Little-Known/Forgotten Racing Games

(UPDATED: March 30, 2014)

Many racing games have been created. While so many of them were recognized in some sort of manner, a lot of them are either little-known or forgotten in today's culture. My post from "John's Blog Space" has now edited and made for "John's Race Space." To some of you, some of the games I will mention here will be brand-new to you. Some of them will be titles you may have forgotten about. Welcome to another blog post of mine! Before I begin, let me make one note:

WARNING- this blog entry is VERY long!

This blog post is the first non-Gran Turismo or non-Tourist Trophy topic since renaming this blog from "John's Gran Turismo Space" to "John's Race Space." This edited version of my post on "John's Blog Space" from February 25, 2010 features many more games as part of the package. Some of these games may be featured in individual posts in this blog. Now let's begin!


LATEST UPDATE(S)/REVISION(S):

MAR 30 2014 - added more games (hint: 1992 and 1994, both from SEGA)





--- Origins of This List ---

When I joined YouTube, one of my reasons was to discuss little-known racing games. Well now that YouTube's new channel layout really disallows you to actually see all the videos, I'm going to discuss as many old and forgotten games here. What you will see are MANY racing/driving games from video game history that are either little-known or forgotten. You may be introduced to games you may have never heard of before. Some games are probably forgotten for good reason- they weren't all that good. Please note that this lineup of games is not only about forgotten gems in racing game history. Instead, it's a look at various little-known or forgotten racing titles. This can include very good games... and very bad games. So keep reading because you're going to get schooled proper on little-known or forgotten racing games.

This project of mine on YouTube all began with one game- Le Mans 24 by Sega. Being a fan of Sega Super GT/SCUD Race, "Le Mans 24" was almost completely forgotten. This was the origin of my list of little-known or forgotten racing games. The game looks beautiful as well as having that lovely 24-hour racing model. "Le Mans 24" is both little-known and forgotten to many racing game fans. And please note, I am not talking about "Le Mans 24 Hours" (which is a racing classic), but rather the arcade game, "Le Mans 24."

As I started looking up many games online, there are many that are either little-known, forgotten, or both. The list below consists of games that are little-known and/or forgotten and WHY they are so. You have the Internet at your disposal, so if you see a game mentioned here, you're free to look up on (your favorite search engine) and even YouTube. I mentioned so many games that I'll leave it up to you to see what games I make mention to.





--- REALLY Little-Known or Forgotten Racing Games ---

My entire playlist can be found here: Little-Known or Forgotten Racing/Driving Games. These are the majority of little-known and/or forgotten racing games since I joined YouTube and started taking count of racing game titles. I'll be fairly brief in all of the games I've selected. But do remember... there are MANY MORE little-known or forgotten racing games. So I'll leave it up to you to find as many old racing games as possible. I'll only explain why they are forgotten as well as what they are about. Pictures, videos, and things of that nature... that's for you to do.

And remember... THIS ENTRY IS VERY LONG!!! This blog post may even be updated regularly to reflect more games. None of these games are listed in any particular order.


Are you a dedicated blog reader? Reason why I ask is... THIS BLOG ENTRY IS VERY LONG! So here are three options you have as you're reading this blog entry:

1.) Visit my playlist here: Little-Known or Forgotten Racing/Driving Games,

2.) Check out all of the videos in this embedded YouTube playlist below,
(embeddable player)

or...

3.) Read below to see all 80+ games I have to mention and discuss!





The choice is yours, player! :D






Let me begin with a few titles that seriously define "little-known or forgotten" for me.


Ultim@te Race Pro Series.

This is perhaps the most little-known AND forgotten PC racing game. Nobody knows anything about this racing game unless you've actually played it and this series before. I couldn't find a working demo of this game online. But basically, think of it as an extreme version of Daytona USA. Great graphics and lovely gameplay. It was one of the first few games to really capitalize on the lovely graphics the 3DFX graphics cards could muster.


Racin' Force (1994).

This racing game uses voxels (think 3D pixels) for the playing field. You race these GTP race cars similar to an old game- WEC Le Mans 24 released in the '80s. Four tracks were included in this game.


Le Mans 24 (1998).

A completely little-known arcade racing game from Sega. You can run the 24 Hours of Le Mans in this game. Passing cars earns you extra time while being passed takes away time. There was also a fictional street course in addition to the two Circuit de la Sarthe races. If the 24 Hours of Le Mans event is activated, someone could insert credits and play during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is too bad this game never made it to the United States.


Slipstream (1995).

This game is only known if you seen these arcade units in the Federative Republic of Brazil, because this was the only country this game was marketed in. Capcom and racing games are rare. Slipstream was a Formula 1 racing game that actually featured four F1 venues (though no actual names). It also features four great F1 cars from its time. Each of the four cars have an extra variant of them with different levels of performance. This game came out even well before "Auto Modellista" or any of the Capcom-developed MotoGP games. Part of the selling point of Slipstream was that it used SEGA System 16 technology.


These are some of the more notorious titles that are little-known or forgotten. I am VERY far from done here. Go to the next section for MANY more little-known or forgotten racing games.



--- Little-Known or Forgotten Racing Game Series ---

Here are now MANY more games that are either little-known and/or forgotten. These games may or may not be listed in any particular order. I did not put much thought into finding a particular order for these games. So basically, make like Forrest Gump and just remember- this post is like a box of chocolates. You'll never know what you'll find here. I MAY surprise you with a few games mentioned here! Here are some games now:


Race Drivin' and Hard Drivin'.

