Inspired by our Andy’s top ten NES racing games list, I thought I’d trawl through the archives to do the same for SNES racing games.
The Super Nintendo wasn’t short on racing games, so for the purpose of this list I’ve stuck to land racing only. No Cobra Triangle or the likes in this one.
So strap in, buckle up, and let us take you for a ride with this “definitive” top ten SNES racing games list.
10. Top Gear 2
First up is a sequel to a game which may or not appear later on this list. Top Gear 2 – released in August 1993 on the SNES and then later on various formats – is an arcade racer very similar to Gremlin’s Lotus Turbo Challenge. Like Lotus, it’s fun in short bursts. Unlike Lotus, it has a whopping 64 tracks, damage meters and upgradable cars. Worth adding to your SNES collection for sure.
You knew we had to sneak Uniracers into this list! Well, SNES owners would have known anyway…
Developed by Arcade Attack favourites DMA Design and released by Nintendo on the SNES in 1994, Uniracers is a racing game featuring unicycles. Okay, there’s more to it than that! The game is 2D and the tracks go vertically as well as horizontally. The unicycles also pivot as they turn which gives it a nice 3D/2.5D feel. Lots of tricks, split-screen, and 45 tracks makes this a worthy entry on our SNES racing games list.
8. Biker Mice from Mars
I loved the Biker Mice from Mars cartoon so much when I was younger but I only found out about the game a few years ago. It’s definitely a racing gem on the SNES!
Developed and released by Konami in Christmas 1994 during the height of the cartoon’s fame, it’s an isometric racing game that makes up for its lack of depth with sheer fun. And you can set off earthquakes, what’s not to like!
7. Super Off Road
We’re big fans of Super Off Road on the NES, so it’s no surprise that this version makes number 7 in our SNES racing games list.
This is as near to the arcade game as you’ll get (minus the awesome steering wheel stand-up cab of course). And it never ends, the 64 tracks just keep looping and looping until you’ve had enough. That’ll be never then.
6. Stunt Race FX
The second game to use the awesome Super FX chip (Starwing/Star Fox being the first of course), Stunt Race FX is as good to look at as it is fun to play.
Released by Nintendo mid to late 1994 across all regions, it boasts 15 tracks, 5 car types, three difficulty settings and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, not that last one.
Is it any Virtua Racing? Hmm, the jury’s still out on that one.
5. Top Gear
We couldn’t have its sequel and not Top Gear itself in our SNES racing games list! Top Gear 1 is higher in this list purely because it was more relevant upon its release in Spring 1992 – although it didn’t reach European shores until fall/autumn of the same year. Whose fault was that eh?
A more fun Lotus Turbo Challenge, it was only second – as far as SNES racing games go – to the winner of this list on its release. Four cars, nitros, a Barry Leitch soundtrack, this Gremlin gem has the lot.
4. Street Racer
Boy does our Keith love this game! And rightfully so.
Developed by Vivid and released by Ubisoft (then known as Ubi Soft) on the SNES in the winter of 1994, it was later ported to the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1995.
Being a latter 16-bit generation title, it didn’t reach the kind of audience it should have done had it been released a year or so prior. Full of interesting characters and karts, more tracks than you can shake a stick at, more sticks than you can shake a track at, it really is the full package.
It even did driving football/soccer before Rocket League. Challenge your mates in split-screen mode and give them a good kicking.
3. Rock N’ Roll Racing
Got speed? Check. Explosions? Check. Freakin’ rock and roll? Treble check!!!
If you’ve never heard of Rock n’ Roll Racing, have you been living under a rock? N’ Roll?!
Developed by a company called Silicon & Synapse (wink wink) and released on the Mega Drive in 1994, SNES owners in North America actually got to enjoy this diamond a full year earlier in June 1993. You lucky people!
You can of course enjoy RnRR on Blizzard’s retro compilation if playing stuff on modern consoles is your thang.
2. Super Mario Kart
As far as legacies go, Super Mario Kart has no peers, has no equal. Still wowing kids and adults alike with its combination of kart racing, beloved Nintendo characters, and more sabotage than a Beastie Boys record, the original hit 16-bit shores as early as August 1992. That’ll leave a mark.
But, the SNES original has aged and dare I say it, isn’t the greatest racing game on the SNES.
That accolade belongs to…
It’s racing. In the future. With hovercrafts.
The amazing thing about F-Zero is that it’s a SNES launch title and was released in Japan in November 1990 (!!!!) along with the Super Famicom.
Yes there aren’t that many tracks or cars but the sheer speed of the game took our breath away. The simple, futuristic design means it still looks fresh. The soundtrack is a joy to behold and – most importantly – it’s so much fun.
But its successors never matched these highs and F-Zero’s legacy was short-lived. F-Zero X on the N64 is probably my favourite of the sequels, but it’ll come as no surprise that the series ended with 2004’s F-Zero Climax.
So there we have it, another “definitive” Arcade Attack list. For those of you who don’t know us, we say that tongue firmly in cheek.
Thanks for reading. Please comment, share, abuse us on social media, whatever takes your fancy. We’ve plenty more top tens, but if you enjoyed/hated this, please check out our top ten Mega Drive/Genesis racing games and the aforementioned NES racing games articles.
Until the next time!