To celebrate the release of Criterion’s masterful Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, we thought it high time to bring you the top 5 arcade racing games.
NB the term arcade racers doesn’t necessarily mean ‘racers that belong in arcades’. It’s part of the common gaming vernacular.
This little underrated beauty was one of the PS2′s best racers, and in dire need of a sequel. You played in little cars with giant wheels that could drive upside-down. It fitted somewhere between F-Zero and WipEout, with weapons, a dance-heavy soundtrack and some lovely twisty tunnels. Tense, fast and extremely enjoyable.
News of Bizarre Creations’ potential demise is saddening, particularly because the team delivered one of the best arcade racers ever in Blur. Online especially, the 20-vehicle mash-ups were insane, filled with neon-clashing weaponry, bumper to bumper carnage and enough drama to fill three series of top Gear. Some found the juxtaposition of real-world cars with kart-racer style weapons off-putting, but those who gave Blur the time to shine never looked back.
3. F Zero 64
The furious speed, ridiculous tracks design and ludicrously addictive four-player split screen mode means F-Zero 64 is the highlight for the series. It always managed to make you feel like you were microseconds away from spinning wildly out of control, but a good player with a steady nerve could always stay glued to the pipes and sheer corners of this Nintendo classic.
2. Mario Kart DS
The whole series has been masterful in truth, but Mario Kart is probably at its purest on DS. It marries the simplicity of the early versions with the drift mechanic of Double Dash on the GameCube, and creates something that perfectly suits the console. Mario Kart found a whole new audience with this effort, too.
1. Burnout 3: Takedown
Still probably the most exciting racing game ever made for moment-to-moment action, and a masterclass in what a talented and visionary team can achieve. Burnout 3: Takedown was a relentless combination of speed and style, a game that had jaws on the floor and eyeballs searing in concentrated pain. And it’s the closest relative to Need For Speed Hot Pursuit out there.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Daytona USA. WipEout 2097, Motorstorm, Diddy Kong Racing, Mashed, Micro Machines
Tags: Mario Kart 3DS
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