The 8 Best Off-Road Games on PS5

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Arcade car games and all the other subgenres of the racing genre are great, but sometimes, people need something extra.

If for you, like scores of other die-hard off-road gamers out there, that little extra means feeling the grit in your teeth as you try to spin your truck out of mud six feet deep, then this review is for you.

As usual, the PS5 is able to meet you off the beaten track in terms of your gaming needs. In no particular order, here are the best off-road games on PS5 right now.

Monster Truck Championship

Let’s face it. People have always had a fascination for supersized stuff ever since we escaped just being trampled by the dinosaurs. And there’s no doubt at all that Monster Truck Championship is the ultimate predator in the off-road racing frenzy genre.

This action racing video game was published by Nacon and BigBen Interactive, and the game was released in October 2020.

So, what’s in it for the off-road racing enthusiast?

Of the five event types in Career mode, Drag, Freestyle, and Destruction races present the best off-road possibilities. In addition to these three, there are also the standard races and time trial modes.

Drag races are typically one-on-one contests with an opponent, while Freestyle races basically are outlandish stunts (wheelies, donuts, and bicycles) that get you points. Of the three, Destruction Races involve some devastation.

The great thing about Monster Truck Championship is that unlike other monster truck games such as Monster Jam, this game is a true stimulation as opposed to the arcade-ish style of others.

Not to mention the body types of the monster trucks themselves, which are modeled after animals. These trucks have bold names such as Brave Hunter, Party Animal, and Medusa.

The off-road capabilities of Monster Truck Championship are on the higher performing side, and you’ll be bouncing off ramps and doing backflips mid-air, naturally at 60 FPS in sharp 4K resolution.

MXGP 2021

MXGP 2021, like its predecessors in the series, is the only game licensed officially by Motocross. So, one can say it best approximates the true experience of bikes, riders, and trucks of the off-road bike tournament.

That certainly should be enough to make this one of the best off-road games on PS5.

Career mode is revamped in this 2021 version, and it’s nice that all trucks are available and unlocked from the beginning.

If you’re here for the biking experience, then you’ll be happy to know that this game is considered to be one of the best dirt bike games on PS5.

A bit of bad news for newbies. You’re going to have to spend quality time learning the ropes of this game. However, it could also be a good thing, because of how realistic the physics in the game are presented.

For instance, in muddy races, you will actually experience the flimsy grip of your rubber on the wet surface, and when it’s deep mud, you can literally feel it strangling your wheels. To help you, there’s a short tutorial that features highlighted controls on the screen.

Like the real thing, scoring at this game is a sum total of your ability at weight distribution, throttle and brake control, as well as steering dexterity.

Track Editor comes in handy to customize the tracks if you want to, but where’s the fun in making things easier for yourself?

Before a race, you also have options to tune your bike. Tinker with your wheelbase length, brake, accelerator sensitivity, and bike suspension for a better response.

PS: Don’t forget to lean when you take those tight turns.

Riders Republic

Riders Republic plays out like what off-roaders would experience in a utopian Matrix-like Sim.

Extreme sports in an open-world environment never got better, and this all-ride sports game should take pride in a place among the PS5’s best off-road games.

The game was published by Ubisoft on October 28, 2021, but what’s its claim to off-road racing fame?

Well, you name the sport, and Rider’s Republic has got it. If for nothing else, the variety in this game alone is enough to make this one of the best sports games on PS5.

Snowboarding, rocket jetpacking, trick BMXing, wingsuit gliding, skiing, and mountain biking – virtually everything on flats, 2-wheels, or an air pocket has a place here.

Have a great time racing all of these vehicles, and even switching conveyors on the fly, midrace.

I’ve not even started on the massive player population and the grand tour of some of the US national parks. Yosemite National Park in particular is a special treat.

You can almost feel the wind on your helmeted cheeks in the slipstream on races going down steep hills as you weave and steer to avoid crashing into anyone in the packed races.

Mass racing mode can fix you up against 65 players at once, but Single-player mode is also available.

The absolutely gorgeous thing about the gameplay in Rider’s Republic is the seeming absence of any sort of organization.

Calling it ‘organized madness’ is the kind of phrasing that sounds good in television advertising but doesn’t translate to pretty ordered lines in real life. But then, this isn’t real life, is it?

Art of Rally

Here’s some free advice when you start playing Art of Rally. Take advantage of the Free Roam Mode.

No, really, the game isn’t called Art of Rally just because it sounds easy on the ears. This racing simulation game packs in all the excitement of a real off-road Motor rally.

It was published by Funselektor Labs Inc. in October 2020 and easily lays claim as one of the best off-road games on PS5.

Before you worry about good timing, worry about keeping the car still on the road first. To do this, you have to display a skilled interplay between handling the handbrake and the regular brakes.

Be warned, because any off-track experience will usually land you a penalty. It’s a bit of a challenge as that’s the one thing the cars seem to always want to do in this game.

At the heart of Art of Rally is a strong test of the amount of control that you, the player, have over your car. That test includes the display of skilled steering and the ability to take corners like a champ – every time.

The handling is so realistic that if you’re a naturally good driver, this should feel like a stroll in the park and not the bumpy drive in the scorching desert that it actually is.

