10 Best PSP Racing Games of All Time

Milan Zagorac
Milan Zagorac
9 Min Read

The racing genre is often full of innovative titles that don’t typically adhere to standards. Some are realistic, some are arcadey, and all are fun when executed properly.

Handheld consoles like the PlayStation Portable have a surprisingly large number of great racing titles.

If you are craving some high speed, what follows are the best PSP racing games of all time.


Wipeout Pulse

Wipeout Pulse is an amazing anti-gravity racing game.

Release: 2007
Developer: SCE Studio Liverpool
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Ten years after the events of Wipeout Pure, we are found in the year 2207. The FX400 anti-gravity racing league beckons and we must answer the call of exceedingly dangerous high-speed racing. Wipeout is all about the fast-paced action.

Gameplay revolves around you racing, often in a circuit-type race, with the goal of winning. Along the way, you can pick up various upgrades, to shields, weapons, and more. Slow your enemy down or destroy them, there are many ways to win a race.


Burnout Legends

Burnout Legends is a fun racing game on the PSP.

Release: 2005
Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts

Burnout Legends is a portable variation of the already-established series. The focus is on strategic driving in an arcade environment. Races are challenging and require you to not only navigate the track but also be on the lookout for opponents.

The World Tour mode, one of nine, is the only way to unlock other vehicles in the game. You can win regularly, or by physically removing enemies from the track, by performing takedowns. The game includes tracks from previous Burnout titles, for a complete experience, which is rare for a handheld title.


Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo stands out in a sea or racing games, on any console.

Release: 2009
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Gran Turismo is one of the most-sold series on any PlayStation console. It is also one of the best PSP games in general. It doesn’t use an open-ended design but focuses on races and trading as a mechanic for obtaining the vehicles.

This PSP-exclusive title has 833 vehicles in the game. To unlock them all would be an achievement that not many players completed. The vehicles are modeled after their counterparts in the real world. Polyphony was working closely with the manufacturers to get the details right. This level of investment was obvious and the players loved it.


Midnight Club: LA Remix

One of the many Midnight Club titles, LA Remix is a great PSP racing game.

Release: 2008
Developer: Rockstar London
Publisher: Rockstar Games

Midnight Club: LA Remix is the PSP version of Midnight Club: Los Angeles, a great PS3 racing game (link to PS3 racing article). It is much like Los Angeles, but utilizing a much smaller city, taken from Midnight Club II. To compensate, Tokyo is added as another playable city.

Due to the two different maps, the cars were also split in two, half going to LA, and the other to Tokyo. Other than that, it is a classic Midnight Club experience, open-world driving, enjoying the life of a racer, other than when the cops are chasing you, which is after any serious infraction.


Ridge Racer

Ridge Racer is a great racing game on the PSP.

Release: 2004
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco

Ridge Racer is a simple but very fun arcade racer for the PSP. Released as an exclusive title, it is a drifting first game, with a huge focus on oversteering. The more you oversteer, the better your performance and high score will be. That resets upon hitting something.

The World Tour mode is one of the primary game modes, useful for unlocking new maps and progressively familiarizing yourself with the mechanics. A core mechanic is the nitrous boost system, reminiscent of a popular movie franchise from that period, involving speed and fury.


MotorStorm: Arctic Edge

Motorstorm Arctic Edge brings us to the icy plains for interesting off-road racing on the PSP.

Release: 2009
Developer: Bigbig Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

MotorStorm: Arctic Edge is an extraordinary off-road title that pushes the boundaries of racing, though this time, in the icy plains and mountains, hence the name. The original game took place in the desert and this one takes the polar opposite approach, mind the pun.

The core mechanic revolves around competing in the Festival, which features tons of events, from races to challenges that get progressively more creative, think Forza Horizon but on the PSP and in a completely different way. 


Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0

NFS: Most Wanted 5-1-0 is the PSP version of the famous racing game released in 2005.

Release: 2005
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts

Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0 is the portable version of the eponymous legendary title. As such, you can still race and challenge blacklist drivers, however, some events from the regular console game were cut, not to mention parts of the open-world experience.

However, the mechanics remain the same, and you still get chased by the police, not to mention all the cars and mods. From nitrous oxide to decals, flames, and recolors, you can create the car from your dreams and enjoy a fast-paced arcade experience.


Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast

Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is a typical Outrun game, a great driving title on the PSP.

Release: 2006
Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sega

Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is what one thinks when thinking about an arcade racing game. Outrun titles were some of the most popular games on arcade cabinets and trying not to steer into the ocean and get you and your passenger completely wet was a challenge.

This game takes it to another level, with a Coast 2 Coast mode, which is the career mode. There are fifteen available vehicles, the most out of any Outrun game. Unlocking them all requires both the PS2 and the PSP version of the game, which makes collecting all cars difficult.


FlatOut: Head On

Flatout Head On is a great destructive racing game.

Release: 2006/2008
Developer: Six by Nine
Publisher: Empire Interactive

FlatOut: Head On is the portable version of FlatOut 2, a known title in the destructive racing scene. It is a game that requires you to embrace driving in a completely opposite manner to what you would normally be doing in a racing game.

You can win races in the traditional way, but the entire point is to embrace destruction and show your opponents the way to the junkyard. There are many interesting arcade elements in the game, from weapons to objects that you can use to wreak havoc on the tracks.



Gripshift is an awesome PSP racing game.

Release: 2005
Developer: Sidhe Interactive
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment

GripShift is an arcade racing game, though it features elements that are not common in racers. The tracks have various obstacles that you have to overcome, so you could think of them as puzzles to solve, rather than simply checkpoints and turns.

GripShift has many levels and tracks but excels at providing entertainment first. Simulations are great, but sometimes people just want to go out of their way and be as unrealistic as possible. Interestingly, this was an unexpected game that is available on the PlayStation Network.

The PSP has a plethora of great titles in its vast library. For high-speed action, whether simulators or arcade games, these best PSP racing games should have you covered as an introduction to the PSP racing scene.

Whether through the PSN, the original console, or by using a PSP emulator, get ready to fasten your seatbelt and put that pedal to the metal.

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With over 1650 hours of Apex Legends, and 2100 of League of Legends, Milan is an avid gamer. When he's not indoors, he climbs mountains or does urban acrobatics. Add a passion for writing to the mix and you get a hopefully interesting broth.
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