Best Optional Racing Minigames In Games, Ranked | Games Rants
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Best Optional Racing Minigames In Games, Ranked | Games Rants

Highlights

  • Racing minigames are a popular addition to many video games, offering players a casual and enjoyable racing experience alongside the main gameplay.
  • Games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario Odyssey, and Bully have integrated racing minigames that add depth and excitement to the overall gaming experience.
  • Racing minigames, such as Dragon Kart in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, provide valuable rewards and can become a favorite activity for players, often rivaling the main story in terms of engagement and enjoyment.

Racing has become quite commonplace in the realm of video games, with many titles trying to integrate enjoyable driving mechanics and the like in their titles to make for an engaging experience that covers all bases. Of course, nothing comes close to dedicated racing games that try their best to either allow for enjoyable arcade racing, feature hyper-realistic driving mechanics, or employ a mix of both to great effect.

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However, there are times when players just want to engage with racing more casually in their games instead of focusing on it as the sole form of gameplay. Many titles have received this memo, integrating a wealth of racing minigames that are pretty engaging to go through in their own right.

7 Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

Swoop Racing in Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

One of the greatest Star Wars games of all time, the sheer love and passion that Knights of the Old Republic has for the source material is clear for everyone to see. The story is considered by many to be the greatest narrative using the Star Wars IP to date, which is hefty praise given the quality of the epic storytelling present in this series.

The loyalty to the source material is also clear for everyone to see, with swoop racing playing a pretty prominent role in the game. It’s only mandatory for the story in one instance, following which players can engage in more pulse-pounding swoop racing events to earn money and go through sidequests without too many issues.

6 Chrono Trigger

The Jetbike race in Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is a legendary JRPG that needs no introduction. The trio of Hironobu Sakaguchi, Akira Toriyama, and Yuji Horii formed a dream team that helped contribute to the development of this amazing game that still sets the gold standard when it comes to how JRPGs should be structured, with many modern takes in the genre still paling in comparison to this masterpiece.

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The game also features a pretty engaging racing minigame set in the future where players must race a man called Johnny on a Jetbike, using a combination of positioning and boosts to take the lead and win the race the first time in an event that is mandatory for story purposes. Following this, players can engage in the racing game multiple times to rack up a higher score and get more prizes.

5 Super Mario Odyssey

Bound Bowl Grand Prix in Super Mario Odyssey

One of the greatest platforming games ever made, the sheer amount of creativity present in Super Mario Odyssey is truly mind-blowing. The idea of taking over enemies by using a cap and utilizing their special abilities to overcome certain challenges made for a great time, with the level design being especially inspiring.

The game also features two racing challenges that players will have a great time with. The Koopa Freerunning challenges in each level have an easy and hard variant, while the Bound Bowl Grand Prix is important to the story and does a great job of combining bouncing with racing mechanics to great effect.

4 Psychonauts

The race in Milla Vodello's mind in Psychonauts

Psychonauts is one of the most imaginative platformers that fans can check out, with both this game and its sequel being pretty fun to play through in their own right. Razputin is a fun protagonist with a wealth of engaging powers that he can use to zoom through platforming challenges while exploring the deepest recesses of a person’s mind.

The first game features a fun race in Milla Vodello’s mind that players need to win if they want access to the Levitation power. It’s a fun and boisterous time in one of the game’s best levels… although this area also hides one of the darkest secrets in the game if players explore to their heart’s content.

3 Super Mario Party

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It’s only a given that a party game known for having engaging minigames would have racing in some form or the other, with pretty much every Mario Party game featuring this mode in some form or the other. Super Mario Party is no exception to this rule, featuring three racing minigames with unique mechanics.

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Trike Harder involves players using the motions of a Joy-Con to ride their tricycles, while Barrelling Along involves the player rolling a barrel down a course full of hazards to reach the end before anyone else. Finally, Rowboat Uprising sees players team up to row their way to the end of an aquatic course while combining their efforts to avoid any obstacles along the way.

2 Yakuza: Like A Dragon

yakuza like a dragon dragon kart activity

The Yakuza games are known for their fun and engaging minigames that can suck hours out of a player’s life without any warning whatsoever. The quality of these minigames has increased with each successive entry, and Like a Dragon is no exception to this golden rule. The side content is so engaging that players can’t be faulted for skipping out on the main story, with Dragon Kart being one of the best activities that Ichiban can engage with in the game.

This minigame is clearly inspired by Mario Kart and is a blast to play through, mainly because of its wacky nature that perfectly captures the spirit of the Yakuza series. Winning enough races nets many valuable rewards that can make a player’s journey through this game way easier.

1 Bully

Cart Racing in Bully

It’s only a given that a Rockstar game would have really polished racing mechanics, and Bully is no exception to this golden rule. While their mainstream titles have so much focus on driving that calling their races ‘minigames’ wouldn’t be apt, the same restrictions don’t really apply to Bully.

The game has both bicycle and cart races that feel great to play with and are pretty fleshed out too. It’s a great way for players to engage in the many side activities present in the game world if they’re getting bored by following the main story over and over again.

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