These games are really forgotten as one of the first simulation racing games. They tried to give a simulation feel to stunt racing. Don't worry about wrecking your car- you'll be doing this VERY often! It's even tougher in manual transmission cars. How so? Everything you have to do to start the car and get off cleanly is what you'll have to do even after you crash your car and respawn!


Ace Driver Series.

This is a futuristic Indy car racing game series from Namco. It featured some very nice music and lovely graphics. The first title was "Ace Driver: Racing Evolution." The second title is the more futuristic "Ace Driver: Victory Lap."


NASCAR Racing Series.

Sierra/Papyrus was the creator of the various "NASCAR Racing" titles. The franchise began in 1994 with "NASCAR Racing." It was nothing to look at visually. Over time, future titles would help push this series further. NASCAR Racing 2 would start things off in 1998 followed by "NASCAR Racing: 1999 Edition." "NASCAR Racing 3" was created in 1999, allowing for more modifications, such as speed tape. "NASCAR Legends" took you back to the 1970 NASCAR Grand National series. It used the NASCAR Racing 3 engine. In 2001, "NASCAR Racing 4" was created, and cars weren't rooted to the ground among other things. The series' most popular and highest-rated titles today are "NASCAR Racing: 2002 Edition" and "NASCAR Racing: 2003 Edition."


Indy Car Racing series.

What happens when NASCAR rules the roost? Other series get relegated and left for dead. That was probably the untimely fate of both 1993's Indy Car Racing and 1995's Indy Car Racing 2. While the NASCAR Racing series got a beautiful upgrade with NASCAR Racing 2 and NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition, ICR2 was left to die, basically. There would be a future downloadable program that allowed you to convert ICR2 tracks to be used in NASCAR Racing 2. The first Indy Car Racing had the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. People often try to convert Indy from ICR to race in the NASCAR games.


F-1 Grand Prix Series.

While Video System may best be known for the Sonic Wings (Aero Fighters) series, they've also made classic game series like F-1 Grand Prix. Three titles were released for [and only] the Super Famicom. There was an F-1 World Grand Prix II, but it was NEVER released to the United States, sadly. I think the only thing missing from F-1 World Grand Prix II is the Jerez Circuit round.


HUMAN Grand Prix Series.

Japanese developer, HUMAN, made their own series of F1 racing games. I think the first two titles were released to the United States known as "F1 Pole Position" through Ubisoft. Then in the mid-late 1990s, a game from this series was called "F1 Pole Position 64" for the United States for the Nintendo 64.


Lotus Series.

Gremlin Interactive created this series devoted to the Lotus Elan and the Lotus Esprit. These three games would find their way onto the Genesis/Megadrive and on Amiga PCs. The first title was "Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge" in 1990. It only featured the Lotus Esprit. "Lotus Turbo Challenge 2" in 1991 featured both the Lotus Esprit and the Lotus Elan SE. The 1992 game "Lotus III: The Ultimate Challenge" was the biggest of the three in this trilogy. You could generate your own tracks in "Lotus Turbo Challenge 2" and "Lotus III: The Ultimate Challenge."


Xtreme Series.

Unlike a lot of other racing games, this series does NOT involve motorized racing. This racing game series features you racing using skateboards, roller skates, luge boards, and bicycles. 2 Xtreme debuted snowboarding. Each race allowed you to attack other racers with punches to throw off their rhythm. Go through various gates to pick up money bonuses and other things. There were three games in the series. "ESPN Extreme Games" was released in 1995, "2Xtreme" was released in 1997, and "3Xtreme" was released in 1999. All three titles were for the PlayStation 1. Only "3Xtreme" was in full 3D.


Moto Racer Series.

There were three games in the Moto Racer series. This game is an arcade-type racing game featuring motorcycles. The action included both superbikes and dirt bikes. The first title was released in 1997 for PC only. The first Moto Racer featured eight tracks- four featured superbikes, and the other four are for dirt bikes. It was in 1999 when Moto Racer 2 was released for PC and the PlayStation 1. You could design your own courses for Moto Racer 2 in addition to the tracks already provided in the game. Moto Racer 3 was the only game in the series to feature actual content. You could race on the streets of Paris with traffic on the road. You can race on some real world courses like Eastern Creek.


TT Superbikes Series.

You may see this game and this series on bargain racks, but I got to tell you- the sense of speed and control seems amazing. While I've never played any of these titles, some say that this is an enjoyable game series as long as you have the patience to understand how the game plays and how to operate these motorcycles. This is all about real road racing- road racing on country roads and city streets in the United Kingdom. All in its dangerous glory.


Racing Jam Series.

Konami's Racing Jam series debuted in 1998. This game featured touge-style action with some crazy racing action and actually-licensed cars. "Racing Jam: Chapter 2" was created in 1999 with insane crashes.


Thrill Drive Series.

If any game offers up the thrill of street racing with its dangerous consequences, the Thrill Drive series from Konami surely offers that. The series was created back in 1998. You choose a car and battle against three other cars. Rather than just your standard sports cars, gamers could also race vehicles such as commercial vehicles and even buses. There are even police cars that are on the same roads and highways you are on. If this game stresses anything, it totally highlights on how scary and dangerous street racing is. A lot of the impacts showcased in the Thrill Drive series are incredibly scary. I might even go as far as to say that this game series demonstrates just how dangerous street racing can be. You are still racing illegally without a care towards the safety of others. However, the game series doesn't capitalize on and glorify this dangerous behavior. That alone is something to praise this game for while the "Burnout" games and the "Carmegeddon" games glorify these aspects extensively.


Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune Series.

The games in the Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune (or WMMT) are all based on the Wangan Midnight comic books.


Monster Truck Madness Series.

(ADDED: December 7, 2013)
Providing their own spin on monster truck racing, the Monster Truck Madness series features a handful of monster trucks engaging in some monster truck racing. The second Monster Truck Madness game featured sponsorship from World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and the WCW's New World Order (nWo). A number of actual monster trucks are featured in this game and this series.


Midtown Madness Series.

(ADDED: December 7, 2013)
Three games by Microsoft allow you to explore some cities and have your own driving thrills. In Midtown Madness 1, you had plenty of insanity on the streets of Chicago. Midtown Madness 2 let you burn rubber in San Francisco and London. Midtown Madness 3 was exclusive to the XBOX, and you could race either in Paris or Washington, D.C.


If I find more that I want to showcase, I'll edit this post as many times as need be.





--- Little-Known or Forgotten Racing Games ---

Now for some individual titles. After much deliberation, I have decided to sort each game by the year the game(s) was/were released. This will offer somewhat of better sorting of individual racing games:


Moto Champ (1973).

Of all the games you will see here, this is the ONLY game that is not an electronic game. Instead, it is an electromagnetical game from Sega.


Night Driver (1976 - Arcade, 1978 - Atari 2600).

My brother played this game more than 20 years ago (because I was just a child or a baby when this game was played at my cousin's house... and, I have a strange memory). This game is quite hard to say the least. Night Driver was made for the Atari 2600.


Laser Grand Prix (1983).

Taito's "Laser Grand Prix" got gamers to get engaged in realistic racing. Take on the different challenge of this laserdisc game ranging from drag racing to circuit racing.


GP World (1984).

This is a laserdisc game from Sega (as well as Bally Midway) that allowed you to race three different tracks. If you find any videos of this game and notice that the video footage is very thin-looking, that's because this game had a double screen format. You control a car that has individual sprites on the screen. You view the track from a helicopter chase view. Your job is to try to pass as many cars as possible and try to finish the race.


Enduro Racer (1986).

Essentially lost in the glamour of its Hang-On siblings, Enduro Racer is a motorcycle racing game from SEGA where you must contend with a vast number of off-road conditions. You are on a dirt bike racing against other dirt bikes and some Dakar-style trucks. Avoid the trees and other obstacles on the outside, and make sure to avoid the various rocks and other hazards on the road. Can you clear all five stages?


WEC Le Mans (1986).

Especially the Arcade version gives you an amazing performance of high-speed racing. You are racing a prototype race car similar to the Porsche 962C. The racing happens on a nice interpretation of the Circuit de la Sarthe. There are some time cycles to content with and experience as day becomes night, and night becomes day. Last all 24 [simulated] hours to win the game!


Buggy Boy (1986).

This is a fun-looking game from the same makers of TX-1, Tatsumi. Go through the gates slalom-style for points while avoiding huge rocks on the road.


Top Speed (1987).

Taito released this game which has pretty cool graphics. It's just you, your high-speed sports car, and the highway. This game allows you to go crazy fast down the road. Everything seems a blur as you fly down the road. You win the game if you clear non-stop five stages of racing.


Winning Run (1988).

In 1988, NAMCO released a completely 3D racing game called Winning Run. It features Formula 1-type racing cars on just one track. The 3D graphics are impressive for a game of its time. The game runs very smoothly as well for a game of its time. The wheels actually turn left and right. Considering Virtua Racing would blow peoples' minds in 1992 by SEGA, "Winning Run" is truly forgotten or little-known. Cross the finish line to receive more time to complete the race. This is very much a little-known title considering NAMCO made one of the greatest racing game series of all time- the Pole Position series. This was really evolutionary. Funny enough, this game even uses actual licensing of the Formula 1 World Championship.


Grand Prix Circuit (Commodore 64, 1988).

This title for the Commodore 64 was made by Distinctive Software Inc., which you've seen make Stunts and The CYCLES. The game was made in 1988. You race on one of four real-world racing tracks and able to race as and against multiple F1 teams.


Power Drift (Arcade, 1988).

This game was an exciting and comical showcase of sprite scaling. Everything looks and runs amazing in this game, especially the Arcade version. There are a total of 25 tracks spread across five different routes. The cars all sort of resemble Caterhams. You have no control over what character, and it doesn't really matter which character you have. You must finish 3rd or better to advance. Otherwise, you will have to try again. Clear each route, and you may even get to run a bonus race after clearing the original set of races. Great-sounding music compliments the game as well.


Turbo OutRun (1989).

A spiritual sequel to the classic OutRun titles, Turbo OutRun takes you on an American tour from New York City to Los Angeles. Your job is to go from New York City to Los Angeles while racing crazy fast in your Ferrari F40 (or at least, it resembles the F40). That F40 has something fearful- insane turbos. Use it to help you blast down the road while traffic is a thing of the past!


The Cycles (1989).

