LAST UPDATED: December 5, 2019
Best Truck Games: Rule the Road from the Comfort of Home
You’ll have loads of fun with these truck simulator games
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON December 5, 2019
Long-haul trucking is an exciting life. You get to discover new vistas, navigate dangerous roads, and keep the wheels of industry turning. We may not all be cut out for the tougher parts of the job, but thanks to video games, you can experience the thrill of building a trucking empire from the comfort of your own living room. Check out our list of the best trucking simulator experiences below.
Has 45 vehicles with their genuine livery, twenty teams and the top drivers, fourteen circuits, and single-player and five-player modes.
Choose from the top truck makers like Freightliner, Volvo, and Western Star. You can drive on 14 circuits, including the official ETRC circuits.
Five multiplayer modes and five single-player modes.
May be too boring for some users. It can be difficult to drive the trucks.
This game features a huge open world you can explore solo or with up to three friends. With the American Wilds expansion, drive all-terrain trucks from famous brands across all sorts of rough environments.
Builds on the success of the original Mudrunner by adding exciting new maps based on Montana, North Dakota, and Siberia. Realistic physics and vivid open-world graphics.
Missions are lacking in variety. Lots of DLC content is locked at the beginning, requiring a lot of work to open.
Play through competitions based on real-life Monster Jam events, including racing, freestyle, and environmental challenges. Master control of your vehicle to win races and perform epic stunts.
Brings players into the heart of the high-stakes Monster Jam experience with detailed truck physics and the ability to play as famous monster trucks. Controls are easy to learn but rewarding to master.
Lacks a multiplayer mode. Also, if you’re looking for a realistic trucking experience, check out a different title. This one is all about stylized competition, not an accurate simulation.
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Benefits of Truck Games
- Realistic experience. With a truck game, you can have a realistic experience of trucking without having to own a truck or become a trucker—or even leave your house! This includes driving in cities as well as countrysides, heeding safety precautions, loading and unloading the load, and piloting your vehicle.
- Full range of experience. You’re not limited to just driving a truck with these games. Some feature creating a career in trucking. This entails starting a business, forming business relationships, and hiring and firing, so it’s the full trucking experience—not just getting behind the wheel of a big rig.
- Customize your truck. With these games, you enter a fantasy world of creating and customizing the truck of your dreams. You can pick a chassis, engine, interior appointments, paint job, and virtually anything else. The result is that you’re driving and maintaining a truck that suits your needs and does the job but also fulfills your dreams.
Types of Truck Games
These truck games focus on starting and pursuing a career in trucking. They include purchasing your truck, modifying it, and operating it. But the games also include starting a trucking company where you purchase or rent a facility, hire and fire drivers, serve clients, and maintain relationships, including how well (or not) the business succeeds.
You build and customize a monster truck. You drive it and perhaps compete with it at truck jams. Choose your engine and transmission, chassis, interior, wheels, tires, and paint job. Accelerate, brake, and steer the monster truck. Pick courses to drive on and transform terrains where you turn innocent bumps into massive launch pads.
Different Countries and States
You can drive and create trucks in various countries and states, such as the Midwest, California, Europe, and Alaska. All beckon you to new truck-driving experiences. Not only do you see new sights, new cities, and new natural wonders, but you also find out what it’s like to drive in different countries, which may mean driving on the opposite side of the road and on the opposite side of the cab compared to what you’re used to. You also get to experience new traffic signs and new traffic laws and enjoy new and different cultures.
This is a Dutch game producer. It was founded in 2002 and has its offices in Hoogvliet, Rotterdam, Holland. Its founder is Soedesh (Jack) Chauti. The company’s original concentration was on creating game and accessory bundles for different consoles; it has since expanded into indie games. Check out Air Missions HIND and 8-Bit Hordes for fun.
Excalibur Games is part of the Contact Sales Limited Group. They began in 1997 and have since published more than 400 titles. The company is located in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. One popular product is Euro Truck Simulator 2.
PlayStation makes video games as well as game consoles and controllers. A division of the Sony Company—Sony Interactive Entertainment—produces the brand. The company released its first PlayStation console in 1994. Add Snowrunner and Need for Speed Heat to your collection.
Truck Game Pricing
- Up to $4. These free or very low-priced apps have basic graphics. They are mostly for kids and feature a wide range of games, such as tow truck, fire truck, racing truck, stunt truck, and many more.
- $9 to $27. These games have better graphics and adventures than the free games, and many operate on early versions of Windows, such as Windows Vista or Windows 7. There are limited game choices in this price category.
