Horse racing video games can be pretty exciting especially now that computer graphics have improved considerably over the last 5 years. Many arcades and consoles have launched brand new horse racing titles that have captured the attention of many a horse racing fan.
Horse racing is very popular in many parts of the world but doesn’t have the freedom, that it does in the US and the UK. In Japan, it is one of only a few forms of betting that is allowed in the country. In the UK, the Cheltenham Festival, which usually takes place in March, is an event where the best British and Irish-bred horses compete. It is attended by hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Some of the titles you’ll find here are released recently, while others have been around for some time. Here are 10 of the best horse racing games ever released.
1.) Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox, and Wii
Champion Jockey G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer is one of the most intelligent horse racing titles out there. It changed some of the names of real-life race track locations in order to circumvent licensing issues. The game has several game types including tournaments and exhibitions. It was developed by Koei Tecmo so you can expect that the graphics of the game are very much detailed.
2.) Winning Post World 2010
Platform: PlayStation 2 and 3, Xbox 360, and Wii
This is another title from Koei and is the 15th installment of the successful Winning Post franchise. It works like a Football Manager game except that instead of training athletes, you’ll be training horses and jockeys. Players can breed their own horses, hire good trainers, and participate in races to make their horses champions.
3.) Japan World Cup 3
Horse racing games don’t need to be serious all the time and Japan World Cup 3 is proof of that. This is quite possibly the funniest horse racing game of all time, as players are treated to cutscenes that include racing yetis, horses that can do ballet, and even dolphins that do the craziest antics. If you’d like to take a back seat from playing horse racing and enjoy a game that’s just plain crazy, try this one out.
4.) Horse Racing Manager 2
Horse Racing Manager 2 is a game that needs no introduction. It’s one of the most successful franchises out there that Horse Racing aficionados have supported since the release of the original Horse Racing Manager. The game has three modes namely punter (where players can participate in betting), stable (where players grow and train their horses), and jockey (where players can ride their horses). The game has over 6,000 horses and several real-life locations, making this game the ultimate title for any horse racing fan.
5.) G1 Jockey 4
Platform: PlayStation 2
Koei is quite possibly the king of horse games as this one is developed by them again. There are thousands of horses to choose from in this game and options that allow players to customize their racing experience. G1 Jockey 4’s controls are very unique, using clip-on paddles that bind together the PlayStation 2’s analogue sticks.
6.) Gallop Racer 2006
Platform: PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PC
Gallop Racer 2006 is a simulation horse racing game. There have been 8 installments of the game in Japan, and 6 in the U.S. The graphics aren’t very nice compared to horse racing games made by Koei, but the devs made up for it by giving players a lot of things to unlock from different horses to tournament types.
7.) Starters Orders 6
Platform: PC, Mac
Starter Orders 6 is like Horse Racing Manager. Players are given the freedom to micro manage their stables and compete in events that are patterned after real major horse racing tournaments. In addition, this is currently the only game that works with the Oculus Rift headset.
8.) Derby Owners Club
Derby Owners Club is one of the few racing titles that people can play in an Arcade. The game play is very straightforward as players only need to worry about training their horses and then racing them against AI or human opponents.
9.) Winning Post 7 Maximum 2007
Platform: PlayStation 2 and 3
Winning Post 7 Maximum 2007 is a horse simulator published by, you’ve guessed it, Koei. It is the sequel to Winning Post 7, which was subsequently followed by Winning Post 7 Maximum 2008. In the game, players can experience what’s it like to be a real horse jockey, training with horses and competing in tournaments. The game is included in PlayStation 3 bundles that are being sold worldwide.
10.) Virtual Horse Racing 3D
Virtual Horse Racing 3D is one of the most detailed racing games for the Android platform. It’s very simple to play, as there are no complicated micro management features like training your horse or hiring a jockey. Simple games like this are perfect to play when you simply want to kill off time.