Where competitive gaming is concerned, it doesn’t get more frenetic than a well-designed racing game. Players might complete circuits on a looping track, or race through the countryside on a rally course. Racing games can be set anywhere – and as the locations can range from realistic to fantasy, so too can the vehicles.The first racing game ever released was Space Race by Atari. It featured black-and-white graphics, and saw two players compete 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.Since then, competitive racers have been an essential part of arcades and home consoles. It wasn’t long before two-wheeled vehicles got in on the action. Hang-On was released in 1985; the game represented a technical breakthrough, as it featured ‘sprite scaling’ – objects beside the track getting bigger and smaller to create an illusion of depth, even though all of the assets in the game were completely flat.The same technology would prove a heavy feature in future games, until the eventual shift to full 3D over the course of the 1990s. By this time, racing games had become incredibly diverse. Mario Kart had set the standard for fun-focused home racers, while Gran Turismo made it possible to dive deep for the first time into the internal workings of real cars.A whole new genre was birthed by the launch of futuristic racer F-Zero on the Super Nintendo; Wipeout, Extreme-G and others soon followed. Top-down racers like Micro Machines provided an entirely new experience, allowing up to eight players for the first time on consoles.Nowadays, there are more racing games available than ever before, all in HTML5 via Gamepix. Our selection covers a range of settings and styles, and they're all available to play for free without any installs or downloads.
Things you always find in Racing games
In almost all of the racing games in this section, you use the arrow keys to steer your vehicle around the environment. In this category, the environment is almost always a track – but there are exceptions. Some of the racing games you’ll find here aim to mimic real life. Braking distances are realistic, racing lines need to be taken, and real-life circuits have a role to play in the on-screen action. Other games, however, depart from what you’d expect from real life, with wacky vehicles and even wackier physics! There are, however, a few common features that run through almost all of these games. The first is the controls – in every instance, you’ll use the arrow keys to steer your vehicle left and right, and to accelerate and brake. In some instances, tapping the brakes will enter the car into a power slide. This might make it more difficult to accurately steer your vehicle around corners, but in some games, that might be precisely what you’re looking for.
GamePix’s Collection of Racing games
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 a chance for some outrageous maneuvers. It’s a chance to express yourself from 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! Use the arrow keys to accelerate, and have your motocross bike fly through all 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. 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 this one, making it perfect for aficionados who know every last corner. On the other hand, there’s Monaco Grand Prix. Despite what the name suggests, this doesn’t just focus on a single track; it’s actually a 1:1 clone of the PlayStation game of the same name. It offers spilt-screen action and the ability to create your own team, and 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! 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. Among the stranger motorsport phenomena in recent years has been the rise of so-called ‘drift’ events. In Russian Car Drift 3D, this kind of driving is explored to its limit. 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. Collect bonus tokens to top up your fuel tank, and keep the pedal to the metal! Finally, let’s talk about Racing Movie Cars – you get to use classic cars from a series of much-loved films, from Dumb and Dumber to Ghostbusters. Give it a try!