Motorsport, off-track courses, and long championships should be the core elements of drifting games for PS4/PS5.
These are special racing games, but not exactly a sub-genre. See, many racing games include drifting mechanics. Others, though, lean heavily into drifting matches.
Regardless, let’s browse for the best drifting games for PS4/PS5. A couple of options are exclusive to the platform.
Selecting Drifting Games for PS4/PS5
New racing games deliver improved, realistic, and adrenaline-fueled experiences each year. Additionally, they bring a wider selection of cars, tracks, and championships.
The lineup is outstanding, particularly on PlayStation platforms. Not all these games may get you what you’re looking for: drifting.
Drifting is about intentionally oversteering on each curve. It balances the loss of traction with control to drive through the corner.
Game-wise, you would enter a corner at high speed. Then, as you begin steering, you’d have to break and apply the handbrake. It makes the car spin faster as the wheels start to slip. But it allows you to enter the next segment of the track at full speed.
There are a couple of games focusing on drifting races. That would include the following elements:
Heavy tuning abilities
Racing tires customization
Handbrake plus brake dedicated buttons, or a dedicated drifting button
Off-road races (settings like dunes, mountains, jungles, etc.)
Realistic driving mechanics
Immersive sound and visuals
Tracks full of curves and wide roads
Other racing games may also include drifting mechanics, but these would be optional. It means you may or may not use it as it won’t determine whether or not you win.
So, overall, we’re looking for dedicated drifting racing games or top-tier racing games with drifting mechanics.
Best Drifting Games for PS4/PS5
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
Release Date: June 2019
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
CTR is known as the best racing game for PlayStation consoles. It tackles the genre with the insanely-fun formula of Mario Kart – karts, randomized items, acceleration pads, and off-road tracks.
You pick a character from the Crash Bandicoot series and navigate on challenging tracks. As you play, you’ll avoid obstacles, pick up boosters, slide on pads, use power-ups, and hinder your opponents.
You can play it single-player and go through the Prix circuits and battle modes. You can also play it with up to four people locally. Or you can play online with up to 8 people in a match.
As for the drifting, it’s optional. However, if you want to have chances of winning, you’d better master drifting. These are karts and cartoons so that you won’t be driving realistically.
Developer: Codemasters Cheshire
Release Date: November 2020
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, Stadia
Dirt is one of the top driving franchises. The series latest entry focuses heavily on off-road circuits and driving. The tracks are highly challenging, and they ask you to master drifting and driving to win the matches.
There’re over 70 routes in 10 global locations. Areas range from tundras to dunes, mines, and twisted favelas. On top of that, there’s a dynamic weather system, hazardous terrain, and other environmental challenges.
You get a vast selection of cars and the ability to tune the vehicles. You can’t customize the aesthetics, though. As you’d expect, you gain in-game currency by completing races, allowing you to buy cars and car parts.
Lastly, the main gameplay is a story-driven campaign. The narrators are renowned voice actors Troy Baker (TLOU’s Joel) and Nolan North (Uncharted’s Nathan Drake). The story is about proving your worth and earning sponsorships on a worldwide and atmospheric off-road racing championship.
Gran Turismo 7
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: March 4
Platform: PS4, PS5
Gran Turismo is a Sony exclusive driving simulator. Its realistic mechanics deliver over 400 cars. The selection ranges from rally motors to classic vehicles and high-tech supercars.
Vehicles and tracks come with realistic details, plus dynamic weather conditions. That said, there’re over 90 tracks worldwide, most of which are roads rather than off-tracks.
The main gameplay is the GT Sport Mode. It’s a championship for offline or online play (up to 10 people in multiplayer). There’s also the GT Simulation Mode, a campaign where you can gain currency on races to buy and tune vehicles.
These are just two game modes available, as there’re many more. Each mode delivers smooth drifting controls, but they are hard to master. For instance, tune too much, and the car will lose control.
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
Absolute Drift is an overhead drifting game. It’s a minimalistic experience about honing and mastering driving skills. That’s because it has a scoring system that measures your drifting performance.
The track design is great. You play on docks, airports, mountains, floating cities, and more. You’d play with new cars in each area to complete a challenge.
There’re two main game modes. You can either drift against “ghosts” of the top players to climb the ladder. Or you must drift against your own “ghosts” to top your max scores indefinitely.
Lastly, the title includes five free roam areas and 34 tracks. In the open-ended areas, the gameplay is about completing objectives to unlock cars and levels. You must also complete objectives while racing for the first position on tracks.
Developer: Bugbear Entertainment
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: June 2018
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
Wreckfest is a racing game that blends the Destruction Derby game with street racing. In particular, it includes locational body damage, a system that affects your vehicle’s dynamics in realistic ways.
Playtime is similar to Gran Turismo’s realistic mechanics and hefty drifting simulation. It also adds ABS, automatic or manual transmission, and various AI difficulties.
The main game modes are banger racing and a demolition derby. In derby matches, the goal is surviving until the end. Regardless, vehicle combat is important either way: ramming, dodging, and blocking are key tactics.
The matches are epic, violent, and highly difficult on either mode. That’s because a real-life physics simulation controls many aspects of the tracks and the vehicles.
