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Guide To The Craziest Driving Games Of All Time

Some video games can take the art of driving a little bit too seriously. If you’re tired of incredibly detailed simulations that spend more time calculating body roll and tire pressure than actually letting you have fun, help is at hand. Here are a few of the wildest, wackiest driving games ever developed:

Road Rash

First introduced all the way back in 1991, the Road Rash series was one of the defining franchises of the decade. Encouraging players to take part in brutal, full-contact races on public roads while using weapons to attack their competitors, it quickly became a favorite with kids and a source of despair for unwitting parents.

The ability to race at breakneck speeds and also flail at opponents with everything from bare fists to bike chains inspired a generation of similar games. The original Super Mario Kart came out a year later, with child-friendly cartoon violence and power-ups that echoed the adult ethos of Road Rash.

Carmageddon

If you’re in the market for controversial driving games, look no further than Carmageddon. Released in 1997, it caused a global outcry because it actively encourages players to run over pedestrians and animals to increase their score. It was censored or even banned in many places, including the UK and Germany.

The British Board of Film Classification was so appalled by the carnage in this game that they originally refused to give it any kind of certification. It took ten months of wrangling by the developer to convince them to drop their objections. All the while, Carmageddon was earning tons of coverage in the press, elevating it to legendary status.

Wacky Races

While it may have looked like just another Mario Kart clone on the surface, underneath its generic trappings there was a lot of high-energy originality to be found in Wacky Races. Drifting around corners as Dick Dastardly was fun for kids and adults alike, while the impressive lineup of other characters from classic Hanna-Barbera Productions shows gave it plenty of charm.

What set this game apart from other crazy kart games of the same era was its power-ups, which matched the manic source material especially well. And its cel-shaded visuals mean that it still looks quite presentable to this day, almost eighteen years after it was originally released on Playstation, Dreamcast, and PC.

Burnout 3: Takedown

Not all sequels manage to be better than their predecessors, but this is definitely the case with the third title in the Burnout series. Arriving with a bang in 2004, it offered a combination of adrenaline-soaked arcade racing action with spine-crunching crashes. The physics engine was the star of the show, allowing for full-body deformation of vehicles and making for an incredibly visceral experience, all backed up by a pumping rock and emo soundtrack.

Where Burnout 3: Takedown truly took things to another level was with the enhanced Crash mode, which was carried over from its predecessor. Being able to tweak the trajectory of a totalled vehicle — as it tumbled into oncoming traffic in slow motion — to rack up points was incredibly satisfying.

Grand Theft Auto V

While the most recent entry in Rockstar’s open-world series is not technically a driving game, it opens up some of the most insane possibilities for racing ever seen. The online portion of Grand Theft Auto V is where exciting and outlandish events can be experienced, thanks to the efforts of modders.

Death-defying tracks constructed from random bits of scenery, placed hundreds of metres in the air over Los Santos, are popular amongst players. Millions of viewers on YouTube agree, as videos of the craziest courses and stunts are still going viral almost five years after the game originally released.

Crazy Taxi

After proving to be a hit in arcades around the world, Sega’s over-the-top taxi game came to the ill-fated Dreamcast at the start of the millennium, before eventually ending up on more successful consoles a year later.

Colorful characters, frantic gameplay, and a soundtrack packed with raucous punk rock tunes from The Offspring and Bad Religion gave Crazy Taxi bags of personality. It’s also one of the few racing games that can be played in one- or two-minute bursts and still feel immensely rewarding.

South Park Rally

A spate of games featuring the cast of Comedy Central’s foul-mouthed, satirical cartoons were spewed out in the late 1990s. In addition to a first-person shooter and an odd quiz-style party game hosted by Chef, there was this obligatory kart racer.

Arguing about whether or not South Park Rally qualifies as a “good” game is beside the point. It deserves a place on this list for its cow-strewn tracks, its crudely inventive power-ups, and its status as an unabashed cash-in.

That concludes the list. If you love driving games, you can check more out at Smart Driving Games. Also, let me know what you think of this list in the comment section below, or leave a comment about what your favorite racing games are!

Katie Green
Written by
April 09, 2018
Published in Editorial
Read 392 times