Have you got a need for speed?
Racing games are one of the most popular types of video game, both with casual gamers and experienced pros alike. They can be fast-paced and competitive, or light-hearted and packed full of familiar characters.
To help you find the ideal racing game on the Switch to add to your garage of titles, I’ve handpicked the best 17 racing games on Nintendo Switch that you need to check out today.
If you’re a fan of games with a retro feel to them, Slipstream is one of the best racing games to get for your Nintendo Switch library today. It’s fast-paced, fun and a little silly.
Taking a very obvious hit of inspiration from arcade racers from the 80s, Slipstream is a pixelated racer with upbeat music, bright visuals and plenty of maps and gameplay styles.
You can play through in Grand Prix mode with a standard cup based system, Grand Tour mode with time limits or Cannonball mode with heaps of customization in place.
The controls do require a little patience at first, especially with the exceptionally long corners that you’ll find in the maps. Once you nail them, though, the gameplay is incredibly satisfying and works well on the console.
Slipstream is a fun, retro racer with decent music, 80s graphics and a lot of content to keep you occupied. It’s worth adding to your library today.
Horizon Chase Turbo
Horizon Chase Turbo combines all of the elements of an old school, arcade racing game and adds a fantastic modern spin to it. It’s an absolute gem.
There’s plenty of content to keep you occupied in this game.
You can play through an absolute mountain of tracks in World Tour mode, the Championship mode and the Playground mode. The Playground mode is particularly interesting, as it features fresh, frequently updated content and leaderboards to compete against.
The game itself plays very well, with smooth, intuitive controls and a pleasantly modern take on retro aesthetics. It fits the Nintendo Switch console incredibly well.
Something I particularly love about this game is the soundtrack. Unlike other arcade style racers that rely on repetitive synth tracks, this game has a unique and memorable soundtrack that enhances the game as a whole.
I cannot recommend this game highly enough. If you’re a fan of arcade racer games with a retro aesthetic, this is the perfect pick for you.
Hot Wheels Unleashed
Hot Wheels Unleashed is an approachable yet exciting racing game that’s ideal for gamers of all experience levels.
There’s a decent amount of content to unpack in this game, with three key game modes.
The main mode is City Rumble, where you compete on various tracks to earn stars, gears and other rewards. There’s a Time Attack and Quick Race mode too, which are both self explanatory.
The main focus in this game is collecting all the different cars, and you can unlock these with the stars that you win from races. You’ll get gears from these races too, which can be used to upgrade your cars and make them more effective.
In terms of controls and aesthetics, this is a solid game. The cars handle well, the controls make sense and it suits the console nicely. The graphics are fun and cheery, with interesting backgrounds that show off the true-to-size cars.
Hot Wheels Unleashed is a great addition to any Nintendo Switch library. The difficulty is easy to change and scale, making it accessible and approachable. It looks great, handles well and has a decent amount of content to play through, too.
GRID Autosport was originally released on the Xbox 360 and PS3, and this Nintendo Switch port is one of the best racing titles that the handheld console has to offer.
There’s a mountain of content to unpack in this game.
It offers 5 different modes to contend with, including Touring, Open Wheel, Street, Endurance or Turner races. If you progress through these modes at a decent pace, you’ll unlock the GRID mode which encompasses all of them.
As you work your way through the game, you’ll earn more and more powerful cars. Each car handles well, and the controls match the style of gaming perfectly.
It’s clear that a lot of thought has been put into this game port.
The AI competitors in the single player modes are realistic, and sometimes make mistakes like real drivers. There are multiple graphics modes that affect performance, so you can pick what works best for you.
GRID Autosport is fast-paced, fun and polished, with plenty to keep you busy.
I’ve included a few retro racer games in this article, and that’s simply because they make up the largest majority of the best racing games on the Nintendo Switch. Cruis’n Blast is no exception.
This game was originally released in arcades, and fans of the original will be happy to see that the 5 classic maps are still available. There’s plenty of other maps and tracks to keep you occupied though, each with increasingly sillier stunts and obstacles to overcome.
