Heat: Pedal to the Metal snapshot of the game's official cover.
Image credit: Heat: Pedal to the Metal
We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more 

Ready, set, go! But before you do, you may want to shop around for the best racing board games first. Today, we take a look at the hottest wheels in our board games collection and recommend those games that offer strong gameplay no matter how much you enjoy the racing theme. 

Our list of the best racing board games includes 15 titles that are recognized as some of the top choices if you are looking to satisfy your need for speed. Lean on the gas pedal because we are going full speed ahead towards the best tabletop experiences featuring racing. 

Frankly, we never knew how much fun these games could be and just like that – we began hosting our own racing seasons and parties, experimenting with new and thematic game design choices that kept us enrapt and very much happy with our ride!

List of the Best Racing Board Games 

Racing board games are thematically rich and mechanically innovative, adding fresh ways to enjoy the tabletop hobby. Here is a list of the 15 best board games that focus on the racing theme and do so exceptionally.

1. Camel Up (Second Edition)

Camel Up's game art and box cover.
Experience the most epic camel race in the desert!

Don’t look a gift camel in the mouth unless you are betting on it to win a race that is. Camel Up Second Edition is a lightweight chuck-a-die game in which 3-8 players play over 30-45 minutes and bet on the outcome of a heated camel race.

Five camels will try to finish the race first, fetching you a prize if you win. The game simulates the chaos of an actual race with the camels landing on top of one another, or even veering off course as bad luck would have it.

The die will determine which camel is advancing with players clinging to their dear bets just like overzealous horseracing fans sometimes humorously do. The second edition of the game also touches up on the original and leans a little more heavily on the component quality making for a more exciting racing derby under the basking sun of the Saharan desert! 

Buy Camel Up on Amazon US / Amazon UK

2. Downforce 

Downforce's box art and cover by Restoration Games.
Bet, race, and win the most money in this game of high stakes speed.

Downforce is a game about fast cars, breakneck speeds, and not least – betting. Forget fantasy leagues, we are talking about the real thing here. Downforce board game invites 2-6 players to place a wager on the outcome of Formula 1 racecars over 20-40 minutes.

The game combines several aspects of the traditional board gameplay design and does so seamlessly, with cards driving the bidding, racing, and even the bets you place. Each event will feature six cars that are trying to make it ahead in the race, spurred by the players.

Timing your card plays could be the difference between victory and defeat on the track where split seconds prove decisive and nerves of steel are required to win. And how do you actually win? Well, that is simple! You need to have the most money – combining the proceeds from your winning wagers, prize money, and whatever you have left in the bank! 

Oh yeah, and all your bets will be placed in secret, which means that you can lose the race, but still win the game, which adds to the tension and buildup. Will someone try to rig the results to win a bet? It’s time to find out! 

Buy Downforce on Amazon US / Amazon UK

3. Flamme Rouge

Flamme Rouge's original board game art and box cover.
It’s time to paddle hard for you and your teammate to pull ahead of the pack and win Tour de France!

A card-pedalled Tour de France, Flamme Rouge is all about making it to the final in what is one of the most epic cycling races in the board games hobby. The game offers fast-paced and tactical gameplay where each player controls a team of two riders and steers them towards victory.

The Rouleur and Sprinteur in each team will work together to make sure that they cross the finish line first. Just like in a real race, players will have to account for fatigue, stay hydrated, and keep their racers sharp as they prepare to dash for the final. 

Do you take the lead from the start, trail a bit behind or place yourself firmly in the middle of the pack as exhaustion settles in and your fellow racers begin to drop out one by one? Timing and smart resource management are essential to winning here, just like the actual Tour de France! 

Buy Flamme Rouge on Amazon US / Amazon UK

4. Heat 

Heat: Pedal to the Metal's original Days of Wonder art work for the box cover.
Your engine is heating up as is the entire race around you. Keep your car from moverheating to have a chance!

