing game. Players needn't worry about steering — all you have to do is perfectly time your gear changes. Indicators tell when to make your next shift, and assuming your timing is up to snuff and your ride is amply upgraded, you should pull across the finish line before your opponent and earn some winnings.

Premium currency can be used to buy high-end cars, while the standard currency can be used to purchase the others and upgrade specific parts such as the gearbox, engine, intake, and body.

There are a couple of other racing games in this franchise including CSR Racing and CSR Classics, all of which are great experiences. 

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CSR 2 Racing

CSR 2 Racing boils down to drag racing to pure twitch reflexes. Featuring over 100 licensed cars that can all be upgraded and customized, how far will you make it on the World Tour?

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Data Wing

Another incredibly enjoyable game that's 100% free with no-nonsense: Data Wing is a racing adventure through pure neon style. The striking visual styling makes me love every minute I've spent with Data Wing. The touch controls are absolutely on point and incredibly sharp, the levels look amazing, and it's got a good skill ceiling.

There's a fun story behind Data Wing, a bit like the original Tron in some ways. You'll probably finish it pretty quick, but it's entertaining to go back and do it all over again. There's high replay value here. That soundtrack is pretty great, too.

I love everything about Data Wing, and it lacks the downsides and caveats I usually have to note. This is free, with no ads or IAPs.

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Data Wing

Another excellent freebie, Data Wing, is a gorgeous racing adventure that takes obvious inspiration from Tron's neon-soaked setting. This brilliant little game is well worth your time. 

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

#Drive

This game stands out from other racing games because it blends high-speed car chases with the best elements from the endless runner genre. You're immediately drawn in by the excellent art style that uses procedurally generated maps to plot out the curbside attractions and towns you must pass through on your outlaw tour. 

Of course, you'll need to become a skilled driver to collect all the bottle caps as you go, which are spent on unlocking your choice of 29 unique vehicles. Rounding out the ambiance is your anonymous sidekick, who reminds you every time you pass a gas station and doles out snarky comments on every close call.

Although endless runners are often casual games, the touch controls require your full attention with quick inputs used to drive your car through tight spots. Each vehicle you unlock has its own speeds and handling, but you can master each one as you achieve them and race across the three terrains — deserts, snow, and jungle — each with five cities to tour through. 

The free version includes ads that can be watched to extend a run, or you can pay a one-time in-app purchase to remove ads and get permanent in-game bonuses.

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#Drive

This is an endless driving game where you're on the run across multiple counties. All you have to do is keep your car fueled up and avoid crashing while outrunning the police — easier said than done!

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Grand Prix Story

Don't let its age fool you; Grand Prix Story is still an excellent racing sim. This pixel art adventure may be more cutesy and fun compared to the more serious Motorsport Manager Mobile 3, but you're still in charge of a racing team instead of taking the wheel as a single driver.

As the manager, it's up to you to recruit and train drivers, build sponsorship deals, and ensure that your team wins as much as possible. You can also build new cars and parts to ensure your team's success.

Unlike its free-to-play sequels, Grand Prix Story is a one-time purchase with no ads or microtransactions, which is why it ranks here over its newer successors. It's a wholesome, quirky, and fun experience that puts you in the manager's chair rather than on the tarmac, and for a certain kind of racing enthusiast, that's the dream. 

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Grand Prix Story

Another racing sim, Grand Prix Story, takes a more whimsical and less realistic approach. Enjoy the cute art style while you manage a team to ultimate victory!

Buy from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Hill Climb Racing 2

A free-to-play, freemium game like others here, Hill Climb Racing 2 nonetheless presents a fun time racing. It's got a lot of vehicles to unlock, upgrades to purchase, customization for both cars and characters, and a few different game modes (like offline Adventure and Arcade).

As you might have guessed by the name, the game is all about climbing and descending hills as you race others. It's a simple game, but a lot of fun. If you like more whimsical racing games, I suggest checking it out because you won't find much realism here.

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Hill Climb Racing 2

Hill Climb Racing 2 challenges you to beat everyone to the top and bottom of hills. There are several vehicles to unlock, upgrades to purchase, and customization to explore.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Horizon Chase — Arcade Racing

Horizon Chase is a fun retro-style racer with gameplay reminiscent of the classic 80s arcade racer Pole Position. There's plenty of fun to unfold in Horizon Chase, featuring bright and colorful retro graphics and over 70 tracks spanning 32 cities. 

You start each race from the back of a 20-car pack and must weave your way past opponents to take the crown. Keep winning to upgrade and unlock up 16 available cars.

