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Top 10 Best Racing Video Games for the Sega Genesis: A Retro Look Back

Exotic Cars

The Sega Genesis ushered in a new era of video gaming, allowing home gamers to experience a true sensation of speed with more fluid sprite scaling than was previously available. The 16-bit Sega Genesis enjoyed the benefits of home conversions of Sega’s brilliant arcade racing games. When you have Yu Suzuki in your corner, you have a head start on the competition. The racing game thrills of the Sega Genesis were the best ever offered in the home until the release of the 32-bit “next generation” consoles in 1995.

10) Super Off Road

While most 16-bit racers sported a first-person or third-person behind the vehicle perspective, this iconic title kept things old-school with its static overhead camera. The dated driving perspective actually gave the game an endearing quality and the simple addicting gameplay made it a classic on the Sega Genesis even if the game’s time had passed.

9) Turbo Outrun

This Genesis racing game received mostly negative reviews from critics upon its release, but many of these sentiments revolved around the fact that the game didn’t add a lot to the original OutRun formula. Why fix what isn’t broken? The game took the original Outrun game engine and added a stronger sensation of speed, hence the Turbo, while allowing you to race across simulated American locales. Turbo Outrun was only released for the Japanese and European Mega Drive consoles so plan accordingly when purchasing this under-appreciated classic for your Sega Genesis racing game collection.

8) Lotus 2: R.E.C.S.

Electronic Arts brought a true 16-bit classic to the Sega Genesis when they published Lotus 2 R.E.C.S. The gameplay is fast and easy to learn with crisp graphics and smooth frame rate. The game features varying weather conditions and the ability to edit tracks, allowing for added layers of depth and customization.

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7) The Duel: Test Drive 2

Piloting a Porsche 959, Lamborghini Diablo, or Ferrari F40 was just about everyone’s dream back in the days of the Sega Genesis, and it still remains mine to this day. The Duel: Test Drive 2 allowed you to evade the police as you drove the most exotic cars of the time. What else could you want? Just don’t drive off the cliff! The soundtrack to this game wasn’t as well-developed as that of Outrun, but the melodies are infectious so consider yourself warned.

6) Championship Pro-Am

There is no better old-school arcade style racer on the Genesis than Championship Pro-Am. The game does not concern itself with even attempting to emulate real world driving and therein lays the beauty. The game’s simple control layout allows you to focus on the addictive gameplay and adrenaline-inducing battles you will experience during your hours of playtime per sitting.

5) Ayrton Senna’s Super Monaco GP 2

Super Monaco GP 2 put the player in the cockpit of F1 cars in an impeccably well designed arcade style racing game. The game engine was not too focused on simulation delivery, but did incorporate subtle drafting into the game mechanics, giving this arcade game just enough realism to make it real but not so much as to detract from the high-energy thrills.

4) Super Hang-On

Yu Suzuki’s marvelous arcade motorcycle racing game hit the Sega Genesis full-speed and was lost nothing in the translation to the home console. The racing was very arcade-oriented with very forgiving physics, allowing the player to enjoy the sheer sensation of speed and joy of passing. The crisp graphics and smooth sprite scaling added to the suspension of disbelief.

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3) Virtua Racing

Sega shoehorned a conversion of its arcade smash hit onto the 16-bit Genesis console with the help of the Sega Virtua Processor chip which brought the price of the game to $100. It was well worth it though as the conversion brought relatively stunning polygonal graphics to the Genesis and the speed was blistering. Sega even managed to translate the impeccable controls to a control pad, creating the most impressive arcade-to-console conversion of a racing game that the world had seen at that point.

2) Road Rash 2

The premise was simple: motorcycle racing with the aid of baseball bats and chains to knock your opponents off their crotch rockets. Take this concept and execute it with solid AI, masterfully designed game engine and tight controls and you have one of the most entertaining racing games ever made. The adrenaline flows from the second you fire Road Rash 2 up on your Sega Genesis.

1) OutRun

Racing across the country in a Ferrari convertible with your attractive sprite girlfriend by your side is the basic idea here. The soundtrack is amazing and the highly detailed graphics and sound effects all come together to really create an atmosphere that is reminiscent of real-life open road driving. OutRun does just about everything right and the pure joy that this game brings to the player is simply magical.

The contributor credits his passion for auto racing to his childhood days when he played these Sega Genesis classics after school every single day.

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