Welcome to the ultimate compendium of the best Dreamcast racing games of all time! We’re dusting off the games collection to bring you the greatest driving games ever to grace Sega’s swansong console and counting down our favourite titles.
The Dreamcast might be a bit of an enigma to most people, but its back catalogue of games is undeniably impressive.
Ok, so it only had 624 compared to the PS2’s 3,800. But when it comes to gameplay, the Dreamcast champions a ‘quality over quantity’ policy.
Many of the greatest racing titles found a home on Sega’s final console, including sequels to classic titles that took the world by storm.
And with impressive 60fps visuals and a controller that looked as though it had fallen from the future, gamers certainly had a lot of fun getting behind the wheel of their favourite vehicles and burning some rubber.
Still, the question remains – what are the best Dreamcast racing games of all time?
Drift on down and find out!
Crazy Taxi 2 takes the first spot on this list of the best Dreamcast racing games of all time!
Ok, so this has probably given the game away as to one other title that you’ll be seeing further down this list, but don’t go scrolling ahead and spoiling the surprise!
Crazy Taxi 2 was a cracking game and brilliant sequel to an absolute classic. It tried to overcome the success of the first Crazy Taxi game with new and exciting features, but for me, there isn’t enough that could make it rank higher than the original.
You can’t perfect perfection, after all!
For those gamers that loved the first title but never got to play the sequel, the new features include picking up multiple passengers to get multiple fares at once and new levels set in the Big Apple.
Remember how the clock went back up when you reached your destination? Well, time can be increased by pulling off jumps over key pieces of scenery and landmarks, so look out for those ramps!
It’s Crazy Taxi at its core with a few extra bells and whistles, which means it was always going to get a place in this list. If you liked the first one, then give it a go!
Test Drive V-Rally is one of my favourite arcade games of all time and one that I used to play every Saturday when I went to the Bowling Alley with my mates.
Taking the seat of a rally driver, players skid, speed, bounce, and crash their way through 80 stunning levels through this game.
It’s also a metal-fan’s paradise, with cracking tracks that get your blood pumping as your race towards the finish line.
As with many racing games, there’s a championship mode where players test their mettle against other characters. Still, the arcade mode is where it’s at for me, bringing back those nostalgic bowling alley races.
Rally driving can be pretty temperamental, and Test Drive V-Rally mimics the real-feel of the sport perfectly. Cars perform differently on different terrains and in different elements, so players have to change their style a little if it’s snowing at night or windy on gravel.
Listen, this might not be my ultimate favourite racing game for the Dreamcast, but it’s still one of the best out there. If you’re looking for a game that provides a realistic rally experience, then look no further!
(But please do, otherwise I’ll have done all this work for nothing!)
BUUUT MUUUUUUUMMM! Yes folks; South Park Rally drops in at Number 13 in this list of the best Dreamcast racing games of all time!
How do I describe South Park Rally to a reader who’s never played it before? Well, imagine an X-rated Mario Kart, and you’re probably 90% of the way there!
I loved South Park growing up, and one of the best bits about this game is that it uses all the same voices as the series. The voice actors bring this game to life and make you feel like you’ve fallen into your TV screen and landed on a racetrack with Cartman and the gang.
Speaking of Cartman, players have a choice of playing as Eric, Kenny, Stan, and Kyle as well as other notable faces from the cartoon.
You won’t find any karts in this game, however (unless you spell ‘Kartman’ wrong). Characters race in everything from trikes to jeeps, ploughing through snow and careering around well known locations from the show.
And yes, you guessed it – there’s an epic multiplayer mode.
Up to four mates can compete for the prize as the ultimate South Park Rally racer, although that’s a whole different style of rallying to V-Rally above.
Quote the show to your heart’s content, and always respect ma authoratayyyyy!
Crashing into 12th place is Eighteen Wheeler: American Pro Trucker, a hell-raising racer that makes any Hollywood car chase look like the local school run.
I can’t get enough of big American trucks whenever we take a trip to the US. They look so much cooler than the lorries in the UK, but I certainly wouldn’t want to see one swerving into my lane like in the picture below.
Imagine, if you will, Crazy Taxi with big-ass trucks. That’s the premise here, and players have a limited amount of time to get to an end zone with their cargo still in one piece, otherwise it’s game over.
But of course, nothing is that simple.
Your rival, Lizard Tail, is out to kick your tail from the very first race. Some people just want to see the world burn, but if you beat ‘ol Lizard-features, then you win even more money!
Stick it to him, ok!
Each playable character has a different truck with specific stats. Gain time by hitting marked vehicles, but watch out for people hitting you as you’ll get money deducted from your pay packet.
F1 World Grand Prix takes the 11th spot in our list of the best Dreamcast racing games, a title that my Dad was 100% obsessed with when I was a kid.
I reckon he could have done those courses blindfolded in real life… if he could drive, that is.
