Push that NOS button; it’s time to check out the best PSP Racing games of all time!
The PSP has forever sat in the shadow of the Nintendo DS. Still, it’s reign has been long and magnificent.
With over 1,900 games released over the globe, there are still so many amazing titles to discover for this classic handheld… yeah, even we’ve not played them all!
However, picking the best PSP racing games from the collection was easier than you might think …
I guess it’s because so many classic titles made it onto this beast, including many mash ups of previous epic games that gave old series’ new life in the hands of gamers on the go. There’s a whole lagoon of fantastic titles to choose from, but here are my all time favourites.
As always, clicking any hyperlink, picture, or button will take you to an official buying page.
Buckle up, and happy scrolling!
Table of Contents
Ridge Racer kickstarts this list of the best PSP racing games of all time! Utilising 24 classic tracks from the entire Ridge Racer series, this portable racer has some of the best arcade vibes out of any of the games in this compendium.
That’s right; we’ve got a compendium on our hands!
The PSP also makes this game look way better than it should do on a handheld. Seriously, take a look at the still below. Some these levels could be thrown straight onto a home console and you wouldn’t even notice the difference!
If you’re bored of playing Atari Karts over and over and need something with a massive injection of ‘oomph’ in your life, then look no further.
With the ability to gather 7 other friends to play multiplayer with you over WiFi, there’s no chance that you’ll ever feel bored again!
Turns out that the recipe for making an epic game is to use old tracks, add copious amounts of Nitrous Oxide, and rack up speeds of over 210kmh! Sorted!
Wipeout Pure takes the 15th spot in this list of the best PSP racing games of all time!
Listen, wheels are old news. You know it, I know it, but everyones afraid to say it. Thats why we’re using this platform to start raising awareness about cars of the future…
Nah, we just really love the idea of an anti-gravity league with courses that see players flying around corners at supersonic speeds! BRUTAL!
Now, I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes – there are SO many weapons to throw around in this game. We’re talking missiles, bombs, and all sorts of devilish futuristic firepower that can help you gain the lead.
The PSP gives gamers the chance to play against their mates via WiFi too, which means Brandon and I usually spend more time racing through space upside down than doing any actual work.
And let’s not forget the epic music in this game. It’s a tour-de-force from start to finish, getting that adrenaline pumping from the very first note.
I’m gonna’ have to take a break and have a bash at this for half an hour… see you in thirty.
Right; now I’ve got that out of my system, it’s time to check out Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars.
Like Number 6 below, Fare Wars is a bit of a mash-up game. It takes elements of the first two Crazy Taxi games and slaps them together, giving players the chance to race around iconic and nostalgic courses.
Enjoy the thrills of the San-Francisco levels from Crazy Taxi 1 and the madness of the New York City levels from the sequel.
Play the same mini games, upload your own music to listen to, and, most importably of all, get those fares!
Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars is a bit of a wild card in this list in the sense that you don’t actually race against other cars. Players race against the clock in order to get passengers to their destinations on time.
Well, that’s unless you hit up the WiFi multiplayer and compete with other taxi drivers to see who can get the most fares in the time limit!
Fare Wars is pretty damn dirty too.
You can now steal passengers from other drivers and record yourself doing it. My mates get so angry whenever I do this… which could be why they don’t answer my calls anymore…
… guys, if you’re reading this, please get in touch…
Toca Race Driver 3 Challenge takes unlucky 13th position in this race to find the best PSP racing games of all time!
Don’t worry, it’s not really a race. You don’t get fined if you drop off half way through…
Codemasters have made some epic racing games over the years, and the first Toca entry to make it onto the PSP was no exception.
For such a small disc, you certainly get your moneys worth when it comes to championships and world tours. There’s so many races to try your hand at in this game, with many tracks taking you off the tarmac and onto off-road dirt tracks and rally courses too!
As with most racing games, difficulty can be ramped up to 1000 or kept low for newbies.
Plus, if you’re a real stickler for the rules, penalties can be switched on for things like cutting corners or careless driving.
And, in a rare turn of events compared to most racing games, players can actually qualify for their position on the starting grid instead of just always rocking up in last position for the first race.
Why wasn’t that feature included into Mario Kart, huh?
I know it’s pretty annoying how much I love Burnout games, but Burnout Dominator is a classic whether you’re a biased fool like me or not.
I mean, what’s not to love about a series that sees players competing in high-octane races that usually end in massive crashes 99 times out of 100?
Burnouts, or boosting until the meter is empty, are the main feature in this game. Use them while drifting or racking up near misses, and feel the need for speed (wrong franchise, I know) while playing in Maniac Mode.
What is Maniac Mode, I hear you ask?
Well, players get points for crashing, near misses, driving into oncoming traffic, pulling off stunts, catching air…
… basically anything that could have your license revoked in real life!
Dominator has 12 tracks based in 8 locations around the world. Still, as a PSP user, players could download new tracks to add to the collection.
See, the PSP really is the best!
