The race is on! If you have a need for speed, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve compiled the best racing board games so you can get that adrenaline pumping. We have it all: car, bike, horse, and even footraces. Read on to find your favorite and get started.
…On your marks, get set, GO!
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Racing Board Games
In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.
#1. The Quest for El Dorado
Playing time: 30-60 minutes
Head to South America on a quest for this legendary location. Pass through villages, traverse jungles, and swim across waters to find the lost city of El Dorado. To locate the gold, you’ll have to collect the right cards.
El Dorado is a deck-building game. Cards help you move, build a better hand, and buy resources. Specific cards are required to pass over different types of terrain – some easier than others. You may also need to break down barriers along the way.
As any racing game implies, the first player to reach El Dorado wins the gold! If players get there on the same turn, the winner is the player who accomplished more during the journey.
So hurry up, get the gold, and scream, “Eureka!”
#2. Camel Up
The game is played over several rounds. You get four options each turn. Move your camel by rolling a die – and potentially earn some money. You can bet on which camel will win the game or which camel will win this leg of the race. The last option is placing a desert tile on the board to strategically change the racecourse.
After each leg, points are awarded for guessing the correct order of camels and how much money you earned. Points are subtracted for incorrect guesses.
When a camel crosses the finish line, tally up points. May the best gambler win!
#3. Res Arcana
Playing time: 30-60 minutes
Res Acana is a fantasy, card-drafting game. Players are wizards, starting with 8 artifact cards, magic cards, and one of each essence. Essences are currency in this world: Gold, Calm, Elan, Life, and Death.
Collect even more essences by using resources and magic cards. You can place artifacts or monuments, use power to gain points, or play a card to damage an opponent.
When a player has scored 10 victory points, the round ends, and points are totaled. Points are counted for places of power, monuments, artifacts, and a pass token.
Res Arcana provides a decent amount of complexity for how easy the setup is. Manage those resources and play your cards right to be the winning wizard!Res Arcana
Playing time: 30-40 minutes
Welcome to the adventurous island of Karuba!
You control a team of explorers racing to find treasures. But you better hurry up – the treasures have diminishing value, so the longer you take, the less profitable they are.
Each turn, players choose a tile to use on their personal maps. Tiles will be placed strategically, creating trails across your board. You can either add the tile to your map or discard it and move an explorer.
Explorers can collect gems and crystals along their path – and victory points for temples they conquer. Gameplay ends when you’re out of tiles, or a player’s explorers have all reached their temples.
Playing time: 20-40 minutes
A list of racing games wouldn’t be complete with a car race! Downforce is a simple-to-learn bidding and management game. This racing game is appropriately played on a car track, making it easy to follow along.
To start, players hold an auction to bid on cars and drivers. All vehicles will participate in the race regardless of whether or not they have an owner. Players also pick a special power card that they can use to gain an advantage during the race.
Now it’s time to start the race! Owners play cards to move cars, using their special powers if desired. This may mean playing a Tricky card to reverse the order of movement or a Determined card to drive an additional 2 spaces. Owners bet on the winner 3 times throughout the game.
When all the cars have crossed the finish line, owners add up their car’s prize money and collect their winnings from bets. The player with the most money is victorious!
#6. Flamme Rouge
Playing time: 30-45 minutes
Flamme Rouge is french for red flag. You’ll want to avoid this flag as you cycle toward the finish line!
Players have a Sprinter and a Roller. Players choose an Energy card and move their cyclists the correct number of spaces. They can move diagonally or forward and pass players but cannot share a square with them.
After a movement round, if a pack of racers has an air space by them, the pack behind can slip in sneakily! However, an empty air space ahead might cause your pack some exhaustion and slow their roll.
The Flamme Rouge uses a modular racetrack that changes every game, providing unpredictability and replayability. However the track is laid out, the first player across that finish line wins!
Playing time: 30-60 minutes
Playing to the theme, the rulebook is a pirate‘s map. Movement is determined by a combination of dice rolling and action cards. Move as fast as you can to get to Port Royal first.
Attack other players, purchase food and earn diamonds along the way. Some moves may slow you down, while others put you full steam ahead.
The board is beautiful, the theme is playful, and it’s easy to learn. Jamaica is great for young ones and families.
Arrrr you ready to win? Sail to Jamaica to find out!
#8. Formula D
Playing time: 60 minutes
Formula D is as realistic as it gets for a car racing board game. It incorporates the laws of physics to maneuver around the track. You even get to practice those gear-shifting skills as all the best race cars are manuals, of course!
Players have a racecar and a personal gearshift board. The communal board is a large racetrack that weaves around the city’s marina.
Depending on your gear, roll the corresponding die on your turn. Higher gears move faster but may get you into trouble. You’ll have to pay a hefty fine if you turn that corner too quickly or hit another car on the road.
The racetrack is quite large, and while the gameplay is intuitive, there are a lot of realistic components that add unpredictability.
How fast can you go without losing control? Get ready and gear up to find out!
#9. Ave Caesar
Playing time: 30 minutes
Ave Caesar is a gladiator-style battle around Circus Maximus in ancient Rome. It’s fun and simple with a unique theme.
Race your chariots around the board for three laps. Pick cards that decide how far you can go. Speed up and block other players– who will have to pay more to circumvent anything in their tracks.
The Emperor loves a good show, and each player must pass through the Emperor’s Alley and pay tribute within the first two rounds. If you forget, you’ll be banished from the race!
As in most racing games, the first player to complete the course wins.
#10. Robo Rally
Playing time: 20-120 minutes
Do you think robots will ever come alive? Well, in this game, that is precisely what happens.
Bored robots at a factory are waiting for the weekend when everyone is away. Now, it’s their turn to play!
Players are computers that control robots racing across the factory to collect flags. Each turn, robots can move 5 times to catch a flag– but a factory is a busy place. Obstacles are everywhere, and your robot must dodge them to get to a flag safely.
The concept is simple, but some elements add more of a challenge. Upgrade cards can boost your abilities, but you’ll need the energy to purchase them. If your robot takes too much damage, it’ll be moved back.
Robo Rally is both challenging, silly, and fun! If you enjoy spatial reasoning combined with racing, give it a try!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best racing board games! Get your competitive spirit going with the adrenaline rush that comes from racing to the finish line. Have you tried any of the games on this list? Did we miss any of your favorites? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.
Cheryl is a teacher, writer, and board game fan. She likes incorporating games into all areas of her life, from classrooms and family nights to lively parties with friends. While she’s played too many to count, her favorites have always been classics like Codenames and chess.