Heat: Pedal to the Metal builds on the racing board game genre and introduces a fresh way to experience the hobby. Well, every racing board game on this list does, but Heat implements engine overheating into its gameplay, making for an interesting dimension of the competition.

We find this to be a very clever feature of the gameplay. As you can imagine, Heat is about the intense race between 1-6 players with the action spurred on by hand management. Once again, you will be looking to cross the finish line first and make sure that you maintain a healthy speed that allows you to advance in position but still maintain a cool engine to attain a consistent performance.

Throughout the race, you will upgrade your car and engine to get the most out of your vehicle. The game offers a great single-race mode, but you and your friends can actually go down for the Championship System in which you will race over an entire simulated season. Pimp that rides and give it your all in the next race!

Buy Heat on Amazon US / Amazon UK

5. Jamaica

The board game art for Jamaica, an original racing pirate-themed title.
Have one more pirate trip with your mates of old ’round the Jamaican island.

Jamaica will put your nautical ability to a test as you cruise around the island racing off against pirates and buccaneers who have arrived for the annual Great Challenged hosted by Captain Henry Morgan, the governor, and an old-time seadog himself.

But Captain Morgan used to be a pirate and his buddies are now having a bit of fun as they sail in the celebratory race, hellbent on winning it. The goal of the race is to simply finish first, and then again, it’s not…

There will be lots and lots of side quests available across the race and you will take advantage of those, trying to keep your lead in the race, while also amassing additional booty along the way. The winner is the pirate ship to have collected the most gold, and don’t you worry.

If you want to simply poach other players, this is precisely what you should do as this game is all about the pirate way of life off the shores of Jamaica. 

Buy Jamaica on Amazon US / Amazon UK

6. Thunder Alley 

Thunder Alley, a board game inspired by NASCAR.
Get behind the wheel of your team of cars and guide them through this epic NASCAAR-inspired board game race.

If you prefer your racing board games a little more NASCAR-y and a little less Formula One-esque, then Thunder Aelly is the right game for you. Set to emulate the excitement and somewhat stubbornness of a NASCAR race Thunder Alley will, well, ROAR with engine noise and the half-gurgles of exhaust pipes. 

The game is set for 2-7 players who will use cards to drive their vehicles, with the core gameplay offering so much. Not only will there be quite a few people racing, but each player team will also have 3-6 cars, making for one busy racetrack. 

Players will have to choose whether they want to keep their team together, push a car ahead of the pack or begin overtaking others to head for the front of the column. There are also unknowns to sort of anticipate. 

You may get into accidents, earn yellow flags, or have to battle the elements as the track situation worsens. There are also your cars to take care of that are not proofed against mechanical misfires, which could throw a spanner in your otherwise perfect strategy.

Having the foresight to anticipate and expect these seemingly random events will help you position yourself and have a firm foothold in Thunder Alley! This is a game of so much more than just racing, but we will let you discover it for yourself.

Buy Thunder Alley on Amazon US / Amazon UK

7. PitchCar

The original box and art for PitchCar, a dexterity board game.
Flick a disc in this dexterity racing game!

Released in 1995, PitchCar is all about dexterity with players flicking disks around a wooden racetrack in a bid to get ahead in the race. Albeit a bit of a strange addition to our list of the best racing board games, PitchCar is a worthwhile option and has a cult following.

The game is highly customizable and with close to ten expansions, there is plenty of spare parts and race track pieces you can use to build a race that you and your friends will enjoy. To get ahead, you simply need to flick your disk and hope it lands on the track, taking turns at a break-neck pace and trying to push the other competitors off. 

It’s a game that perfectly simulates the tenseness of an actual car race and one that feels rewarding with every successful throw of the disk you make, whether you win or not. An excellent title for 2-8 players and completed in 30 minutes, this is a title that will have you screaming with joy at every weird little turn of events. 

Buy PitchCar on Amazon US / Amazon UK

8. Formula D

Formula D's original box art for the board game.
Odd race cars enter the race of their life.