Need for Speed Heat
Developer: Ghost Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: November 2019
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
Need for Speed Heat is a racing game with an open-world setting. You play around Palm City, a fictional version of Miami (Florida), plus its surrounding areas. It’s also the latest entry in the Need for Speed series.
The game map features diverse geography, like mountains, dense urban areas, open fields, and large highways. Here, you find races, events, challenges, and other activities.
The main gameplay features a story-driven campaign. You’re a street racer rising in popularity. Your job, though, takes you into conflict against the city’s police. So, at any time, the police may chase you, and the chase intensity depends on the “Heat” you accumulate.
Now, the title features smooth and easy-to-use drifting mechanics. You don’t need it for winning, but it allows you to do sick maneuvers to bypass the police and win against your competitors. Lastly, you can play offline online with up to 16 players.
WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship
Release Date: September 2021
Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
WCR10 is a racing video game focusing on rally racing. It has four global locations, six historical rallies, over 100 stages, 20 legendary vehicle brands, and 52 official teams. These take inspiration from real-life, which is why the driving mechanics are realistic.
Realistic mechanics rely on the game’s physics engine. It considers aerodynamics, turbo, braking, surface, and friction physics. Additionally, a sound design adds an extra layer of immersion.
The main gameplay is the Career Mode. It takes you on a long championship across all of these locations. The campaign also includes an editor to customize your driving time and vehicle aesthetics. The editor also allows you to create your competitions.
Lastly, the title includes a History Mode, which takes you across 19 historic racing events. It requires you to adapt your skills to manage the conditions and vehicles of every period. Other game modes include weekly challenges, events, clubs, etc.
Burnout Paradise Remastered
Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: January 2008 (original), March 2018 (remaster)
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Burnout Paradise Remastered offers hectic races on tight avenues, wild roads, and off-track areas. It’s a blend of various racing styles with a lot of destruction -all game modes include crashes and derbies of some sort.
This is an open-world arcade driving game that came out in 2008 originally. The remaster packs up to 4K textures, 60fps, and all the content available for the title. It’s also rather cheap, and it’s included in the EA Play service.
The gameplay happens in “Paradise City.” You can free-roam the area to find different races, events, challenges, and game modes like “Cops and Robbers.” There’s also a day and night cycle and heavy drifting mechanics.
There’s no campaign, so you can play the title at your pace. However, completing races and events grants ranks, which unlocks new cars. Lastly, you can play online with up to 8 people driving across the city.
CarX Drift Racing Online
Developer: CarX Technologies
Publisher: CarX Technologies
Release Date: November 2017
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
CarX Drift Racing Online is all about drifting, and it’s one of the best games for the cause. Aside from top-tier drifting mechanics, it has decent customization and realistic systems.
Despite the “online” tag, multiplayer is optional. You can play it offline if you don’t have a PS Plus subscription. In multiplayer, up to 16 people can participate in the same match.
The title delivers sports cars and a challenging handling controller. It’s all about the curves, handbrakes, tire burns, and smoke clouds. And you can do all of this with an additional steering wheel controller.
Lastly, the title features over 50 sports cars, plus heavy customization and paint options. Additionally, tracks feature different surfaces, like sand, grass, and asphalt.
Developer: Awesome Industries
Publisher: Awesome Industries
Release Date: December 2017
Platform: Xbox one, Windows, PS4
As the name implies, Drift Zone focuses on drifting races. It’s all about burning rubber at high speeds, with a vast selection of vehicles and cars.
The game delivers two competitions or game modes. The first one awards cash prices, which you may use to buy and upgrade cars. The second mode awards reputation points to climb up the Championship ladder.
The title doesn’t have online features, but it allows split-screen play. Three additional players can join your console on either of the two modes.
Lastly, the game’s style is frenetic, the visuals are top-tier, and the driving is smooth. Also, the graphics of burn tires, which are fairly common on matches, look great.
Release Date: March 2016
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo DS, Wii
TrackMania Turbo is an arcade racing title focusing on off-road tracks, rally competitions, and drifting mechanics. Additionally, it supports VR headsets.
It delivers four distinct gameplay modes. There are gravity-defying magnetic tracks, a worldwide champion, a set of drift races on narrow tracks, and acrobatic challenges with jump pads.
The campaign mode brings 200 unique tracks and five difficulty levels. AS you play, you’ll climb to the top of the ladder. And you can do it online: up to 32 players can compete together.
Lastly, the title features the “Trackbuilder,” a design to generate or randomize tracks. You can play and share your creations or play with others’ creations. AS usual, online features require a PS Plus subscription, though.
ATV Drift & Tricks Definitive Edition
Developer: Artefacts Studio
Release Date: November 2017
Platform: PS4, Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
ATV offers 8 game modes, but the gameplay revolves around rally competitions, stunts, and drifting. Here, you play through a series of solo, split-screen, or online races with up to 10 people.
The game’s tracks are varied. There’re forests, lakes, rivers, deserts, jungles, oases, and more. The settings feature top-tier visuals, immersive sound design, and distinct surface physics.
Playtime has a great focus on stunts and drifts. For stunts, you can jump, backflip and spin to take advantage of your opponents. As for the drifting, the tires will pay the price, but so will your opponents.
Lastly, the title supports VR headsets and PlayStation Remote Play. As for the split-screen option, you can compete against another person on your console.