PC-racing game that allows you to race motorcycles around a variety of real-world courses. Made by Distinctive Software Inc., the same people behind the 1990 PC racing classic, Stunts (or 4D Sports Driving).


Racing Hero (1989).

The game is like a combination of the Hang-On Series and the OutRun series. Impressive graphics for its time.


Continental Circus (1989).

Apparently, the story behind the name of this game was that it was to be called "Continental CIRCUITS." Instead, it was called "Continental Circus," and usually is in conjunction with "F1 Circus." Regardless, this is Formula 1 carnage like never before from Taito!


Bari Bari Densetsu (1989).

Get ready for racing action on two wheels. There's a real storyline feel to this title with lots of unique animations and artwork. It was made by Taito in 1989.


Four Trax (1989).

The vehicle of choice for Four Trax is an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). You'll be racing on some off-road courses on your ATV in this NAMCO racing game.


Super Monaco GP (Arcade Version, 1990).

While you don't race the real F1 Grand Prix of Monaco course, you do race a ficticious track resembling Monaco. Graphics are absolutely amazing. You think it's 3D, but it really isn't. A testament to Sega's lovely use of sprite scaling.


Driver's Eyes (1990).

The sequel to "Winning Run" was the 1990 title "Driver's Eyes." Not much is known about this title except that its 3D graphics are just as lovely (even for a game of its time) as they were in "Winning Run." Not much else is known about this game unless you've actually played this game at an actual arcade.


Cisco Heat (1990).

This is a strange concept. On the streets of San Francisco, brace yourself for one of the fastest races using... police cars? Yes. The 2D graphics look very interesting as your racing your cop car around the streets of San Francisco. You're not trying to arrest anybody- all you're doing is racing the streets of San Francisco in your capable police car against other capable police cars. You know it's sad when police cars care more about racing against fellow cops rather than keeping the streets safe. Sad. Oh, well... it's just a racing game. It isn't like your tax dollars are going towards the police getting high-performance cars and driving like fools.


GP Rider (1990).

GP Rider is similar to the two F1 games I mentioned, and this Sega arcade racing game has you racing on only one track while trying to finish four laps around the course. This is a motorcycle racing game. Complete four laps of the course to win. Place as high as possible to score the most points.


Gale Racer/Rad Mobile (1990).

This early 1990s 2D racer had incredible graphics. It was also one of the first games to request you to turn on headlights, windshield wipers, and more. Amazing sprite scaling in this game. There were lots of graphical and environmental touches to this game that almost no other racing game had. Plus, it was Sonic's debut before he even got his own game. The goal of Rad Mobile was to compete in a cross-country race going from Los Angeles to New York City. You engage in 20 stages of action. If you fail to complete a stage, you must insert credits to re-run the stage you failed to clear. This game would be available for the SEGA Saturn a few years later.


F1 Exhaust Note (1991) and F1 Super Lap (1993).

The only difference between these two arcade games from Sega is that F1 Super Lap actually features real F1 teams. I think for both games, you are racing on only one track in a four-lap race. The graphics look impressive for these 2D games.


OutRunners (1992).

If you've never seen this game in pictures or in videos, YOU NEED TO SEE PICTURES AND VIDEOS OF THIS GAME! This game features some of the most amazing graphics for any 2D racing game in history. The graphics are outstanding. As for the racing, it was one of the first OutRun games to where you could actually choose different cars. It also featured two different routes for you to take. It basically took what past OutRuns have done and made everything better by leaps and bounds. This is sadly the ONLY OutRun I've played in an arcade. There is great music to listen to as well.


Stadium Cross (1992).

(ADDED: March 30, 2014)
The final race of the motocross season is at SEGA Stadium. Can you win that final race? This game is a motocross/supercross style game where you are racing this track hard trying to be the very best motocross racer. The graphics are very nice, but the endless voice-over commentary can be annoying.


Grand Prix Unlimited (1992).

The full name of this PC racing title is "Road and Track Presents Grand Prix Unlimited." This game by Accolade was a 3D Formula 1 racing game for the PC. Perhaps its biggest selling point was that you could make your own tracks with the Architect mode.


Grand Prix Star (1992).

Jaleco's foray into Formula 1 racing yielded this game and this series. The first arcade title featured Hockenheim and Monte Carlo (though not using their names). What I liked about the first game is how the clouds in the air move.


Battle Grand Prix (1993).

Interesting concept, failed execution. You race a variety of courses around the world with a variety of drivers. Everything's in top-down mode with a split screen. The most interesting aspect is that you can take on a computer or human opponent in one-on-one races or in Survival Mode. The one-on-one races are usually five laps long, and it's a Best-of-3 format. The vertical split-screen format of this top-down racing game just obscures lots of things into view. There are a whole lot of tracks to choose from- all fictional tracks around the world.


Ridge Racer Full Scale (1993).

While Ridge Racer is obviously NOT a little-known or forgotten game or series, this version of Ridge Racer is little-known. This game features a Mazda Miata that you actually climb into and race. It is a theater-type game where you actually walk into this big unit housing this game and multiple screens.


World Rally Championship (1993).

(ADDED: December 5, 2013)
In what can somewhat be thought of as Gaelco's answer to the Great 1000 Miles Rally series of games, the Spanish developer created "World Rally Championship." This game has you trying to clear three courses among four different rallies. Take on San Remo, Monte Carlo, Acropolis, and 1000 Lakes. The "Competition Car" you use is not licensed, but it clearly resembles the Toyota Celica GT-FOUR that was one of the better rally cars of the 1990s.


