Best N64 Racing Games of All Time
If you enjoy classic racing games and want to have some fast-paced action, the Nintendo 64 seriously has you covered.
The N64 symbolises a real golden age of gaming, with its breakthrough 3D graphics, intuitive gameplay, and iconic controllers, and its racing games are some of the most beloved titles in gaming history.
The N64 collection is chock-full of high-octane thrills, from timeless classics like Mario Kart 64 to lesser-known gems like F-Zero X and Beetle Adventure Racing.
The N64 racing department has something fans won't want to miss out on, take it you're a seasoned speed demon or a complete newbie to the racing genre.
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10. San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing, created by Midway Games, was one of the most realistic and hard racing games of its day.
It provided a full 3D experience, replete with realistic automobile handling and physics that made every turn and jump feel legitimate, thanks to its powerful physics engine. It's certainly one of the more underrated N64 games ever.
The game was also known for its distinctive tracks, which were set in prominent San Francisco sites and provided lots of thrills for daring drivers.
But it was the emphasis on speed that really set San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing distinct from the competitors. The game was made to be quick and furious, with blazing speeds and death-defying jumps that kept gamers on the tip of their seats.
9. Cruis'n World
The fast-paced and adrenaline-fueled gameplay of Cruis'n World is one of the reasons it is so popular among N64 racing games.
The game concepts are simple but demanding, and players can select one of three difficulty levels.
The controls are simple to grasp, but mastering them demands skill and precision.
The different power-ups and bonuses placed across the tracks are another distinguishing feature of Cruis'n World. Some power-ups provide brief advantages to players, while others provide more points or time.
The game also has many paths, allowing players to take their own paths and making the gameplay experience more dynamic.
8. MRC: Multi Racing Championship
MRC is a fast-paced and tough racing game that will put your driving talents to the test. The game has numerous tracks and locales, each with its own set of difficulties and obstacles. Each circuit is meant to test you to your limits, from city streets to alpine terrain.
The range of game modes and vehicles accessible in MRC is one of its attractions. Selecting from a variety of racing vehicles was a blast to go through each of the sports cars, off-road trucks, and even motorcyclists.
Each vehicle handles differently, adding to the game's difficulty and excitement. You can also compete in several game modes such as time trials, championships, and multiplayer modes.
7. Top Gear Rally
Top Gear Rally's emphasis on realistic gameplay is one of its most notable characteristics. The game has a physics engine that simulates driving an automobile, including realistic handling, acceleration, and braking.
The game also has a damage model, so if you wreck your automobile, you'll notice apparent damage to it. Top Gear Rally is distinguished from other racing games by its meticulous attention to detail.
Top Gear Rally's difficult tracks are another highlight. The game has a number of tracks, each with its own distinct terrain and challenges to overcome.
From snowy mountain passes to desert dirt roads, each circuit offers a unique mix of difficulties that will keep you interested and on the edge of your seat.
Top Gear Rally features some of the best visuals of any racing game on the N64 for an N64 title. Because of the game's 3D visuals, detailed car models, realistic settings, and smooth movements are possible.
Still after all those years later, those sprite based graphics still hold up surprisingly well, making it a joy to play even to this day.
6. Excitebike 64
Excitebike 64's graphics are spectacular, and it is regarded as having some of the best graphics of its time. The game contains detailed settings with well-crafted graphics that contribute to the game's stunning appearance.
Another component that contributes to the game's immersion is the sound. The bike and ambient sound effects are accurate, and the game has an excellent music. The well-crafted music adapts to the gameplay, keeping the player on the edge of their seat.
Excitebike 64 includes a multiplayer racing option that allows friends to race together. We loved the fact that it was four player compatible and being able to participate and enjoy the game at the same time.
Multiplayer mode also includes the opportunity to race on homemade tracks, which players may share with their friends. The multiplayer mode adds to the game's excitement and fun.
5. Beetle Adventure Racing!
There are several important reasons why Beetle Adventure Racing! is one of the top N64 racing games available. For starters, the game has a range of enjoyable and tough tracks, each with its own set of obstacles and shortcuts.
There are even secret pathways to explore, so you'll always have an incentive to return and play.
Another feature that distinguishes Beetle Adventure Racing! is its emphasis on exploring. While most racing games encourage you to race ahead of your opponents, this game encourages you to take a more leisurely approach and thoroughly explore each course.
There are numerous hidden regions to explore, as well as trinkets that unlock additional game modes. We loved Beetle Adventure Racing even though it was really the single car you race as!
4. Wave Race 64
Wave Race 64 blew us away with it's truly one of a kind racing experience. The fundamentals of the game are simple, but extremely profound, allowing players to master the art of jet-ski racing.
The physics engine in the game is excellent, and the waves and currents on the game's courses are realistic and demanding.
Wave Race 64's graphics are one of its most striking features. The game was really one of the pioneers to fully utilise the N64's 3D capabilities, and the water effects are amazing. The waves ebb and flow realistically, and the spray spat up by the jet skis is spectacular.
You can find Wave Race 64 pretty easily nowadays so it's something you should consider picking up.
3. Diddy Kong Racing
The fundamental gameplay is one of the most important aspects why Diddy Kong Racing almost made number one on our list of the best N64 racing games. The game combines racing and adventure by allowing players to explore other worlds and complete activities in addition to racing.
Diddy Kong Racing, unlike other racing games, has three vehicle types: planes, hovercrafts, and karts. Players can change vehicles based on the terrain and obstacles on each track.
Diddy Kong Racing has a number of racing types, including Time Trial, Adventure, and Battle. The Adventure mode requires players to engage in races against bosses, and the Battle option allows players to compete in combat.
The multiplayer mode was a blast to play through with friends in a split-screen racing mode for up to four players.
2. F-Zero X
If you're like us and you enjoy fast paced racing games, F-Zero X should be way up your alley.
You're thrown into a world of high-speed racing the instant you start playing F-Zero X. With a clean 60 frames per second and tight, intuitive controls, F-Zero X transports you to a future racecourse at dizzying speeds.
One of F-Zero X's most notable characteristics is its cast of colourful and different characters, each with their own hovercraft and personality.
There's a character for everyone to root for (or against), from the franchise's face, Captain Falcon, to the masked samurai Goro to the robotic juggernaut Deathborn.
1. Mario Kart 64
Finally, we have ourselves a winner for the best N64 racing game of all time. The gameplay in Mario Kart 64 is one of its most prominent elements. We had a blast in the single-player races alone, but with some cool battle modes, and being able to race head to head in the multiplayer was an absolute joy to experience.
Each mode is extremely enjoyable and tough in its own right, but what distinguishes Mario Kart 64 is its balance. Even though the gameplay is extremely simple to pick up and play, there's a ton of depth that lets you pick up a trick or two in order to speed up your lap times.
The courses are another important aspect of Mario Kart 64's success. The game has sixteen tracks and a broad range of locales, from lush jungles to freezing tundras. Each course is carefully planned, jam-packed with shortcuts and secrets, and bursting at the seams with personality.
There's never a dull moment in Mario Kart 64, whether you're dodging big pebbles on DK's Jungle Parkway or racing through the bright tunnels of Bowser's Castle.
We loved being able to talk about all of the wonderful memories we had while on the couch with our friends, tripping over those controllers while racing away in classic games like F-Zero X or Diddy Kong Racing.
These are the best N64 racing games we've covered in this article:
- Mario Kart 64
- F-Zero X
- Diddy Kong Racing
- Wave Race 64
- Beetle Adventure Racing!
- Excitebike 64
- Top Gear Rally
- MRC: Multi Racing Championship
- Cruis'n World
- San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing