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Horse Racing Games: Most Realistic Ones To Play In 2024

Written by smoothie

Rival Stars Pik Pok

Horse racing is a popular pastime activity with billions of fans all around the world. It is one of the oldest sports in the world, but unfortunately, the sport doesn’t have the same dominance in the world of video games.

Ever since video games became a thing, we’ve seen only a handful of good horse racing simulation games and half of them have pixelated graphics and are not too realistic. At least not when compared to standard story games like Red Dead Redemption 2.

But this doesn’t mean that you cannot have fun and experience what is like to become a jockey. There are a few games that have the right mechanics, online gameplay, decent graphics, and plenty of options to give you an idea of what is happening behind the curtains of real-world horse racing events.

So, if you are a true horse racing enthusiast, these are the games you should try out.

Phar Lap Horse Racing Challenge: The Console Champion

We start with consoles. Why? Well, I think consoles are more popular than PCs. – Just kidding, we don’t want to start any platform wars just yet.

When it comes to consoles, there is really only one option for the best simulation horse racing game, and it is a game released a long time ago. We are talking about Phar Lap Horse Racing Challenge. In terms of graphics, this is one of the best horse racing games we’ve seen so far, and the design isn’t that spectacular.

To be honest, the design of horses in games like The Legend of Zelda is much better, and they are not designed to be realistic.

The design of the horses is not bad at all, but if you look at it from a distance. Once you get closer, the hair, the coat, and the overall attention to detail are much needed.

However, it is the best that we can play at the moment. In terms of features, the situation is a bit better. Phar Lap includes multiple gameplay modes, including online competitions. On top of that, every aspect of the horse racing industry is covered, from breeding to training and racing. They even have a betting feature, where you can place bets on big horse racing events and simulate races at home.

But before you do that, you need to learn more about the odds. Find out how to read horse racing odds here:

That’s not all. Phar Lap also allows you to manage the financial aspect of owning a horse or a stable, and you have to deal with expenses, tournament winnings, and salaries you hand out to people.

Maybe we were a bit strict on this review since Phar Lap is considered one of the best horse racing games on the market currently, but we always have to compare it to modern gaming standards.

Rival Stars Horse Racing

We are moving to PC and mobile horse racing gaming, and Rival Stars Horse Racing is the game that dominates the space. This is quite a different game than Phar Lap just because of a few factors.

First of all, the design of the game is a bit more childish and cartoonish. The realism that you get from games like Phar Lap is gone. The 3D graphics are decent but don’t expect next-level realism.

This is strange just because Rival Stars Horse Racing is basically the same game as Phar Lap and it is developed by the same team (PikPok). However, since the main target of this game is mobile devices, they wanted to make it appeal more to the younger demographic.

The game starts when you inherit your grandfather’s ranch, and from there the choices you make decide how the game progresses. You can breed horses, train them, and of course, race them online.

Rival Stars also features an in-depth career mode, incredible and realistic race simulations, and quite decent breeding and training mechanics.

It is a great casual game that you can play on the go, and compete with your friends. However, it is worth mentioning that this game is focused more on the actual gameplay, rather than having tons of options that recreate the real-world horse racing scene.

Winning Post 10

This is one of the latest and newest horse racing simulation games on the market. We have to say that the features that Winning Post 10 brings are way ahead of any other horse racing game. After all, it is the newest release with the most updated visuals and in-game mechanics.

Winning Post 10 features all the things that make the horse racing industry whole. You have breeding, training, finances, taking care of horses, in-depth horse traits and abilities, and much more.

On top of that, the graphics are quite good, and if we have to compare them with another game, they look similar to Phar Lap, but in my taste a bit better.

The only downside is that Winning Post 10 is aimed at the Japanese gaming market, and there is still no English version of the game. The only choice is for you to try older versions of the Winning Post series which were translated to English.

Star Stable Online

The last horse racing game that you have to try is Star Stable Online. This might not be your average horse racing simulation game, as it is more of an MMORPG game designed with the younger demographic in mind.

You are partnered with a horse and you have a huge open world to explore. This game is not aimed specifically towards racing. Instead, you get to complete quests, participate in events, explore the world, and connect with other people. Even though it is not a full-on racing simulator, it is still worth the try, especially if you are a horse lover.