With the monumental success of Forza Horizon 5, the current-generation debut of Codemasters’ F1 series, and WRC 10 celebrating 50 years of the World Rally Championship, 2021 was a great year for racing games. But 2022 promises to be even better.
2022 is shaping up to be a seminal year for the racing genre, with Gran Turismo 7 possibly going head-to-head with Forza Motorsport, a new GRID game, and the long-awaited return of Test Drive Unlimited. With so many new racing games coming in 2022 to look forward to, we’ve put together a handy 2022 racing game calendar to keep you up to speed.
Format: PC, Xbox OneRelease date: 21 January
A sequel to 2019’s Velocity G and developed by the one-man team at Repixel8, Gravity Chase is a futuristic anti-gravity racer inspired by F-Zero, with twisty 360-degree tunnel tracks, combat racing with powerups, and split-screen multiplayer for up to four players.
It’s been nearly 20 years since the last F-Zero game, and while Nintendo has no plans to release a sequel, Gravity Chase could finally fill the void.
Circuit SuperstarsFormats: PlayStation 4Release date: 27 January
Circuit Superstars was one of the best surprises of 2021. Initially released on Steam Early Access, Circuit Superstars made a splash on PC and Xbox One in October 2021. Thankfully, PlayStation owners can join in the fun in just a few weeks when Circuit Superstars releases on PlayStation 4 later this month. It will also be backwards compatible on PlayStation 5.
Combining cartoony top-down visuals with surprisingly realistic driving physics, Circuit Superstars gained publicity when celebrity racing drivers including Lando Norris, Romain Grosjean, and Catie Munnings competed to set the fastest time on a recreation of the famous Top Gear test track – you can even race against their ghosts in the Top Gear Time Attack DLC.
If you prefer racing on the go, a Nintendo Switch version of Circuit Superstars is also coming in Q2, 2022.
Formats: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|SRelease date: 25February
After the underwhelming 2019 reboot failed to live up to expectations, GRID Legends will hopefully get the series back on track, with a focus on intense, action-packed racing, a huge variety of racing disciplines, and approachable car handling.
Contextualising the action will be a brand-new story mode featuring fictional drivers and live-action cut scenes with Drive To Survive-style interviews. Marking the series debut on current-generation consoles, the GRID Legends car list features everything from track-focused hypercars like the Aston Martin Valkyrie to trucks and open-wheel racers, while confirmed locations include London, Moscow, and the fan-favourite San Francisco street circuit.
Assetto Corsa Competizione
Formats: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|SRelease date: 24February
Boasting every car, track, and driver from the GT World Challenge Series, Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC) was ported to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2020 following its initial 2019 PC release. Unfortunately, the console versions suffered from performance issues as the ageing hardware struggled to cope with ACC's high-fidelity graphics and demanding physics engine.
Thankfully, Kunos Simulazioni’s sublime racing simulation is getting the console release it deserves on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series in February, with an upgraded 4K resolution, 60 FPS, and cross-save support. Best of all, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners can upgrade to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions, and the 2020 GT World Challenge Pack DLC is also included.
If you’re looking for a serious racing simulation on consoles, ACC has you covered.
Gran Turismo 7
Formats: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5Release date: 4 March
The granddaddy of console sim racing is making a comeback. Whereas Gran Turismo Sport focused on online multiplayer, Gran Turismo 7 (GT7) returns to the series roots, with an expansive single-player career mode bringing back used car dealerships and an emphasis on car collecting and tuning. As the first numbered entry in the series since Gran Turismo 6 was released way back in 2013, our expectations are exceedingly high.
From the videos released so far, GT7 looks visually stunning, running at 4K resolution and a silky-smooth 60 frames-per-second showcasing the capabilities of the PlayStation 5 hardware. With over 400 cars and the return of classic circuits like High Speed Ring, Deep Forest Raceway, and Trial Mountain, GT7 promises to be the PlayStation 5’s definitive racer.
And if you haven’t managed to secure a PlayStation 5 yet, don’t worry because GT7 is also speeding onto PlayStation 4.
Monster Energy Supercross 5
Formats: PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|SRelease date: 17 March
Milestone has been continually improving the Monster Energy Supercross series over the years, and the fifth instalment promises to be the most feature-packed game yet.
Based on the official Monster Energy Supercross 2021 Season, Monster Energy Supercross 5 will boast a revamped career mode, an improved track editor, and a new “Rider Shape System” that affects the rider’s performance after falls or injuries. For the first time, 2-stroke bikes will also be available in every mode and rookie riders can hone their skills in the new Future Academy tutorial mode.
Formats: Nintendo SwitchRelease date: 10 March
Despite being released back in 2017, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe miraculously continues to dominate the charts, which is a testament to its mass appeal. However, next month, Mario Kart will face a new challenger with Chocobo GP. A sequel to the original Chocobo Racing on the PlayStation, the Nintendo Switch-exclusive kart racer is set in the Final Fantasy universe with a character roster including Chocobos, Moogles, and Summon Creatures, each with unique powers.
