These great games were easy to slot a 20p into them and just get on with playing as you didn't really need to understand complex controls or an in game upgrade system.
They are just classic arcade games that made racing so much fun.
Some were pure racing others were a mix of racing and combat.
The Smell Of The Arcade
When I sat down to think about these arcade racers and what made them so cool I came to the conclusion that for me the draw initially was the look of the arcade cabinet.
I was always a football arcade fan first and foremost but I just couldn't say no to a some full on driving action.
When you were wandering an arcade taking in the sights & smells (yes there is definitely a smell that emanates from every arcade I have a funny feeling it may be B.O and carpet!) and trying to work out which cabinet was going to be the happy recipient of your stack of 20p's.
You'd look at all the standard cabinets lined up next to each other and then all of a sudden there would be a racing game with a car seat and a gear stick and sometimes a full surround to make it look like an actual car.
Surely that game had to be awesome right?
Having a gear stick and a steering wheel to use at the age of 10 years old was the nearest to actual driving as I was going to get at that age.
Therefore in an attempt to doth my cap to the Arcade Racers which made my trips to the arcade so special I have compiled a Top 5 list of my favourite arcade racers from down the years.
Hopefully there's a couple of classics in there that make you smile.
Take A Look And See If Your Favourite Is in There
5. Pole position II — 1983
The original was awesome but Pole Position Il had not just one track but FOUR tracks to play. It was racing heaven for me, couple that with slightly improved graphics and you have the perfectly distilled Arcade Racer.
If I spotted the cabinet where you can sit in the racing car then this was an even cooler experience.
4. Roadblasters — 1987
Roadblasters was like nothing I'd ever played before , Throw into the mix a rally championship whereby
you could blast opponents whilst trying to preserve fuel and collect more fuel in order to complete the race it was a perfect mix of arcade fun and tactical racing. I never completed this beauty but I sure had fun trying.
Again this had a brilliant racing car cabinet that was beautiful to behold.
3. Crazy Taxi — 1999
This brilliant game was a breath of fresh air in the arcades Of 1999. A game that didn't require you to race opponents but instead required you to race the clock by Picking up passengers and getting them to their destination ASAP.
The funkiness of the visuals and the handling of the TAXI made it a super fun game to play and never failed to raise a smile (until the clock ran out)'
The thing I always found puzzling with this arcade machine was the fact that it had a cabinet that looked like a racing car seat rather than an old style yellow New York Cab'
It felt like SEGA missed a trick with this' they could have had a deluxe version that was a mock-up of a TAXI, how cool would that have been!?
(maybe there was such a version and I never played it?)
2. Super Off Road - 1989
In the Arcade version up to 3 Players can go head to head in a top down race on a track that fills the entire screen. The action is wild the power ups are awesome and the whole experience makes for a bouncy off road racer that in my opinion has never been bettered.
It's pure fun and I also loved playing the Commodore Amiga version which as much fun as the arcade (although it was only the NES version that gave you a 4 Player option!)
Such a great game and if you saw those 3 steering wheels protruding from the cabinet you knew you just had to have a game and hit the nitro button!
1. Out Run -1986
Some games never age.
Some games define a genre.
Some games have awesome music, amazing game-play, lovely graphics and allow you to live the dream on an arcade screen.
Out Run is all the above and then some.
The graphics always take me back to the heady days of the arcades of the 80's as they are a perfect example of what could be achieved on the arcade kit of the day.
If you ever get the chance to play the Deluxe Cabinet, just do it and I guarantee you will walk out of that arcade wanting to own a Ferrari Testarossa Spider.
The Pit Lane
I had so much fun compiling this list that I thought I should include some awesome arcades that just didn't make it out of the Pit Lane for my list....
These games also gave me hours of arcade driving fun. The one game on this list that I really wish I had room for was Chase HQ, when I played that game it felt like I was in an episode of Miami Vice!
Spy Hunter (1983)
Super Sprint (1986)
Super Hang On (1987)
Chase HQ (1988)
Hard Drivin (1989)
Ridge Racer (1993)
Daytona USA (1993)
SEGA Rally (1994)
Cruis N USA (1994)
GTI Club (1996)
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2007)
Now it's over to YOU.....
What Awesome Driving Arcade Game Was YOUR Favourite From Over The Years?