There is certainly a level of silliness and goofiness to this game, but it’s handled well. You can play through the game with classic, cool cars, or you can unlock vehicles like a UFO and a triceratops.
Silliness aside, each vehicle handles very well and the controls match the Nintendo Switch perfectly. The graphics are fun and the soundtrack is decent.
There are some performance issues to contend with, as elements like turbo boosts in the game can cause lag. It’s nothing game breaking, but worth noting.
Cruis’n Blast is a lot of fun. If you’ve ever wanted a fast-paced, goofy arcade game where you can compete with a triceratops as your vehicle, here’s your ideal pick.
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
Need for Speed is an iconic franchise in the world of racing games, and there’s a lot of titles to pick from when you’re trying to find a good one to play. This port is an ideal pick for gamers looking to pad out their racing library with a thrilling, action-packed title.
Set in the fictional Seacrest, this game offers two unique perspectives. You can play as a cop, battling against the crews of street racers that occupy the state. Alternatively, you can play as one of the street racers and take part in a whole host of missions and races.
Each campaign/perspective has plenty of challenges and missions to keep you busy, and you’ll gain notoriety in the form of either a Wanted Level or a Cop Rank. This notoriety level will mean that the game will continue to reward you with new cars to try out and race with.
This game has a beautiful simplicity to it. It focuses predominantly on racing, with very minimal story or background to it. While this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s ideal for people who want to focus on racing and enjoying the cars that they’ve unlocked.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is an absolute gem. It performs well on the Nintendo Switch, with smooth performance in both single player and multiplayer mode. There’s heaps of content, and intuitive controls that make the racing very enjoyable.
FAST RMX is a fantastic addition to the racing game niche on the Nintendo Switch eShop. It’s an incredibly well made title, with pristine graphics that look fantastic on the console.
While this is a streamlined version of the original game, there’s still plenty of content to keep you occupied. With multiple game modes and fantastic maps to explore, the variety of cars and unique challenges make this a great game to sink your time into.
The main thing that made me include this game in this list, other than the quality of the content, is how well it runs on the Nintendo Switch.
It’s truly impressive.
FAST RMX is a surprisingly small game, and is ideal if your Nintendo Switch is bursting at the seams. That being said, the graphics are beautiful and it runs flawlessly on the console. This game has been made to an impeccably high standard.
I’d highly recommend checking out FAST RMX. With a seamless multiplayer experience and solid single player experience on offer, this is a game that offers great value for money and a wonderful user experience to boot.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the best games for couples and groups of friends to play together, and it’s one of the best racing titles on the console as well.
There’s an immense amount of content to sink your teeth into with this game. Alongside the traditional maps and heaps of other racing options available, there’s a battle mode, online multiplayer mode and local multiplayer mode as well.
Mario games are almost always polished and well made, and this title is no different. It plays incredibly well on the console, with smooth graphics, intuitive controls and a pleasant aesthetic overall.
While this may not be the most serious racing game on the market, the racing itself is nothing to sniff at. There’s a heap of vehicles, and they all handle incredibly well when competing in a race or battleground.
This is the ideal racing game to pick if you’re looking for a game that’s adaptable. It’s ideal for newer players or for playing with someone who’s less experienced, but the difficulty can be ramped up nicely to add a decent level of challenge.
Either way, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Super Pixel Racers
If you’re looking to get into arcade racing games, Super Pixel Racers is the perfect first game for you. This is an approachable yet exciting pixel arcade racer that offers heaps of maps, challenges and modes to keep you busy.
You can play through Super Pixel Racers in career mode or free race mode as a solo player, with challenges dotted throughout each race to put you through your paces. The challenges can include anything from drifting to crashing into other cars.
There’s also a great multiplayer offering, with both a local and online option. Each one runs well, and is a worthwhile option for your next gaming night with friends.
Something I must praise this game for is the overall aesthetic and how it looks. I’m a massive fan of the 16-bit style, and think it fits the game perfectly. In terms of performance, Super Pixel Racers plays well and doesn’t have any notable technical issues.