This game made one hell of a racket when he used to play it after a long shift as a chef. I ended up buying him headphones every birthday for about 6 years running because he kept wearing them out!
F1 World Grand Prix is one of the most realistic F1 driving games on the Dreamcast. View the action from the cockpit or see the whole car in all its glory from a host of different positions as you race around classic tracks from the world of Formula 1.
The branding, names, cars, and tracks are all genuine, providing players with an immersive gaming experience that’s as close as many of us will get to the real thing.
And, let’s not forget the unlockable Gold and Silver racers. Those guys had the Need for Speed alright!
F1 fans who specifically loved the 1997 series should have a blast with this game. It’s a slice of racing nostalgia that’s still fun to play today.
Daytona USA is up next, a Dreamcast port of one of the finest arcade racing games of all time.
If you like your driving games simple and to the point, then Daytona USA should suit pretty well. With three modes of difficulty and a two choices of transmission, this is a bona fide classic driving title with a stellar soundtrack to boot.
Everything about the way that the player is rewarded for success in this game screams classic arcade vibes.
Instead of having a vast choice of cars to choose from from the get go, players are given more vehicles to race with whenever they place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a race.
As always, speed is the name of the game (well, it’s Daytona USA, actually), but drive too fast and you’ll miss the attention to detail in the tracks.
Who doesn’t want to see Sonic carved into a big boulder!
if you like titles such as Virtua Racing and live and breath Nascar, then this is the game for you.
It’s time for Crazy Taxi to take to the stage!
I think everyone has played this game at some stage in their life, whether on consoles or mobile. It’s spawned a whole host of other titles such as Simpson’s Road Rage (one or the best GameCube games of all time), and is considered one of the best racing titles of all time.
And now, it’s made another Retro Dodo list. That’s the best kind of accolade to have, after all!
Boasting all the thrills of the original arcade map, the Dreamcast Port came with the biggest map of San Francisco ever. It’s a map that is so easy to get lost in (if the countdown timer allows!), so keep your eye on the arrow and don’t lose valuable time!
For those of you that have never played Crazy Taxi or skipped the start of this article, the aim of the game is to take passengers to destinations.
It’s much more frantic than a normal taxi ride, however. It’s a race against the clock, with players picking up more points the faster and dirtier they drive.
That’s Crazy Taxi in a nutshell. It’s one of those games that everyone can play and was a real show stopper on the Dreamcast back in the day with its 60fps graphics!
When the Dreamcast Mini drops, this game better be on it!
Rocketing into 8th place is Looney Tunes: Space Race, a space-age racer featuring all of your favourite Looney Tunes stars.
Racing with Mario and Luigi is fun alright, but seeing Daffy Duck squaring up against Taz and Bugs Bunny on a zany rocket-powered ship is enough to make anyone’s mind explode!
Players choose from 9 characters from the legendary series as they traverse 12 incredibly detailed worlds, visiting famous Looney Tunes landmarks along the way.
Traverse traps, find sneaky short cuts, and pull out wacky weapons in a bid to stop your opponents.
Ok, so it’s basically Mario Kart with Looney Tunes characters, but is that such a bad thing? Especially considering there’s a tasty 4-player mode to tackle too!
That’s all, folks. Time to move onto the next racer!
Star Wars Episode 1: Racer takes the 7th place in this list of the best Dreamcast racing games of all time!
Is there anything better than the thought of climbing into a home-made pod racer and speeding around narrow canyons?
Well, that might have been a bit of a trick question – I’m up for it as long as it’s in a video game and not real!
Episode 1 gets a bit of a bad rap, but we can all agree that the pod racing element of the film is fantastic. Heck, that’s why this game is so successful. It’s fast, it’s dangerous, and it features all your favourite racers from that short section of the film.
Pod racer engines don’t do very well when they collide with other racers, walls, the ground, ceilings… pretty much anything. Take on too much damage, and you’ll explode.
Players can heal their craft as they race, but sometimes it just all happens too fast.
Fast fingers and a mind full of midichlorians is what gamers need if they’re going to beat this title. The crafts are epic, the characters are memorable, and it’s one of the best multiplayer titles to kick back and play with your nerdy mates.
Fans of the original Vigilante 8 game will absolutely love Vigilante 8: 2nd Offence. It’s a no holds barred vehicular combat title with so many cool features that make this sequel on of the best Dreamcast racing gamers ever made.
We’re talking rival driving gangs, explosive weapons, and a rich storyline for eighteen characters to play through with.
In a cool twist, the actions of one character have a direct effect on the actions of the other characters in the game. Likewise, your performance in the one-player mode determines what later levels end up looking like.
In other words if you want the game to play fairly, then don’t mess up or push anyones buttons.
Luckily, the Dreamcast game allowed for 4-player multiplayer, unlike the PSX which only supported 2 player.
