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5 Best Rally Games of All Time, Ranked



The barren waters swilling through compressed valleys of muddy clusters, the thrill of the spectators hungering for the perfect lap — it's all there when it comes to the rally, and we can't help but love its timeless beauty as we engage with its vibrant world that bleeds dirt and snow. And, in all honesty, we can't even hold back our hunger when it comes to immersing ourselves in the mounds of video games that the beloved sport employs, either.

For years, rallying has played a crucial role on the frontline of the racing platform, with seasonal entries that capture the gritty action and cutthroat competition in its rawest form. From ice-riddled stages to death-defying downhill feats, developers have tapped into the art of rallying and conjured some of the greatest driving chapters ever made. But with that said, we're only really able to shed light on a small collection of them — if only for the moment. So, let's run it from the top. Here are, in our honest opinion, the five best rally video games of all time, ranked.

5. Richard Burns Rally

Richard Burns Rally (2004) Developer Preview Trailer

Acting as a spiritual successor to the beloved Colin McRae timeline, Richard Burns Rally tapped into the same mud-soaked vein and extracted all the best-selling qualities that made it celebrated to begin with. Only, by using its own original ingredients to help sever its connection with McRae, Richard Burns Rally managed to build a platform of its own, with simulation components that would later be regarded as some of the best in the genre.

Boasting a complex physics engine and near-perfect and life-like portrayals of popular courses, as well as Richard Burns himself taking the game under his wing to analyse and evolve its every nook and cranny, the game itself went on to become a global success, and even managed to influence some of the greatest rally games of the late-2000s. And as for today, well, let's just say its following is still sitting on the hopes of it getting a well-deserved reboot.


4. DiRT Rally 2.0

DiRT Rally 2.0 | The Announcement Trailer | PS4

The DiRT Rally empire has been admired by millions for nearly a decade now, with entries that loiter between both dirt and snow, grass and sand. But of all the games Codemasters has flushed into its acclaimed franchise, nothing has stacked up nearly as well as the 2015 chapter, DiRT Rally 2.0, which went on to receive a nomination for Best Sports/Racing Game of 2019.

Compiling all the top-shelf qualities from previous games into one bucket, DiRT Rally 2.0 conjured one monster of a journey, complete with all the career elements and top-tier mechanics Codemasters had spent years tweaking to absolute perfection. Of course, in essence, DiRT Rally 2.0 was a souped up version of its 2015 sibling, but it was also so much more than that, and surprisingly light years ahead in terms of visuals and physics.


3. Forza Horizon 4

Ford M-Sport Fiesta RS Rally WRC - Forza Horizon 4

Although not strictly locked to rallying, Forza Horizon 4 does boast some of the best rally segments in all of the racing scene, with some of the most visually stunning courses ever drafted for a video game. And where it lacks in dirt and off-road mayhem, it certainly makes up for in bite-sized thrills and adrenaline-fueled velocities.

Of course, while Forza Horizon is mostly made up of bizarre tracks and outlandish stunt showcases, it does thankfully contain some pretty stylish rally chapters in the depths of its map. And, considering its open world gives you the freedom to pursue whichever story arc takes your fancy — it doesn't mean you're bound to dabble in multiple bodies of water, either. You can, amazingly enough, just lock on to the rally subdomain and work your way from there. And honestly, with its highly stocked range of activities — that's not exactly a burden to bolster, to be fair.


2. WRC 10

WRC 10 | Launch Trailer

WRC (World Rally Championship) has had one of the healthiest and most influential timelines in the history of racing games, with chapters that span well over twenty years and multiple spin-offs. And with a lofty following that lingers on the edge of every release, it's fair to say that its future is brighter than ever.

Of course, having so many entries under its belt, as well as an entire anthology of crossovers, it's not exactly the easiest task in the world to pluck out the finest chapter and sprawl it out on the line. But having said that, the latest addition definitely has all of the raw qualities to help sway that decision in its favour ever so slightly. Plus, we'd be lying if we said it wasn't one of the best all-round WRC games to grace the industry. Its career is on point, its physics system is almost too good to be true — and its atmosphere is possibly one of the most mesmerising of all time. And so, for that — we're happy to give it the silver.


1. DiRT 3

Dirt 3 - Rally Car Trailer

Despite the countless sequels that followed in later years, nothing ever quite managed to top the vigor that latched to 2011's DiRT 3. As well as its stellar career mode and diverse levels, it also produced some of the most fluid gameplay and memorable vehicles. And those really were just shards of frosting on the lavishly decorated wedding cake.

Although you could quite easily argue that the earlier Colin McRae games stood out a lot more in terms of track designs, DiRT 3 definitely brought a lot more style to the table, with online functionalities that would drive the series up to new and improved heights. All in all, it was Codemasters working to their maximum potential, using fifty years of off-road knowledge and experience to mould together a perfect combination of life-like racing and revolutionary mechanics.


So, how would you rank the above five? Do you agree with our selection? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.


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Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.