Racing is one of life’s great pleasures. The excitement of whizzing round a circuit at breakneck speed is immensely satisfying and one that you should embrace with open arms, should the opportunity arise.
Of course, racing is inherently risky and also ridiculously expensive. So, for the majority of us, the only feasible way of getting our racing kicks is through driving games on our respective consoles.
With huge advances in technology over the years, modern-day racing games, such as DiRT3 and the soon to be released F1 2011, look photo-realistic and offer cutting-edge physics and total immersion. But for all their super-realism, they often lack one vital ingredient that games of yesteryear had in spades: simple, fun mechanics.
So, with further ado, let us go on a joyride down memory lane and discover what were some of the best racing games to grace computers and consoles of ancient times.
10. Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Super Off Road
Platform: Various Developer: The Leland Corporation Publisher: Virgin Released: 1989-1991
Ivan Stewart is hardly a household name here in the UK, but in his native USA he is a legend in off-road racing and more than lives up to his “Ironman” moniker that has been bestowed upon on him.
In a ten year spell racing buggies he notched up 30 major race victories before jumping into bed with Toyota in 1983. This combination was a perfect match and resulted in instantaneous success in desert and stadium racing (think crazy indoor dirt courses).
As the ‘80s drew to a close, Stewart was the biggest star on the off-road racing scene, and he lent his name to the first in a series of video games entitled ‘Super Off Road.’
As an overhead-view racer in the mould of Super Sprint, it allowed up to three players to compete against each other over eight different tracks of increasing difficulty.
The aim of Super Off Road was to beat the other trucks by reaching the finishing line first. Championship points and cash was then awarded depending on your performance, the latter being used to help improve your truck before the next race.
Thanks to its simplicity and multiplayer japery, Super Off Road was a popular feature in most amusement arcades before, inevitably, it was brilliantly ported to just about every major home format in 1990 and went on to sell by the bucket load.