A tight grip and sweat glistening on your brow, you keep your focus on the road. Careening on the asphalt at over 300 km/h, you’re nearing a turn, one that will surely hit you with several G’s as you execute a precision drift. A miscalculated step on the brakes and you suddenly hit the railings, the car crunching into a heap of rubber and steel.
Of course, you would probably be in the hospital right now if you weren’t playing a racing sim. That’s how engrossing some of these Android games are. While you don’t get that sudden rush of adrenaline from an actual performance racing vehicle, hardware for Android phones and tablets these days are now capable enough in giving realistic racing scenarios for the couch racer in you. Prepare your processors, and rev up your RAM cause here come the apps that will supercharge your engines and give you the diesel-fueled fix you need.
Note: Many of these games are both demanding in terms of the devices they can run on and the upfront cost to own them. If you have the cash and a higher end device, you’ll have no trouble grabbing the titles below. Otherwise, check the Market description and test them out first to see if the game works out for you.
1. Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD ($6.99)
Asphalt 6 is the best racing game on the Market, in my opinion. Advance your racing career by winning races and challenges and get rewarded with real world cars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris and better tuning kits. On top of that, you can even drift while racing as well as take beat down your opponents to make sure they feel the pain.
2. NEED FOR SPEED™ Shift ($2.99)
This racing classic has finally come to mobile, giving you some of the best tracks to get your tires burning. If you want to know how it feels like to race against cutthroat opponents and have nitro coursing through your veins, this is one game you should really get.
3. Raging Thunder 2 ($4.99, lite version available)
This is not your ordinary street race. Streak through temples, beaches and even the Great Wall while making sure your opponents don’t reach the finish line in one piece. What’s more, you can go head to head against your friends via online multiplayer.
4. Asphalt HD ($4.99, free version available)
Want some adrenaline but your phone can’t handle Asphalt 6? No problem, Asphalt HD is here. Built for lower end phones, it’s the same road burning title tweaked to run better on lower processors. Despite that, it’s still as engaging and goes head to head versus Adrenaline as the best looking racing game on the market.
5. Extreme Formula (free)
I’d rather drive real cars myself but this futuristic take on the usual racing game is a bit refreshing. Use advanced fuel sources, high-tech tuning systems and advanced vehicles to further your racing career. It has a smooth maneuvering system and one-touch drift which makes it easy to play from the start but hard to master. Best of all, it’s free.
6. GT Racing: Motor Academy Free+ (free)
If you want to race but don’t have the bucks to do so right now, you might want to try GT Racing. You can prove yourself by completing the game without help or just get a bit of an extra boost using in-app money purchases to level up your vehicle and advance your career more quickly. Make sure you have a fast connection as well since it needs a hefty download at the beginning to set everything up.
7. Drift Mania Championship ($1.02)
You have to give props to dedicated devs. Did you know that this app was developed together with a professional drifting association? And yes, I know it’s not a racing game per se but who can’t resist doing some smooth drifting on a specially made track, chaining combos with each successful drift? Stay focused and in control while burning rubber and who knows, you might even win the DMCC cup.
8. Wave Blazer ($2.99, lite version available)
Who says racing has to involve cars right? Wave Blazer lets you rip through the mean waterways of the world with a 4000 HP speedboat under you. Battle the AI or challenge a living breathing human at the other end via online multiplayer. It’s challenging to control your speeding watercraft, to say the least, but one thing I do love about this game: awesome air time at almost every corner.
9. Riptide GP ($6.99)
More water racing action here, courtesy of Riptide. Keep your cool while plowing a wake through the track with your speeding jet ski, besting opponents with torrential speed and amazing stunts. Best played on Tegra devices, it has all the physics you need from water movement to real reflections. It probably has one of the best graphics of a game found on the Android platform but it does lack a bit challenge, with only 4 tracks.
10. Speed Forge 3D ($2.90, demo version available)
Another game with very smooth 3D graphics, Speed Forge impresses with its renders but not so much on gameplay. Nevertheless, its Podracer feel and the physics of the game will let you fly through tight corners and roar across straightaways. It even has vibration feedback so you really feel when you hit the corners.
11. TurboFly 3D ($1.99, demo version available)
This is for the racer of the future and the vehicles here actually handle more like jet fighters especially when they start flying off cliffs. Extremely smooth graphics and online play are two things that will make you keep playing this game.