Super Pixel Racers is a smaller indie title for retro gaming and racing fans to check out. It’s approachable for new players, and has a decent level of difficulty in the later game for experienced gamers too.
Polygonal racing games have a unique charm to them, and Hotshot Racing manages to nail the aesthetic and vibe perfectly.
The main game mode for Hotshot Racing is the Grand Prix mode, which offers a decent amount of tracks and three difficulty modes to play on. There are also single races, and two other game modes called Cops & Robbers or Drive & Explode.
There are also multiplayer options available with this game, including both local and online options. You can play online with up to 8 people, making for a lot of chaotic, fast-paced fun.
Hotshot Racing surprised me with how well it runs.
Some games in this particular style can get a little choppy, but this title runs incredibly smoothly and has no performance issues in any of the game modes. The controls are intuitive, and work as expected in all modes.
It looks great, too. Polygonal art styles may not be for everyone, but I’m a huge fan of the particular aesthetic they’ve managed to draw up here. It gives off a retro vibe, while still being clean and well put-together.
Hotshot Racing is a neat polygonal racing game for the Switch that offers a great user experience and good value for money. It’s perfect for both solo and multiplayer gaming, and is a great pick for any fans of retro racers.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is a fun addition to the racing game library on the Nintendo Switch, and plays host to a heap of characters and vehicles.
This title follows a simple kart racing game premise, with a Grand Prix mode and over 40 separate challenges to play through. There’s a wide variety of beloved characters to pick from, including everyone from Invader Zim and Danny Phantom, to Spongebob and JoJo Siwa.
It’s a shame there’s no voice acting, as it’s a fantastic roster of characters.
There’s a surprising amount of strategy to consider with this game. You can pick three assist characters before every race, and they all have different offensive or defensive abilities that you can utilize during the game.
This game does run decently on the Nintendo Switch, but it’s far from perfect. It can get a little choppy in places, and certainly isn’t the smoothest racing game on the Switch. It’s nothing game breaking, but worth keeping in mind.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is a fun, lighthearted kart racer that’s ideal for people looking for a chilled gaming experience or something suitable for younger players. There’s a decent amount of content to keep you busy, and lots of characters to experiment racing with.
Mantis Burn Racing
Out of all of the games on this list, Mantis Burn Racing is one of my favorites. It’s a joy to play through, and matches the console perfectly too.
There’s a solid single player career mode available, introducing all the different events, weight classes, difficulties and seasons that the game has to offer. Throughout this mode, you’ll be able to pick up experience points and currency to help you upgrade your vehicles too.
Each event that you play through has a number of mini challenges to attempt, aside from trying to place in the top 3. These could include anything from smashing through barriers to finishing the race in a specific time.
The tracks look fantastic, with detailed graphics that run smoothly on the console. As a whole, the game looks great and there are no performance issues to note. The controls are logical and easy to pick up, with satisfying racing mechanics and handling too.
Online multiplayer shines with Mantis Burn Racing. You can race against CPU opponents if you’re struggling to find competitors, disable cross-platform play, fully customize your game and compete for spots on the online leaderboard, too.
There is a wireless multiplayer and split screen multiplayer mode, too.
Mantis Burn Racing offers a premium experience for both single players and groups of players, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Team Sonic Racing
Looking for an alternative to Mario Kart titles? Team Sonic Racing gives the legendary franchise a good run for its money.
Team Sonic Racing puts a unique spin on traditional kart games, allowing you to race in teams of 3. This completely changes the game narrative- even if you finish in first place, your team finishing in sixth or seventh will drag your score down severely.
There’s plenty of game modes to keep you occupied in Team Sonic Racing, with both single player and multiplayer options available. The Team Adventure mode is a lot of fun, and there’s a Grand Prix, Exhibition Race and Time Trial mode to play through as well.
There are wireless and online multiplayer modes for you to play with other players too, and as a whole, they play decently on the console.
Team Sonic Racing has no performance issues to note, and looks decent on the Nintendo Switch too. It runs at 30FPS, has charming graphics and fun, upbeat music as well.
