While games like Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport and Need For Speed are well-known, and well-loved, there’s a new breed of realistic racing simulators emerging, and they don’t even require you to leave your desk.

That because these new racing simulators are offered for free and playable online.

Two of the best examples are Heat Online and RaceRoom Racing Experience, the latter of which is still in beta mode but is shaping up to be one of the most impressive online racing sims we’ve seen in a while. 

We know many of you are already playing these, but, if you’re not, may we suggest you spend some of your weekend checking them out.

Heat Online has been around for a couple of years and is basically a free, multiplayer online racing game complete with a selection of cars and tracks, including road, race and off-road circuits.

You can compete with thousands of other virtual players in locations as varied as the streets of Tokyo to the English countryside and even the rooftops of Shanghai. The only downside is that the cars don’t look all that realistic due to licensing.

That’s not the case with RaceRoom Race Experience. Ignoring the silly name, the graphics in this game are some of the best for online games and its variety of cars and tracks is also impressive. Note, many of the top cars and tracks require a fee.

Some of the purchasable cars include some very special race cars from iconic manufacturers like McLaren, RUF, BMW, and even Chevrolet.

For more, check out the trailers below.

Heat Online

RaceRoom Racing Experience