Drift Out '94 - The Hard Order (1994).

This game plays like the two games I mentioned earlier. Difference is, you're racing rally cars around a number of different rally stages. There are two stages to each locale, and you must clear the stages in time to advance.


F1 Beyond the Limit/Heavenly Symphony (1994).

This game challenged you to take on actual scenarios from the 1993 Formula 1 World Championship. This game was for the Sega Mega CD. Really ahead of its time in giving you actual scenarios from the actual 1993 season. Graphics were quite impressive as well, even for a Genesis/Megadrive game.


Checkered Flag (1994).

For all intents and purposes, this game was basically Atari's attempt to cash in on the success of SEGA's Virtua Racing. The game for the Atari Jaguar features formula-type racing cars across any of the game's ten tracks. The game features the same sort of flat shading that Virtua Racing provided. On the other hand, you could actually set up your car for the races. You could even determine how many laps you want to run for a race.


NASCAR Racing (Papyrus, PC, 1994).

Enjoy the excitement and thunder of NASCAR in this game. This game allowed you to race as various NASCAR stars of their time. It was the first in perhaps the best-ever series of NASCAR games in history.


Virtua Racing Deluxe (1994).

Virtua Racing is the godfather of many future 3D Sega Racing Games when it was unveiled in 1992. Two years later, the little-known Virtua Racing Deluxe was released only for the Genesis/Megadrive and 32X. This game adds two new courses and two more kinds of cars to race- a stock car and a GTP prototype race car. The unreal thing about this game was that this game was every bit as fast and as fun to play as the original version. However, you had to pay a lot to get this quality to your home to use fwith your 32X.


Jaguar XJ220 (1994).

At one point, the Jaguar XJ220 was the fastest car in the world. This game allowed you to harness the unreal power and performance of this beautiful and fast car. It had fantastic music. Jaguar XJ220 was available for systems such as the SEGA CD and the Amiga.


Cool Riders (1994).

(ADDED: March 30, 2014)
Think of Cool Riders as a motorcycle version of OutRunners. When I was looking up Stadium Cross, one person on YouTube said that Cool Riders was the sequel to Stadium Cross. I'm not buying that at all because Cool Riders and Stadium Cross are two COMPLETELY different games with two completely different styles. Unlike the OutRun series, Cool Riders offers the player a choice of THREE routes rather than the usual two. And no matter which route you take, the final stop is in New York City. Choose between any number of insane motorcycles and race on over 50 different stages. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?


Kawasaki Superbike Challenge (1994-1995).

This was a game I once played before. Never played through it a whole lot, but it was a pretty good motorcycle racing game for the Super Nintendo. Not great, but good. I found out this was also a game released for the Genesis/Megadrive.


Mille Miglia (1994) and Mille Miglia 2 (1995).

Both games allowed you to race on various stages of the Mille Miglia using some of the fastest cars in their day. Absolutely challenging (yet rewarding) gameplay. The American name for this series is "Great 1000 Miles Rally." Classic cars such as the Ferrari 250 GTO can be raced in this game.


Cyber Cycles (1995).

Namco released this arcade game in 1995. Set in the future, you race with one of three different motorcycles on two different tracks. Green Hill is your basic kind of permanent race course while the more advanced course is Neo-Yokohama, a futuristic street course at night down... Yokohama in the future, apparently. I actually played this game before.


Speed Haste (1995).

I know very little about this PC game. I just personally haven't seen it before until seeing a YouTube video on it. "Speed Haste" was made by the likes of a company called Friendware. This game features races using formula cars and stock cars. It also features eight tracks. The AI is very brutal. The formula cars handle very well (as you would expect), but the stock cars are tough to handle especially since they fishtail so much.


Whiplash/Fatal Racing (1995).

This was a game I wanted to get a long time ago, but like so many '90s game I've wanted to get, I eventually didn't. All of the tracks are stunt-type tracks. Cars take considerable damage and can even be blown up. All of the cars are fictional.


Dirt Dash (1995).

Dirt Dash is a racing game featuring off-road racing cars. You race on a combination of on-road and off-road venues. You can choose what stage you want to start off at. Each stage is listed by their difficulty. You win the game if you clear all five stages in your single run. The racing is as fun as it is in the Ridge Racer games. However, it isn't as drift-crazy as the Ridge Racer titles. The stages are in order from Very Easy to Very Hard: City, Hill, Jungle, Mountain, and Snow.


King the Spirits (1995).

For the Sega Saturn, this game from Atlus allowed you the chance to get mad sideways in your four-wheeled drifting weapon. Real cars are featured, but don't have real names.


SD F1 Grand Prix (1995).

What happens when Formula 1 racing meets Super Mario Kart? You get this Super Nintendo game released only in Japan. This game features eight different characters as well as certain individual real F1 teams. You can race either every round of the Formula 1 World Championship (1994 season in the case of this game), or you can race on original tracks located all around the world. There's even somewhat of a story mode to this game as well.


Super Burnout (1995).

Some nice music was in this motorcycle racing game for the Atari Jaguar. You can choose between a number of different motorcycles and race in eight tracks in eight different countries.


F1 Challenge (Sega Saturn, 1995).

It is a very cool Sega Saturn F1 game. Lovely music as well. It features fictional courses in the Neo City environment along with a few real-world courses such as Hockenheim and Monte Carlo.


