Horse racing is such a popular pastime that it’s unsurprisingly spawned a lot of popular, well-polished video games. There are a great many out there and some, of course, are better than others. The more recent generations of video games have given us some of the best of all time, but at the same time, some of the older titles have also stood the test of time and remained some of the best horse racing games for fans to play.
Today, we’re going to revisit our top picks for the best games for horse racing fans. We had a little feedback from our last post, so we’ve evaluated the list and taken another look.
So, whether you’ve wanted to manage your own team or just be a jockey riding in the Grand National at Aintree, let’s get started and look at what games make our list.
Our top 5 horse racing video games list
Phar Lap: Horse Racing Challenge
Among the more recent games on our list and without doubt the most technically impressive, first, we have PikPok’s Phar Lap: Horse Racing Challenge. This is a game developed for only the previous generation of consoles and comes with incredible graphics, engines and motion capture to give you as accurate a depiction of horse racing as you can currently get on the market.
Released in 2019, the game provides all the thrill and thunder of racing, allowing you full control of the horses in the races as well as the ability to develop your own stable of champion horses. The game is available for Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch as well as mobile platforms iOS and Android. It allows for multiplayer with up to eight other people in real-time.
Rival Stars Horse Racing
Next up we have another of PikPok’s games, Rival Stars Horse Racing. This game sees your character inheriting the ranch your grandfather owned, and you can take a variety of paths in the game depending on what kind of experience you want. You can decide to become a jockey yourself to compete in races, or you can turn the ranch into a breeding or training operation.
You’ll need to manage the business, making sure you have enough money to maintain the horses and pay your staff. You can place virtual bets in the game as if you’re using a racing bookmaker, or work for others as ways to earn money to support your business.
This game is all about choices and allows you to explore many different professions in the horse racing industry. It’s another fantastic game for horse racing fans.
Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer
PikPok does fantastic, all-around games and experiences, but many of us are looking for something a bit tighter and narrower than this. If you are looking for the complete jockey experience, then the game for you is Champion Jockey. The focus of this game is entirely on the role that jockeys play in horse racing if that interests you.
Developed by Tecmo Koei, you must start out as an apprentice and gain experience as a jockey and accumulate rider points for winning or placing highly. The more rider points you have, the more prestigious the horses you can ride. You want to build up relationships with the best stables to advance your career as a jockey.
The game is hard and takes time and dedication to complete, making it a great thing to get lost in for a long time.
Starters Orders 7 Horse Racing
Starters Orders is a long-running series and this, the seventh entry, is among the best games for horse racing fans. It is, at a glance, much simpler than the games we’ve looked at so far. You’re able to race, breed, train and own horses to build up your stables and you can even trace an individual horse’s heritage back over a century.
The game is mostly about breeding and pedigree, the aim being to breed the best horses that can win the most races. It’s a great experience for horse racing fans.
Glory Horse Racing
Finally, we have Glory Horse Racing, available on PC and Mac. A lot of the games we’ve looked at so far can get quite complicated. Even the most avid fan of horse racing might just not be into computers like that. If you’re looking for a simple, casual experience, then this is the game for you.
It allows you to build and manage stables, breed horses and race them. You can win races to unlock more prestigious races, and horses have different strengths and weaknesses. It’s no Phar Lap, but it’s a fantastic game nonetheless.
Whether you’re looking for a full, polished experience that brings all elements of horse racing to you, or a simple, quick game that you can jump in and out of, there’s a game out there for you. Phar Lap is, without doubt, one of the most highly polished horse racing games of all time, but Glory Horse Racing is nonetheless a fantastic way to get your fix.
For more lists like this, just check out our opinion pieces section.