Racing games are often seen as a great way to entertain the kids. Within a safe environment, these games can be a great way for children to learn a thing or two about cars and physics. With the appeal of adrenaline-filled excitement that comes from high-speed shenanigans, many car racing games focus on appealing to younger audiences. Give your little ones a chance to burn some rubber with our list of the best racing games for kids.
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Mario Kart Tour
Kart racing games are usually great fun, and why not choose the one that’s widely considered the most popular of the lot. One of the most well-known franchises in video game history, Nintendo’s Mario Kart series contains some of the best racing games for kids and adults alike.
With so many memorable characters to choose from, there’s a lot of content to unlock as you progress through the game. Play as Mario, Luigi, Bowser, or a host of other characters in a party game aimed at having fun with friends. Each track brings its own challenges. Vehicles have comically innocent weapons such as banana skins, mushroom power-ups, and invulnerability stars. You can get stuck in a hilarious tailspin or find a tortoiseshell pickup to boost your way up the grid.
The whole family can join in on the fun with multiplayer supporting up to eight players. Free to download and constantly updated with new seasons plus extra content, Mario Kart Tour is a great addition to any family gaming library.
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Hot Wheels: Race Off
With a massive medley of miniature cars, Hot Wheels: Race Off is a welcome blast from the past. Players control matchbox cars as they zip and zoom through over 50 tracks, with that signature Hot Wheels orange never too far out of sight. Racetracks aren’t just your run-of-the-mill loops and dips either, as Race Off features new forest and city tracks to round out their circuit selection.
There’s a split-track multiplayer mode, so other players can also join in on the same device. Vehicles can flip upside down, run off course and even run out of gas, making Race Off a little closer to reality than, say Mario Kart, for example. Build and upgrade a large collection of tiny cars, in what is definitely a fun game for all ages. Hot Wheels: Race Off is free on the App Store as well as Google Play.
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Thomas and Friends: Go Go Thomas
Aimed at the younger ones in the family, Thomas and Friends are especially fun for kids who love trains. Perhaps the most well-known train in the world, Thomas is bright and cheery and has a great cartoon style to add to the overall charm of this title. Quite a few of his friends are along for the ride too.
Join Thomas, James, Emily, and the rest of the crew on some fun and educational adventures. The aim of the game is to collect trophy pieces resembling gears, allowing you to upgrade the skill levels of each train. To become the fastest train on the track, up to two players can choo-choo their way across waterslides, roller coasters, and gravity-defying jumps. It’s available right now for free, on the App Store and Google Play.
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A classic reborn, Hotshot Racing is a callback to the 90’s heyday of arcade racing. From the confident color palette to the revving engines, Hotshot captures the look and feel of early racing video games. The graphics are purposefully simplistic, and the voiceover for the announcer has an arcade ring to it.
There are a few modern additions that set Hotshot apart from your typical arcade racer. From upgrading brakes to painting the steering wheel, players can customize everything on their cars. Racing through timed checkpoints with a modern handling system makes every car a joy to drive. With free post-launch content, Hotshot has gained favorable reviews and high praise from a number of reputable sources. It’s available on X-box, Playstation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
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A little older than the other entries on this list, ModNation Racer deserves a bit of recognition seeing as it became quite popular when it was released. With a sequel close to coming out, now is a great time to enjoy this unique racer. What sets ModNation apart from other kart games is the sheer customizability on offer.
Not only can you design your kart and character down to minute details, but you also get to make your own tracks and share them with others. There’s also a substantial story mode with action, drama, and comedy. ModNation is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, and critical thinking is tested often when you’re up against live opponents. Unfortunately, online services were shut down by Playstation in 2018, but you can still play solo and via split-screen on a Playstation or Playstation Portable.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
The third kart racing entry on this list, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled deserves an honorable mention. It’s a remaster of the original Crash Team Racing that was released in 1996. Much like the Mario Kart series, Crash Team Racing has managed to stay relevant since the mid-’90s. It’s a little bit more challenging than some of the other racing titles aimed at youngsters, but it’s got a lot going for it with quirky writing, a cute animation style, and pickup-filled raceways.
Available on Playstation, X-box, and Nintendo Switch, Nitro-Fueled has won numerous games awards and received high ratings since its release. Featuring a roster that many of us have taken a shine to over the years, Nitro-Fueled sports over 50 characters to choose from and a veritable plethora of tracks to dive into.
Kart racers are clearly some of the most popular racing games today, but you can still find many different styles of racing games on offer. From tank engines to toy miniatures, there’s a lot of variety to be found if you know where to look. With gaming quickly becoming the most widespread entertainment medium, we hope our list aids you in finding some great games to enjoy with your family.