Hang-On GP '95 (1995).

Hang-On Grand Prix '95 was a modern attempt at making Hang-On relevant again. Unfortunately, it fell flat with only six tracks in a game that is nowhere near as fun as the classic Hang-On titles.


WipEout (1995).

Considering how long this series would last, not many people know about the original title. Also, I've never played the original WipEout because my first WipEout was WipEout XL.


SEGA Indy 500 (1995).

Unlike Daytona USA, this SEGA racing game actually features the track the game is named after. You can actually race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in this game along with two fictional courses.


Kat's Run (1995).

Released by Atlus in the mid-1990s, this Super Famicom game is a high-speed racing game featuring... Kei cars. There's a storyline to this game supposedly, but I can't really tell you.


Screamer (1995) and Screamer 2 (1996).

Both screamer titles deliver intense high-speed racing. Screamer 1 puts you behind the wheel of sports cars at breakneck speed in a variety of environments. Think of it as a classic Need for Speed title, only with more edge and character. Screamer 2 wa almost purely about rally racing with rally cars in rally environments.


World Tour Racing (1996).

This game was a Formula 1-style racing game made by Teque in 1996. This game was for the Atari Jaguar (remember that epic fail of a system?). A maximum of 10 cars could be on the track at once. You could participate in a full racing weekend or just run some single races.


Super GT 24H (1996, from Jaleco).

DO NOT confuse this game with the beautiful Sega racing title, "Sega Super GT"/"SCUD Race." While this game doesn't have the beautiful Sega graphics and Sega racing gameplay, this is a game that uses the Sega Model 2 engine. The biggest draw to this game is the beautiful time cycles. When you race the Long course, you note afternoon become evening, evening become night, night become morning, and more. While it's mediocre, it's worth a look just to see the long course and the nice time cycle.


GTI Club (1996).

One of the more unusual racing games is GTI Club from Konami. This 1996 title has you racing in a setting somewhat similar to Monte Carlo. Find the shortcuts to have a better chance of winning the race or completing the race.


GT Racing (1996).

This game was released in 1996 for the Super Famicom. You race around eight different Japanese race tracks with a number of real world cars. Cars come from makes ranging from Alfa Romeo to Toyota.


Speed Up!

(ADDED: December 5, 2013)
"Speed Up!" is about one thing- making sure not to finish last. The lowest-ranked racer after each lap is eliminated until there are only two drivers are left. Last driver standing after every other driver gets eliminated wins!


SODA Off-Road Racing (1997).

More people know "Monster Truck Madness" than "SODA Off-Road Racing." I know very little about this game, except I heard you could make your own off-road courses. SODA stands for the Short-course Off-road Drivers Association. The series was founded in early 1970s and later was defunct as the CORR (Championship Off-Road Racing) series was created in 1997.


Top Gear Rally (1997).

Think Top Gear, and you think of the insanity of the three Top Gear hosts and the Stig. However, this is NOT the Top Gear we are discussing. This is Top Gear Rally for the Nintendo 64. It was also called Boss World Rally (I believe). Up to 20 cars can compete on a track as you have a bevy of car settings, track settings, and more to become a championship rally racer across these very long rally courses. You need to listen to the introduction to this game, made by Barry Leitch. It's one of the most awesome songs used in any racing game. It's a mellow electronica-type song, but it has a fierce edge to it. MUST hear!


Grand Tour Racing '98 (1997).

Grand Tour Racing '98 (called "Total Driving" in Europe) is a game featuring five different kinds of race cars across six different locations. You can race for eight different teams. You need to keep racing with one team and winning races with that team to unlock every event. Be warned when you unlock later courses- some of the later races can be brutally unfair with any number of hazards on the road. These hazards can range from ramps to missing guardrails. One unique aspect of this game- flying off the track or drowning your car will usually have you respawn on the track in most games; if you drown your car in this game, the race is over, and you must either retire or restart.


POD (1997).

In 1997, a revolutionary processor called the MMX was unveiled, delivering amazing performance. This was one of the first games to capitalize on this. I had a very weak computer when I got a demo of this game from PC Gamer magazine. POD stands for "Planet of Death."


XCar Experimental Racing (1997).

XCar Experimental Racing was a PC game made by Bethesda Softworks. You race with experimental, futuristic race cars. You can even make and tune your own cars in this game. You then take them to any number of race tracks. The tracks are a mix of real and fictional courses. This game is really one of the more detailed titles of any kind of racing game.


Burning Road 2 (1997).

Where else can you enjoy racing cars and motorcycles on the same track? Drive hard or ride hard!


F1 Pole Position 64 (1997).

Mentioned earlier, this game was released as "F1 Pole Position" for the Nintendo 64 in the States, but this game originally made by HUMAN entertainment was actually very lackluster. The American version was published by NAMCO.


All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC) (1998 for PlayStation 1).

This game was a mystery until a future YouTube friend of mine shown me this game for the first time ever. This game allows you to race some of the finest (then) JGTC cars in its time on some of the most intense courses raced by the series now known as Super GT.


J's Racin'.

Enjoy the full impact of Super Taikyu in "J's Racin'! This is the premier endurance racing series in Japan feauting some incredible cars bred and tuned for racing. It's all production-based cars rather than anything along the lines of a silhouette race car. It is similar to the JGTC game I mentioned previously.


