If you enjoy the smell of gasoline and burning rubber, screaming engines and high-speed corners, get ready for a roster of racing games coming in 2019. Realistic simulations or arcade speedfests, the coming year has a high-octane selection.
Dirt Rally 2.0
Codemasters second instalment to the Dirt Rally series is the offroad simulation that all rally fans out there eagerly await. "The Dark Souls of racing games" is one of the few titles that offer the thrill of driving in gruelling conditions, but what isn't the Dark Souls of something these days. From the dusty wilds of Greece to the icy tarmac roads in Monaco, Dirt Rally will undoubtedly push your in-game driving skills to the limit.
Dirt Rally 2.0 aims to bring even more to the table and is setting sights on becoming the most authentic representation of rally racing ever. To achieve this, Codemasters have been working with rally drivers, Jon Armstrong and Ryan Champion to ensure that vehicle handling in-game matches real-life behaviour.
Recently, Codemasters confirmed that track the degradation feature has been implemented which sees the track surface evolve based on the player's start position. The optimal place to start would be after the first few cars have swept the stage of loose material, and then beyond that, the surface will start to rut and become increasingly challenging to tackle.
DiRT Rally 2.0 is coming out on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on February 26, 2019.
Assetto Corsa Competizione
Asseto Corsa Competizione, a successor to 2014's Asseto Corsa is a full-fledged racing simulator developed by Kunos Simulazioni.
Currently available as a Steam's Early Access title, Asseto Corsa Competizione runs on Unreal Engine 4 and was announced as one of the first Nvidia RTX real-time ray tracing titles. At the hand of a new engine, the game now features a full day and night cycle with realistic weather conditions.
A potentially gorgeous looking game shouldn't fall short when it comes to gameplay. If you're looking for a racing simulation, Asseto Corsa Competizione is a top of the line title. Numerous elements like traction, tire wear, maintaining the heat in your breaks and aerodynamics have been developed based on data from real racing cars, all to ensure realistic vehicle handling.
Asseto Corsa Competizione is getting a full release in March 2019 exclusively on PC.
Originally announced way back in 2010, GTR 3 has been in the pipeline for quite some time. Development went through many ups and downs over the years but according to SimBin Studios, the third iteration of the popular racing game series will finally see the light of the day sometime in Q2 2019.
Since GTR3 gives the impression of being a genuine racing simulation, SimBin was determined to create user-friendly gameplay mechanics that would satisfy casual gamers as well as veteran fans of the franchise. Key design doctrine for the development team is focusing on a comprehensive storyline rather than giving the player a bunch of tracks and cars without much enticement to play through career mode.
In the same vein as Asseto Corsa Competizione, GTR 3 uses the Unreal Engine 4 so expect full day and night cycle, dynamic weather conditions, realistic physics and an advanced damage system.
GTR 3 will release on PC, Xbox One and PS4.
Even though this one probably doesn't quite fit into the racing games genre, Trials is an enjoyable and challenging series so they're definitely worthy of a place on our list. Since the goal of the game is to pass the course as quickly as possible, Trials can be seen as a sort of a racing game anyway.
The motocross puzzle platformer is getting it's first mainline entry since 2014's Trials Fusion. Some of the new features include online multiplayer and a local cooperative mode named „Tandem Bike“ in which two players jointly navigate a single bike through mud, dirt and outlandish obstacles.
For those who favour singleplayer, Ubisoft have announced career mode, which will take you from local backyards to big stage stadium performances in places like the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park.
Trials Rising will have more customisation options than any Trials game before. Players will have a mixture of bike skins and outfits to unlock as they progress through the game. In addition to that, Ubisoft said they’re bringing back the legendary Trials Track Editor to help the players create unique tracks.
Bike, outfit and track designs can be shared with the online community which is a convenient way to show off your creations.
Trials Rising is out in February 2019 for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Futuristic racing games had a bit of an uprise in the early 2000's with titles like Wipeout HD, Powerdome, F-Zero GX and Quantum Redshift, but the genre has been driving on some grim tracks lately.
Indie development team Refract is looking to freshen things up with their Nitronic Rush sequel titled Distance. Described as an atmospheric platformer fusing arcade racing with parkour in a neon-drenched city, Distance has been available on Steam for some time now and has attracted more than 150k players with mostly positive reviews.
The game features a short story mode, online and local multiplayer, full VR support, a level editor and unique soundtrack.
A release date for PlayStation 4 hasn't been revealed yet, but the game is expected to hit the PS Store in 2019.
Drift 19 is "the first and only realistic drifting simulator" according to ECC Games, the development team behind the game that offers you the chance to build your car, train your skills and compete with other players in world drifting championships.
Inspired by drift racing history, ECC Games aim to include the most iconic vehicles in the game with many old drift classic cars to choose from. Various professional tracks, drift squads and garages where players will be able to tune their four-wheeled beasts are some of the features game has to offer.
Drift 19 will be available on 29 March 2019 for PC.