5 of the best racing games for Android, iPhone and iPad in 2018

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From big franchises like Need for Speed and Real Racing to indie hits like Race the Sun and Thumb Drift, these games set the pace on your mobile device.

Racing is one of the genres that many people assume works best on a console or PC with a joypad – or a wheel peripheral if you’re feeling flash. Yet plenty of developers have been taking the genre to mobile devices too.

Some draw heavily on their console heritage, while others have tried to reinvent the category for touchscreen controls and shorter, mobile-friendly sessions. Here are 10 of the best Android and iOS racing games worth accelerating on to the app stores for.

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Race the Sun
iOS (+ Android beta)

Forget cars: the best mobile racer might just be this one, which puts you at the controls of a solar-powered glider. You’re racing against the setting sun – hence the name – with the world around you changing every day you play. Some clever ideas complemented by solid gameplay. It’s not out for Android devices yet, but a beta is about to get underway.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Android / iOS / Windows Phone

One of the longest-established mobile racing franchises in the world, here: Asphalt was burning rubber long before iPhone and Android existed. Its eighth incarnation is the best yet: a huge number of cars to unlock, a comprehensive career mode, and impressive online multiplayer races.

Hovercraft: Takedown
Android / iOS

There’s a whiff of Crossy Road in the colourful, blocky hovercraft that you’ll be racing in this game. However, the gameplay is classic racing, with the real joy coming from the game’s crafting aspects: you can design your own vehicle, load it with weapons and tweak to suit your driving style.

Real Racing 3
Android / iOS

Real Racing 3’s freemium aspects caused some protests when it came out in 2013, but the game has been evolving nicely over the past three years while taming some of those early, aggressive prompts to pay. It looks fantastic, runs like a dream, and offers considerable depth as you unlock and upgrade cars while moving through its competitions. Here, too, online multiplayer is a big draw.

CSR Classics
Android / iOS

While the wait for the sequel to the excellent CSR Racing goes on, try CSR Classics on for size. It’s the same drag-strip racing gameplay – it’s all about the acceleration and perfectly-timed gear changes – but with an array of vintage vehicles to race with. The graphics are spiffing, and the gameplay matches them.

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