Although the Dreamcast was wiped out commercially by the PS2, Sega’s final home console is today well regarded. It’s an excellent gaming machine, with a relatively small but brilliant selection of games.
The best Sega Dreamcast racing games are still fun, look great and are in many cases still exclusive to Sega’s compact little console. Here are ten of our favourites.
Who knew driving a truck could be so much fun? Long before Euro Truck Simulator, 18 Wheeler put you behind the wheel of a fully-laden big rig. Racing to the destination against the clock, and a slightly sinister rival, it’s actually a short game, which doesn’t take long to master. Appearing first in the arcade, the dreamcast version added a particularly tricky parking challenge mini game.
San Francisco Rush 2049
Not quite as cool as the futuristic Wipeout, best known on the huge-selling Playstation, the Dreamcast version of San Francisco Rush is a product of Midway Games. With a fast-paced drum & bass soundtrack, this is a game that encourages long late-night sessions. Once in ‘the zone’, it’s hard to put the controller down.
It might just have seemed like a slightly inferior Gran Turismo clone, but it actually stood up pretty well as the Dreamcast’s only semi-serious racing sim. Sega GT had some great features, and a well-rounded selection of cars to drive. While it wasn’t a huge success, the series did continue on the OG Xbox with Sega GT 2002, before Forza Motorsport burst onto the scene…
Spirit of Speed 1937
Panned for its playability and horrendous load times, this game focused on the world of pre-war racing. Thing is, games focusing on this era are few and far between. Look past its flaws, it actually had some charm. The music, the selection of iconic racing cars and recreations of long lost circuits make it unique.
Star Wars Episode I: Racer
It’s fair to say that Pod Racing was one of the major highlights of the Star Wars prequels. Okay, one of the only highlights. Anyway, it was clear that this would be one of the easiest and best ways of bringing the new film into the gaming world. As you would expect, it does have a bit of a desert Wipeout vibe to it. Which is absolutely not a bad thing, at all.
Sega Rally 2
Ferrari F355 Challenge
Of all the Dreamcast racing games with arcade origins, this one had perhaps the coolest feature – if you lived in Japan. Arcade cabinets were fitted with a slot to insert your personal Dreamcast VMU (Visual memory unit). This meant you could save your lap times while out, and attempt to beat them at home. And you need to practice, as this game is particularly challenging to master.
Daytona USA 2001
As a follow up to the arcade and Sega Saturn classic, the 2001 version brings with it much improved graphics, a handful of new circuits, and the ability to race online. Like many of the other Dreamcast racing games, there really isn’t a lot to this. It simply delivers a quick hit of arcade fun.
Metropolis Street Racing
This was the precursor to hugely popular Project Gotham Racing games on the Xbox. It introduced the idea of driving quickly and with style to earn ‘Kudos’ points. Most of the fun came from listening to the brilliant local radio stations though, playing in each of the three city locations: Tokyo, London and San Francisco.
“YA-YA-YA-YA-YA”. As soon as anyone mentions Crazy Taxi, we can’t help but hear The Offspring’s All I Want blaring away somewhere in the back of our mind. Launched originally as an arcade game, this fast-paced taxi simulator was highly addictive. When it made the conversion to Sega’s new Dreamcast, it was an instant hit.
The Dreamcast version added two new aspects to the game, an extra city to drive around in, as well as the ‘Crazy Box’ mode. This increasingly difficult set of challenges (who could forget Crazy Bowling?) took time to master, but when all of the challenges were complete, it unlocked a rickshaw taxi.