Formula D is really Formula One with a few extra steps along the way. Never mind that, though, as this is a brilliant choice of a racing game that comes with excellent components and an evocative theme that will have you believe that you are in the cockpit leaning in on the gas pedal yourself.

The best part? It’s for anything between 2-10 players. And the “bestest” part still? The game offers interesting turn-based gameplay where plays choose whether to move up a gear, stay in their current gear, or simply move down the gears. You are essentially trying to predict what the roll of the die would show for you and whether you would make the most optimal move along the racetrack.

Besides, the corners would expect you to actually stop a few times in the 60-minute game or risk facing a penalty, just like in a real race. Oh, and if this wasn’t enough, you will also have to take care of your car, its tire health, brake wear, body, engine, suspension, transmission gears, and you know – the works. 

It all pays off, though, as Formula D lets you customize your car further, appealing to the mechanic and driver in you! Formula D is one of the best additions to our list of the best racing board games, no doubt. 

Buy Formula D on Amazon US / Amazon UK

9. Steampunk Rally 

Roxley's Steampunk Rally game cover and art.
Nikola Tesla, Madam Curie and other inventors race to build the wackiest racing vehicle.

We love Roxley and we love Steampunk Rally. The theme may not work for all types of board games, but steampunk and racing definitely mingle well, and yet… expect nothing to make sense! Famous inventors from times of old, such as Marie Curie and Nikola Tesla, will build all sorts of devices running on heat, electricity and steam, that will then help you participate in the race of your life.

Make no mistake, for this race will have no rules and no sportsmanship as vehicles bear down on treacherous slopes in the Swiss Alps. Players will have to think quickly “on their wheels” as they draw new cards with some quick assembly required to keep their vehicle in the race.

Oh, and like every good steampunk race would have it – there is a bit of luck involved, as you will need to roll dice to active machine parts and hope that they won’t misfire and cost you the race, or worse.

Buy Steampunk Rally on Amazon US / Amazon UK

10. Rallyman GT

Rallyman GT's board game cover and art.
The engine grinds as you navigate the sinuous road of Rallyman GT, determined to finish first!

Good luck and good mechanical engineering will help you advance in Rallyman GT, a game in which hot wheels will spin and gas-guzzlers will roar. The action unfolds around a modular board that is built with the help of hexes and where the actual gameplay is usually at the dice’s mercy.

Published in 2020, the game is a re-imagination of the original racing board game which was introduced in 2009. Since those early days, Rallyman GT has become a bit of a cult amongst racing board games fans, who have been organizing challenges, championships and even an entire World Cup – yes, all of this for a board game!

The newer version still stays loyal to the original insofar as its core mechanics are concerned, making for a gripping racing experience that you will no doubt come to love and appreciate. 

Buy Rallyman GT on Amazon US / Amazon UK

11. Winner’s Circle

Winner's Circle game of horse racing and betting.
Reiner Kniznia’s has one of his best cracks at the racing board games genre.

Winner’s Circle is one of the earliest racing board games, and it’s about gambling on the ponies. But don’t let this disappoint you. You may have never placed a wager in your life – and never want to – but this game is tons of fun, and it has fantastic gameplay and design, courtesy of none other than Reiner Knizia, a man who’s created over a thousand board games!

The action takes place across three individual races with seven horses participating in each. To win, you need to make the most money on your bets. To make things even more interesting, each horse will have its own attributes, which will simulate real-life betting and assess what pony you should probably bet on.

Then again, even the weakest horse may show surprising results, and there is also the roll of the die to account for. The betting can be done even secretly adding a bit of suspense. In terms of quality components, you can see that there was no money spent on sculpting the jockeys and horses, making for a very busy day at the racetrack!

Buy Winner’s Circle on Amazon US / Amazon UK

12. Ave Caesar

Ave Caesar's board game art and box.
Jostle for pole position in the Circus Maximum under the approving look of Caesar himself.

