What is the most popular Sim Racing Game?
One of the most important factors in any Sim Racing game is its popularity.
Popularity is responsible for such things as:
- Amount of people in multiplayer modes.
- Amount of mods and other extensions for a given game.
- Amount of tutorials for a given game.
- Amount of tournaments.
And much more…
While the game’s popularity is important, you shouldn’t worry too much about it.
Play what you feel comfortable with. Sim Racing games are simulators with one common goal – to simulate reality as well as possible. Thanks to this, you don’t have to learn each game separately to be good at it. If you are an Assetto Corsa pro, you will probably need only a few hours to learn the settings in iRacing, and you will also be very good at it.
There are always some differences, but simulators are not completely different games.
Most popular sim racing games
It’s hard to tell which sim racing games are the most popular because popularity can be determined by a lot of different factors. In this ranking, I was mainly focused on the average number of players in peak hours, and I picked games that have been enjoyed by us sim racers for years, and are by far the most popular in the community. In each of these games, you will find a lot of people to play with, and what’s most important, a lot of fun. I’d say, every game on that list is worth sim racer’s attention, and there are even more good games such as rFactor, Automobilista, and Automobilista 2 that were not included here.
Due to the specific type of the game and the divided opinions on whether it is sim racing or sim-cade, this list does not include the titles from the F1 series. They are also great and have a lot of active players. If you like single-seater cars, these games are definitely worth your attention too.
5. rFactor 2
One of the most legendary Sim Racing games. Considered by many as the best racing simulation in the world. Many prestigious tournaments are organized there, and it is used in simulators of many professional racing teams.
rFactor 2 Pros:
- It has awesome driving physics and FFB. It depends on the person, but many sim racers agree in terms of realistic physics, rFactor 2 is currently the best on the whole scene.
- Decent graphics and sounds.
- Many tournaments.
- Decent amount of content and mods.
- Realistic AI drivers. It’s playable even on a single player.
- Good price.
rFactor 2 Cons:
- Lack of people on Multiplayer. If you want Multiplayer without playing in some league, it may be disappointing.
- Not the easiest one for the beginner, especially in terms of settings and UI.
4. RaceRoom Racing Experience
This sim is mainly known for being free, which is a shame, because it offers a lot more than that. It’s definitely one of the best sims on the market, and it even has some awesome aspects. Trust me, if you value audio experience, this may be something for you.
RaceRoom Racing Experience Pros:
- It’s free!
- This game has awesome audio. If you love how racing cars sound, it’s probably the best choice.
- Decent physics and multiplayer.
- A reasonable amount of content.
- It has many professional tournaments. I personally love watching streams from them.
RaceRoom Racing Experience Cons:
- The base of the game is free but offers very little content. Most of them are paid. In reality, it’s definitely not the cheapest sim racing game. Nevertheless, this is a small disadvantage, because a lot of this content is really great, such as the cars from the DTM series.
- The game is relatively popular, but in terms of the number of people to play, it’s hard to compare it to iRacing or even Assetto Corsa. It’s not bad, but if you’re expecting a ton of multiplayer matches, it can be tough.
3. Assetto Corsa Competizione
One of the newest games in the sim racing genre. It is loved by many users for its ranking system, good multiplayer, beautiful graphics, and phenomenal sounds. It’s a perfect choice for GT cars.
Assetto Corsa Competizione Pros:
- Awesome graphics. These days, perhaps the best in the genre.
- Great physics, also one of the best out there.
- Decent audio experience. While it’s usually a problem in sim racing games, everything in ACC sounds really good.
- Due to the pros mentioned above, it’s definitely one of the most immersive sim racing games.
- Great UX. It’s a good pick for beginners.
- Decent match-making and skill systems. It’s probably not as good as for example in iRacing, but it’s something we want to see more in sim racing games.
- It’s cheap for its value. Definitely worth the money.
- Good AI drivers. It’s playable in single-player mode.
Assetto Corsa Competizione Cons:
- Not much content, even with DLCs. It’s such a shame that the amazing game limits us to driving GT cars only. I understand it, but there was more potential.
- It requires good specs. Such an advanced, modern, and beautiful game, unfortunately, must have a disadvantage in terms of its requirements. Personally, with a decent computer (i7-6700k, GTX 1070, and 16 GB of RAM) I was not very comfortable playing on three monitors (1920 x 1080), while in, for example, iRacing with this setup I had a lot over 100 FPS.
2. Assetto Corsa
I think nowadays, you can easily call Assetto Corsa a legendary sim racing game.
If you’re just starting out, most sim racers will probably recommend this game to start with. It is great in every way and, in my opinion, it offers the best value for money in the whole genre.
Assetto Corsa Pros:
- It’s almost for everyone. Due to its many advantages and amount of mods, it’s a great game for single-seater racers, gt racers, drifters, free roamers, and many more types of players. I’d say it’s definitely the most universal sim racing game out there.
- It’s incredibly cheap for its value. Assetto Corsa could definitely be the only sim racing game for most of us. It offers almost everything we’ve ever dreamt of.
- Decent amount of content with and without DLCs.
- Unbelievable amount of mods. In this game, you can drive almost everything, almost everywhere.
- A good compromise between video quality and requirements. This game looks good, and you don’t need to have a top-notch PC to run it.
- A lot of leagues and active public multiplayer servers.
- Great physics.
Assetto Corsa Cons:
- Lack of multiplayer with an official rating system. It’s amazing for competitive people and for those who love progress. I’d say with it, Assetto Corsa could be considered as an ultimate sim racing game.
- Official multiplayer is not the best experience for most advanced racers. There are usually many beginners and trolls that could ruin your race on purpose. If you want multilayer, better go with some leagues.
- AI could be a bit better.
An absolute legend. An outstanding sim racing game with an amazing multiplayer system.
If you want to make progress and face the best racers, you should try iRacing.
- Multiplayer, multiplayer, multiplayer. It’s awesome, just try it. In short, when the game makes a race, it picks the drivers with a similar skill level, based on their iRating. There are a lot of races, and you can find something interesting almost every time.
- Most players care about their iRating and don’t want to get any penalties. Racing is usually very clean. It’s an experience not found in the public multiplayer of many other sim racing games.
- It is one of a few sim racing games that can run even on quite bad PCs.
- It has awesome, laser-scanned cars and tracks.
- There are a lot of tournaments, and they often have some great prizes.
- iRacing has a big and awesome community. For a sim, it’s very popular on YouTube and Twitch.
- iRacing is loved by many pros, real racing drivers. There are many well-known names from real racing series such as F1. If you’re quite good at it, there is a big chance you can meet someone famous during the session.
- The game is relatively expensive. It’s subscription-based and most content isn’t included for free as well.
- The graphics could look better. If you like old school like me, you’ll like it, if not – the game may look a bit dated.
- Physics is good but quite specific. For example, certain things about the tire model are controversial. For example, some cars seem to be too oversteery under some conditions, and it’s often very hard to make a save.
- Due to this game’s seriousness and iRating, this game may be a bit stressful. It’s not a big disadvantage, but this may be problematic for too competitive people.