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Racing Games

Racing Video Games

Where competitive gaming is concerned, it doesn’t get more frenetic than a well-designed racing game. Whether you’re completing circuits on a looping track, racing through the countryside on a rally course or even flying futuristic hovercraft in a fantastical setting, racing games have been a part of the video game world since the very beginning.

Another First from Atari

The first racing game ever released was Space Race by Atari. It featured black-and-white graphics, and saw two players racing spaceships against one another using a two-way joystick. The success of Space Race prompted Atari to launch another racer; this one featuring cars rather than spaceships.

In 1985, Sega released Hang-On in arcades. The game introduced motorcycles to racing games, with a large, motorbike-shaped controller—complete with twist-throttle—that players controlled with their bodyweight. Hang-On was also a technical breakthrough, with 16-bit graphics and ‘sprite scaling’ making objects beside the track bigger and smaller to create the illusion of depth in the 2-D game world. It was a technology that featured heavily in racer games of the era until the eventual shift to full 3D.

Racing Games in Many Forms

By the nineties, racing games had become incredibly diverse. Mario Kart had set the standard for fun-focused home racers and was one of the breakout titles for Nintendo’s SNES console, while Gran Turismo made it possible to take a deep dive into the internal workings of real cars.

A whole new genre was birthed by the launch of the futuristic racer F-Zero on the Super Nintendo; Wipeout, Extreme-G and others soon followed, bringing high speed and a futuristic aesthetic to the genre. Top-down racers like Micro Machines provided an entirely new experience, allowing up to eight players to face off on one console for the first time.

The Ingredients of a Racing Game

In most racing games, the environment is some sort of track but there are exceptions. Some racing games aim to mimic real life, requiring you to think about braking distances and the perfect racing lines through each turn. Such realistic racing games may feature real-life circuits, cars or teams as part of the on-screen action.

Other racing games depart from reality completely, with wacky vehicles and strange physics! They may feature worlds that are impossible with tracks to match.

All racing games feature the same objective though—covering the distance as quickly and smoothly as possible. For some games that will mean using the brakes as little as possible, while others might reward the occasional tap. Then there are games that feature some version of drifting, where putting your vehicle into a power slide might be precisely what you need to get it round the corner and set up for the next one.

Racing Games Here on Flames Games

Like all of our free online games, our browser racing games run on HTML5, so will work on any device with a web browser. Our selection covers a wide range of settings and styles, and they're all available to play for free without any installs or downloads.

Madalin Stunt Cars 2 falls firmly into the “crazy” category of racing games. You’re placed in a high-performance vehicle in the middle of a gigantic environment, where enormous ramps and corkscrews provide the opportunities for some outrageous maneuvers. It’s a chance to express yourself behind the wheel of your car, and it’s easy to cycle between different maps and vehicles, making it a great choice for those who like to experiment in a sandbox environment.

If you’d prefer to avoid car-based games, then why not opt for a bike-based one? Moto X3M Pool Party places you on the rear of a bike in a swimming-pool setting. If that sounds strange, that’s because it is! You’ll soon master the controls and have your motocross bike flying through the obstacles in your path.

Stock Car Hero is a game that takes a markedly different approach. You’ll compete in stock car races, improve your vehicle, take part in events, win coins, and progress to the next race. It’s perfect for those looking for a sense of continuity in a solid career mode.

Formula 1 Racing Games on Flames Games

If you’re a fan of Formula 1, why not check out Grand Prix Hero? It follows the same approach, except that this time it’s based on the world’s most popular motorsport rather than stock cars. There are real-life circuits available to drive around in the F1 cars on offer, making it perfect for aficionados who know every last corner.

On the other hand, there’s Monaco Grand Prix. Despite the name, this online racing game doesn’t just focus on a single track—it’s actually a 1:1 clone of the PlayStation game of the same name. Offering spilt-screen action and the ability to create your own team, it’s sure to appeal to those with a strong sense of nostalgia.

Finally, there’s Spring Club Nitro: an F1 game in which you’ll need to overtake 19 vehicles using nitro boosters as you battle from last place all the way to first!

Even More Choice

3D Car Simulator is a wonderfully designed racing game in which a trio of vehicles are available to race around a succession of three-dimensional tracks. These include rally cars, police cars and classic cars, each with their own distinctive details.

In Russian Car Drift 3D, you will push ‘drift’ event racing to its limits. You’ll need to turn the car while drifting, collect all the white splodges and avoid crashing. It’s a simple arcade game that’s stripped down to the bare essentials—earn coins and trade for a better car after every successful outing!

In Street Racing, the racing action unfolds in a 2D environment reminiscent of old-school racing games from the golden age of arcades. Collect bonus tokens to top up your fuel tank, and keep the pedal to the metal!

Finally, let’s talk about Racing Movie Cars, a fun racing game in which you get to drive classic cars from much-loved movies like Dumb and Dumber and Ghostbusters. It’s a zany, fun race game which you should definitely try.

FAQs

Do racing games improve your driving?

Racing games can train hand-eye coordination and reflexes, as well as teaching your brain how to operate a vehicle precisely. Even professional race drivers use high-end racing simulators as part of their training. So, while the short answer is “yes”, you should always undergo real-world training if you want to learn to drive well.

Are racing games popular?

Yes, racing games are one of the most enduringly popular types of video game and man of the biggest franchises in games are racing titles.

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