When you discuss the best consoles of the 90s, you are probably mentioning the Super Nintendo at some point. Everyone who grew up with a Super Nintendo has nothing bad to say about it.
When you ask gamers about their favorite SNES games, they are most likely to mention the bigger, more popular titles. One genre that is often overlooked is racing games. The console had plenty of them, but today we are going to look at the
10 Best Racing Games On The Super Nintendo
Super Off Road
Let’s start with a video game that takes you off the road. The opponents will provide a challenge and anything can happen when racing trucks in dirt. You will face three other racers and the game may seem simple at first.
All of the tracks you drive on have different hazards and obstacles. While the 8 tracks have their way of hindering you, you can get power-ups that will help you along the way.
This game is like an upgraded version of Super Sprint, and who doesn’t love Super Sprint?
You do race in Battle Cars but as the name implies, you can also damage the opponents you are racing against.
You can choose from a few different cars and upgrade as you race on a variety of tracks. But these aren’t normal races that you will be participating in here.
Want to make sure someone doesn’t win? You can wreck their vehicle until they are unable to continue racing. With a few different modes, 18 tracks, and a variety of weapons at your disposal, it is the perfect combination of racing and combat.
Lamborghini American Challenge
Also known as Lamborghini Challenge, it was the first racing video game that let players race in Lamborghinis.
Whether playing by yourself or with some friends, you get to do some illegal street racing where cops would actually chase you. If you have a Super Scope, the second player can join in and blow the crap out of the other racers.
Police cars could hinder your progress and charge you money for street racing. There were ways you could know where these cops were before they started chasing you. But that requires money as well.
Biker Mice From Mars
For those of you who may not know, this video game was based on a cartoon of the same name. Instead of having the camera view behind your racer, this game gives you an isometric view of the track from a different point of view.
Another combat racer, after completing one lap, you are given missiles that you can use on opponents.
If you win races, then you will earn money that can be used to purchase upgrades for your bike and character.
The graphics stay true to that cartoon with colorful environments and every character is fully detailed with their specific bikes. Even if you didn’t watch the cartoon, this is a fun racer worth trying out as there are not many retro games that involve motorcycles.
Top Gear was one of the first racing games to hit the SNES and requires a little more strategy than just holding down the gas.
You will have to make occasional pit stops if you don’t want your car to run out of gas in the middle of a race. You also have to use your Nitro boosts at the right time if you want to come in first.
Although it was an early release for the console, Gremlin Graphics was no stranger to racing video games, giving this franchise an awesome kickstart.
Top Gear 2
When a sequel comes out, everyone expects it to be better than the original. Top Gear 2 is no different. You race through 64 tracks over 16 different countries as you try to become the fastest in the world.
Many changes were made to make this a more realistic experience. Not only do you have to worry about your opponents but you’ll be racing at different times of day and different weather conditions that increase the challenge level.
You also have a damage meter now so you must be mindful of the road. Like many racing games, you can upgrade your racer with the money you earn from winning races.
Top Gear 3000
It’s great when experienced developers take chances that pay off. Top Gear 3000 is just like every other game in the series except as the name implies, it takes place in the future.
Instead of racing in different countries, you get to race on tracks from different solar systems. There are also about four dozen tracks to race on. If that wasn’t enough, this title also introduced alternate routes to the series.
Setting the game in the future allowed them to get creative with nuclear engines, titanium armor, and power-ups such as a warp device, and magnetic attractor.
Top Gear added new things with every game but this title took fans of the classic style another world (pun intended). The third game did not disappoint.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Racing
Originally developed as a sequel to RPM Racing, combat was added along with a “Rock n’ Roll” soundtrack, and a whole new game was born.
There are several tracks to race on, a “Rockin” soundtrack, and real-time play-by-play voiceovers. I couldn’t find any data to back it up but this has to be one of the earliest appearances of such a thing, almost certainly a first for a racing game.
The game is reminiscence of R.C. Pro-AM for the NES with its isometric view and smooth fast-action littered with power-ups and obstacles. It would have been a hit even without the combat because the racing is just that fun.
Super Mario Kart
This is the one that started the Mario Kart franchise. You pick your driver from one of eight different characters including The Mario Brothers, Bowser, and Donkey Kong Jr. Every racer has slight strengths and weaknesses so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Once you pick your racer, you race on different tracks inspired mostly by Super Mario games. There are four circuits with four tracks each that you can race on.
This release also included the fan-favorite Battle Mode where each of your friends gets three balloons attached to your kart, and you lose one if you get bit by a weapon. You lose all your balloons first and you are out.
I never had a SNES growing up and I thought Mario Kart debut on the N64 until one day in my 20s I found this in a value bin, and realized what I had been missing out on.
Futuristic racing has never looked better than it does in F-Zero, and It’s is all about speed. It was a launch title for the system and using Mode 7 it showed what the Super Nintendo was capable of.
Set in 2560, you pick one of four different characters and race in “hover cars” around satisfyingly designed tracks. Sadly there is no multiplayer but there are three different circuits in the game to choose from with a total of 15 tracks.
Racing at these speeds is not for the faint of heart and the added hazards make things even harder. But once you get used to the controls and the speed you will be rewarded with the best racing experience on the SNES
These are the ten best racing video games on Super Nintendo. It’s amazing to see just how fun and playable these games still are today. The racing genre was still in its infancy but developers were making all the right moves to propel forward ideas that are still being used today.
Hmmm F-Zero over Mario Kart?