Five brilliant video games based on horse racing and how you can play them

One no longer has to visit the track during office hours to get their horse racing fix, with plenty of options on the video game market to scratch that particular itch.

Over the past 40 or so years, developers have steadily perfected the craft of the horse racing simulator, which comes in many different shapes and guises.

Some entries are better suited to mobile gaming, while others are optimised for PC. Then there’s the style of play, with different entries focusing on differing aspects of the horse racing experience.

Taking into account that plethora of variations on the market, below is a selection of the very best horse racing-based video games to have hit the market over the years.

Some of those listed even comprise the option to lay wagers among friends or complete strangers, but you can find out how to do the real thing, with odds according to

Horse Racing Manager 2021 (2021)

Although no relation to the similarly named Sega series, Football Manager, Horse Racing Manager 2021 does a stellar job of mimicking the same in-depth intricacies that have made that line such a smash.

Although there is certainly a big racing element, the relatively new release focuses more specifically on the details of breeding champion horses and is for those seeking a steeper challenge:

Although there may be concerns the Apple and Android-playable game is too reliant on spending real money to progress, the added difficulty is actually a tad refreshing in this particular field.

Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey and Gallop Racer (2011)

A rare collaboration between two of the established giants in the industry, Champion Jockey came about when Gallop Racer creator’s Tecmo teamed up with Koei, the minds behind the G1 Jockey series.

The end product was one of the most varied and engaging creations in the genre, from its expansive method of play comprising breeding, racing and ownership to its flexibility across platforms.

Available to play via PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii (and Nintendo Switch in North America), it’s easy enough to pick up a second-hand copy of the simulator classic for around £10.

Phar Lap – Horse Racing Challenge (2019)

Arguably the best creation in this particular arena, Phar Lap – Horse Racing Challenge is the closest thing we’ve come to perfecting the genre, in this humble writer’s opinion.

Just about everything is accounted for, from the cinematic race simulation to the breeding to the race mechanics, online play and ability to place wagers against friends.

Even better, the 2019 release can be found on all fourth-generation consoles including the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, though a copy could set you back around £30.

Barbie Riding Club (1998)

Don’t let the name or overwhelming of pink fool you; Barbie Riding Club was a smash hit in 1998 and remains an industry-leader to this very day.

As the name suggests, the one aspect in which it’s lacking compared to others on this list is the racing, with players limited more so to breeding, feeding grooming and jumping their steeds.

Available for PC, it’s actually possible to download a copy of the game for free if you look in the right places, though hard disc versions aren’t particularly expensive, either.

Photo Finish Live (2016)

Moving with the times is a crucial component in gaming, and Photo Finish Live does just that as it combines the sport we love with the emerging cryptocurrency market and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

In short, you can generate real money by breeding and training superior horses, which are effectively unique property that can then be sold via blockchain to any buyer willing to pay the price-tag:

Both iPhone and Android users can get their hands on this intelligent piece of software (which can also be played via PC/Mac using he right programme) and start generating real-life cash.