Racing is one of the genres that many people assume works best on a console or PC with a joypad – or a wheel peripheral if you’re feeling flash. Yet plenty of developers have been taking the genre to mobile devices too.
Some draw heavily on their console heritage, while others have tried to reinvent the category for touchscreen controls and shorter, mobile-friendly sessions. Here are 10 of the best Android and iOS racing games worth accelerating on to the app stores for.
Race the Sun
iOS (+ Android beta)
Forget cars: the best mobile racer might just be this one, which puts you at the controls of a solar-powered glider. You’re racing against the setting sun – hence the name – with the world around you changing every day you play. Some clever ideas complemented by solid gameplay. It’s not out for Android devices yet, but a beta is about to get underway.
Asphalt 8: Airborne
One of the longest-established mobile racing franchises in the world, here: Asphalt was burning rubber long before iPhone and Android existed. Its eighth incarnation is the best yet: a huge number of cars to unlock, a comprehensive career mode, and impressive online multiplayer races.
Android / iOS
There’s a whiff of Crossy Road in the colourful, blocky hovercraft that you’ll be racing in this game. However, the gameplay is classic racing, with the real joy coming from the game’s crafting aspects: you can design your own vehicle, load it with weapons and tweak to suit your driving style.
Real Racing 3
Android / iOS
Real Racing 3’s freemium aspects caused some protests when it came out in 2013, but the game has been evolving nicely over the past three years while taming some of those early, aggressive prompts to pay. It looks fantastic, runs like a dream, and offers considerable depth as you unlock and upgrade cars while moving through its competitions. Here, too, online multiplayer is a big draw.