Best Arcade Racing Games Of All Time, Ranked

When it comes to the Arcade Racing Game, there are a lot of old school games that still have that nostalgic feel to them. Today, we’ll be discussing the top ten arcade racing games (not the latest ones like Need for Speed franchise or Forza series) from back in the early ’90s.

Those games were the real foundations of the games we have today like the Gran Tourismo series, Burnout, and the other next-gen racing games. Keep in mind that this is the top ten list, so not every arcade racing game will be included in this list.

10 Out Run

Out Run is a 3D driving video game where the player controls the red Ferrari Testarossa Spider. It indeed is one of the first arcade racing video games ever released. This game was developed by Sega with the help of the designer Yu Suzuki. This game was released in September 1986 (old, right?). Talking about it now seems like it was just yesterday (time flies). The game has multiple stages (rounds) with several checkpoints at the end of each stage. Out Run was a commercial success for Sega and was the best-selling video game of its time.

9 Daytona USA

Daytona USA is not the oldest racing game out there but it did play its part in our childhood memories. It was developed by Sega AM2 (the oldest video game development team) and later published by Sega. Daytona USA was produced by Toshihiro NagoshiYu Suzuki (the guy who designed Out Run).

The initial release for the game was in 1993 leading up to the full release in April 1994. Daytona USA was also a successful release, being praised for its graphics, soundtrack and the realism of the game.

8 Virtua Racing

If you’re an old school video gamer, you must have heard about this title – Virtua Racing. It was also developed by Sega AM2 (Sega AM Research & Development No. 2). Virtua Racing was released in August 1992. At this point, this game is available on several Sega platforms like Arcade, Sega Genesis, Sega 32X, and Sega Saturn. Virtua Racing, also known as V.R. is rated one of the most influential games of all time as it was the one that introduced the polygonal graphics among the audiences.

7 Sega Rally Championship

Sega Rally Championship was the first game in the series released on October 11, 1994. Developed by Sega AM3, Rally Championship was indeed Kenji Sasaki (game director) one of the best works out there at that time. The game was released for Arcade, Sega Saturn (released in 1995), Windows (released in 1997), N-Gage, Game Boy Advance. The soundtrack for this game was also phenomenal which was composed by Naofumi Hataya and game designer Takayuki Hijikata who released the album Sega Rally Championship Ignition. Fast-forwarding to 2007, Sega, later on, released the next installment in this series called – Sega Rally Revo.

6 Hang-On

If you’re a Moto-GP fan, you’ve probably played this title. Hang-On is an arcade game designed by Yu Suzuki (head of Sega AM2 for 18 years). It was initially released in 1985. Just like many other old school titles, Hang-On was available on many different platforms at that time which includes Arcade, Sega SG-1000, Master System, Sega Saturn, MSX, PC-88.

The soundtrack for this game was composed by a group of people including Hiroshi Kawaguchi Master System Katsuhiro Hayashi. Have you played this game back in your childhood? Let us know in the comments!

5 Crazy Taxi

Let’s be honest, this list would’ve been never completed if this legendary game was not on it. Crazy Taxi is one of the most iconic releases in the arcade genre. The graphics, soundtrack, and the actual feel of the game was perfect. If you haven’t tried this game yet, we would highly recommend you do so. This game was developed by Hitmaker and published by our very own Sega. The game was initially released in 1999 which was then ported to Dreamcast in 2000. To this date, Crazy Taxi is available on Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, Android.

4 Ridge Racer

One of the early ’90s titles, Ridge Racer is also known for its amazing graphics at that time, the audio drifting mechanics, and arcade-like gameplay. It was developed by Namco which later on released in 1993 on Namco System 22.

Moving on, Ridge Racer was also ported to many other platforms including PlayStation (December 3, 1993), PlayStation Portable also known as PSP, mobile phones, and Zeebo. Shortly after, the arcade version was followed up with a sequel called Ridge Racer 2 and Ridge Racer Revolution (PlayStation title).

3 Cruis’n USA

Cruis’n USA was developed by Midway Games and published by Midway Games as well as Nintendo. It was originally released in November 1994 on Arcade then, later on, in December 1996, it got a port on Nintendo 64 which was a top-notch console at that time. According to the reports, Cruis’n USA and Killer Instinct were supposed to be the launch titles for Nintendo 64, but unfortunately, neither of these titles made it to Nintendo 64 on its launch. Fast-forwarding, Cruis’n USA was also released on Wii’s VC (Virtual Console) in Europe on March 28, 2008, which made it the first third-party developed Nintendo game to be released on the service.

2 OutRun 2

OutRun 2 is the second installment to the OutRun franchise. Just like this first one, OutRun 2 has improved some of the core features of the game. It was developed by Sega and published by Sega along with Microsoft Game Studios. On Arcades, the game was released on December 1, 2003, and as for the Xbox, it was released on October 1, 2004. As for the gameplay, the player drives a Ferrari sports car with a friend in the passenger seat.

1 Star Wars Episode I: Racer

It’s just not possible that you’re not a fan of Star Wars if you’re into arcade racing games. Star Wars Episode I: Racer was developed by LucasArts which was first released on Microsoft Windows on May 18, 1999. Later on, the title was released on many other popular platforms as well including Nintendo 64 (May 18, 1999), Game Boy Color (December 1999), Macintosh (December 16, 1999), and Dreamcast (April 4, 2000). Moving on, there were tons of other Star Wars games released after the major hit this racing title turned out to be. Which Star Wars game is your favorite to this date? Let us know in the comments!

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