Welcome back to Switch Stop — your source for all things great on Nintendo Switch! This series will cover a variety of genres on Nintendo Switch, and today’s genre will be racing games.
Racing is one of the oldest genres in all of gaming, and these titles are no strangers to Nintendo systems. However, the last few generations of Nintendo home consoles, in particular, haven’t had a huge amount of great racing games. Switch has finally come in and changed that, offering a deluge of great racing games of all different kinds.
As someone who mostly plays racing games on Nintendo Switch, I wanted to create this list to share some of my personal favorites, all of which I have played to a solid degree, and most have been reviewed here on Nintendo Enthusiast.
Shin’en Multimedia, a notoriously talented indie studio, dazzled Wii owners with the beautiful Fast Racing League. It was one of the most gorgeous games on Wii, despite being only a WiiWare title. That led to Fast Racing Neo coming to Wii U, again being one of the most technically impressive titles the system had. Now, there’s Fast RMX on Nintendo Switch, an enhanced port of Neo with even better visuals. It’s amazing how good this game looks and runs, even in handheld mode, continuing the series’s technological trend by being one of the most beautiful games for Switch.
However, what really matters is the gameplay of course. And just as its name suggests, Fast RMX offers a seriously wicked-fast experience. You’ll take control of futuristic, sleek-looking hovercars as you boost through a variety of environments on roller coaster-like courses. There are massive jumps, loop-de-loops, and many hazards to avoid as you break the sound barrier and boost your way to victory. Later courses can be a bit difficult, so hone your skills and train your reflexes for this high-octane title.
VD-Dev’s Rise: Race the Future seems to be a Switch game that has somewhat of a following, but nobody really brings it up very often. People should though because this is easily one of the best racers for Switch. Not only does it have amazing visuals, but also some sleek semi-futuristic gameplay.
What makes Rise special is that its vehicles are more traditional than in a typical futuristic racer, but they do have the special ability to pull up their wheels and hover over bodies of water and then deploy them again once they’re over land. The tracks in Rise have been built to take full advantage of this transformation mechanic, offering races that constantly go from road courses, to off-roading, and then aquatic. This sort of design is not used heavily at all in most racers, so if you’re looking for something that stands out, Rise has got you covered. The controls are solid, but be mindful that there’s a bit of a difficulty curve in some races. Even so, especially considering its cheap price, Rise offers quite a lot of awesome content for any racing fan.
Aquiris’ Horizon Chase Turbo probably needs no introduction. This is certainly one of the popular titles on Switch and for good reason. Its hybrid of retro mechanics and aesthetics mixed with modern elements makes for not only a colorful and beautiful racer, but just a downright fun one too. Horizon Chase Turbo offers courses dotted around the globe, each possessing a unique environment. The art style brings everything to life with vibrant color and flare.
Horizon Chase Turbo’s simplistic left-to-right steering mechanics aren’t as super complex as any of the other games here, but it’s fun because the sense of speed is spot-on and the level of challenge will keep you engaged for quite some time. Whether you have nostalgia for the racing games of old or not, Horizon on Nintendo Switch is absolutely worth playing for anyone who enjoys a solid arcade racer.
Unlike other consoles, Nintendo systems typically are not well supported by highly realistic racing games. Thankfully, Switch has amassed quite a few. To date, nothing comes close to that of Codemasters’ GRID Autosport.
GRID Autosport is a product of industry veterans and was ported to the hybrid by Feral Interactive. This last-gen gem features a wide variety of racing disciplines that will put you behind the wheel of a decent selection of licensed vehicles. From open-wheel formula cars, to roadsters, there’s a lot of track toys and street legends to play with here. What makes GRID great to me is that it’s not as demanding as some of the hyper-realistic racers like Gran Turismo and Project CARS. It has just enough ease of access to give even novice racing fans a chance to get their feet wet with a more sim-oriented experience.
There are some really impressive indie projects out there, and Brownmonster’s Rush Rally 3 is certainly one of them. Developed by a one-man-band, Rush Rally 3 features impressively authentic physics and driving mechanics.
Its handling model feels smooth and refined, all while still maintaining a really decent balance between realism and accessibility. It’s not going to overwhelm anyone who isn’t used to sim mechanics, but it’s still going to feel good to those who consider themselves to be aficionados. Its visuals are relatively simplistic, but it does still run silky smooth in both handheld and docked mode. Rush Rally 3 skimmed under a lot of people’s radars when it drifted onto the Switch eShop back in late 2019. So, if you did miss it, I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you enjoy rally racing.
Since we’re in the realm of off-roaders, I definitely have to bring up Kylotonn’s V-Rally 4. When it launched on Nintendo Switch back in 2018, it was the most realistic racer that the hybrid had received yet. And to this day, it’s still one of the most fun racing experiences I’ve had on Switch. While the visual quality and performance aren’t top-notch, there’s still a lot to unpack here due to the sheer amount of content.
V-Rally 4 spreads itself around with an offering of five different off-road racing disciplines. There is Buggy Racing, Extreme-Khana, Hillclimb, Rally, and V-Rally Cross. Just like in GRID, these different race types will allow you to use different kinds of vehicles, each handling and performing uniquely. This solid variety will keep you on your toes as you race to get the best possible position. That’s important because V-Rally 4‘s career mode has an economy that’s totally dependent on your performance.
Almost every race requires you to pay an entrance fee. Placing low by the end could result in your taking losses, on top of needing money to repair your vehicle. Also, be aware that Switch’s lack of controllers with analog triggers makes the experience even a bit more difficult. So, this is definitely the most cutthroat racer on the list. If difficulty is your cup of tea, however, it’s worth checking out. And for a similarly realistic rally experience, I’ll also throw in an honorable mention of WRC 8 and 9, made by the same studio.
This is just my personal list of favorite racing games I’ve played on Nintendo Switch, but I’d highly recommend giving some of them a try if you’re looking to break into the genre or add to your existing collection. In any case, these racers will provide some of the most robust experiences you can find on the hybrid.
Shifting gears, if you’re shopping around for some good simulation titles on Switch, you can check out our Switch Stop for the best sim games on the console.