Life in the Fast Lane – The Top 5 Arcade Racing Games of All Time

The thrill of the crowd, the rush of wind past your hair, the feel of the open race track as you speed towards victory in an electronic, pixilated version of the fastest machine on earth… check out these arcade games that were the best of all time!

Please note. This is a guest post. The opinions stated within are solely the author’s.

  1. Pole Position – Although the term originally started with horse racing to describe the horses position in relation to the inside pole, the lingo made its way into formula one racing and then eventually into the title of one of the most memorable games in history. Released in 1982 by Namco, this classic, if not simplistic game arguably started it all with its hard corners and red and white turn warning signs.
  2. San Francisco Rush – Developed by Atari Games and released in 1996 in the arcade, San Francisco Rush quickly became a favorite of gamers because of the highly detailed scenes of the city which you get to race through. Extreme jumps and hidden shortcuts are all over the city, where players can gain extra points to unlock featured vehicles.
  3. Hang-On – In the world’s first full body experience game, players rocked back and forth on a life-sized motorcycle to control corners and beat computer-controlled racers. Released in 1985 by arcade giant Sega, it changed the playing field of future games by setting a mark of interaction.
  4. Out Run – Out Run, released by Sega in 1986, also made use of the technology debuted in Hang-On called ‘Super-Scaling’ technology, which gave the player a genuine feel of speed by allowing a faster frame rate. Original computer releases of this game came bundled with audio cassettes of the game’s music that players could listen to instead of shorter home computer versions.
  5. Daytona USA – Another classic from Sega released in 1993, with a revision in 1994, this game was the most detailed 3D racing game ever released when it hit the market. True to their hidden secrets, game designer built a few throwbacks to older games into the latest versions. On newer versions of Daytona USA players can enter initials at the end of the game like O.R. to play older game theme songs. O.R., for example, would play the theme song to Out Run.

This post was contributed by Heidi Taylor, who writes about the sports management degree schools. Sweet and to the point, this post on the top five arcade racing games doesn’t go into much detail and leaves a lot of room open for argument.

Heidi welcomes your feedback at HeidiLTaylor006 at gmail.com , or you can leave a comment about where you think she might be right / wrong in this post.

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I have to put in a vote for Atari’s Hard Drivin’. As a young car nut who was still a few years away from getting his license, I couldn’t get enough of the realistic (for the era) physics and controls.

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I don’t think I’ve ever looked at Hard Drivin’ before…that is an insane cockpit style cabinet that game has….and a weird looking upright for that matter.


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What about Power Drift? I’m suprised it isn’t in that list.

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