Off-roading is best experienced with mud in your eyes, a bad case of swamp-ass, and the very real risk of tetanus. But when you can't get into the wild, here's top 20 all-time awesome off-road video games according to our readers.

Has your favorite been left off? Something new come out since this list was published? Put it in the comments with the Title, Platform(s), and tell us why it needs to be a part of this list!

Play Station 3, Xbox 360, Windows XP – Vista

Get it here:

toyotasupraman: The "chase the copter" challenges made me rethink routes and execution more than once.

Blondude: Fuel was is the shit. It's so fun the just cruise around aimlessly for hours and never come across the same area twice. One of the few times where they say "if you can see it, you can drive to it" and actually be entirely truthful.

Smuggler's Run Series
PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Cube, Game Boy Advance

Get it Smuggler's Run here & Smuggler's Run 2: Hostile Territory here:

Crossdrilled: I really enjoyed the open world nature of Smuggler's Run 2 and being able to choose between taking the shortest route through hilly terrain or along the roads to keep top speed up. Handling was arcadey, but still pretty challenging to master

DerW220: I played it for over 5 years without boredom on GameCube. The GameCube version was the superior version because it was developed a while after the Xbox version, with gameplay improvements. The GameCube version also had a larger vehicle list due to copyright changes.

Windows XP

Get it here or download a trial from Codemasters here:

OTE_TheMissile: The thing about 1NSANE though is the game as it arrived was crap, but the physics engine...that beautiful, beautiful Invictus soft-body physics engine. Soooo much time spent scouring through the InsaneHeat database for new terrains & vehicles, just to see what they were like & how well they drove. If 1NSANE's going on this list, it's not because it's a great offroad game but because it was one of, if not the first soft-body freeroam driving sims that the modding community really got behind.

Sega Rally Series
Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows Vista, Arcade

Get the Sega Saturn original here, or the "Revo" version for PS3 here:

SennaMP4: Where else are you going to get a Delta Intergrale, or even a Stratos to drive? Awesome drifting. Arcade-y and with some good physics in there.

DiRT Series
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Sony PSP, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS

Get the original here:

Dusty Ventures: The "Trailblazer" events are effectively hill climb races, with most of the selectable vehicles being real hill climb cars. The "NASCAR-looking Tacoma" is actually Rod Millen's insane Pikes Peak Tacoma (the real thing got 1000 horsepower out of a 2.1 liter engine and could do 0-60 in a ridiculous 1.6 seconds! In the 90's!). There's also Rhys Millen's Le Mans-looking Hyundai, Monster Tajima's Suzuki, and the Olsberg Pikes Peak Fiesta.

Ivan 'Ironman' Stewart's Super Off Road
Nintendo NES, Nintendo SNES, Game Boy, Arcade, redux in mobile browser

Hell yeah you can still buy it! Or play the "revival" on your smartphone right here.

ncasolowork2: Nitro Nitro Nitro Nitro Nitro Nitro 99 times nitro

Full Drive 2 UAZ 4x4

Not an easy one to buy, but there are plenty of sketchy torrent download options according to Google... use without our endorsement and at your own risk.

Rai_Fox: Obscure but incredibly fun Russian off road racing game. Tough, badass russian trucks, fairly realistic (need to worry about things like differential locks, tire pressure, winches, etc), and all kinds of different off road races on big, open maps. -Tons- of fun, despite somewhat questionable physics. Unfortunately it was basically impossible to (legally) get in the US. You could get Hummer 4x4 for a while - essential, a GM-licensed "American Vehicle" add-on for the original version that was sold as a standalone game in the US, but that's disappeared too now that the Hummer license has expired.


The next game in the series, Off-road Drive, is available on Steam, and pretty fun too, but it doesn't seem to have the same wide-open areas for free drives, or vehicle tuning.

Screamer 4x4
Windows XP – 8

Get it here or download from the software company here.

adamftw: selectable front, center, and rear lockers, high and low range... super realistic.

ATV Offroad Fury Series
PlayStation 2

Get the original here:

cazzyodo: I think 4 let you use trucks, bikes or quads. My brother and I would load up a free run and play tag by trying to crash into the other person. Honestly only did a couple legitimate races in career mode because the free run was so fun haha

SODA Off-Road Racing
Windows XP

Get it here:

Eezep: EASILY the most realistic I've ever played or heard of. Very difficult. Papyrus (as in Grand Prix Legends) was among the collaborators that put it together. Only 3 vehicles (buggy, 2wd truck, and 4wd truck), but an actual attempt at a realistic physics engine. Extremely difficult keeping the 2wd 800 hp trucks pointed the right way on dirt.