F-1 World Grand Prix (1998?).

Video System created the only American-shipped game in the long-running "F-1 Grand Prix" series of games, which dates back to 1991. It's was one of the best simulation racing games for the Nintendo 64. You could even challenge yourself to relive history... or rewrite history. You had a number of scenarios to challenge your abilities with.


WipEout 64 (1998).

The only WipEout for the Nintendo 64 was basically WipEout XL for the N64. But for what you get, it's pretty amazing what this game was able to achieve. Maybe the most fun aspect is that you could play multiplayer action without needing some kind of link cable like with the PlayStation 1. Everything you love about WipEout XL is in lovely detail for the Nintendo 64. This game contains certain Super Weapons and about eight cool songs. Considering this is on an N64 cartridge, it was amazing just finding out what this game was able to accomplish including featuring some cool music.


GT64 Championship Edition (1998).

This 3D racing adventure for the Nintendo 64 was pretty boring as a whole. However, I do remember playing and renting this game. All of the cars are from the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC, now known as Super GT). You are only racing on street courses. The American version has three different course with two different variations each. If you think this game is too much on racing on city streets, you'd be exactly right when you learn that the name of this game's Japanese variant is called (thanks: Wikipedia) "City Tour Grand Prix: Zen Nihon GT Senshuken." And the Japanese version has one extra track not released for the North American and European versions that runs through Kyoto.


Racing Lagoon (1999).

In an attempt to merge role-playing games with racing, Squaresoft (now SquareEnix) came up with Racing Lagoon. The "battle" sequences are kind of like random battles that automatically load you into these quick races. All of the racing was basically capitalizing on Japanese street racing and Japanese drifting culture. This was basically a true "Car-PG." Victory in battle yields you some credits good for tuning your car. Probably a good thing only Squaresoft made this possible, because I doubt some other company would have succeeded in merging the worlds of RPGs and racing.


World Driver Championship (1999).

While it couldn't hold a candle to PlayStation's Gran Turismo series, World Driver Championship is considered by many to be the most beautiful racing game ever on the Nintendo 64. You're racing GT2-spec cars across mostly city streets. Gameplay is a bit boring, but it does have its exciting moments. The music can be a bit intolerable. The cars resemble certain real-world GT race cars, but are all fiction.


Rollcage (1999).

I haven't played this futuristic game, but it is pretty fast and exciting. I heard some other company made a racing game to be called "Rollcage," but the one eventually released and sold in stores was made by Attention to Detail and published by Psygnosis- the same company famous for publishing the WipEout series.


Castrol Honda Superbike (1999).

When I downloaded a demo of this game, this game has EXCEPTIONAL control of your motorcycle. And as the name suggests, you can only play as the Castrol Honda team like from the Castrol Honda RC45. Versions of Castrol Honda Superbike were available for the PC and for the PlayStation 1.


Ferrari F355 F1 Challenge (1999).

SEGA's finest simulation-type racing game was "Ferrari F355 F1 Challenge." I played the arcade version, and it is VERY hard as well as very rewarding. This game really tests you as you race against seven other Ferrari 355 F1 Challenge cars.


NASCAR Arcade (Arcade, 2000).

SEGA and EA Sports collaborated in creating "NASCAR Arcade" for arcades. This NASCAR game lets you race any number of NASCAR drivers from the 1999 season and pits them against three tracks- Talladega (Easy), Richmond (Medium), and Watkins Glen (Hard). Draft well down the straights and climb up the pack as best as you can. Reaching a certain position on the track will give you extended time in completing the race. This was an alright game. Don't expect this to be like... another stock car racing game SEGA made, that's more popular.


Superbike 2001 (2000).

EA Sports' Superbike series may be the best simulation motorcycle racing game series of all time. Too bad there weren't as many good motorcycle racing games. There is a deficiency of them now except for the MotoGP series of games. I have only played the demo to the PC version. All of the racing is based on the World Superbike Championship.


Emergency Call Ambulance (2000).

If crashing cars is your thing, you will EASILY fail in this game. Your job is to transport patients hurt in accidents and incidents safely to get medical help. Each crash and impact will lessen the health of the patient you're carrying. If that person's health runs out, you've killed the patient, and the game will be over.


Club Kart: European Session (2000).

Not many realistic kart racing games were created. SEGA changed all of that when they released "Club Kart: European Session" for the SEGA Dreamcast and arcades.


Kinetica (2001).

Everyone had their ideas on the future of racing. For this game, you ARE the car! You race with these spiked gears or blades against other opponents in fierce competition.


Off-Road Redneck Racing (2001).

This was an off-road racing game within the universe or realm of the Redneck Rampage first-person shooter realm.


Total Immersion Racing (2002).

A breath of fresh air was provided from all the various disciplines of motorsport when "Total Immersion Racing" was released. It was one of few games featuring sportscar racing. Razorworks produced the game while Empire Interactive published this experience. You could race both real and fictional courses. You could race some of the finest GT and prototype race cars of this game's time. That includes machines such as the BMW M3 GTR, Panoz LMP Roadster, Audi R8 LMP, and more. In the PC version of this game, multiple classes of car compete at the same time on the track; but you're only responsible for winning in your class.


Quantum Redshift (2002).