Fans of Crash Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart won’t need any persuading when it comes to Crash Tag Team Racing.
Dropping on all three of the major home consoles of the early noughties and the PSP, this epic racer sees Crash and the gang returning to the race track once again.
And yes, it does have a ‘Double Dash’ feel to it. I guess if Sony were to keep trying to take down Mario, then they’d have to try and rip off one of the best GameCube games of all time in the process!
So what’s the craic here then?
Well, Crash and his mates (and also his enemies) find themselves on a mission to try and solve a mystery. A black power gem has been stolen from some rich cat’s racetrack, and it’s up to them to get it back.
As a side-note, the rich cat isn’t actually a cat. He’s a weird goblin looking thing called Ebineezer Von Clutch…
The premise is simple; pick a Crash Bandicoot character and race in all manner of mad vehicles. Use weapons to beat other players, and do everything possible to come first.
In this title, however, gamers can join two vehicles together, using two racers to try and take down opponents.
Yeah, it’s Double Dash alright, but it’s still super fun!
OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast takes the 10th spot in this list of the best PSP racing games of all time!
2006 might seem like a long time ago for some of you, but this epic arcade racer has more than stood the test of time.
This is one of those games that has all of the insane stats and features from the old arcade days. You can bash into as many things as you want and your car won’t get damaged.
Likewise, all the vehicles go much faster than they should be able to, which while completely unrealistic, is a nice touch!
There are a lot of Ferrari’s in this game, and for good reason.
The game received a sponsorship from the Italian giants and sees 15 original supercars available to complete ‘Coast 2 Coast’ races across the US.
One thing that hasn’t stood the test of time, however, is the need to impress ladies with your racing skills in order to get them to love you…
… the less said about that the better…
There’s also a mode where players need to get their girlfriends through checkpoints to reach and end destination in a certain amount of time, Crazy Taxi-style.
Listen, if your girlfriend really likes super cars but you can’t afford one, then this game could really be something for you to bond over. Otherwise, just enjoy racing fast cars with super-slick graphics.
Need for Speed Underground: Rivals is perhaps one of the best known titles on the PSP. It regularly crops up on lists of the best PSP racing games of all time and joins the ranks of one of the most prolific racing series of all time.
Wow, what a way to start a section!
Rivals brings all the epic action from the home console titles in a repackaged experience for portable players.
Everything has been fine tuned for the smaller screen and looks utterly epic. Once you’re into the swing of your first race, you’ll forget you’re even playing on a handheld!
So what else does Rivals bring to the table?
With a total of 14 flashy rides and 10 muscle cars, there are plenty of choices when it comes to tearing up the 8 gameplay modes.
Test your skills on the Nitrous Run, keep your finger steady in a Drag Race, or take part in the Rally Relay, a brand new mode for Sony’s portable powerhouse.
And, with the option of 4-player multiplayer over WiFi through 38 tracks, there’s plenty for you to be getting on with!
FlatOut: Head On takes the 8th spot in this list of the best PSP racing games to grace the world of portable gaming.
And guess what; it’s got more destructive action for me to drool over!
While the main racing game is great (and I’ll get onto that in a minute), one of my favourite features is the mini games where players hurl cars in games of bowling and baseball.
It’s like an early example of Rocket League, just way better.
Fans of the first FlatOut games should already know all of the drivers and games modes. Head On borrows heavily from the first two titles and features the same tournament modes and points system.
Once again, the graphics really show what the PSP can do. From sparks on the road to broken glass from collisions, there’s so much going on that it’s hard to keep your eye on what’s coming up next!
Unlock new events by winning races or dive straight into the multiplayer party mode, pulling off dangerous stunts in order to prove who is the most courageous driver.
Next up is the fantastic Burnout: Legends, an amalgamation of the first three Burnout games shrunk down for some portable PSP action.
Now, I love this game (obviously). Some people see it as a bit of a cop out title, but to me, this mash-up feels more like a portable version of Burnout 3: Takedown.
I’m a huge fan of the Burnout games, mainly due to their impactful gameplay (impact being the main word here). Legends sees all the old favourite modes returning including Eliminator and Face Off, where players can pick up new and exciting rides!
If, like me, you love to see things on fire or exploding (I really need some professional help…), then Road Rage should be your first port of call. It’s a mode where gamers have to drive REALLY badly, earning points for the destruction they cause.
Pursuit sees gamers driving in a cop car, taking down drivers who think they’re too cool for the law.
All the cars from Burnout 2 and 3 make an appearance, and PSP users have the added bonus of being able to bet collectibles against other racers online.
Lose, and you lose your car, so make sure you pick your opponents wisely!
Split/Second Velocity takes the 6th spot in this list of the best PSP racing games of all time!
Yeah, you saw that right; there is a Disney logo on the bottom of the case there, but there aren’t any mice, talking teapots, or tattooed Demi-gods here.
Split/Second Velocity champions explosive action from the get go… That’s actually a pretty good joke, as the main objective in this game is to blow up as many things as possible…
…explosive… get it?
