Sega - 1986
Machine: Arcade, and many others
Has there ever been another racer like it? No, Out Run was a milestone; never before had a racer been so fast, had so much detail, or been so (as we thought then) realistic. I remember watching Tomorrows World (a UK science program) in the late 80s where they were using an Out Run machine to test the effects of drunk driving because "Out Run is the closest thing to actual driving"!
One of the things that made Out Run so much fun was it's sense of humour: dramatic crashes were followed by furious finger wagging from your girlfriend in the passenger seat. This idea was expanded for the last sequel, and the only one worthy of the Out Run name; Out Runners. This time you had a selection of driving couples to choose from, each with their own foibles including a pair that drive in the nude! The gameplay was the same perfectly balanced experience of the original but took advantage of the improved graphics of the intervening 7 years. The scenery was more beautiful with wider variety of other cars to avoid and when you didn't the crashes were even more spectacular. Also added was a two player machine linked mode which was a riot.
Out Run and Out Runners are two of the greatest racers of all time, still furiously playable today. So what are you waiting for!
Jakey 07 Nov '02
Outrun.org - A good fansite with info and downloads.
Outrunner - Another good fansite with more downloads.