OTE_TheMissile: iRacing [publisher] would love to add dirt to the service as much as the membership...but 1. they don't have nearly enough staff resources to basically double the scale of the service as it is now, and 2. a lot of the things they're doing to improve the paved racing they have now (making track surfaces and the environment more dynamic, etc.) would make for the starting point of a simulated dirt surface. So just hang in there for now...

Rally Sport Challenge Series
Xbox, Xbox 360

Get the original here:

DerW220 insane graphics and was amazing for its time.

Baja: Edge of Control
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Get it here:

Dusty Ventures: Physics are lacking a bit in some departments (they recycled some of the physics from the ATV Off Road Fury games), but the range of vehicles is fantastic, from Class 11 Beetles to Trophy Trucks. The game includes about a half dozen MASSIVE open world maps that are free to explore and contain an array of secrets and Easter eggs to find (on one of the maps I found Scarface's mansion and promptly put Pfleuger's trophy truck in the mansion pool).

Richard Burns Rally (RBR)
Windows XP

Get it here:

algs911: by far the best off-road racing game I've ever played. Realistic physics, lots of community support, good graphics, good sound effects, and the thrill of getting a long stage right! I've played the other rally games, and always went back to this one

Monster Truck Madness
Windows 95, Nintendo 64

Believe it or not, you can get the 1996 original here though rumor has it you can find the game cheaper elsewhere:

Biberons: A nice variety of trucks and tracks with alternate routes, good playable physics, heavy metal soundtrack with fitting commentaries. I spent countless hours on my first Windows 95 Pentium PC.

4x4 Evo Series
Xbox, Nintendo Game Cube, PlayStation 2, Windows XP

Might want to try eBay for this one as it seems to be in absurdly short supply on Amazon for Xbox, but it's a little cheaper on other platforms:

dave1827: I remember playing 4x4 Evo 2 on XBox and loving modifying the vehicles. It seemed to try to be realistic for the most part, but for some reason you could get a truck with a 12" lift, 38" Super Swampers and a brush guard up to over 220mph if you chose the right engine modifications.

Zibodiz: 4x4Evo 1 was much more realistic. I have both for PC, and greatly prefer the first. The graphics were only improved slightly for 2, and the adventure mode (or whatever they called it) was cool, but overall, 1 was better. Much more realistic acceleration and speeds — only a couple race trucks could breach 200mph, and only in a very specific configuration.

Windows Vista – 8

Get it here or check out the studio's website for download options:

Pretty much the most realistic, comprehensive, and customizable off-roading simulators there is.

FrgMstr: Full physics engines in effect on both environment and vehicle reaction. Fully deformable and reactive terrain achieved through GPU tessellation. Without a doubt the most realistic off road driving game ever produced. And very well threaded to work with your multi-core CPUs as well.

Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open
PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows XP

Get it here:…

This game was near and dear to the hearts of many readers... and what a soundtrack!

Arch Duke Maxyenko, SHAZAM!: Because of the unlockable cars, Humvee, T-Rexx, Rod Hall Hummer, Shelby Durango, and the moon buggy.

Andrew P Collins: I remember coming home from skiing in Mountain Dew-sponsored races and playing this at my friends McMansion with the volume max'd guzzling Mountain Dew. Yeah, I was a walking cliche.

Camshaft Chris: THIS!!!! 1000x THIS!!!!! When we were kids, my brother and I would spend HOURS playing a combination of hide-n-g-seek and tag accross the ENTIRE island using black our Hummer H1s. And we had Metallica's Fuel on loop the entire time. I long to find a copy of this laying around at a local used game shop so that I can dig out my old original XBox and reminisce

Rigs Of Rods
Windows XP – 8

Looks like you have to download it from the publisher's site here.

Otto-the-Croatian-kid: nodes and soft body physics and thousands of mods.

OTE_TheMissile: like 1NSANE on equal parts steroids and PCP in terms of moddability...and then we have BeamNG.Drive...

Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Windows Vista–8

Get it here:…

Obviously not strictly an off-road title, but enough action to warrant a mention... for the 6x6 G-Wagen alone.

mycarneverruns87: The map is HUGE and vehicle selection is wide. You can find fast areas or keep it slow and technical. It has variety.

Halo Series
Xbox, Xbox 360

Get it here:

Even less truck-focused than Grand Theft Auto, but where else can you drive a truck that takes jumps like a champ and splatters aliens into oblivion?

takeshi72: The Maw Warthog run from Halo... not really on dirt, but it's not technically on a road either.

Top image: Andrew P. Collins, Graphics from Nintendo