Although the low poly graphics are behind the competition, the catchy music makes up for it to a degree.

As a fun and challenging test of driving skills in rough terrains around the world, this game is a winner.

Dirt 5

Dirt 5 happened to launch at the same time as Sony PlayStation’s latest console, and that is no happy coincidence.

It’s no coincidence either that the arcade road racer is in the running for the best off-road games on PS5.

Codemasters published this racing video game, releasing it in November of 2020, the same month that the new-gen console launched.

It must be said that playing Dirt 5 on PS5 is on a whole different level, experience-wise, from the outing the game had on PS4.

Environment-driven haptic feedback from the DualSense Controller, 120FPS, and faster loading times are only some of the major upgrades.

This game totally drives home the illusion of being on the tracks yourself. You can practically feel the dust clogging up your tire pores as you rock-bounce in five global locations through 60 + routes.

And let’s not even start on the superior graphics enhanced by ray tracing in 4K resolution.

Speaking of gameplay, Dirt 5 is certainly plug-in-and-play for everyone, especially in career mode.

It’s not all a peaceful ride though, as there are bumps along the way. For instance, if you don’t save your games, you might find that you’ve lost quite a bit of ground if your console crashes unexpectedly.

That said, the solution requires a PS+ subscription as the PS5 does not support USB storage saving yet.

As an off-road racing adventure, Dirt 5 is easily the finest game in the series, and it is also definitely one of the best racing games on PS5.

The Crew 2

There’s a real argument for the position that The Crew 2 is PlayStation’s alternative to Forza Horizon. It’s a totally deserving placement too, hence its spot on this PS5’s best off-road games list.

The racing video game was published by Ubisoft in 2018, following the first version that launched in 2014.

If only for its free-roaming style across an open world environment, The Crew 2 is a worthy ambassador of the off-road sub-genre. But let me whet your appetite even more.

From drag races to rallies, there’s no shortage of races or activities (including photo quests and events) and you could say the same for the vehicles that you drive.

Hovercrafts, biplanes, boats, cars, and bikes are some of the vehicles that you get to take control of in this action sim.

Whether you want to take your bashing in the air, the water, or on land, the ‘Fast Fav’ system makes it a matter of a button to switch vehicles even in the middle of a complex maneuver.

Join a host of other drivers in multiplayer co-op mode online (PVP mode set for December 2022) as you engage in tough challenges across the most unfriendly terrains.

One thing that’s difficult to understand though is why the Joker lap has to be a part of every race.

Running at 30 FPS, the game was prone to chopping sometimes even on the PS5. However, an update to 60fps became available on July 6, 2022, to sort that out. Apart from that, the graphics in The Crew 2 hold up pretty well for a 2018 game.

Snowrunner

Here’s an off-roader video game that exemplifies the wild adventure, thrill, and sometimes even danger that is the very essence of off-roading.

SnowRunner came at a time when purists were desperate for an off-road game that does justice to the sub-genre in every sense of the word.

This multiplayer racing sim was initially called Mudrunner 2 after the first game, Mudrunner – that was back in 2018. It was then officially re-released as SnowRunner in 2020 by publisher Focus Entertainment.

Backed with a choice of 40 rugged automobiles, many of which are popular brands like Freightliner and Chevrolet, you face off against snow, lakes-gone-to-ice, torrential downpours, underground tracks, and deepest mud.

Finish missions and deliver dangerous work orders while expanding your fleet of fully customizable trucks.

Have I mentioned yet how realistic this game is? A case in point is that on the Alaskan mission, nothing but snow tires will save you from being bogged down in the deep snow.

Another compelling thing about this game is the sheer concentration you need to haul these metal giants from point a to b.

There’s a multiplayer feature too, of course, allowing up to four players at the same time.

As for the physics here, it’s insane. You will actually feel your wheels lurching as you try to free yourself from that snow mountain bypass with wheels gone slick.

SnowRunner is every bit the equal, and some might even say the superior, of its already-solid predecessor. Now go see for yourself.

Trackmania Turbo

TrackMania Turbo, the 10th main installment in the TrackMania multiplayer racing game series brings the racing action to PlayStation for the first time. This multitrack racing adventure is a shoo-in as one of the best off-road games on PS5.

Released in 2015, it was published by Ubisoft, after game development by Nadeo.

Over 200 tracks are available in four environments, including Jungle Terrain, Canyons, and the lagoon. With a track editor tagging along, for TrackMania Turbo, the popular opinion seems to be ‘what’s not to like? ‘

With so many tracks and player drivers, the conventional approach to this game is to hug your lane with everything you’ve got – once you do find it, that is.

Don’t rule out the physics here too, as some of the roller coaster tracks will give gamers a strong dose of vertigo. Queasy stomachs are not far-fetched, but that’s all part of the fun, right?

Solo play is additionally really cool, and both the VR feature and split screen really give the game an edge that few racing games have at the moment.

A small note of warning about the track editor though. It’s pretty amazing but doesn’t always work on the first try. Regardless, it keeps things always moving along nicely.

On a final note, don’t make the mistake of thinking the simple game design means this game is anything short of challenging. It will drive you right off the road before you know it – probably not the “off-road” experience you want.

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