In Cars: The Video Game, Lightning McQueen appears as the central character of the games story mode, as well as the car that the player takes control of throughout the majority of the game. McQueen finds himself at the beginning of a new Piston Cup season, where Mack asks McQueen to obtain some practice before the first race, and he turns to the Radiator Springs citizens for help. After a few races, Mack and McQueen travel to the first race of the season, where Chick, who Lightning previously spotted observing him practicing, greets him. Upon Lightnings victory, Chick begins to seek additional help to sabotage McQueens chances.\r
After more practicing and another Piston Cup race, Lightning meets and challenges a gang of race cars from Queens, New York, who later reveal themselves to be allies of Chick. Still not satisfied, Chick continues to search for help, and meets with the same gang of tuner cars who had messed with McQueen the year earlier. The four cars are hired to rob Mack of McQueens goods while he is on the Interstate, but McQueen manages to obtain it again by stealing it back from the cars on the highway, who are then captured and subsequently arrested. They reveal themselves to be under hire of Chick, who Lightning later confronts at the Smasherville International Speedway, where Lightning declares a three-race Radiator Springs Grand Prix event to determine who is the better competitor, an event that is supported by the Piston Cup.\r
After defeating Chick in all three races, McQueen then manages to win the championship, and upon his return to Radiator Springs, his trophy is put with Docs three trophies from his past inside of the clinic.\r
Lightning also appears as a playable character in the Arcade and Versus modes. He has relatively high statistics in comparison to other characters, and also has the most paint jobs out of all characters.