Mayhem is better with 4 players, obviously!
Sega GT wheel spins into 5th place in our list of the best Dreamcast racing games of all time. It’s an all-out-racing title designed to compete with the behemoth that is Gran Turismo 2.
Like titles such as Need for Speed, players have the chance to up their career as a racing driver. Collect prizes from winning races, earn money, and buy fancier vehicles to cruise around in.
And, with a cracking multiplayer mode and a huge number of cars to choose from, this game really knows how to deliver.
The gameplay itself is superb too. I know it’s hard to believe that a racing game can feel like the real deal, but the car physics and controls in this game are super responsive, meaning that you need to keep your eye on the ball if you want to win.
Sega GT boasts 22 tracks and a swish vehicle creation mode. Once parts have been won in the career mode, games can either choose to build their dream car from the ground up or modify different cars with super-slick parts.
Still, with over 130 ready-to-use cars available for gamers to choose from, you don’t need to get too bogged down with the mechanical side of things.
Sega scored big with this racing game, and it’s definitely one that you need in your collection.
San Francisco Rush 2049 takes the 4th spot in our list of the best Dreamcast racing games ever made!
I know that Mario Kart 8 brought the whole ‘flying upside down’ thing to the masses, but the futuristic cars in SFR2049 definitely got there first. Some of the moves in this game were phenomenal, as were the tracks and the visuals of the different racing maps.
As the title might have given away, this is San Francisco in the year 2049. And sometimes, the best way to reach the bottom of bendy Lombard Street is to just sack off the corners and fly from top to bottom!
Like many of the games in this list, 2049 started out life as an arcade title made for up to 8 players. That would have meant having 8 machines side by side!
It all worked perfectly on the Dreamcast, however. Tackling the gauntlet with mates or competing in deathmatches never gets old to this day, and the tunes were so stellar that they’re still firmly imprinted in my brain.
Just remember, it’s not important to keep all four wheels on the ground… unless you’re driving in real life, then that’s probably the most important rule.
The bronze medal goes to the hyped-up madness of Hydro Thunder!
If you liked F-Zero X, one of the best N64 games of all time, then Hydro Thunder certainly won’t disappoint. Imagine all the fast-paced thrills of Captain Falcon’s races and put them on water, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a game!
There’s so many boats to choose from, some with two engines. And like SFR2049, players spend just as much time in the air as they do on the courses!
The individual courses in Hyrdo Thunder are what made it such an exciting title. You could race around the Arctic Circle, through green valleys, and even through a post-apocalyptic and flooded New York City.
Plus with bonus boats and courses to uncover, there was plenty for gamers to enjoy.
Hydro Thunder was a perfect launch title for the Dreamcast back in the day, and I strongly recommend that you give it a try (if your nerves can take the speed, that is).
It’s time for one of the most destructive vehicular combat games ever made – Demolition Racer – No Exit!
Anyone who’s ever enjoyed playing any sort of demolition derby or monster truck game will love No Exit. It’s a crash test dummy’s worst nightmare with tonnes of explosive thrills and spills along the way.
Some readers might remember the Demolition Racer game for the PS1. Well, the Dreamcast version, ‘No Exit’ took a mediocre game and made it awesome, adding some amazing features into the mix.
No Exit boasted new everything; cars, tracks, mini games, and modes. The No Exit mode itself is a kind of deathmatch mode that plays very much like the other ‘last man standing’ – or I guess ‘last car driving’ – modes in other titles.
In other words, just stay on the road and alive for as long as possible to win. It sounds simple, but it’s harder than you might think!
The Dreamcast version is just so much more immersive. The levels look much fancier, the noise of the crowds cheering keeps you pumped and reaching for that win, and the on screen menus and notifications keep players up to speed with what’s happening in the race every step of the way.
If you’re looking for an example of an updated port that’s better than the original, then you just found it!
Metropolis Street Racer is the best Dreamcast racing game of all time!
MSR was supposed to be an official launch title for the Dreamcast, but unfortunately that never actually happened.
It was however, one of the first games that awarded players points every time they pulled off some sick moves.
We might not have some of our favourite driving games without it!
Race around San Francisco, London, and Tokyo in some of the coolest cars ever to hit the streets. The levels look swanky and incredibly detailed for a console released in 1998 too.
Gamers had the choice of storing up to six vehicles in their garages. There’s no long list of custom cars; you had to pick your favourites.
Still, with 262 tracks to race around, only having six cars didn’t really matter that much!
And one of the coolest things about this game is the attention to detail regarding different time zones.
Players in San Francisco switching on at 5pm will see all the San Fran tracks in daylight, but all the London tracks will be set at night. The opposite goes for players in London logging in at 9am.
Yes, Metropolis Street Racer is the best of the best Dreamcast racing games of all time, and we’re proud to have it at the top of this list!