With its cutesy characters, colourful graphics, and wacky weapons, Chocobo GP is shaping up to be a fun family kart racer. Considering how popular Mario Kart 8: Deluxe is, we expect Chocobo GP will be a smash hit on Nintendo Switch. If you can’t wait until March, a demo version of Chocobo GP is also planned.
Formats: TBARelease date: April TBA
Since Milestone acquired the license back in 2013, the MotoGP series has been going from strength to strength. Notably, MotoGP 22 will be the first game released since Valentino Rossi retired, but the legendary rider will likely be available in a scenario mode. The Mandalika International Street Circuit also joins the track roster in 2022, so expect it to be added to MotoGP 2022.
MotoGP 2020 and 2021 were both released in April in their respective years, so there’s a good chance MotoGP 2022 will wheelie onto PC and consoles in April, 2022. We could also get a first glimpse at the game in action in February as last year’s announcement trailer was released in February 2021. It also remains to be seen if MotoGP 2022 will be released on last-generation consoles.
Formats: TBARelease date: July TBA
F1 2021 was arguably the best F1 game in years thanks to its improved physics, two-player career mode, and engaging Braking Point story mode. Last year’s clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen coupled with the popularity of Drive to Survive on Netflix brought new fans to the sport, making the F1 game series more popular than ever.
With new rule changes starting in the 2022 season and more resources being poured into development now that Codemasters is owned by EA, F1 2022 will surely take the series to the next level. We’re hoping F1 2022 will run on a new engine to take full advantage of the more powerful PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S hardware. The new Miami street circuit is also joining the F1 calendar this year, so expect it to be added to the track roster in F1 2022.
Codemasters hasn’t announced it yet, but judging from last year, F1 2022 will be announced this spring and be released in July.
Test Drive Unlimited Solar CrownFormats: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo SwitchRelease date: 22 September
For years, Forza Horizon has dominated the open-world racing genre on Xbox and PC, but 2022 will mark the return of one of the most influential open-world racing series: Test Drive Unlimited. Set in a massive open-world recreation of the island of Hong Kong, Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is being developed by Kylotonn Racing, the French studio behind the WRC series and TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge.
Although a release date is already penned for 22 September, no Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown gameplay footage has been released yet, but the CGI trailers have teased a new casino gambling element and showcased exotic supercars from the Aston Martin DB11 to the Lamborghini Huracan Performante and Koenigsegg Regera. We’re also expecting series staples such as car dealerships, car delivery missions, and buyable houses to return, allowing you to live out your dream automotive lifestyle.
With over 30 square miles of road to explore, Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown promises to be Kylotonn’s most ambitious game yet and could be one of 2022’s best surprises for racing game fans.
WRC 11Formats: TBARelease date: September TBA
While WRC 10 celebrated the 50th anniversary of the World Rally Championship with a special anniversary mode featuring historic rallies and cars, WRC 11 will mark the end of an era.
This will be Kylotonn’s last WRC game before Codemasters takes over the license. It’s a shame because Kylotonn’s WRC games have improved with each iteration bringing better graphics, driving physics, audio, and stage designs, transforming the WRC series into a formidable DiRT Rally rival.
In the real-life championship, the 2022 WRC season will mark a new era for the sport with new high-performance hybrid cars like the Ford Puma Rally1 joining the roster. Offering more power and greater performance, we can’t wait to drive these new hybrid rally cars in WRC 11.
Rally New Zealand and Japan will also return to the real-life championship, though these locations were already available in WRC 10. Based on past games, expect WRC 11 to slide onto current-gen consoles and PC around September.
Need for SpeedFormats: TBARelease date: November TBA
Originally slated for release at the end of 2021, the new untitled Need for Speed game was delayed after the development of Battlefield 2042 was prioritised. Now that Battlefield 2042 has been released, the new Need for Speed is getting back on track behind the scenes.
Whereas the last four games in the long-running franchise were developed by Ghost Games, Criterion Games is back in charge of the new Need for Speed. Having helmed the acclaimed Hot Pursuit, which received a remaster last year, the new Need for Speed is in safe hands with Criterion back behind the wheel.
Sadly, little is known about the new Need for Speed at this stage. A brief teaser video previewed the new high-fidelity graphics engine, showcasing a highly detailed Nissan 180SX and Porsche 911 GT3 RS with modifications hinting that car customisation will once again play a huge role.
A release date is unconfirmed but Need for Speed games are traditionally released in November to maximise Christmas sales.
Formats: Xbox Series X|SRelease date: TBA
It’s been 18 months since Forza Motorsport was announced for Xbox Series X|S consoles, but Microsoft’s highly anticipated racing simulator still doesn’t have a firm release date. Since the announcement, Forza Horizon 5 has given Forza fans their fix, but Forza Motorsport will offer a more authentic racing experience.
A reboot of the franchise, Forza Motorsport will feature a new and improved tyre and suspension model, resulting in more realistic handling. The brief announcement trailer also showcased Forza Motorsport’s stunning new game engine, but no gameplay footage has been shown yet.
