A strange thing is currently happening to one of my all-time favourite genres. Wipeout is no more, there hasn’t been a F-Zero game in over a decade, and Rollcage II came out in 1996 – the future of the futuristic racer is now a race between new IPs. Redout is the game that’s taken an early lead, and although heavily influenced by the aforementioned titles, it also throws some compelling new ideas into the mix.
F-Zero GX was developed by the video game equivalent of a supergroup. Ten years previously the idea of Mario and Sonic developers joining forces to create the fastest and most intense racing game ever made would have been considered about as likely as Sony and Microsoft teaming up today to end world poverty. Oh, and Namco were along for the ride too. The collective genius of these insanely talented people resulted in a unique and masterful game, and twelve years later it’s still at the top of its genre.
In twenty two years the Mario Kart series has changed surprisingly little. Sure, the 2014 entry carries with it the performance boost you’d expect from a console significantly more powerful than the Super Nintendo, but the structure is predictable and the mechanics are familiar. Yet Nintendo has innovated around the game’s core, and this along with the companies ‘better late than never’ approach to DLC helps deliver an experience that doesn’t reinvent the franchise, but does succeed in defining its best modern entry yet.
F-Zero is one of my favourite videogame series. Like both Mario and Zelda, this Nintendo masterpiece started as a 2D classic and successfully reinvented itself in 3D, transitioning well with the evolving videogame climate. But whilst the other two series include modern titles that live up to their heritage, it’s now been eleven years since the last F-Zero. Will Captain Falcon be returning any time soon? I’m hopeful, here’s why.
Nintendo’s GameBoy Advance is a classic console. It has a strong library of both original games and SNES favourites. Mario is great, Zelda is great, and Metroid is great. But you probably already know this. Overall the system has less ‘hidden gems’ than others, largely down to the fact that its lifespan was cut short by the release of the Nintendo DS only three years later. However, there’s still some amazing titles that never got the recognition they deserve, and today I’ve picked out ten of my favourite.
The future is a wonderful place full of possibility, excitement, and crazy new inventions such as flying cars. For racing games it allows for new ideas, faster top speeds, crazy track designs, and vibrant atmospheres. I’ve always been surprised by how few videogames have really explored these compelling concepts, especially considering how most that have either resulted in wildly exciting series, or at least a couple of extremely fun titles. This is a top ten list from only a handful of games, but each is a truly awesome racer that any fan of the genre should have in their collection.