The racing genre of games is all about speed, often at the expense of opponents that are controlled by the computer or other humans. How each game handles speed or what the player is racing against can vary from game to game. Some racing games are multiplayer endeavors, often connecting the player to a vast network of other players cued up for the same race.
Even the game’s perspective, how the player sees the game world, is not a uniform element of racing games. Some games will present everything in a first-person perspective, presenting everything from the driver’s seat to better immerse the player; other games will go for a third-person perspective, with the camera zoomed far enough away that the player has a much better awareness of his surroundings. Some of the racing games that favor a third-person perspective use a simple two-dimensional view with the player’s vehicle in the center of the game window. This is usually because the programmers want the player to have full information about the vehicle’s surroundings and to give him plenty of time to react if the game features really high speed like in the real Formula One races.
Some racing games will mix and splice their gameplay with other types of online games. Several take cues from action shooters; these titles have players racing for prize money that can be used to upgrade vehicles, buy entirely new components for the vehicle, acquire new types of vehicles or, most often, to buy weapons, armor and special abilities like speed-peaking nitrogen boosters. The main reason for the weapons is usually so you can blast the competition away so that only your car makes it to the finish line; armor helps mitigate opponents’ attempts to demolish your own vehicle in the process.
Yet another subgenre of racing game would be the “endless runner“. These games feature minimalist control schemes that allows players to determine how their avatar moves in every matter except for movement speed; you can control when it ducks, jumps and changes the lane it runs in, but the only way you can slow your character down is if your particular racing game has some sort of time-manipulation power-up. When it comes to endless runners, the goal is to see how long the character can keep going without colliding into something or falling.
In short, there are as many types of racing games as there are real varieties of racing.