As we said once before, there are no random games on this list. Each is thematically evocative or innovative in its gameplay. Ave Caesar is a game in which raiders jostle for pole position with their Roman chariots and the action unfolds in the very heart of the Circus Maximus – the largest chariot racing stadium the Romans built.

The gameplay is interesting as it focuses a little more on simulating actual chariot races, such as track bottlenecks and even lane-changing requirements, which makes for an intense experience and race. Even though it’s one of the older titles in the racing board games genre, it’s one of the most inspiring titles in this vertical, nevertheless.

The game was designed by Wolfgang Riedesser, and it plays in 30 minutes for anything between 2-6 players.  

Buy Ave Caesar on Amazon US / Amazon UK

13. Long Shot

The Long Shot board game art cover for the Z-Man game.
Have a bit of family fun in this 2-8 game where you get to bet on the ponies and maybe win.

Long Shot is a lightweight game in the racing genre and one that can be played in 60 minutes by up to 8 players, which is fairly decent. A good deal of the game is not about you waiting on other players, but rather making decisions about what horses to buy next, which ponies will win the race and are worth a bet on, and how to play your hand – or hoof – well.

The action still focuses on getting the most money out of placing bets so make no mistake – there is a big gambling theme in this game, but this doesn’t make it any less fun. Whether you are a horse racing enthusiast or a huge racing board games fan only, you will find Long Shot to offer a satisfying and quick experience that will feel rewarding and make you ask for seconds! 

Buy Long Shot on Amazon US / Amazon UK

14. Robo Rally 

Robo Rally's official cover art and box.
Robots compete in supercars across the floors of a dangerous and quirky factory.

Upping the thematic variety once again, Robo Rally is a racing board game about metalheads who race around a factory filled with treacherous contraptions and even the occasional trap. The metalheads are of course the robots that will get behind the wheel of a high-speed supercar and dash for the finishing line, that is if they manage to get there in one piece!

There is not just the racetrack to worry about, though, as your fellow players will also try to sabotage you and stop you from winning. Plus, the game plays for anything 2-6 players, so there will be plenty of ill-meaning competition as you can imagine! A race can stretch for up to 120 minutes or it can end in a cascade of traffic accidents in only 20 minutes!  

So, you will need your robot eyes on the road as industrial lasers, gaping pits and conveyer belts can end your race abruptly. 

Buy Robo Rally on Amazon US / Amazon UK

15. Snow Tails 

Snow Tails' official board game art and box.
The Artcic Circle awaits with teams of dogs rushing across the treacherous terrain!

Away from the asphalt and the racetracks, there is an ever greater and more epic race afoot… a paw! In the Arctic Circle, adventurous sledders will brave the elements and the frostbite, spurring on their team of huskies who will try to win by perseverance, smart conservation of their energy, and let’s face it – what it always comes down to – experience.

The treacherous terrain will twist and turn, offering new challenges for players who are trying to keep apace, while control of the sleigh proves just one of the things they need to keep in mind. The game is fun and has an original movement mechanic that allows players to strategize their next move, even if they would still need to rely on a bit of luck to help them along the way. 

Dive into what is the most epic snow race of a lifetime in Gordon Lamont and Fraser Lamont’s Snow Tails! 

Buy Snow Tails on Amazon US / Amazon UK

Disclaimer: The list was compiled with the help of and combines the mixed experience of Meeples Herald’s editorial team, BoardGameGeek ranking, and online search volumes.

Stoyan Todorov

Stoyan entered the hobby over seven years ago and his collection has been growing at a pace his spouse has described as “concerning.” Willing to push the boundaries of the connubial bliss to its extremes, Stoyan is here to bring you the latest updates and developments from the world of board games.

Stoyan entered the hobby over seven years ago and his collection has been growing at a pace his spouse has described as “concerning.” Willing to push the boundaries of the connubial bliss to its extremes, Stoyan is here to bring you the latest updates and developments from the world of board games.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here