Evolution of Racing Video Games 1981-2020

Evolution of Racing Video Games 1981-2020

1981 Turbo 0:00
1982 Pole Position 0:11
1983 TX-1 0:24
1984 Excitebike 0:39
1985 Hang On 0:54
1986 OutRun 1:11
1987 Rad Racer 1:30
1988 Power Drift 1:49
1989 Hard Drivin 2:09
1990 F-Zero 2:29
1991 Road Rash 2:45
1992 Virtua Racing 3:04
1993 Ridge Racer 3:24
1994 Sega Rally Championship 3:48
1995 Destruction Derby 4:13
1996 Wipeout 2097 4:35
1997 Gran Turismo 4:54
1998 Colin McRae Rally 5:14
1999 Midtown Madness 5:38
2000 Midnight Club: Street Racing 5:55
2001 Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec 6:18
2002 Auto Modellista 6:38
2003 Need for Speed: Underground 7:02
2004 Burnout 3: Takedown 7:28
2005 Need for Speed: Most Wanted 7:52
2006 TOCA Race Driver 3 8:26
2007 Race 07 8:59
2008 iRacing 9:26
2009 Need for Speed: Shift 9:48
2010 Split Second 10:16
2011 Driver: San Francisco 10:48
2012 Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed 11:10
2013 Grid 2 11:33
2014 Drive Club 12:02
2015 Project CARS 12:27
2016 Forza Horizon 3 12:55
2017 F1 2017 13:31
2018 Forza Horizon 4 14:00
2019 Need for Speed Heat 14:41
2020 Gran Turismo 7 15:10

Credits: Special thanks to Reiji () and World of Longplays () and Shirrako () and DSTRYR () for providing the gameplay footage

Nixian Channel Description:

We’re lifelong video game enthusiasts with a passion for showing the world how our favorite hobby has grown with us, from individual series to industry-wide retrospectives.

We put significant time and creative effort into each one of our videos, including research, digging into archives, recording voiceovers, and editing. Every video takes as many as 10 hours to produce, because we strive to give our fans consistent, high-quality content.

Our popular “Evolution of…” series goes far beyond simply presenting gameplay footage. We take the time to show how a video game property — its gameplay, character designs, graphics, sound direction, etc. — have evolved over time. We include unique voiceover work on each video to enhance the viewing experience.

People have been playing video games for decades. In that time, we’ve gone from moving a white line up and down to block a moving pixel, to participating in full-fledged, painstakingly rendered real-time battles with people all over the world. We help older gamers look back on how these experiences have changed throughout their lives, and new gamers to understand the broader context of the series they’re playing for the first time today.
The video game medium never stops growing, and we’ll never stop chronicling its evolution.
Editing and voice-over were made by me.


  1. Glaring omissions for me are Geoff crammonds F1, Indy 500 and Daytona , MSR

  2. Игры возможно и стали лучше да вот того интереса уже нету.

  3. Awwmannnn there goes my quarter. Last one, wait this is for the ice cream truck.

  4. Pole position, freewheel Burning, Judas Priest 😁😁

  5. Some of those racing games back then were awesome especially Outrun and Road Rash

  6. Wipeout and Gran Turismo were amazing

  7. Ah man… A list like this cannot be made without top gear 😬


  9. Why such a huge difference between 1987 and 1988???😮

  10. I can't believe you missed the ultimate racing game 'continental circus'

  11. While it wasn't a straight up racIng game, Spy Hunter('83) is among the best driving games of all time.

  12. No top gear, crusin USA, need for speed Porsche edition.

  13. Games Technology moving forward, kids academic results going backward

  14. I love to know they put so many f*'in stuff on the middle of F1 circuit in 1983.

  15. It was a tour de force to program such a game in 81. The processors were eight bits and the computers capped out at 16 kB of memory. Everything had to be programmed in assembler so that it took up less space in memory and ran faster.

  16. 2012 Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and all the other entires
    Mario Kart: AM I A JOKE TO YOU?!!!

  17. Anybody else noticed that the graphics for the 94 game was a giant leap ahead but then the graphics after 94 took several leaps backwards?

  18. Drive Club is the best looking racing game in history

  19. I like how as the graphics got better the cars went faster

  20. 80's were just different, men
    They had the spirit of the arcades even outside the arcades; there was also the excitement of the news, so that the arcades were full of energy.
    No other times will ever be like that

    1986 OUTRUN is unmatchable
    The problem was that it costed the double of the other games, and as a child, you had to choose between quantity and quality of the games

    But I remember also the first three, which lasted some years at the arcades here in Italy 🇮🇹
    Among them, 1982 POLE POSITION is the best and the most vivid memory, very close to Outrun

    But also 1985 HANG ON !! 🤤
    Jesus, how many memories ….

  21. Philtography - Candid, Natural Wedding Photography says:

    Great video thanks, I think putting the platform the game was played on would have been a nice touch though.

  22. Philtography - Candid, Natural Wedding Photography says:

    Project Gotham Racing 4? Such a good game.

  23. Philtography - Candid, Natural Wedding Photography says:

    No Crazy Taxi? 😮

  24. Philtography - Candid, Natural Wedding Photography says:

    When you watch this and see the speed of improvements it's pretty easy to believe we are in a simulation isn't it.

  25. Think I've played most of these!!! And this will likely upset the drift / powerup / console +100 fanboys but the last great racing game was IMHO Colin McRae. Though F1 2017 was pretty good, it's all been somewhat downhill since then were the games have looked amazing but it's all been superficial and you can just floor it and the powerups will get you to P1…

  26. Some serious omissions: Enduro, Top Gear, Mario Kart, Cruisin Usa, Crazy Taxi, Twisted Metal, Rock'n'roll Racing.

  27. wipE'out series FTW! – nothing more 🙂 the earliest racing game i can remember was Lotus 3? i had a 286 back then i guess… 😀

  28. Tremendo video, faltó ver a la rubia volar del auto cuando choca en el Out run

  29. I always won the 1981 one and pole position

  30. NFS most wanted was brilliant, with all the times getting busted and then the last jump over the bridge in the M3.

  31. Can't believe I played all these and rememberd thx dude

  32. Road rash. Cheat mode get the black beast unlimited nitro.sick game bitd

  33. Pole position (Atari), Stunt car racer (Amiga), Road rash (Sega) and Lotus Espirit (Amiga) were my favorite driving games before Playstation F1 games, Gran turismo, Colin McRae rally and Need for speed. There was one great F1 simulator in PC also, but i can't remember the name of it, and of course one of the best driving games in PC was Grid.

  34. "Prepare to qualify."
    Love those earlier games.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.