As Gran Turismo 7 arrives on PlayStation platforms this week, Xbox players might be feeling a bit left out. There's no need for that though! Xbox Game Pass has a fantastic selection of racers at its disposal, especially when you factor in EA Play titles for Ultimate members.
When looking at this list, you'll quickly realise how much of a bonus it is that EA picked up developer Codemasters. A lot of their work crops up here! Anyway, here's a selection of the best Gran Turismo alternatives currently on Game Pass.
Codemasters revived its long-running TOCA series in 2019, simply titled GRID. While it's more arcadey than the likes of GT, it still scratches that track racing itch on Xbox. You'll be barrelling around tight city circuits at breakneck speeds, for the most part, but circuits like Brands Hatch and Silverstone also feature.
It's leaner than most racing sims, focusing on a smaller selection of curated cars and tracks, but we recommend GRID if you just fancy chucking a touring car round a track as fast as possible. If it wins you over, its sequel GRID Legends has just launched, which happens to have a 10-hour trial on Game Pass Ultimate.
There are a few F1 games currently in EA Play/Game Pass Ultimate, with F1 2020 being the latest available. Codemasters has continued to build on this series in recent years, so 2020 is the way to go on Game Pass.
There's some similarity to GRID here — they're both built on Codemasters' Ego engine — but F1 is a different beast. Less forgiving, more realistic, F1's driving model gets a little closer to what Gran Turismo is all about. You shed some of that car list, as F1 is all about the motorsport, but its high speed thrills are a match for any track racer out there.
If simulation is what you want, then look no further than DiRT Rally. Sure, you're swapping the tarmac for loose gravel, mud, and snow, but DiRT Rally is arguably the most hardcore racing sim you can play on console.
Rally is pretty unforgiving for newcomers, especially if you're playing with a controller. Master its handling however, and DiRT Rally offers the satisfaction that no other console racer can, where you'll overcome all the odds. So, it's like the Elden Ring of sim racers. Can we say that yet? The Elden Ring of...? Well, we've done it anyway.
Note: DiRT Rally 2.0 is also on Game Pass Ultimate, but it's not quite as 'sim-like' as the first one. If you want something a little more forgiving, 2.0 is also worth a shot.
Sticking with all things off-road, DIRT 5 is a bloody good time. Although it hails from the same series as DiRT Rally, this is a very different beast with a much more arcadey driving style.
If you've played any of the Forza Horizon games, DIRT 5 sort of feels like Horizon's dirt and cross country racing events, without the big open world surrounding them. The physics are forgiving, the environments are gorgeously colourful, and we recommend this one if that sounds like your sorta thing. It's got a solid career mode too, with some nice track variety.
Well, we've finally mentioned it so here's the obvious one. Forza Horizon 5 is a must-play on Xbox Game Pass, a racer for all types of players that offers up tons of event, track and vehicle variety across a stunning recreation of Mexico.
Forza Horizon has a highly customisable driving model too, where players can tweak things to their liking. It might not be Forza Motorsport or indeed Gran Turismo levels of simulation, but turn off most of the assists and you'll get pretty damn close.
Now, Need for Speed is a very different beast to Gran Turismo, but hear us out. Hot Pursuit Remastered is one of the series' very best titles, thanks in part to incredibly tight driving mechanics from the folks over at Criterion.
It's also focused on quick races and chases, cutting down on some typical open world clutter for a more focused driving experience. Again, the physics are forgiving, but racing in Hot Pursuit Remastered is a thrill nonetheless, and it's one of the best racing games in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Forza Horizon 4 is the second Horizon entry in this list, and for good reason. Its recreation of Britain is beautiful, and we still think it stands on its own next to Horizon 5's more tropical climate.
Horizon 4 also has a few extras that will surely appeal to GT players. British car culture is a cornerstone of Horizon 4, from its extensive car list to some of its story content, which focuses on British racing history. Car collection is another area where Horizon compares to GT, and Horizon 4's car list is huge, varied, and a blast race with.
If you can stomach ditching four wheels for two, MotoGP 20 offers up a solid racing sim on Xbox Game Pass. Production levels aren't quite as high as most of this list, but if a solid selection of real world tracks is your biggest wish, look no further.
Fun Fact: GT creator Kazunori Yamauchi once dabbled in bike racing himself, with 2006's Tourist Trophy on PS2. It was basically Gran Turismo 4 with bikes, but we'd love to see the series return one day.
One bonus we must mention, is of course, Forza Motorsport. While no series entries make our list, because they're not on Game Pass anymore, you may still have one of these sitting in your library. Forza Motorsport 5, 6 and 7 have all been handed out via Games with Gold in recent years, so it might be worth checking if you own any.
If you do, Forza Motorsport 7 is the closest you'll get to GT7 on Xbox, especially with its gorgeous 4k, 60fps output on Xbox One X and Series X. It features dynamic weather and lighting too, alongside a mammoth car list featuring almost all vehicle types out there.
Will you be trying any of these out on Xbox Game Pass? Let us know below.