While team kart racing might not be for everyone, I’m a big fan of this game. It puts a unique twist on a classic kart game, and offers plenty of customisation with the vehicles as well. The game plays well and offers plenty for both multiplayer and single player experiences alike.
Gotcha Racing 2nd
Gotcha Racing 2nd is a premium example of how less can be more with video game design. This is a simple yet utterly enjoyable racing game with a retro feel to it.
There are 16 circuits to race through in this game, and a heap of unlockable parts to customize your vehicles with. There’s also a brilliant local multiplayer option that brings in multiple game modes to keep things interesting, making this a great game night pick.
Online multiplayer is present here, but is limited to just competitive leaderboards.
The controls in this game are logical and easy to pick up. The game itself looks wonderful on the Nintendo Switch, and the overall player experience is very positive. There are no notable performance issues or quirks to point out.
My favorite thing about Gotcha Racing 2nd is the attention to detail. For example, you can switch out the camera angles when racing to make the most out of the Switch screen. The music and sound effects are great too.
It’s clear that the developers had a lot of fun making this game, and I highly recommend getting it for your Nintendo Switch today.
If you’re even remotely interested in racing games, you’re bound to have heard of Virtua Racing before. This game arguably set the standard for modern takes on retro racers, and it’s a joy to play through.
Inspiring some of the games in this list, Virtua Racing started life as an arcade racing game. This particular version is a port of the classic, and it’s been polished to perfection for the Nintendo Switch.
Virtua Racing offers everything that you could hope for from a polygonal racer. There are standard 5-lap races, Grand Prix races and a solid multiplayer option, where you can play locally using a split screen with up to eight different players.
There’s an online multiplayer option too, but it’s not as cohesive and offers only 2 player races. It’s still a lot of fun, but it’s important to keep in mind that there are reportedly a few performance issues to contend with.
Visually, Virtua Racing is an absolute delight. The polygonal style has been perfected here, and it runs smoother than butter on the Nintendo Switch console. The controls are intuitive and make perfect sense for the console. What’s not to love?
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
There are a lot of ports on the Nintendo Switch, and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled manages to stand out from the crowd as one of the best, hands down.
This karting game has a mountain of content to tackle, and a level of challenge up for grabs that will delight experienced gamers. There’s an easier mode available to keep it accessible, but this game is ruthless in places and I’m sure it’s been the cause of a few broken JoyCons.
Alongside the standard races (of which there are many, there’s a great selection of maps) you’ll be faced with plenty of challenges and alternate game modes like CTR Races and Relic Races. You can play in a Grand Prix mode, offering up multiple maps in one go.
There are lots of characters to pick from in this game, which is a relief as I think this is one of the main selling points for licensed kart racers like this game. A large chunk of them do need to be unlocked with an in-game currency that you earn through multiplayer races, though.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has clearly been put together with a lot of love and attention to detail. While there are a few issues to contend with like loading times and difficult controls, this is still a gem of a game and something that experienced players are sure to love.
Beach Buggy Racing 2
If you’re on the hunt for a solid kart racing game that doesn’t feature a plumber or a hedgehog, this is a great pick for you. Beach Buggy Racing 2 is arguably one of the best karting games on the Nintendo Switch.
There’s a mountain of content to unpack in Beach Buggy Racing 2, with 23 tracks and lots of racers to pick from. There are heaps of power-ups and special items, a great story mode, a fun adventure mode and a borderline ludicrous amount of achievements.
There is a separate achievement list for every racer and every vehicle. Completing all of them will reward you with a gold color scheme for the car, or a new outfit for the character.
As someone who adores achievement hunting, this is the sort of content that keeps me glued to a game for hours on end.
The racing mechanics are smooth and enjoyable, which makes for a lovely user experience. Beach Buggy Racing 2 looks great as well, with the game running in 60FPS most of the time and no notable performance issues.
Kart racing is a niche that is dominated by licensed games with well known characters, so I found this game to be an utterly refreshing addition. I highly recommend checking it out.