The excitement of the racetrack is something that translates well to video games, which is why it is so easy to find great horse racing games.
The following are some of the best titles in the genre, letting you approach this sport in whatever way suits your gaming style.
Starters Orders 6
This game for PC and Mac users gives us one of the most in-depth ways of getting involved in horse racing and controlling the action on the screen. You take charge of a group of horses that you first train and then enter into a variety of different races while breeding new horses for your stable.
You can also play it as the jockey, riding the horses in the races. The most exciting part of this game is the fact that it has Oculus Rift support, meaning that you can use a VR headset to get fully immersed in the races from the jockey’s viewpoint.
Japan World Cup 3
This game gives us a light-hearted look at the world of horse racing. Some of the most interesting moments in this browser-based game come with the bizarre animations, where horses dance and walk on their hind legs as well as doing all sorts of other crazy stuff.
You don’t ride the horses or control the stable here, but you can bet on the animated horses for fun.
If you prefer to place wagers on real-life races then you might want to check out the American Triple Crown, which includes three huge races; the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. Click here to know more: TwinSpires.com/triple-crown
Horse Racing Manager 2
In this case, we have a PC game that is one of the most popular titles in this genre. It is packed with details, including more than 6,000 horses and lots of different racetrack locations to explore. The Horse Racing Manager franchise has proved to be extremely successful and this edition came out in 2006.
You can choose to play it as the owner of a horse racing stable, as a jockey, or as someone who bets on the races. Play alone or in multiplayer mode, and ride through three different types of the race (flat, jump, and trot). The graphics are pretty good and it is easy to get caught up in the action.
G1 Jockey Series / Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey and Gallop Rider
This title is actually one in a series of games in a franchise, by Japanese developer Koei, with the races all shown from the jockey’s point of view. The first game to catch the eye was G1 Jockey 3, which was brought out in 2003 for the PlayStation 2 as the first of their titles to reach the US.
G1 Jockey 4 came a few years later and is probably the highpoint of the series, while the Wii versions offer a different way of playing.
The same developer later merged with Tecmo and brought out Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey and Gallop Rider, which is available for a variety of consoles and is widely regarded as another one of the best horse racing games.
Winning Post is another horse management-style game produced by Koei, who have built up a successful brand with more than a dozen Winning Post titles in it, dating back to 1993. The idea is that you control a stable, training the horses and the jockeys for success in the big races.
You can choose which trainers to hire and which horses to focus your efforts on. Most of these games were only released in Japan, but you should be able to find Winning Post for the Sega Saturn in North America and elsewhere.