As rare as rocking horse shit these days, the top down racing game genre had its heyday back in the 1990’s, and has only seen the odd new entry on the rarest of occasions ever since. Now confined to downloadable titles and mobile games, there has not been a full retail release of one of these games for a long time indeed.
Still, despite the relatively tiny amount of top down racing games released down the years, there are some absolute classics to find, both on eBay and the likes of iOS, Xbox Live and PSN. So, we have compiled a list of some of the best.
5. Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart’s Super Off Road
For many, this will be the game that springs to mind when they imagine a top down racer, and with good reason. The game was great, with real terrain for your massive truck to clamber over, and with the ability to upgrade your ride in-between races, it was as much about planning and judgment as it was about racing skill. Learning how to navigate the difficult terrain was absolutely vital. A coin-op classic.
4. Super Sprint
This is going to be a difficult one for any new players to judge, as it really does have to be played in an arcade, with the ridiculously spinny steering wheel, to be played properly. It is rendered pretty much unplayable using anything else. The combination on your car’s total vulnerability and the incredibly high speeds you could achieve, along with the addition of many a risky short cut, is what made Super Sprint such a thrill.
3. Micro Machines 96
It is difficult to pick one title from this brilliant racing franchise, but I think that the Megadrive/Genesis game got it just about spot on. No doubt the most successful series in the genre, it was so popular that most people don’t even think of the original toys that inspired the games, the Micro Machines series was also scarily unforgiving. A genuine need to memorise the tracks that led to some epic multiplayer encounters and many memorable moments for gamers.
2. Super R.C Pro-Am
Yes, this is more of an isometric racer, but it is a stonking racing game. A Game Boy classic, Super R.C Pro-Am was lovingly created for the monochrome wonder, and was a fast scrolling, rip-roaring gem, and one of the best handheld racing games of all time. The gameplay was as close to perfect as you could imagine, and for those lucky enough to have a link cable, or Four Player Adaptor, there were some juicy competitive races to be had.
1. Ultimate Super Skidmarks
In many ways, this was the natural conclusion of the Super Off Road idea, and it was taken to a stunning new level. With tracks that were incredibly well designed, with jumps, skateboard-style ramps and brilliant physics. There was a plethora of over the top options, and it was even possible to tow a caravan around the track, adding to the chaos.
Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.