Tabletop Torque: Top 12 Car-Themed & Racing Board Games
The best automotive card and board games for hard-core gamers and casual families
There are some automotive enthusiasts who crave the real experience of being behind the wheel in a fast-moving vehicle. There are others who prefer the limitless possibilities of racing in the virtual world. Then, there are people who enjoy the strategy and community that come with playing old-fashioned tabletop games.
In no particular order, these are our favorite 12 car-themed board games. Have you played any of them? Share your favorites with us!
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Best Automotive-Themed Tabletop Games You Should Own
- Formula D
- Mille Bornes
- Top Gear
- Daytona 500
- Speed Circuit
- Cars 2
Rallyman (Rallyman Publishers)
Based on the mixed-surface racing prevalent in Europe, this game pits players against each other and the clock. Building custom tracks and using unique dice, players are forced to take risks to keep their car ahead of their opponents’.
1-4 players, ages 8 and up.
Formula D (Asmodée)
If you’re a fan of Formula 1 racing, this is the perfect game for you. Using seven dice, you’ll manage gear changes as you race around the track, making turns and avoiding unforeseen obstacles. Formula D is the preeminent title in automotive racing board games and accommodates nearly a dozen players.
2-10 players, ages 10 and up.
Mille Bornes (Hasbro)
This old French card game maybe be over 50 years old but is still running strong. Travel 1,000 miles first in your car by keeping your tank full, avoiding accidents, speeding ahead, and damaging your opponents. It’s all about playing your cards right!
2-6 players, ages 8 and up.
Carnology (Carnology Inc)
Many trivia-based games for auto enthusiasts exist, but this is probably the best. Why? You score points based on guessing the make, model, and year from over 500 photos of vehicles that span over 100 years. It’s a unique type of trivia challenge that embraces what makes classic automobiles so appealing.
2-6 players, ages 11 and up.
Top Gear (Imagination Games)
You don’t have to be a fan of the BBC television show to enjoy this board game. Unlike other bland, money-grabbing tabletop adaptations of movies and TV shows, this one cleverly challenges players to use automotive knowledge to bring their cars home using limited resources and enduring numerous pitfalls.
2-4 players, ages 8 and up.
PitchCar (Ferti Games)
PitchCar is a simple, addictive game that takes a basic idea and turns it into hands-on gaming. Build your own customized wood track and “flick” your race car discs around the course without letting them fly off. It’s a pricey game, but worth it.
2-8 players, ages 6 and up.
Daytona 500 (Milton Bradley)
Starting with an auction, players buy vehicles, race them in the Daytona 500, and hope to rank highly in the final standing to gain the most profit. All of the games in Wolfgang Kramer’s motorsports series are equally entertaining, using clever auction dynamics and streamlined around-the-track movement.
2-4 players, ages 10 and up.
Speed Circuit (3M/Avalon Hill)
An oldie but a goodie, this out-of-print game is hard to track down but completely worth the price. Players guide a grand prix race car around one of three tracks, with each car having its own characteristics profile and qualities.
2-8 players, ages 10 and up.
Bolide (Rio Grande Games)
Imagine a racing board game with no cards or dice used for your car’s movement. Instead, a second pawn is used to reproduce acceleration, deceleration, and inertia. The result is a fast-paced game that requires a ton of strategy but offers a high level of simulation.
2-8 players, ages 10 and up.
Cars 2 Monopoly (Hasbro)
Everyone knows this property-trading classic, but Cars 2 put a fresh “spin” on the original. Players circle the game board (a round “track”) collecting cars from the movie. The board itself functions as a roulette in place of rolling dice. A great game for families and fans of Monopoly.
2-8 players, ages 5 and up.
Automobile: Wheels to Wealth (Mayfair Games)
Players find themselves at the original formation of the auto industry, following the changing market to buy and sell ever-evolving vehicles. Plan your business well and don’t go into bankruptcy! This is a lengthy game suited to fans of economics and history.
3-5 players, ages 12 and up.
Kanban: Automotive Revolution (Stronghold Games)
Become an assembly line manager who’s trying to impress management by optimizing your factory. Players must balance the workweek/workforce with the factory production cycle. It’s a great introduction to the challenges of real management.
2-4 players, ages 14 and up.
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.