A History of Automotive Video Games


So, take a journey with us...

Think back to the college days - a whole bunch of friends, drinking beer and crowding around a gaming system, laughing at each other’s demise, as the small car on the screen crashes into the wall in Turn 3, or another unfortunate track participant. We aren’t going to ask you to shout out which game it was, as we always respect one’s ability to NOT date themselves with noting the Atari you used to play on. Instead, we’re just going to rattle off a few games that you’ve likely heard of...if you haven’t, then come by the office – we have some things to show you...

Image by: Omar Chatriwala

The Early Days

Pole Position, anyone? When it comes to racing games, Pole Position still remains one of our favorites. In fact, I think the first time I laid eyes on the arcade rendition at the local Pizza Hut, I freaked out. Who needs pizza when you can have Pole Position? So, from that moment forward, I was hooked. Remember those days? Did I just date myself? Darn right I did…and I’m proud of it.

Released in 1982, Pole Position remains one of the most popular racing games ever created. For a refresher, check these out:

http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=9063

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pole_Position_(video_game)

But, evolution occurs, and those of you who remember the Super Nintendo system can attest to the fact that F-Zero was one of the coolest games of the era! Not only did it satiate our desire for speed and crashes, but it also gave us what science has yet to provide: flying cars! That’s right! What’s better than taking your laps, and proverbial “licks”, on a futuristic racetrack? The answer…nothing. That’s why we loved F-Zero then, and in truth, still love it today! The game was developed by Nintendo EAD and released in the summer of 1991.

How about this blast from the past?

http://www.ign.com/games/f-zero/snes-9334

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-Zero

With Time, Comes Progress….So They Say…

Call us nostalgic. Heck, call us old. Whatever the reasoning, we miss the racing games of old. But, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been some real winners in recent years. The systems have developed into reality-simulating powerhouses, so of course, the games follow suit. And, though we are continually impressed with the latest racing games, remember…we only note them because it wouldn’t be fair otherwise. If it were up to us, we’d all still be listening to Foreigner and driving our father’s hand-me-down Camaro…

If you haven’t played Test Drive Unlimited 2, remedy that right away! It doesn’t have much of the backstory that some others games feature, but the graphics are incredible, and the driving experience is a blast. The game didn’t fare to incredibly well with the reviewers, but from our strictly automotive point of view…score!

Check it out here:

To round out our little trip into the video game world, we visit DiRT 3. Probably the best car/racing/driving/speed game released in 2012, the title sold a TON of copies, and plays on the surge in “mods” that we see in the industry today. We won’t ruin it for you, but a little taste of the action should be enough to pique your curiosity:

http://www.codemasters.com/us/dirt3/360/

So, there you have it. We touched on a couple from the past and a couple from today. But, regardless of the era, if it involves cars, we have a few minutes to check it out!

Again, if you haven’t heard of any of these games, then maybe you should drop by and see us sometime. We’ve been known to hold some office tournaments…when the boss is away on vacation, of course. No betting!! Unless of course, you’re a newb…


Written by: Go-Parts | Sean Kennedy | Email |