Hop into the driving seat this Video Games Day
on 12 September 2016
Today is Video Games Day. We don't need much of an excuse to get our consoles out, so we dusted off our controllers and compiled a list of what the we think are the best video games ever... Not surprisingly, we've gone for the ones involving cars! We can't agree on which is number one, so here they are in order of release date instead:
OK, so you're not driving a car in this one, but it is a classic! Frogger was the simple, yet frustratingly difficult game where you, a little frog, had to get to his home by crossing a busy road and a river full of hazards. With all those cars, trucks and diggers, you can imagine what happened if you didn't make it.
Starting as an arcade game in 1981, it was popular enough for the creators to make a whopping 31 sequels of the game, making it playable on home consoles, phones and tablets.
In the game, first released in 1986, you drive around in a Ferrari Testarossa Spider, with the goal of reaching the end of each stage as fast as possible, whilst avoiding traffic. Each checkpoint gives you additional time on the clock, and you race a far as you can until the time runs out.
To differentiate itself from other car games of the time, OutRun introduced several innovations to the gaming industry. The first arcade version of OutRun featured a cabinet that moved, a first for arcade games. OutRun also introduced controller vibration, to enhance your senses whilst playing. The view for the player was different to the other games too. The camera was low to the ground to simulate the view of the driver of the Farrari, limiting the players view into the distance. The roads had curves and dips too, making seeing what was ahead even more challenging.
Super Mario Kart
Released in 1992, this was an introduction to racing games for many of us. Pushing your opponents out of the way to get the Powerstar, and trying to avoid those dreaded bananas! This first version of Mario Kart became the 3rd bestselling SNES game of all time, and Nintendo didn't stop there, with 10 sequels in the franchise! Want a race? Letsa' go!
Originally made for the arcade in 1993, Ridge Racer is a game series that has made it across to game consoles. Races take place on tracks usually laid out on city streets and other public roads. Starting in last place, players have a limited number of laps in which they can overtake opponents and ultimately win the race. A full scale version of the game was released in 1993 too, where the player sat in a real Mazda MX5, using the steering wheel and pedals to play the game!
If you like drifting, this is the series for you - As many of the turns on the course were not intended to be taken at race speeds, players drift through the corners to attempt to keep up as much speed as possible. The game physics aren't what you'd call realistic.. But that's what makes it so fun!
Need for Speed Most Wanted
The Need For Speed series has been around since 1994, but our favourite is Most Wanted, because if you're going to be racing against other players/characters in an over-the-top street racer, you should really try to outrun the police as well! The police pursuits are the best part of this instalment of the game, which result in some wonderfully fun and over-the-top chases, all of them treated with deadly serious attitude from the simulated police officers.
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto is an open world video game series set in various built up cities. It involves role-playing, stealth, action-adventure, beat 'em ups, third-person shooting, and, of course, driving. First released in 1997, every game in the series has focused around a main character where they player can choose missions to progress the story, as well as side missions, just for giggles, and maybe a bit of extra cash!
The driving aspects of these satirical mayhem simulators are so much fun! Much thought has been put into the cars that populate GTA's cities, and every model is very detailed and clearly inspired by some real-world counterpart. Not for the faint of heart, this game will have you shooting, stealing, and driving recklessly, all whilst making you feel a warm connection with the slightly unhinged character you're playing!
Developed exclusively for PlayStation, Gran Turismo games are intended to emulate the appearance and performance of a large selection of vehicles, nearly all of which are licensed reproductions of real-world cars. The game initially took 5 years to develop before the first release in 1998, but boy was it worth it!
Aside from the massive car menu, Gran Turismo introduced the joy of simulation, with its emphasis on careful setup and car control. A great racing-school component, challenging event stages, and exciting unlockables keeps each new generation of gamers playing.
Developer Polyphony Digital, who made the Nissan Skyline very popular amongst petrol heads by putting it into the game, have now put their product in the real Skyline; they famously do the dash graphics for Nissan's GTR!
The first in the series released in 1999, Crazy Taxi has one simple rule: Pick up passengers and get them wherever they're going before the time runs out (the time limit for each passenger is pretty tight). The key to having fun and scoring points while playing this game is putting the emphasis on the “Crazy” rather than on the “Taxi.” Speed. Run red lights. Do crazy manoeuvres to get your passengers to the church on time. Just please, don't try to emulate it on the roads!
Colin McRae Rally/ DiRT
This rally games series was named after Rally driver Colin McRae, who provided technical advice during the development of the games, to make them as close to the real rally experience as possible. The first of the series was released in 2000, and became massively popular. Considered by many as the best rally driving game series, these games are fun, challenging, and a smooth play.
The issue with many racing games is that a small crash can drop the car out of the race. In Burnout, first released in 2002, the crashing, as well as the racing, is where you need skill! With car bowling, mega crash mini games, and jumps, tricks, as well as the traditional racing, this series is the standout one for our IT Support Manager. She spent hours on Burnout Paradise, the latest in the series, racing other players online and crashing spectacularly off cliffs, buildings, and by taking corners too fast. All whilst listening to a pretty good soundtrack.
So, those are our favorites. Do you agree? What's yours? Let us know!
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