6 Best Racing Games for Low-End PCs in 2024

Hand-picked for you by a lifelong gamer!

Best-Racing-Games-for-Low-End-PC

Have a need for speed but a system that runs as fast as a snail racing through peanut butter? Well, my condolences first of all, but good for you that we have some games that can run on all but the most obsolete of systems!

These low-end racing games could run on all but the lowest of the low toasters found in back alley pawn shops, so don’t fear any stuttering or lag while getting your adrenaline rush.

We’re looking at games that require 4GB of RAM at maximum and the cheapest possible tech needed. I’m talking about i3 processors and your basic laptop graphics card, so anyone can play.

Now, let’s speed right into these low-spec racing games.



6. Art of Rally

Art of Rally

A beautiful little indie from back in 2020, Art of Rally isn’t only easy on the eyes but easy on the PC. It benefits from more indie, minimalist graphics as opposed to any hardcore details, but it still provides the beauty of rally racing.

You’ll drive from a top-down perspective, racing cross-country rallies as you progress through the different classes. Progression is totally skill-based, with more cars and courses unlocked as you go.

The best part, though, is the free-roam, which allows just driving through the game’s countryside settings, exploring wherever you want at your own pace. For minimalist art style, it’s an incredibly beautiful game with a lush color palette that makes everything just pop.

It’s not going to be the most difficult game, and the learning curve is super low. It’s one of those games that you’ll find yourself lost in though, just driving for the sake of driving and seeing the world the devs made.



5. Retrowave

Retrowave

Low-end and low budget so you won’t hurt your own wallet along with your computer. Retrowave focuses on nostalgia overall, giving a beautiful synth/retro aesthetic that really tunes into that 80s feel. 

It’s kind of weird feeling the nostalgia for an era you weren’t around for. Retrowave offers the best of old, simple racers from the era, with a limited roster of cars and a focus on driving atmosphere instead of the real hardcore racing aspects.

You’ll drive and upgrade car performance, moving through beach sunsets or synth-wave, Tron-esque digital grids. It’s a really cool aesthetic that does a lot of work toward keeping it manageable for low-end systems.

Retrowave isn’t the deepest of racing experiences, but it is relaxing as all hell. There’s even an original, expansive synth-wave soundtrack to go with it, completing the immersion along with the atmosphere.



4. Burnout: Paradise

Burnout Paradise

The GOAT. Burnout Paradise came around at a time when the Burnout series was getting a little stale despite all the gnarly crashes. Paradise is an open-world driving game that revolutionized the series, including all the iconic carnage with amazing new challenges.

There’s no story to speak of or direction necessarily. You’re just dropped in with a starter car on the massive Paradise City (and Surf Island expansion). From there, you’ll complete challenges, wreck a ton of architecture, and scorch through races against other cars to progress.

Defeating other cars in street races earns you newer cars and upgrades, and that means new challenges, which means more destruction! It’s the perfect formula for a driving game, and Burnout: Paradise just scratches any itch for high octane on even the worst system.

This is also the first Burnout game to add bikes into the mix which is… an odd choice. It works though, and avoids most of the terrifying destruction aspects when you crash.



3. Carmageddon

Carmageddon

One of the OG car battle games, Carmageddon, takes the carnage and transposes it onto the racetrack instead of an arena. It’s wildly over the top, with three ways to win each race that vary widely in ethical implications.

Carmageddon gets stupidly violent, but in a way that only 1997 graphics can portray. Pick a driver, set a racetrack around plenty of heavily populated areas, and start your engines. Then you have the choice of winning the race the old-fashioned way, destroying all the competition, or killing off every spectator or bystander possible. Whichever you choose, you win! Yay!

The game is just so stupidly over the top, like some old Grindhouse movie, and it wears that inspiration on its sleeve, which just makes it even more over the top. It’s still a wildly entertaining time, though, and progression is surprisingly fun.

The best part is that considering this thing came out in the late ’90s, it can run on literally anything. This baby played smooth as butter on my college budget laptop back in 2014, so today’s barebones systems are no problem.



2. Trackmania Turbo

Trackmania Turbo

Trackmania Turbo is one hell of a game, both fun and frustrating at the same time. Maybe I’m just terrible at racing games, though, which is a completely plausible option.

It’s a more exaggerated racing game and focused on some wild stunts and twisty tracks almost like the Hot Wheels games. That said, it does a fun job of weaving ridiculous tracks through all kinds of exotic locations that give it great variation.

You’ll end up needing to manage your speed and turns really close as you go through the tracks. At times even driving upside down on a wing and a prayer that you’re going fast enough not to drop right off. There are some levels that are simple time trial laps, some that are real races, and others that are just timed stunt courses from one point to another.

I suck at time trial racing, and I mean SUCK. So this game, while it was a fun time and I love the different tracks, was frustrating. Still, if you want a fix for racing and can’t run the Hot Wheels games, this is a great second option.



1. Death Rally Classic

Death Rally Classic

This one is even older than Carmageddon, though only by a year. It’s also like a perfect combination of Carmageddon’s car combat with the top-down racing of Art of Rally. There’s a stupid amount of blood, but the car combat is legendary for pioneering the genre.

Death Rally Classic sets you across nineteen courses, outfitting your car from the bottom up with plenty of heavy firepower. Your goal through every race is to annihilate your opponents while not being annihilated yourself. It’s a surprisingly hard line to balance, as the enemies get really aggressive as the game gets tougher.

Through the races, you’ll earn money to buy new cars, upgrades to guns, armor, or new weapons to help take on the other upgraded cars in the next race. It’s a classic and has that satisfying, uncomplicated progression that keeps things simple but enjoyable. The best part is that Death Rally Classic is also totally free.

Considering it was made back in 1996, there’s literally nothing on the market today that couldn’t run it. If you buy a modern laptop from any reputable seller and it can’t run Death Rally Classic, contact the authorities. It’s that low-end when it comes to any kind of racing game.



About Ross Tyson 22 Articles
Ross is a writer, gamer, parent, and tired adult. They’re from the Southeast US, and have been gaming since their first Sega Genesis as a kid. A parent, they often find themselves playing kids games these days, but makes time for plenty of RPGs, Roguelikes, and anything with the Kingdom Hearts name on it. They’re experts in Final Fantasy lore, and will try any anime game no matter how bad it may be.

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