The thrill of driving an elite sports car to the brink of its mechanical limitations is something many of us will only watch on TV – or if you’re a real diehard for rumbling engines and impressive speeds, the grandstands. For those of us who fiend the need for speed — but don’t have the capital to hop into a sports car — video game racing has been wetting our appetites since 1974. The games we play today have come a long way since that time, each year increasing in complexity and visual appeal. The world of pixelated race cars, shoddy steering, and throwing banana peels has been transformed into games like Gran Turismo 5, with it’s 1,000+ cars, 26 locations, 71 tracks, top-notch handling and graphics. Read on to learn more in this brief history of video game driving graphic.
Those early games trip our nostalgia wire, and bring us back to times of sitting on the floor of the living room – indian style – pretending the game controller was an actual steering wheel, and turning it in the same fashion thinking (no, believing) it would actually make a difference on whether or not our car would make it around a hairpin turn. This graphic does a great job of highlighting the best games to come out over the last four decades.
A personal favorite (and still one of the best racing games ever made) is Super Mario Kart for SNES — hands down. There are millions of us out there who’ve played Super Mario Kart for countless hours. Whether we were trying to beat the summer heat by playing indoors on an especially hot day, or battling our friends with multicolored shells, invincibility stars, and thieving ghosts — to be the only one left standing in the battle royal mode. Laughing hysterically we’d try to land a direct hit with a red shell, or drive past someone and hit them with one of three green shells that would hover around our kart… or even better, goose someone with our string of banana peels.
Racing games have always been a huge part of video games, so take a trip down memory lane and see which car racing game sparks the greatest feeling of nostalgia in you.
Click here or the graphic below for a full-sized view.