Mobile gaming has made racing games more accessible to casual audiences.
Whether you enjoy realistic or arcade racers, there’s a myriad of mobile racing games on Android and iOS - but which ones are worth your time?
These are the best racing games on mobile you can play on the go.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Gameloft’s Asphalt is one of the longest-running mobile racing games. Mobile gamers have enjoyed Asphalt’s mix of fast-paced racing, licensed cars, and spectacular stunts since the series originated on Nokia’s ill-fated N-Gage.
Released in 2018, Asphalt 9: Legends features a huge roster of customisable licensed cars from prestigious manufacturers including Ferrari, Bugatti, and Porsche along with fictional tracks set in real-world locations. Up to seven players can compete through World Series leagues and online multiplayer or race in clubs to climb up the leaderboards.
With a variety of control options including tilt-steering, touch controls, and an autopilot TouchDrive mode that takes over steering and acceleration, Asphalt 9: Legends is accessible to players of all skill levels.
Free-to-play with optional in-game purchases, Asphalt 9: Legends is also playable on Windows PCs, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch as well as iOS and Android.
Horizon Chase World Tour
Console gamers may be familiar with Horizon Chase Turbo, but the series began on mobile back in 2015 with Horizon Chase World Tour. Another arcade racer, Horizon Chase is a love letter to classic ‘80s and ‘90s racers like OutRun and Top Gear, with modernised 16-bit graphics and a superb soundtrack composed by the legendary Barry Leitch who did the soundtrack for the original Top Gear games.
Thanks to its responsive controls, Horizon Chase is easy to pick up and play but hard to master as later events ramp up the difficulty.
Horizon Chase is free to play on iOS and Android for the first 30 races. After that, you pay to unlock the game but there are no microtransactions or adverts, unlike many mobile racing games. There are some excellent paid expansions including Senna Forever a loving tribute to the late Ayrton Senna with a first-person viewpoint harking back to Super Monaco GP.
Fast-paced and extremely addictive, Horizon Chase is one of the most acclaimed and popular mobile racers. Its popularity led to a sequel, but Horizon Chase 2 is currently exclusive to iOS and Apple Arcade, with an Android, PC, and console release planned for 2023.
Real Racing 3
If you want a more authentic racing experience on mobile, Real Racing 3 is the definitive mobile sim racer. As the name suggests, Real Racing 3 lets you race real cars on real circuits.
From supercars to Formula 1, Real Racing 3 lets you drive 250 vehicles from manufacturers including Ford, Aston Martin, McLaren, Koenigsegg and Pagani on 40 officially licensed tracks at 19 real-world locations.
It’s no Assetto Corsa, but the driving physics are remarkably realistic given the limitations of mobile. Crossplay multiplayer enables you to take on up to eight players online on iOS or Android. Like Forza’s Drivatars, you can even race against AI cars that simulate your friend’s driving style in Real Racing 3’s Time-Shifted Multiplayer if you don’t have time to schedule an online race.
Despite being nearly ten years old, Real Racing 3 is still one of the best racing games on mobile. It looks phenomenal in the palm of your hand and developer Firemonkeys still regularly updates the game with new cars, tracks, and events to keep players engaged.
Mario Kart Tour
As the most popular racing game series of all time, it was probably only a matter of time before Mario Kart made the jump to mobiles. Released in 2019 for iOS and Android, Mario Kart Tour has been another massive success story for Nintendo, surpassing over 200 million downloads as of April 2021.
Free to play, Mario Kart Tour’s controls are simplified for mobiles meaning you don’t need to manually accelerate or brake, while drifting is controlled by swiping left or right or you can use traditional steering controls. You can also throw items at opponents by swiping up or down in online races for up to eight players.
Mario Kart Tour combines classic Mario Kart circuits with brand-new ones, many of which are being added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the Booster Course Pass. Since launch, Mario Kart Tour has continually improved, with recent updates removing the gacha elements and premium paywalls as well as adding a Battle Mode.
Need for Speed No Limits
One of the longest-running racing game franchises, Need for Speed made its mobile debut in 2015 with Need for Speed No Limits. It’s made by the same developer as Real Racing 3 but throws realism out the window, with a focus on underground street racing, car customisation, and thrilling police chases.
Available on iOS and Android, short races lasting around a minute make NFS No Limits fun to play in quick bursts. While other mobile spin-offs like Forza Street and Project CARS Go have been discontinued, Need for Speed No Limits has stood the test of time and continues to flourish with frequent updates adding new content.
Ironically for a game called No Limits, the game does have limitations, however. NFS No Limits uses an energy system where your fuel decreases. You can either wait for it to refill over time or pay to refill your tank.
A spiritual successor to Destruction Derby and FlatOut, Wreckfest Mobile is a remarkable port of its PC and console counterpart.
The mobile version of BugBear’s terrific destruction racer retains the original game’s soft body damage model system, tracks are littered with destructible objects, and up to 24 cars on-screen make for some gloriously chaotic racing.
You won’t win anything racing cleanly in Wreckfest. Destroying other racers is fully encouraged, resulting in spectacular crashes at every corner. From muscle cars to school buses and sofa cars, none of the cars are licensed, but this means you can wreck them beyond recognition. A gyroscopic steering option also makes the game more accessible on mobiles.
Retailing for £8.49/$9.99, Wreckfest isn’t free to play, but this means there are no microtransactions, pay-to-win mechanics or intrusive advertisements. If you're in the mood for some mindless fun and carnage, Wreckfest Mobile is one of the best racing games on mobile.