They don’t make ‘em like they used to.
We’ve looked at the best driving games of the past 30 years and distilled them down into these 10 gems. To avoid arguments, we’ve sorted them in chronological order.
You’re sat behind the wheel of a Ferrari Testarossa with an open stretch of road in front of you. Dodge traffic, beat the clock, win big.
One of the most exhilarating things about Out Run was that it was difficult to predict upcoming turns. So if you managed to navigate a tricky corner, you were basically a god.
F-Zero created the whole “futuristic racer” genre in gaming, paving the way for better-known titles such as Wipeout.
The game was revolutionary for its use of Mode 7 – a graphics feature that gave the tracks a pseudo-3D feel. Plus it gave birth to Captain Falcon – and for that, we’re eternally grateful.
Super Mario Kart
One of the longest-running driving franchises, Super Mario Kart is a firm favourite for gamers of all ages.
One of the most endearing things about this title is that it’s still pretty difficult to master. Anyone who thinks otherwise just hasn’t taken Rainbow Road seriously enough.
Micro Machines 2 – Turbo Tournament
The original Micro Machines game was pretty special, but its sequel was geared towards multiplayer and therefore much better.
It even had controller ports built into the cartridge, so you had no excuse not to invite your friends around for some car-on-car rivalry.
Sony’s flagship racing game and now great rival to Microsoft’s Forza series, GT boasted an impressive range of 140 playable cars.
Critics heralded the game as one of the most realistic driving simulators going. Its “simulation mode”, where you had to earn driving licences in order to unlock courses, was an early success for the franchise.
Although Grand Theft Auto III may have been more popular, Driver is special due to being one of the first open-world driving games.
You’re an undercover cop working for the mob and high-tailing it around Florida and California. Finish the game and you’re rewarded with a playable map of Newcastle.
Crazy Taxi was the game of choice for many younger gamers who couldn’t get their hands on Grand Theft Auto.
But with its fast-paced gameplay and punk soundtrack, it was arguably the sole reason that many people bought a Sega Dreamcast.
Need for Speed: Underground
Need for Speed: Underground put more stock in technical skill than previous titles. Its "drifting mode" gave players the satisfaction of being able to drift around an entire track, earning points for more daring manoeuvres.
Plus it also you the option of fully customising your car, giving it that Pimp My Ride look you wanted so very much.
One of the most fun aspects of the Burnout series is that you could have a good time even if you were a poor driver. This is largely due to the fact that the game encourages over-the-top crashes* for extra points.
Burnout Paradise was a hit when it was first released, winning several awards for best driving game.
Take a bunch of cars, add some rocket boosters, throw in a game of footie and you’ve got a recipe for a global phenomenon.
Rocket League is an officially recognised eSport - the winner of the 2016 tournament went home with $55,000 (£44,000). Not too shabby considering you’re sat twiddling your thumbs for a few hours.
Do you agree with our list? Please voice your agreement or feel free to argue with our choices on Twitter.
*Confused.com does not endorse risky behaviour at the wheel. Drive safe, folks.
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