• Must-Play Racing Games On the Xbox Series X/S

Bought the new Xbox Series X or S? Then you must play these adrenaline pumpers

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Before we get into the topic of what racing games you must get for your brand new Xbox Series X or the more affordable Series S, it’s important to set the context as to why it’s worth playing the following games on these consoles.

Must-Play Racing Games On the Xbox Series X/S
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As with any new product coming to replace an existing offer, be it a new car, a new phone, laptop, or in this case, a new gaming consoles, everything that’s new has to be faster, with better graphics, and more storage space.

The Xbox Series X and Series S adhere to that unwritten rule. The Series X, for example, features way shorter loading times as well as the ability to resume any game from the exact point where you left off even if you’ve played other games since you quit that one. Then there’s the image quality, which climbs all the way to 4K and frame rates of up to 120fps. And, yeah, we know what you’re thinking, this makes the Xbox One look like a 2000s MacIntosh but that’s just the rate at which tech (of the gaming ilk, too) advances these days.

In a nutshell, the new Xbox consoles are tempting gamers with substantially crisper graphical performance and the ability to load a game a lot quicker than before. Speaking of games, Microsoft came up with a list of optimized games for the Xbox Series X/S and among those, we can find a handful of racing games that just beg to be played, plus other dev-announced titles.

Dirt 5

Must-Play Racing Games On the Xbox Series X/S
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Codemasters’ Dirt 5 is one of the very early talking points for the Xbox Series X. The cars look fantastic, albeit a tad too shiny in the menu, the landscapes and tracks are top-notch in design and the 120Hz high frame rate mode does all the justice in the world to a very loved gaming franchise. There’s also a career mode you can use to prove your digital driving mettle and if that doesn’t do the trick for you, then the Playgrounds feature surely will. Also, don’t get your hopes up for the realistic rally experience, as Dirt isn’t about that.

Forza Motorsport

Must-Play Racing Games On the Xbox Series X/S
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As of this summer, Forza Motorsport was still in development and there’s not much info to go by. Heck, we don’t even know if the game will be called Forza Motorsport 8. However, there are some intriguing promises from the devs, including 4K/60 fps gameplay, more realistic ray-tracing lighting, and a better display of light and shadows in-game. Here’s what Turn 10 studio’s Chris Tector and Jason Ronald told Engadget regarding the game’s ability to take full advantage of the Xbox Series X hardware:

"With the wheels, we no longer have to compromise with those approximations, because they would always end up with this really flat lighting, or there wouldn’t be enough light interaction between the wheel and the brake discs and the fender, - It’s a big, complicated, tight space in there, and now, we’re able to actually get a very realistic look to that wheel."

Forza Horizon 4

Must-Play Racing Games On the Xbox Series X/S
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While we wait for the new Forza Motorsport to launch, get this: Forza Horizon 4 has already been optimized for the Xbox Series X/S. What does that mean? You’ll be able to smash the throttle (aka right trigger button) in the familiar British landscape but in 4K Ultra HD at 60 fps. What’s more, we’re told by the devs that we should expect increased shadow, reflection, and particle effects quality. On top of these visual goodies, players can instantly get back into the game with the Quick Resume feature. Load times get noticeably shorter, too, and you’ll be able to transfer all your save data from FH4 on Xbox One to FH4 on Xbox Series X/S. Needless to say, the X/S update comes as a free download for all FH4 owners and Xbox Game Pass subscribers.

WRC 9

Must-Play Racing Games On the Xbox Series X/S
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If Dirt 5 is not your thing and you’re looking at a more reality-loyal rally racing experience then your searches will end with WRC 9. As you know, this is the official video game of the FIA World Rally Championship and it is playable on the new Xbox Series X and Series S consoles in 40K UHD at 60 fps. On the content front, WRC 9 brings six new stages for Rally Finland - who doesn’t love snow, eh?, an additional WRC driver, and the so-called Photo Mode feature. The list of rally locations gets a bump too, with three new entries: Japan, New Zealand, and Kenya. More than 15 bonus cars are also included, as well as the ability to create custom championships with the Clubs Mode utility.

Ride 4

Must-Play Racing Games On the Xbox Series X/S
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Two wheels are sometimes better than four so moto racing fans out there have one more reason to rejoice: Ride 4 is coming to the Xbox Series X and Series S with a bang. The bang being better graphics and frame rates. So, yeah, expect 4K gaming at 60 fps, better shades and textures as well as detail level for the bikes, tracks, and the surrounding environment. The souped-up version of the game is expected to arrive in January 2021, so with a bit of patience you’ll be kicking off the new year with wheelies on your new Xbox Series X or Series S in no time.

Is a new Forza game coming for Xbox Series X?

Yes, that would be Forza Motorsport, but a release date was unknown at the time of writing. In the meantime, Forza Horizon 4 has been tweaked and updated to match the hardware capability of the new Xbox consoles, so either way, we’re in for a treat.

What car games are better on Series X?

Well, pretty much every car game since you’ll be able to play in 4K UHD at 60 fps in 120Hz mode on the better part of them. Expect eye-watering graphics, highly-detailed cars and environments as well as some neat shadow and lighting effects.

What does X/S enhanced mean?

It means that when a games runs on the new Xbox Series X an Series S consoles, it will offer better graphics and performance in general over the Xbox One. Some games might even come with extra content to sweeten the pot.

What does Xbox Dual-Gen mean?

As per Microsoft, a dual-generation game is one that releases separate versions for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/s console versions. Each version may be sold separately or may be purchased as a cross-generation bundle that gives you both versions.

Not to be confused with Smart Delivery, through which you only have to buy a game once and you’ll automatically get the best version to play on Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One. Therefore, your game saves, achievements, and progress will be available on both consoles generations.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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