Quantum Redshift may be one of the most beautiful XBOX racing games ever. It was no WipEout or F-Zero, but it was truly beautiful. The game is a bit on the cheap side with its storyline. You can pick up powerups and weapons to enhance the experience. A nice electronic dance music soundtrack compliments this game.


V-Rally 3 (2002).

This was a game I'd see often on bargain basement shelves and bins. Looking at it for the PlayStation 2, it's just so beautiful to look at. It's a beautiful-looking racing game even today.


GTC Africa (2002).

In this game, you race in various locations in Africa. GTC stands for "Global Touring Challenge." I'm not sure how to explain this game. You're mostly racing rally cars across various cities and countries in Africa. But that's as much as I know about this game, unfortunately...


Shox: Extreme Rally (2002).

Shox is a rally racing game that is part of the EA Sports BIG franchise (I didn't know it was made by EA Sports BIG before researching this game). I also thought this was an XBOX-only game. Shox itself is a rallycross-type game featuring a variety of real rally cars like the Lancia Stratos, the Toyota Celica GT-FOUR, and the Peugeot 306 among others. When you cross into a Shox Zone, you must complete a certain section within the time limit to pocket extra money. This game would make even a future title- DiRT- pale in comparison action-wise. Impacts with the walls end up costing you money.


Auto Modellista (2002-2003).

"Auto Modellista" was Capcom's first racing game (unless you account for "Slipstream" from 1995). This game sold itself mostly in terms of customization. The game has a beautiful artistic feel as everything is all cell-shaded. The game almost feels like you're driving in a comic book with the graphics. Its driving model was fairly unimpressive. Garage Life was the story mode of "Auto Modellista." With about 60-70 cars and about six tracks, you could only enjoy Auto Modellista so much.


Grand Prix Challenge (2002-2003).

G4 TV show "X-Play" gave this game a "2 out of 5" because of its intense challenge. More sim-happy racers think this is one of the best Formula 1 racing games ever for the PlayStation 2. It has beautiful graphics and some nice music. It's based on the 2002 season of F1.


R: Racing Evolution (2003).

While not a true Rider Racer title, this was an attempt by Namco to make a more sim-oriented title in the Ridge Racer universe. Real-world cars and venues were featured including some fictional courses. This is a story-driven game NOT set in the realm of the Ridge Racer series. You play are Rena, an ambulance driver who has racing talent. You're going to be the next-best racing phenom. Standing in your way is your sworn rival, Gina.


Apex (2003).

The XBOX-exclusive "Apex" was made by Milestone and published by Atari in 2003. It is a racing game complete with a handful of concept cars. You do get to contend against real cars from real manufacturers. This game's story mode is called "Dream Mode," as you are credited with creating your own car company from scratch and be a racing power. The most important part of all of this is to go racing.


GT Cube (2003) and GT Pro Series (2006-2007).

MTO made "GT Cube" for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2003. This cell-shaded racing game is really the only thing close to a Nintendo-exclusive Gran Turismo-type game. The GT series itself is really the only thing close to Nintendo-exclusive Gran Turismo. Ubisoft would publish this game for the Nintendo Wii in the form of "GT Pro Series" a few years later.


F-Zero Climax (2004).

This game is foreign to me, but looks incredibly exciting as an entry in the F-Zero franchise!


C1 Racing Battle/C1 Grand Prix (2005).

The United States never got in on this game. This is a racing game from the underrated racing game maker, Genki. It looked to have a combination of circuit racing and drifting and a bevy of interesting cars to tune and race. It's described as a car tuning RPG. It looks like a great game. Just a shame the US didn't get this.


WRC: Rally Evolved (2005).

Never released to the United States, this game offers impressive detail on rally racing in the World Rally Championship. The scope of cars you can race is amazing- everything ranging from current (as of the cars in the game at its time) rally cars to classics can be raced. The action is pretty awesome from what I've seen. Unfortunately, I think this game was ONLY marketed for Europe.


Asphalt Urban GT 2 (N-Gage, 2005).

The N-Gage has been a fading memory in its own right. However, this game looked pretty good for such a forgotten game system.



...and all of these are games I can actually remember to share with you! Many more racing games are out there. Many of which... not really known or are forgotten.





That was a LOT of reading! And well... this was a lot of games I've found on YouTube. Note that some games from my YouTube list were not included in this massive blog entry. All I can say is... if you love racing games, learn to love and appreciate the entire scope of racing games from the past and the present. This list gives you some much-needed insight. The moral of this blog entry? Appreciate all racing games both past and present. They bring so many things to the table even if most of them aren't as classic or as loved as other racing games.

Now that you did all of this reading, get on with your life already! :) Thank you for reading!

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About the Author: John B. Marine

My name is John Marine. Nice to meet you! I am a blogger born and raised in Houston, Texas, USA. Besides blogging, I make digital art, sometimes make music, and I sometimes even do a little programming. The mantra for my online work is "anything and everything." In other words, my topics and my commentary regards almost anything and everything that crosses my mind while still remaining relevant to the topic(s) at hand. Equally as important to me as publishing content for the Internet is in providing a positive space for discussion. Even with the most difficult topics, I try to avoid spewing negativity and hate online- there is already enough negativity in this world to begin with, so why contribute to more negativity? If you enjoyed this blog post or any of my other online work, please feel free to Follow my material so you keep up with the latest material of mine and so that you help support my work any way you can. Having said this, thank you for reading! Get social with me by visiting the different social profiles of mine online.

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