The 7 best arcade racing games ever

Fasten your seatbelts, things are about to get unreal...

Motorstorm Apocalypse is set to race its way onto shelves on March 18 and it's looking promising to say the least.

It's been built on good foundations afterall: Motorstorm is one of the most well regarded arcade racers of this generation with a compelling blend of break-neck boosting, off-road mayhem and epic crashes.

But Apocalypse looks set to build something completely different on top of all of that with urban off-road racing.

It sounds like an oxymoron until you realise that Evolution is putting players in the middle of a massive earthquake in Apocalypse as they race through a city that's collapsing around them.

Epic enough, but the arcade racing genre has a fair few stunners in its history. Now's a great time to look back at the best titles to see exactly what Motorstorm Apocalypse will be compared to.

We've compiled our favourites below. Some are there because they impress graphically, mechanically and often a bit of both, some make it because of their daring experimentation and some are there just because they represent classic arcade racing.


In our book this is one of the most underrated racers out there, and there was a cloud of mild sorrow hanging over the CVG office the day Bizarre slipped away and we all had to uncross our fingers knowing that Blur 2 probably wouldn't happen.

Blur was thrust into the world and billed as Mario Kart for adults. It's a big name to park your car alongside but it actually did a very good job of doing what it said on the tin.

It felt fast, it was pretty on the visual front with some fancy high-end cars, which all packed a nice punch with some well thought-out and effective weapons.

The inclusion of split-screen meant that getting one over your human opponents was all the more satisfying even if some of the tracks themselves were a bit tame.

The scores tended to hit the 8/10 mark, but for a number of reasons the sales just didn't follow suit. Sadly, in our eyes, that had nothing to do with the actual quality of the game at all.

Burnout Paradise was a great game. With such a vast open world, a tonne of really generous DLC and driving so fast that you kind of crashed on purpose after too long because you were getting a little bit scared - May as well get the inevitable over with right?

But it's Burnout 3 that represents the pinnacle of the series for most. It was in number three that the Burnout hallmarks really came together and made a racer that's still considered one of the best today.

The boost bar, the reckless driving and the speed of the whole thing all gelled in a perfect balance between racing and battling your opponents.

It was because Criterion took a bold approach to the big parts of Burnout rather than tinkering with the little things that made it such a great title. It had balls and balance, like a renegade ninja.

This is Bizarre's other arcade racer, although the Project Gotham Racing name actually developed into an established and horrendously respected series. In fact, in 2003 Project Gotham Racing 2 was considered probably the best racer on Xbox.

It had just about everything: The presentation was stellar, the single-player was deep with a few mini-games chucked into the mix. But then there were the online features too and a seamless integration with Xbox Live on a level that other games just didn't seem able to achieve consistently at the time.

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