- $28-$60. This is the main price category for the better, more fun, and more involved games. Graphics are the best, and the games run on Windows 8 and higher or are PlayStation games. Play trucker games from ice road to racing to the full trucker and truck company experience.
Graphics and Sound
Obviously you want to have the best graphics you can have in a truck game to make your experience the most enjoyable, challenging, and fun. The graphics for the terrain, roads, cities, and natural areas should be top-notch to really take you into full trucker mode. Great graphics should include not only the scenery, highways, and streets, but also the vehicle itself. Great sound is another consideration.
When you are playing a truck game, you should be able to actually feel like you’re behind the wheel of a big rig. This means rounding corners, hitting potholes, swerving around hazards, passing, and all the other driving experiences. You want to feel as if you’re actually hitting the accelerator and the brakes, steering the wheel, and sitting in the driver’s seat.
For those who want something beyond driving, loading, and unloading a haul, you can purchase a complete truck experience that allows you to begin a career as a trucker, develop relationships, and build the truck of your dreams. You also can have the life of a business trucker by starting a trucking business and making it successful. This includes all the aspects from renting a facility and buying a fleet of trucks to establishing customers, servicing them, and hiring a crew.
- Operating system. Check to make sure you can run the game with the operating system you have on your computer. This includes your version of Windows. Some of the most popular truck games run on Windows 7 or Vista. Make sure your computer’s memory is big enough to handle the complicated graphics and sound of truck games as well. Also check for PlayStation versions. Most PlayStation truck games run on PS4, while others work only on PS3.
- Age category. If you’re buying a truck game as a gift, think about the age of the person who will be playing the game. Since truck games range from simply driving to a full-fledged trucking operation, a young person’s ability to enjoy and appreciate a game can be quite different compared to that of a more mature person.
- Price. Of course, you always want to keep price in mind so you not only stay within your budget but also get what you pay for. Read the product details, the reviews, and the answers and questions to find out exactly what you’re buying so you can determine if the price is worth it.
Best Truck Games Reviews & Recommendations 2020
If you like truck racing (and even if you’re new to it), you’ll love this truck game. It features 45 different trucks with some of the best known badge names. These include Western Star, Volvo, Freightliner, and others.
The game offers five single-player modes and five multiplayer modes. Race on 14 circuits, such as Laguna Seca, Fuji Speedway, Circuit of the Americas plus some of the official European Truck Racing Championship (ETRC) circuits. Participate in 20 teams and race with the championship’s top drivers.
Reports are that playing the game with a wheel works best. “Challenging” and “different” are words used to describe this game, and some even thought it was “boring.” Also, driving the trucks can be difficult.
Drive in various challenging environments, such as rivers, muddy terrain, and hills. The trucks’ movement and weight realistically respond. Pilot many iconic vehicles such as Western Star, Hummer, and Chevrolet.
This updated version includes two new sandbox maps that take inspiration from the wild lands of Montana and North Dakota. Deliver logs, get stuck, get pulled out with a winch, and face and overcome the challenges and hazards of the wild mud lands. The game includes the full Mud Runner experience. Drive solo or buddy up with three other drivers in co-op multiplayer.
On the downside, some players report that the game’s missions lack variety. Also, be aware that much of the DLC (downloadable content) is locked in the beginning, so it takes a lot of effort to open.
This game features a huge variety of game modes with offline and online leaderboards and a large focus on fabulous stunts, stadium competitions, and satisfying destruction. It gives players the opportunity to perform daring stunts with big rewards.
The game has almost 100 challenges in stunt, survivor, and hill-climb racing modes. Choose from 24 playable and fully-licensed trucks and compete in six Monster Jam arenas. Beyond racing, experiences include driving in desert, polar, forest, and harbor environments. Unreal Engine 4 powers the game with music by Somatone Interactive.
Note that this game does not have a multiplayer mode. Also, some gamers report that Monster Jam: Crush It does not provide a realistic trucking experience—the competition is stylized and is not accurate.
The MudRunner series includes several games each with epic locations and unique trucks to drive around in. The standard edition, simply titled “MudRunner,” is the second game in the franchise released in 2017. It features 19 all-terrain vehicles with their own unique set of skills to get around the map.
MudRunner is set in the wilds of Siberia. Players will use different vehicles to get around the map looking for upgrades and new trucks as they build their way through the expansive environment. The best part is it can be played with multiple people and up to four can explore together. Players will navigate rivers and thick and deep mud puddles, and risk losing their haul as they traverse the wilds.
Depending on which system you own, you may have to pay a monthly fee in order to play online with friends. It can be played entirely offline in its single-player mode, however. The camera can be difficult to control, and even slowly rotating it can cause it to quickly go out of control.
