Spent all your money on car parts and bills, but still need to get your racing fix? Download one of these free games to fill the void without the hurt wallet - because broke people need gaming too! With the growing costs associated with sim racing these days, it’s easy to forget that there is still a plethora of enjoyable free games available out there.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favourite driving simulators that you can jump on without having to spend a penny.
1. Copa Petrobras de Marcas
Copa Petrobras de Marcas is the creation of Reiza Studios that brings Brazilian racing to the PC, allowing you to compete under licensed manufacturers across some of Brazil’s most impressive race tracks. Here’s a free sim that doesn’t skimp on handling and customisation options.
2. Torque Drift
Torque Drift, as you probably gathered, is a drifting game that focuses on the real-life physics of drifting, with the action taking place across 15 real-world tracks. Tandem battles give you a chance to show off your drifting skills, while multiplayer games allow up to 32 players to smoke their tyres in tournaments. Part of the fun happens off the track where you can build your drifting machine and tweak elements like suspension camber to be the most competitive racer on the track.
3. Victory: The Age of Racing
This game received a lot of negative feedback during early release, but as all good racers do, it evolved. For a free game, it is an absolute blast. The gameplay is simcade style, with a little emphasis on realism and a little fun in an arcade fashion. As the name suggests, the game showcases a range of race cars through the decades. There is enough free content to keep you addicted for quite some time, but a deluxe edition is available to purchase when the entertainment runs dry.
4. Classic Racers
This game is a step back in time to the 1960s. Hosted over 11 courses, each race is a hill climb to see who can make it to the top first. There are six championship competitions and you can play against other drivers for a place on the international scoreboard. For players who aren’t as experienced with fast-paced racing, simple controls make this one easy to pick up.
5. Track Mania: Nations Forever
Playing any Track Mania game makes you instantly feel 10 years younger. The bonkers stunting courses will get you in the mood for catching air from the moment you see them. You can download additional cars and shoot through loops and jumps in your own ride. There is nothing more to the game than just having fun, and it does the job well.
6. RaceRoom Racing Experience
RaceRoom is free to play with the option of downloading additional paid content. This racing simulation is focused on providing accurate handling for competitive racers. There are no goofy arcade tricks, it’s all sim racing. Compete in a variety of events all year round with other online players.
7. Hutch Top Drives
Top Drives is similar to Top Trumps, but the aim of the game is to collect the different car cards and race them either online or against the AI on your mobile. The game features over 1600 officially licensed cars for you to collect and race, from Bugatti and Pagani to Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and even Caterham. You’ll be able to put your cars to the test in a range of different racing environments, such as drag races, circuits or hill climbs, and it’s free to download on your mobile. Hutch Top Drives will satisfy your inner car collector and can be played anywhere you bring your phone.
8. Extreme Off-Road Cars 2
With nine off-road trails to compete on and five cars that you can choose from, Extreme Off-Road Cars 2 presents a true test of your technical driving abilities and invokes creative manoeuvres. It’s played directly from your browser, so you can jump straight off Facebook or whatever and into a Bowler-tuned Range Rover. From there, feel free to begin your ascent to the summit of a set of very questionable hills.
9. Death Rally Classic
This game is modelled around the basic principle of competing in championships to earn points and win prizes like many of the games here, except for one lethal rule: your opponents can pelt you with bullets throughout the races. This brutal twist, paired with the charming throwback graphics mean that Death Rally Classic offers hours of fun at no cost to you whatsoever.
10. Asphalt 9: Legends
A name that’s seemingly been around since the dawn of time, the Asphalt gaming series just goes from strength to strength with every addition. With a huge range of 142 prestigious cars to choose from, and a breadth of fictional sprints and circuits to participate in, Asphalt Legends can claim to be the mobile equivalent to Xbox’s Forza Motorsport or Play Station’s Gran Turismo.
11. GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience
GT Racing 2 gives access to real-world tracks like the famed Laguna Seca and over 1,400 events to help fine-tune your driving skills. Officially licensed cars from over 30 manufacturers, such as Ford and Ferrari, help deliver a truly authentic driving experience to you at the touch of a button without any detriment to your bank balance.
12. Live for Speed
A real-time thriller that allows you to participate in full-blown 24-hour endurance races requiring strong refuelling and tyre strategies. Equally, the game lets you enjoy some softer offline competitions against AI. Live for Speed encourages the racing driver within you, and even lets you take ‘driving tests’, akin to those found in the Gran Turismo series, which will trigger either fond memories or painful flashbacks depending on your point of view…
13. Engine Evolution 2023
While there are still a couple of weeks left before Engine Evolution 2023 launches (it comes out on 31 July), it’s set to be a popular one, judging by previous entries in the series. You can choose from 100 cars or motorbikes and race with customised vehicles and drivers, giving plenty of choice. The races take place over 14 tracks and the latest version is expected to have more realistic physics plus improved multiplayer gaming.
14. CarX Street
If you’re looking for a combination of street racing and drifting, CarX Street delivers. It’s an open-world multiplayer game that has different cityscapes to explore, from built-up areas to mountainous routes and coastal highways. There are extensive customisation options so you can tweak the aesthetics and performance characteristics of the engine.
15. Rebel Racing
Rebel Racing puts you in the driving seat of real cars and matches their driving characteristics within the game. Races are hosted on the beaches and streets of the West Coast, where players can enter highly customised classics or pick from supercars, pickup trucks and muscle cars. It lets you tap into nitrous speed boosts and it’s giving us Fast and Furious vibes. For a mobile game, the graphics are impressive and the controls are super simple.