You get to play the San Francisco tracks, but must pay to unlock the entire game. Given how beautiful and fun this game is, we bet you will. Horizon Chase is an ode to old arcade classics, from Pole Position, to Outrun, to Cruis'n USA. The soundtrack is just plain awesome, and all of it just makes me feel like a kid again dropping in quarters or booting up my N64.

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Horizon Chase — Arcade Racing

Race through bright and colorful locales in Horizon Chase, a throwback racer that delivers fun arcade action with or without a controller in hand.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Hot Lap League: Racing Mania!

Hot Lap League is a brand spanking new racing game you'll want to put in your gaming library right now. The vibrant, over-the-top tracks, cheering crowds, poppy aesthetic, and high-speed fervor are all wonderfully reminiscent of playing with Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels as a kid. 

The difference here is that Hot Lap League requires a fair amount of skill if you want to dominate its 150+ tracks. Players have the option to choose between tilt controls or tap controls as they power slide and boost their way to victory. You can put your skills to the test by racing against other players' ghosts, competing in time trials, completing daily events and challenges, and more. 

The graphics are superb, the audio design lends a level of realism to the mix, and all of this without any burdensome ads messing up the experience. New cars can be unlocked and customized, of course, but all cars share the exact same stats and customization doesn't change these, so this isn't a pay-to-win scenario. 

Hot Lap League is a premium mobile racing game at $4.99 with a few in-app purchases that are strictly related to additional cosmetic options. This experience is shockingly close to what you might expect from console or PC racers, so it's absolutely worth a look. 

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Hot Lap League: Racing Mania!

The hottest new racer of the summer is here with Hot Lap League, a premium, high-quality experience you won't want to miss. 

Buy from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Motorsport Manager Mobile 3

What if, instead of being the racer, you wanted to manage the racers? Well, Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 does just that. You build up your racing team from scratch and compete in international events to become the best. You control everything, from hiring the drivers to upgrading the cars.

Strategy is the name of the game here, with you even working to have the most efficient pitstop. You'll need to be prepared for anything, including weather changes and crashes. As a result, it's quite the robust game, forcing you to see the whole picture of what goes into a given race.

With the challenge constantly evolving to meet your increasing skills, Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 (what a mouthful) promises less high-octane action than some of the other games on this list, instead offering an excellent experience that makes you excited to manage a racing team.

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Motorsport Manager Mobile 3

Step out of the driver's seat and put on your manager's hat. It's time to build up a whole racing team. Control every aspect, down to training and upgrades.

Buy from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Need for Speed™ No Limits

It should come as no surprise that Need for Speed, one of the oldest racing game franchises still going strong today, has a pretty awesome mobile game out there with Need for Speed™ No Limits. With gorgeous graphics, loads of cars and customizations, and options for both touch controls and tilt controls, Need for Speed™ No Limits is sure to satisfy the adrenaline junkie in all of us.

As with most racing games, the gameplay loop revolves around winning races to get cash, build your notoriety on the street, and upgrade your cars to be tricked-out monsters. However, the development team also keeps a steady stream of events flowing to spice things up and keep players engaged.

Need for Speed™ No Limits is free with in-app purchases (IAPs). Although it may be free from ads, which is awesome, many players complain that the prevalence of IAPs makes it nearly impossible to acquire more parts for cars by just playing the game rather than dropping a stack of cash. To its credit, though, you can disable IAPs as a standard setting, making it a safer option for parents with young racing gamers.

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Need for Speed™ No Limits

Dominate the underground racing scene with sick cars and skills in Need for Speed™ No Limits for mobile.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Nitro Nation: Car Racing Game

It's hard to believe that I hadn't heard of Nitro Nation before, especially given its ridiculous name, because it's very popular. So I decided to give it a go and knew almost immediately that it needed to be here on this list; and this is coming from someone who doesn't usually like racing games.

There's an absolute ton to do in Nitro Nation, lots of cars to aspire for, tuning, cosmetics to unlock — it's almost overwhelming. And without the usual nonsense of energy systems, wait times for upgrades, or anything like that, you can focus on enjoying the experience the game has to offer. I think you'll really like this one.

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Nitro Nation: Car Racing Game

Despite an awkwardly long name, Nitro Nation: Car Racing Game is just a good drag racing game with a ton to do, lots of cars and cosmetics to unlock, and some great gameplay to enjoy.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Rally Fury: Extreme Racing

Rally Fury: Extreme Racing tends to get forgotten thanks to its more ostentatious cousins, like GRID Autosport and CSR Racing. But if you've already played the other titans of the mobile racing genre, then this lowkey racer is an excellent choice for racing game enthusiasts.