Players must pull off power plays while taking massive risks, pulling off death-defying stunts, and driving as though your life depends on it (and it usually does).
Like Burnout where players rack up boost points, gamers do the above to slowly fill a power meter.
Once filled, it’s possible to trigger massive explosions that can change the entire racetrack and alter racer’s positions.
Imagine opening up a whole new section of track and closing off another, suddenly creating a clear path to the head of the pack? Now, I want you to also imagine falling obstacles to dodge past and water streaming from a broken dam!
Racing on the PSP is far easier than the home console version of Split/Second Velocity. It just works better, and it boasts an extra track for players to test their mettle on too.
Street Supremacy is up next, a game that sees players racing around the bright lights of Tokyo in some of the flashiest motors you’ve ever laid eyes on!
Like the game that’s in pole position in this list, Street Supremacy gave users the ability to customise pretty much everything about their vehicles.
We’re talking even messing around with the muffler and§ fine tuning parts of your engine.
That’s very in-depth, far more complicated than picking a parasol in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe!
The storyline follows a very similar premise to Midnight Club. Join a team, race in events, and try to claim areas and tracks off rival gangs.
Oh, and you can recruit other racers into your team by basically totally demoralising them and giving them no other option than to comply…
… street racing is a tough game!
Race against rival teams, gain better rankings, and become the leader of the pack. Try your hand at time attack, and revel in the glory of the illegal underground racing world…
… just don’t let it get to your head, alright?
Need for Speed: Carbon – Own the City slides into fourth position in our collection of the best PSP racing games of all time.
If you think that you know what this game is all about because you’ve played the other titles with the same name, then stop IMMEDIATELY and pay attention.
The PSP version of Own the City has no drift racing or canyon levels. It’s makes for a whole different playing experience, though one that looks super slick in the palm of your hand and plays like an absolute dream!
In Own the City, players drive the kind of gnarly vehicles we’ve all come to expect from the Need for Speed canon. Like Street Supremacy, your job is to take over rival territories.
And don’t worry; there’s still tonnes of scope for customising your cars along the way too.
Race through cityscapes and get lost in the graphic-novel-style cutscenes. It’s as close as you can get to being in a Fast and Furious film while sat on the toilet.
The bronze medal officially goes to Gran Turismo, a portable version of one of the most important and influential titles in racing game history.
I don’t know how the developers managed to fit so much information on one tiny game disc. With over 800 cars to choose from including Bugattis and Chevvys to the 35 slick tracks with epic scenery, GT PSP is a bona fide power house!
Players start off with one car chosen at random. It’s up to you to win tokens in order to buy the rest, all 799 of them!
Racing is all well and good, but one of my favourite modes to play is Drift Trial. Racking up tokens while skidding along epic courses never gets old. I reckon I could get on Top Gear with my drifting skills now.
Of course, not everyone can pick up a driving game and be immediately great at it.
Heck, I used the Driving Challenge mode loads in order to improve my skills. Complete cool challenges in this training mode in order to rub shoulders with the best players around.
It’s like learning to drive all over again, though this time you can do it on the toilet!
MotorStorm: Arctic Edge roars into second place, taking rally driving to a whole new off-road level!
Picture this; you’re in Alaska with 8 rivals, and you have to conquer every inch of the snowy terrain in order to become the ultimate racing champion.
Sound easy? Think again!
The thing I love the most about this game is the unpredictability of the gameplay. If racing on ice wasn’t hard enough, then there’s also avalanches that roll down onto the track periodically.
Tackling other dangers such as perilous ice bridges and cliffs faces that just want you to skid straight into them also make things tough!
Players can jump behind the wheel of a car, a truck, or a zippy snowmobile. And, as you can imagine, skidding around on frosty tracks makes for insanely fast gameplay
Customisation fans will love the fact that the vehicles can be souped up too. Chose new spoilers, adjust wheels, and create the ultimate off-grid rally monster!
Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition is the best PSP racing game of all time!
It might have only made second in our list of the best PS2 racing games of all time, but it certainly secured its place as king of the portable racers back in 2005.
Midnight club 3 is an absolute monster of a game. It’s filled to the brim with NOS, taking the success of the previous games in the canon and shunting them into overdrive.
With the deepest customisation options on any game thus far, MC3 allowed users to design every inch of their dream ride. We’re talking everything from wheel trims down to the numbers and state on the license plate!
The main question we’re all asking ourselves is where the races are taking place?
Well, instead of visiting different countries across the globe, all of the illegal showdowns happen in the US.
Zoom around Detroit, Atlanta, and San Diego in souped up, flashy cars. Or, choose from one of the new vehicle types!
Oh yes; players can now race on choppers, drive muscle cars, and get behind the wheel of law enforcement vehicles for the first time in Midnight Club history!
Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition is one heck of a game. It’s immersive, the graphics are great, and the city locations are actually accurate! It’s a worthy winner as the best of the best PSP racing games and one that you should all be adding to your collections!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.