The Best PlayStation 2 Racing Games Ever Made

Over 2.0K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best PlayStation 2 Racing Games Ever Made
Voting Rules
Games don't have to be console exclusive, as long as they were released for PlayStation 2 at some point.

If you owned a PS2 at any time during your life, then it's safe to say there were probably a few racing games in your collection. With so many great options to choose from, there was never a shortage of games to play for fans of the genre. Since some games were much better than others, we're ranking the best PS2 racing games of all time. If driving fast cars is your thing, then get behind the wheel and try out some of these fantastic games. The sheer number of racing games released on the PS2 is mind-boggling, giving you hundreds of racetracks and speedways to race down.

This list will feature the most popular and best-selling racing games that were released for PS2. While many of these games were console exclusive, we're allowing non-exclusives to be a part of the list as well. Games featured on this list include everything from Gran Turismo 4 to Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Vote for your favorite video games below, that way readers can see which games to play next.

Ranked by
  • Need for Speed: Underground 2
    524 votes
    • Developer: EA Canada, Pocketeers

    Expanding on its predecessor, Need for Speed: Underground 2 delves deeper into the tuner culture with more customizable vehicle options and parts, as well as a notably larger open-world city to explore. Graphics and lighting have seen a significant upgrade, enhancing the visual appeal of the game, particularly during nighttime racing scenes. In addition to refining the traditional circuit, sprint, and drag races, Underground 2 introduces a new gameplay mode known as 'Outrun,' which challenges players to overtake their opponents within a set distance. Furthermore, the game boasts an extended roster of licensed cars unique to this iteration, catering to fans of both classic and modern car culture.

  • Gran Turismo 4
    Dec 28 2004
    581 votes
    • Developer: Polyphony Digital

    As the fourth installment in Polyphony Digital's renowned racing simulation series, Gran Turismo 4 showcases an impressive level of realism, offering car enthusiasts a chance to virtually drive over 700 vehicle models from around the world. Utilizing a new physics engine, GT4 achieves a heightened sense of immersion with features like realistic tire deformation and skid marks, alongside an array of authentic racing tracks. Interestingly, this iteration of the game introduces B-Spec mode, where players can act as a race team manager, overseeing and guiding the AI driver for a unique gaming experience. Moreover, the inclusion of Photo Mode stands out, with players having the ability to take snapshots during races and save them to a USB storage device, a feature that was ahead of its time.

  • Burnout 3: Takedown
    429 votes
    • Developer: Criterion Games

    Taking arcade-style racing to a whole new level, Burnout 3: Takedown rewards aggressive driving tactics by encouraging players to "take down" their opponents through high-speed collisions. Not only has the series' signature crash mode been expanded upon, but Takedown also debuts a brand new gameplay feature called "Aftertouch," granting players the ability to control their wrecked vehicles in slow-motion for maximum carnage during pile-ups. Flaunting more than 70 high-performance cars and a plethora of stunning locations, the game delivers a fast-paced, visually stimulating experience. Exclusive to Burnout 3 is the introduction of Signature Takedowns, which are specific crash scenarios that players can collect for extra rewards and bragging rights.

  • Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition

    Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition

    Apr 12 2005
    444 votes
    • Developer: Rockstar San Diego, Rockstar Leeds

    Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition distinguishes itself from other racing games, thanks to its partnership with the popular auto magazine, DUB, cultivating an atmosphere of car culture authenticity. The extensive customization options have been streamlined and enhanced, alongside a revamped roster of over 60 licensed vehicles, including motorcycles for the first time in the series. Boasting three distinctive urban environments - San Diego, Atlanta, and Detroit - players can experience a massive open-world environment filled with unique races and challenges. Additionally, the game's soundtrack stands out from its competitors, delivering an eclectic mix of over 100 songs spanning genres such as hip-hop, rock, and techno.

  • Need for Speed: Underground
    305 votes
    • Developer: EA Black Box

    Revolutionizing the street racing genre, Need for Speed: Underground's emphasis on customization and tuner culture quickly captured gamers' hearts and paved the way for future installments. The game's impressive graphics, particularly with neon lighting and reflections, crafted an immersive night racing atmosphere unique to the time. Moreover, this iteration of Need for Speed introduced drift racing, which has since become a fan-favorite race type in subsequent titles. Above all, Underground's diverse array of licensed vehicles and aftermarket parts established it as a standout title within the racing game genre.

  • Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
    320 votes
    • Developer: Polyphony Digital

    Emphasizing realism and attention to detail, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec pushed the boundaries of graphics, physics, and gameplay on the PlayStation 2 upon its release. The substantial roster of licensed cars, ranging from everyday models to iconic racing machines, allows players to fine-tune their virtual driving skills across a variety of tracks and championships. Significantly, GT3 introduced Rally Racing for the first time to the series, diversifying race settings and providing new challenges for players to overcome. Despite having fewer cars and tracks compared to its successor, Gran Turismo 4, this particular iteration retains a nostalgic charm and a sublime gaming experience, making it a must-play for fans of the franchise.