The competition between the Sega Mega Drive and the SNES was a true matchup of the titans. Luckily for Sega, one ace card it had up its sleeve was its massive portfolio of arcade properties, many of which were racing games. But bringing an arcade racer to the home console was often easier said than done and that’s why Sega’s impressive turnout in this regard continues to impress.
From the classic OutRun series to the bleeding-edge tech of Virtua Racing, Sega knew their market and they exploited it to the best of their abilities. One thing that Sega racers did that others often struggled with in the final product is a sensation of speed combined with rock-solid gameplay.
This list of Mega Drive games contains a smattering of both arcade and console-only games but the core thing that ties them all together is that they offer truly remarkable racing experiences on the system. Here are our top 10 racing games on the Sega Mega Drive:
10. Turbo OutRun
Take what makes OutRun great and streamline it into an experience that is akin to a racing game on tracks. Think of it like a rollercoaster racing game or something along those lines because it is equally as intense. Initially released as an upgrade for the original OutRun arcade cabinet, Turbo OutRun was eventually ported to the Mega Drive. The game offers players the choice of an automatic or two-speed manual transmission for their car, another change from the first game, as well as one of three power ups after passing through a checkpoint. While not a lot distinguishes it from OutRun outside of a few changed mechanics here and there, the subtle changes make major differences in the feel of the game. Each offers its own vibe and is a throwback to that old arcade