Best racing games for Mac: Dirt 2, F1 2012, Grid, and more!

Shift into high gear and put your pedal to the Mac metal with these great racing games for OS X

Racing, be in it real life or game form, is awesome fun. I'm a huge fan of both, and following up on our earlier roundup of the best racing games for your iOS device, it's now time to turn our attention to the Mac. Racing fans should be pleased to know that there's some great games out there to get your motor running!

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

Not the latest and greatest in the series, but Dirt 2 is huge fun to play, and works with gamepads such as the Xbox 360 controller when connected to your Mac. Dirt 2 takes rallying and splices it into an 'X-Games' type scenario filled with different types of races, vehicles, and some of the biggest names in the sport such as Ken Block. It's not like traditional racing games, but is great to play for casual and hardcore gamers alike.

The graphics are superb, the selection of vehicles and liveries equally so, as are the in-game mechanics. You've never had so much fun sliding around in the mud.

F1 2012

For Formula 1 fans, there really is only one choice; F1 2012. Much like in sports titles you want the ones with all the official licences, F1 2012 is the one with all the teams, drivers and liveries. F1 2013 has literally not long been of this world, so for now if you want your F1 fix on your Mac last years title is where we must turn.

It isn't all show and no go either. The gameplay is as true to the real thing as you'll get from a video game, and if you damage your car, you'll suffer the consequences. Formula 1 is the ultimate form of motor racing, and F1 2012 is a faithful representation of it.

Grid

In the grand scheme of things, Grid isn't a new title, despite not landing in the Mac App Store until earlier this year. That doesn't make it any less worth a look, though. The graphics are pretty amazing, with realistic lighting effects adding to the atmosphere. There's a bunch of awesome cars to choose from, from supercars to drift monsters.

One word of caution; the controls in Grid are pretty sensitive. I've always felt it was a more realistic representation of racing than some other titles, and some folks just can't get to grips with it. But, if you like realism, and you can tame it, you'll get a blast from playing it.

Flatout 2

Flatout 2 will appeal to the more casual gamers, or those with a fondness for a more arcade style experience. If you've ever played Burnout on console, you'll feel at home with Flatout 2. Destruction is definitely on the cards, to the point where a big smash will send the driver flying through the windshield. Environments are also pretty destructible with over 5000 different elements available for you to smash to pieces. That's not even counting the 12 Ragdoll mini-games. Great fun!

Real Racing 2

It seems odd that we should be suggesting an older version of the Real Racing series, but since Real Racing 2 is the latest title available for the Mac at this time, it gets a recommendation. Unfortunately, it still has in-app purchases despite being a paid game, but it is possible to get by without spending any more than the initial cost of the game.

It looks fantastic, even on the Retina MacBook Pro, and one of the great touches is that you can use your iPhone or iPad as a steering wheel, alongside the regular Mac controls for the game. Real cars, stunning locations, it's worth a look for sure if you're a racing fan but aren't looking to shell out the price of something like F1 2012.

Your picks

So, those are some of our picks, but what about yours? If you've found a really great racing game we haven't mentioned, be sure to drop us a line in the comments!

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Best racing games for Mac: Dirt 2, F1 2012, Grid, and more!

3 Comments

And if you want to do some realistic racing you can get a PC (or BootCamp), a real wheel and a real sim like rFactor 1, rFactor 2 or iRacing. :)

Although iRacing is working on a Mac port (via emulation). Edit: Actually it looks like the iRacing port is already done.

iRacing should have been on this review then.

Cool. That's a McLaren MP4-12C trading paint with the Vette in the Real Racing 2 screenshot. I saw one last weekend at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion. On the road, not in the paddock or concours.

Thanks for the roundup of racing games, Rich!

Just wanted to say Dirt Showdown is on the books now and is a great title much like Flatout 2. Also on a side note and I know it is not necessarily a racing game per say but it has elements of racing in it is Rage. But lately I have been enjoying Grid and Dirt Showdown and have no issues running them on my mid-2010 White Macbook 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo 8GB Ram 1TB HDD no mouse or gamepad used for gaming.