Rally Fury is a pretty straightforward racer with a nice level of nuance to keep the gameplay interesting. Using either touch screen or motion controls, you'll need to hone your steering, drifting, and boosting to win. Rally Fury has been kicking around for a while, so it doesn't lean into the one-touch racing concept, which is a tick in the pro column in my book. The touch screen controls are simple and intuitive, but you may need some practice to do well if you're like me.

Despite its age, Rally Fury received yet another update this summer. By now, the game features a variety of tracks, an upbeat soundtrack, and killer audio effects to create an immersive environment. It probably shouldn't be a goal, but it is kind of fun to crash into trees and have your entire screen virtually crack to show just how badly you did.

There aren't many negatives to Rally Fury, but customization is a little lackluster and there aren't that many cars to unlock compared to other, flashier racers. Rally Fury contains in-app purchases, but I can't imagine that most players will feel the need to put real money into this title. 

By racing and playing the game normally, you can earn a lot of cash to purchase and upgrade your cars without spending any real dough. The premium, ad-free version is one whole dollar, but you can play the base version of Rally Fury for free and get just as good of an experience out of it!

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Rally Fury: Extreme Racing

Rally Fury: Extreme Racing may not have the name recognition that many of its contemporaries have, but the decent graphics, smooth controls, and good physics make this one racing mobile game you won't want to miss.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Real Racing 3

Real Racing 3 is a stunning mobile racing game bound to keep hardcore gearheads entertained. It puts real brand-name cars on real-world tracks - hence the name — and features an interesting asynchronous multiplayer system whereby lap times are recorded from your friends, and you race against a bot that's driving at that time.

Of course, you can bump them out and affect their track time, and there's a single-player career worth playing through too. Over time, players earn new cars and can upgrade various mechanical bits with their winnings, but make sure you take it easy on your car — you'll have to keep your ride in good condition to avoid repair costs.

This being an EA game, you can expect the usual slew of microtransactions on offer, including three different in-game currencies, to accomplish other things. It's a typical EA move and sours an otherwise fun racing game for me.

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Real Racing 3

Real Racing 3 is gorgeous, and the white-knuckled racing action will keep you coming back for more.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Riptide GP: Renegade

Riptide GP: Renegade is the latest and greatest futuristic jet ski racing franchise on Android. Harkening back to memories of games like Jet Moto or Wave Race 64, Riptide GP: Renegade features a story-driven career mode alongside options to run a quick race or battle against online opponents. The graphics are top-notch, with water and motion blur effects, giving the game a good sense of speed.

It uses tilt-steering to control your hydro jet, which is less than ideal, but Bluetooth gamepads are also supported and make things smoother. Speaking of controls, one key aspect of the game is pulling off insane stunts, which are easy to do with quick swipes. 

There's plenty to unlock and upgrade as you play through the career mode, and the AI is top-notch, providing a real challenge compared to other racing games for Android. You'll need a pretty good phone to handle the graphics and gameplay, and it also plays wonderfully on the NVIDIA Shield Android TV box.

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Riptide GP: Renegade

Who's ready to get a little wet? Riptide GP: Renegade is a stylish wave racer that's still one of the best-looking racing games on Android.

Buy from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Top Speed 2: Drag Rivals

Top Speed was a trendy racing game back in its day, but the sequel takes things up a notch. It comes standard with multiplayer, over 70 cars to unlock, plenty of customization and racing options, and a lot more. It's a racing game that packs in much of what you'd expect, with the only downside being the freemium model.

You play as a disgraced cop who gets into drag racing with the mafia. It sounds pretty weird, but the story takes second place next to the high-octane racing action. You have many cars to choose from as you make a name for yourself and work to be the best driver in the city.

Top Speed 2 offers some good vehicular customization, but it's not without its faults. There are plenty of in-app purchases to be found here. You'll be asked to spend money on "refueling" (the stamina meter), loot boxes for car parts, and upgrades for your cars. It all feels pretty slimy, but the game itself is fun enough.

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Top Speed 2: Drag Rivals

The sequel to the popular Top Speed brings all the things you loved about the first game, just better. Drive over 70 cars, customize them, and prove yourself the best racer around.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Crossing the finish line

You might be shocked to hear that racing games are one of the more competitive genres to try and "best-ify" on Android. There are hundreds of good racing games out there that didn't make the list (this time), and new ones coming out all the time to give the leaders of the pack a run for their money. 

For classic racing at the highest quality possible, Asphalt 9: Legends is about as good as it gets on mobile. If you've played every last car-centric racer out there, then give Riptide GP: Renegade a try for some hot jet ski action. 

Now get out there and tear up the tarmac, champ!

Update July 2022: Added Hot Tap League to our list!