If you’re really looking for a full-on truck racing simulator, then we suggest you check out the FIA European Truck Racing Championship. It includes 45 trucks from big rigs to tow trucks from top-of-the-line manufacturers such as Volvo, Freightliner, and Western Star. It looks great as well, and is available for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
You can also play it with your friends in five different multiplayer modes. Or you can go in alone and race against the AI or online players in five single-player modes. There are 14 tracks to choose from and 20 teams to be a part of as well.
However, it may not be the cleanest game when it comes to graphics. By that, we mean you will notice some clipping as trucks collide with each other but don’t cause any damage. Also, the controls can be a bit confusing, and it doesn’t feel like it should be worth the standard game price of $50 or $60.
Your first assumption may be to think that Forza isn’t necessarily a truck game, but there are a few trucks to choose from, and not just standard commuter trucks you’d find at a dealership either. Aside from hyper cars or sports cars, you will find trucks like the Volvo Iron Knight, Mercedes-Benz 24 Tankpool24 Racing Truck, and the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U5023.
Each one is also fully upgradable as well. You can enhance how each one looks, upgrade the engine, transmission, and its entire aesthetic as well. It’s also fun to be able to race your friends or rivals in an enhanced truck while they have a Porsche 911. By playing “Forza Horizon 4” online, you can show off your ride to other players and compete to see who has the fastest truck.
As far as cons go for “Forza Horizon 4,” it is only available to play online on Xbox One. You will be required to have an Xbox Live account in order to play it at all. This will also cost you a few extra bucks a month or year, depending on how you choose to play. The game can also be laggy from time to time.
It may be an older game, but “American Truck Simulator Gold” is a great truck simulator game. The goal is to build up your transportation company by delivering goods across the United States. It is the third installment in the “Truck Simulator” series and was released in 2016 only for the PC.
It is a single-player game that takes players across the U.S. as they transport and deliver cargo. It’s also a great learning game, believe it or not, as it features all the ins and outs of running a company. You can hire employees, make money, take out loans, and work to create and monopolize your own trucking empire. The trucks feel real, heavy, and control like you would imagine a large vehicle would on the road.
However, it can be a bit confusing to learn how to install mods for the game. Plus, it is only single-player.
The third game in the “Spintires MudRunner” series, “SnowRunner” takes players to new exciting vistas and features tons of new vehicles. You can pick and choose from between 40 vehicles and iconic brands like CAT, Pacific, International, and Chevy. “SnowRunner” also includes a solo mode and online mode that includes up to four players.
Players will visit three new locations in the franchise including Michigan, Russia, and Alaska. From deep mud trenches, snowy mountain roads, and slick rainy streets, players will have to navigate the wilderness in order to complete challenges. You’ll build bridges, transport wood and steel, and find hidden trucks and upgrades along the way.
As with the other games in the series, “SnowRunner’s” camera isn’t user-friendly. Operating it can feel like trying to park a boat on a windy day—you’re going to have a difficult time getting it right where you want it. You may also have to pay an extra monthly fee if you want to play online, depending on the system you get it for.
- There are a lot of vehicle simulators of different kinds available for free for mobile phones, but most are rushed and not well-developed. Console and PC truck games provide a much stronger experience, and they’re worth the money.
- If you’re playing a truck simulator on your computer, hooking up a console controller will make steering, accelerating, and braking much easier. You’ll also be able to change the settings to match how you like to play. We recommend setting acceleration to the right trigger and braking to left, the usual console control scheme.
- When racing through the night to make a delivery, don’t be afraid to use cruise control. Almost all truck games have it as a feature, and it’s the best way to avoid speeding tickets while making sure you don’t lose any time.
Q: If a truck game is a UK import, will I be able to play it in North America?
A: Yes. That just means that like a lot of truck simulators, it was first released in Europe. UK import games work fine on American computers.
Q: Are truck games good to buy for kids?
A: Absolutely. Kids will have tons of fun figuring out how to control the big rigs and take them out on the road. It might even give them some good foundational knowledge for when they learn to drive for real.
Q: Other than realistic simulators, what kinds of truck games are available?
A: Games exist that will let you race 18-wheelers, do tricks with monster trucks, drive smaller ATVs across rough terrain, and experience all kinds of real and imagined aspects of the trucking world. The simulator genre isn’t often talked about by gamers, but it’s grown surprisingly robust in the new generation of consoles.
Truck Racing Championship—PlayStation 4 is a hot game for truck enthusiasts and truck racing fans in particular.
If you’re looking for a better value, Mudrunner: American Wilds also offers a vivid truck-driving experience.