4. Midnight Club: Street Racing
As the first in the Midnight Club series, “Street Racing” really set the stage for what to expect in the franchise: action packed races in beautifully detailed open world environments… with character.
IGN’s review penning it perfectly: “In addition to the litany of cars, the huge cities are riddled with secrets and original ways to make shortcuts, which makes single player gameplay and two-player games extremely fun”.
The game’s maps of London and New York City were considered very large and detailed for games at that time.
And while most agree that the game did not age as well as future iterations in the series, it obviously set Rockstar up for a powerful franchise. And it only gets better from here.
3. Midnight Club II
Where the second game in the Midnight Club series is lacking in licensed cars, it more than makes up for in the personalities of the characters in the game. Stereotypical and over the top at times, but that seemed to be the charm of Midnight Club II.
Players can race their way through Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo in full open world environments, and the race maps do not force players to stay on course. Shortcuts and creative thinking is encouraged.
Like all games in the series, the soundtrack was hailed as extremely fun… consisting of primarily electronic and rap.
Like its predecessor, just a little better.
It was at this point in the series where Rockstar really started to get some attention, and the follow ups would explode in popularity and funding available for licensed cars and more mainstream music. So which two hit the top of our list of the best Midnight Club games?
2. Midnight Club: Los Angeles
As the final installation in the Midnight Club series, Midnight Club: Los Angeles had a lot to live up to (following the number one entry on our list). Rockstar San Diego pulled no punches here, especially in the amount of playable content.
The recreation of Los Angeles covers more area than all three cities from Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition combined!
“Los Angeles” also introduced a 24-hour day and night cycle and dynamic weather effects.
Fans of Midnight Club: Los Angeles saw re-releases in the form of Midnight Club: L.A. Remix (PlayStation Portable) and Midnight Club: Los Angeles – Complete Edition (PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360).
And with online play that supports up to sixteen players, gamers had seemingly endless content to keep them coming back.
Midnight Club: Los Angeles was an easy entry on our list of the best Midnight Club games of all time, and just barely missed out on that number one spot. But most will surely agree, that the next entry had to get it…
1. Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition Remix
In a series known for chaotic and over the top racing, Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition Remix seemed to hit the sweet spot where high-octane fun meets just-right driving physics.
With a giant campaign spanning recreations of San Diego, Atlanta, Detroit and Toyko (Tokyo being an addition in the “Remix” version), players were in no shortage of things to do.
And that is if you ever managed to leave the garage… with seemingly endless customization of nearly 100 different licensed vehicles. We’re talking sports bikes, choppers, trucks, SUVs, sports cars, muscle cars… you name it.
And the music, the music, the music. That is what you all came for, right? With a whopping 124 tracks to choose from, players often found themselves loading up the game just for the tunes.
It was totally up to you if you wanted to crash your way through the destructible environments listening to 50 Cent or Nine Inch Nails.
Players appreciated the diversity and challenge offered throughout this giant open world racer.
Rockstar Games really hit their stride with Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition Remix, improving on the nearly perfect Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition (which scored pretty high on our list of best ps2 racing games AND best psp racing games!). And the series seemed to be chasing that standard in following releases. It just never felt as sweet.
And that is why Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition Remix takes the number one spot on our list of Best Midnight Club Games.
Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.