With Gran Turismo 7 getting a head start early this year, Microsoft can’t afford to leave Forza Motorsport sitting in the pit lane for much longer. If we had to guess, we predict Microsoft will show gameplay of Forza Motorsport at E3 2022 in June before it potentially releases in September, one year after Forza Horizon 5.
Dakar Desert Rally
Formats: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|SRelease date: 2022 TBA
As Bigmoon Entertainment’s first attempt, Dakar 18 was commendably ambitious, but its confusing navigation system, glitchy graphics, and disappointing driving physics meant it failed to live up to its potential of replicating the Paris Dakar, one of the world’s most gruelling off-road endurance races.
With developer Saber Interactive, best known for the MudRunner and SnowRunner series, now steering the franchise, its successor, Dakar Desert Rally, aims to be the most authentic Dakar rally experience yet, with 30 stages from the 2020 and 2021 Dakar Rally races, dynamic weather, the ability to rescue stranded competitors, and a selection of licensed trucks, bikes, and quad bikes to drive.
MX vs ATV LegendsFormat: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|SRelease date: 2022 TBA
After the 2018 release of MX vs ATV All Out, the MX vs ATV series is making its current-generation debut with MX vs ATV Legends. THQ Nordic promises the latest instalment in the off-road racing franchise will feature the deepest career mode yet, where player choices create different paths and sponsorship deals. You’ll be racing with bikes, ATVs and UTVs in massive open environments, with support for two-player split-screen and 16-player online multiplayer racing.
The physics have also been improved, offering greater precision for performing tricks than before, while a new Trials mode will provide exhilarating outdoor racing. MX vs ATV Legends is landing on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S in 2022 at an unspecified date.
Redout 2Format: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo SwitchRelease date: 2022 TBA
Redout is arguably one of the most underrated anti-gravity racers and didn’t get the recognition it deserved. Despite this, the independent Italian developer 34BigThings recently announced a surprise sequel. Like the first game, Redout 2 will set itself apart with a unique twin-stick control scheme providing precise control when racing at heart-stopping speeds.
With 36 gravity-defying tracks filled with twists and jumps, a new deep vehicle customisation system, and a pumping soundtrack, Redout 2 could be the next best thing to a new WipEout game when it speeds onto PC and current consoles this year.
British Touring Car ChampionshipFormats: TBARelease date: 2022 TBA
Those of a certain age will probably have fond memories of playing the original TOCA Touring Car games on the PlayStation and PC in the 1990s. Criminally, the British Touring Car Championship has been sorely underrepresented in racing games in recent years aside from a few touring cars appearing in Project CARS and GRID.
The first licensed BTCC game in over 20 years with all the official cars, tracks, and drivers, BTCC is in development by Motorsport Games, the same studio behind the recent NASCAR games. The multi-year partnership suggests this will be the first of many BTCC games and the game will also spawn an esports series.
Let’s just hope BTCC is better than NASCAR 21: Ignition, which was one of the worst racing games of 2021.
Victory Heat Rally Formats: PC, Nintendo SwitchRelease date: 2022 TBA
From Horizon Chase Turbo to Hotshot Racing, there has been a slew of retro-inspired racing games that hark back to the golden era of arcade racers lately. The latest game to continue this trend is Victory Heat Rally.
Developed by Skydevilpalm, Victory Heat Rally is a throwback to retro Super-Scaler racers from the 1980s like OutRun with vibrant visuals, colourful characters inspired by Golden Axe and Sonic, and quirky car designs. There’s no release date yet, but following a successful Kickstarter campaign, a playable demo of Victory Heat Rally is currently available to download on Steam if you want to take it for a spin right now.
Dangerous Driving 2
Formats: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo SwitchRelease date: TBA
If there’s one arcade racing franchise we’re desperate to see make a comeback, it’s Burnout. EA capitalised on the series’ popularity with Burnout Paradise, but no new game. Founded by original Burnout creators Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry, independent studio Three Fields Entertainment released Dangerous Driving, a spiritual successor to Burnout 3: Takedown.
While it lacks polish due to its lower budget and a small development team, Dangerous Driving recaptured the intensity of the old Burnout games, with a thrilling sense of speed that tested your reaction times, spectacular takedowns, and the revival of fan-favourite game modes including Road Rage and Pursuit.
For the sequel, Dangerous Driving 2 will be set in a massive open-world covering over 170 square miles. Details are still scarce and no gameplay footage has been released yet, but Three Fields has confirmed Dangerous Driving 2 will feature split-screen multiplayer and improved damage modelling. Dangerous Driving 2 was announced in early 2020 and was initially due to release in the winter of the same year but has been delayed with no confirmed date.
We should find out more about Dangerous Driving 2 this year, however. It’s an ambitious project for a small team, but if Three Fields can pull it off, Dangerous Driving 2 could be the unofficial Burnout Paradise sequel we’ve been pining for.