From F1 23 to LEGO 2K Drive and TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3, racing game fans were spoiled with new releases in the first half of 2023. But that was just the warm-up lap.
The second half of 2023 promises to be even better, with an abundance of major racing titles lining up on the grid from Forza Motorsport's long-awaited return to The Crew Motorfest. But what other racing games can we look forward to over the next few months?
We can't wait to play these new racing games in the second half of 2023.
Release date: 24 August (21 August early access)
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Milestone’s RIDE series has a reputation for being an authentic bike simulation. Three years after the last entry, RIDE 5 is racing onto PC and consoles this August. Whereas MotoGP focuses on competition bikes, RIDE 5 lets you race a variety of road bikes on real and fictional tracks.
With the series shifting to current-gen-only consoles, the visuals and physics are getting a significant revamp. Meanwhile, the debut of dynamic weather will make races more exciting and unpredictable. With a redesigned career mode and hundreds of licensed bikes, RIDE 5 is shaping up to be the Gran Turismo of bike games.
The Crew Motorfest
Release date: 14 September 2023 (11 September early access)
Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Since the series began in 2014, The Crew has followed Forza Horizon’s shadow. With The Crew Motorfest, it could finally surpass it.
Ubisoft's answer to Forza Horizon sees you tearing up Hawaii’s island of O'ahu, the backdrop of a vibrant automotive festival.
While this may sound familiar if you’ve played Forza Horizon or Test Drive Unlimited, The Crew’s themed playlists focusing on different facets of car culture offers a uniquely curated experience. Unlike Forza Horizon, you can explore the island in a variety of vehicles beyond cars, from boats and planes to ATVs.
With Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown delayed until 2024, The Crew Motorfest could be a surprise standout in 2023.
Release date: 10 October 2023 (5 October early access)
Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PC
Forza Motorsport has been stuck in the pits for years, allowing Gran Turismo 7 to steal the glory on PlayStation. With the new Forza Motorsport reboot, Microsoft's flagship racing franchise is making a triumphant return later this year.
First announced back in 2020, Forza Motorsport is a “built from the ground up” reboot for the franchise. With crisp 4K graphics, photorealistic ray-tracing lighting effects, and cutting-edge physics and AI, Forza Motorsport will push the limits of the Xbox Series X.
A redesigned career mode sees you enter the Builders Cup, where you collect cars and turn them into track warriors. Instead of buying upgrades, you earn them as you level your s up. This will encourage you to spend more time with your favourite cars.
Over 500 cars will be available at launch, including the brand new 2023 No. 01 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R and 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray gracing the cover. It’s been six years since the last Motorsport entry, so to say that Xbox players are eagerly anticipating Forza Motorsport is an understatement.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged
Release date: 19 October 2023 (16 October early access)
Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Hot Wheels Unleashed was a huge hit for Milestone, so it was no surprise when a sequel was announced. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged will build on the first game with new vehicle types including bikes for the first time and Fast & Furious saga cars, new environments with different terrains, and a story campaign.
A new Skill System will also add more depth, allowing you to upgrade your car’s abilities to suit different tracks. If you love fast-paced, action-packed arcade racers, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged should be on your radar.
Release date: TBA
After taking over the license from KT Racing and Nacon, the first WRC game from Codemasters and EA Sports is arriving this year, ushering in a new era of official WRC titles. WRC 23 still hasn’t been officially announced, but the rumours sound promising.
According to reliable leakers, WRC 23 will let you build your own rally car from scratch, from choosing components to customising the appearance. As well as the 2023 hybrid Rally1 monsters, a leaked achievements list suggests classic cars are also returning.
Codemasters has a proven track record making influential rally titles like Colin McRae Rally and DiRT Rally, so we're confident WRC 23 will set a new benchmark for rally games.
If rumours that the release is scheduled for later this year before 1 November are true, EA Sports will likely announce WRC 23 in August or September, so watch this space.
Best of the rest
There’s lots more for racing game fans to look forward to over the next few months.
Disney Speedstorm is getting some competition from rival studio DreamWorks. Launching later this year, DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing lets you race as your favourite characters from Shrek, Puss in Boots, Trolls, and Kung Fu Panda.
It’s not the only kart racer coming in the second half of 2023 either. From new studio Sumo Leamington, Stampede: Racing Royale is a 60-player kart racer that mixes Mario Kart with Fall Guys. Following a recent playtest, the chaotic kart racer is entering Steam Early Access later this year.
Elsewhere, off-road racer Overpass is getting a surprise sequel. Launching in October, Overpass 2 challenges you to navigate tough terrain in 17 UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles).
Targeting a December release, Le Mans Ultimate will include all drivers, teams and tracks from the 2023 World Endurance Championship, putting you in the cockpit of Ferrari, Porsche and Toyota hypercars alongside LMP2 and GTE cars.
Wreckreation, the new arcade racer from Burnout veterans Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry’s company Three Fields Entertainment, is also still set for a 2023 release.
However, given the radio silence since the game’s announced last August, we’re expecting it to slip into 2024. We should find out more at the THQ Nordic Showcase on 11 August.
We can also expect more updates from Gran Turismo 7 and Forza Horizon 5 over the next few months plus the final Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Wave DLC. Hopefully, we can race GT7's new sophisticated Sophy AI this year.
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