1. World Circuit
Released by MicroProse Ltd., World Circuit features realistic circuits and a variety of novel features that brought the game to the top of its class when it first came out. This title includes every Grand Prix circuit held in 1991. This means you get 16 in total with the option to test your skills in Single Race, Quick Race or Championship mode. All of the 35 drivers included in 18 teams are based on the same season as well, although names of the actual people aren't included. If players want that extra bit of accuracy, they may opt to edit driver and team names manually.
Die hard racing fans will enjoy tweaking their rides using the built in tuning feature. To make the most out of each race, players may adjust the brake balance, the tires as well as the wing down force by visiting the pit stall. Additionally, newbies can opt to toggle helpful features such as auto brakes, auto gears, gear displays, self-correcting spins, even indestructibility to assist in improving their virtual driving skills.
As it is with the rest of the game, World Circuit's graphics also has a variety of options such as the ability to toggle the amount of damage seen on a car, the ability to collide with debris, rain which affects traction and rear view mirrors which work like the real thing. To analyze their performance, players can watch races from a variety of views using the game's replay system.
2. Formula One Grand Prix
Formula One Grand Prix by MicroProse is also known as World Circuit in the United States. This racing simulator is often referred to as MicroProse Grand Prix or F1GP for short. Even though it is not officially affiliated with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) or any Formula One driver, the game was designed to accurately represent team liveries and actual participants during the 1991 season.
It features a complete season as well as 16 tracks for players to enjoy. As they were modeled after the real thing, players who are familiar with the racing circuits will be able to recognize where they are during races. The physics engine also delivers a level of realism rarely seen in racing games at the time. The attention to detail carries to car handling as the fraction of a second can mean the difference between winning or losing in a race. Even the effects of tire wear was implemented so that cars perform differently after a couple of laps.
3. Lotus Turbo Challenge 2
Being met with commercial and critical acclaim, Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge is one of Gremlin Graphics' most successful titles. The sequel, Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 improves upon the original by introducing new features such as full screen single player mode, a system which allows four players to link up, more cars, weather conditions, oncoming traffic and a lot more. To add a bit more spice to the stages, weather conditions were added in as well as fog, night driving and city driving.
There are eight stages all in all, each with a set of checkpoints that must be reached before time runs out in order to keep on racing. The number of checkpoints range anywhere from six to ten depending on the stage requirements. The races are set in different parts of the United States with their own set of road hazards.
4. Stunt Car Racer
MicroStyle's Stunt Car Racer is a first-person perspective racing title released in 1989. In this game, players will need to compete against a single computer-controlled opponent in a race track which is a hundred feet in the air. That being said, the goal is not only to win first place but to also perform stunts with the car. Players will need to master the art of jumping across chasms and drawbridges in order to pass their opponent. Each race consists of three laps, with nothing to prevent a nasty spill over the edge of the elevated track. If a car does fall to the side or through any of the obstacles, it gets hoisted back up the track using a crane but the whole process costs a lot of valuable time.
Adding an element of strategy to the stages, cars are equipped with turbo boosts which give a burst of speed when used. Using these at the right moment helps win the race but triggering it earlier than the opponent may turn the tide to the AI's favor. Car damage such as dents carry over to the next race.
The formula one racing title Vroom was first released in 1991 by Lankhor for the Amiga. It features an arcade race mode as well as a practice track to help aspiring virtual racers get used to the system. Players may choose to race in a fewer number of laps or make use of a different control scheme in order to be able to be at their best. Speaking of controls, they do differ depending on the mode. In simulation Mode, for instance, players make use of the mouse to steer. Aside from focusing on simply beating opponents in terms of speed, there are various obstacles such as trees that players must keep an eye out for.
6. Crazy Cars 3
Published in 1992, Crazy Cars 3 is a racing game published by Titus. The player is placed in the shoes of a skilled race driver who has just arrived in America. Because he aspires to become a millionaire, he begins to participate in illegal tournaments. As luck would have it, an old friend desperately needs to sell his Lamborghini Diablo and this serves as the player's ticket to winning Division 4 races. Victories in easy challenges pave the way for better equipment such as nitro and a police radar which help you escape those annoying police chases plus more challenging tournaments.
The career-based Championship Mode is where players compete in races with bets and prizes at stake. There are 15 races per division. Players need to have enough funds to pay the entry fee and participate in these events.
A Training Mode is also available for those who are just starting out. Players may toggle useful options such as having the police present, the type of tires equipped on the car and the gear box used. Vehicles are sorted by class, with class 1 and 2 cars having the fewest add-ons. A car in class 4 or 5 has the best equipment available in-game.
7. Indianapolis 500: The Simulation
Developed by Papyrus and distributed by Electronic Arts, Indianapolis 500: The Simulation was released in the year 1989. The game was praised for its move to differentiate driving simulation from arcade-style racing. That being said. the game was designed to be an in-depth simulation of the titular Indianapolis 500 race. From the field to the order of the starting grid, the game realistically portrays the Indy 500 (with the exception of the player's car).
It has a whopping 33 cars as well as a system which allows players to set up their vehicles in order to improve its handling. Races are played and viewed solely in first-person perspective. A replay mode serves as an easy way for players to review their performance per race.
Released in 1993, F1 is based on Vroom by Lankhor. It is fully licensed by Fuji Television and FIA, which means that they were able to use official likenesses for the tracks, teams and drivers. Expect familiar faces such as Michael Schumacher, Gerhard Berger and Riccardo Patrese. There are 12 tracks in all including Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Montreal and Monza. Tracks have seven laps each and are filled with many obstacles. They are also available in the game's training mode. There is a Championship Mode as well as one dedicated to arcade-style play. There are four difficulty levels which not only dictate how fast participants are but also decrease the amount of damage a car can take. Visiting pit stops help prevent cars from breaking on the way to the finish line.
9. Super Monaco Grand Prix
Sega's Super Monaco GP is the sequel to Monaco GP, an arcade game released in 1979. In World Championship Mode, players start out as a member of team Minarae and get to name their own rivals. If they are able to defeat them within two consecutive races, then the losing team offers a seat to the victor. Should he accept the spot, the loser will then get booted off his team and move to one that is lower ranked. The goal here is to earn more driving points than other participants. There are 16 vehicles and teams all in all. Additionally, there is an arcade mode where the goal is to qualify with a time under 45 seconds on a shorter version of the Circuit de Monaco.
10. F17 Challenge
F17 Challenge is a game developed by Holodream Software and was released back in 1993. It features two modes of play, namely, Normal and Arcade. The goal in the latter is pretty straightforward -- to finish the race within the top 3 ranks for every race. The former requires players to accumulate points, prioritizing overall performance across races. There are 3 levels of difficulty and a range of cars to choose from. Vehicle options include a Benetton, Ferrari, Williams and a McLaren. Coming in contact with other cars or barriers will inflict damage to the player's vehicle. Visiting pit stops will repair the vehicle while ignoring the damage may cause the player to stop racing midway.
We have to admit, these games are pretty much pale in comparison with many modern racing games for pc and indeed even those racing games for mobile - but that does not mean that they have been lapped too many times. Amiga's entries may be old, but they certainly are not lacking in charm or challenge. The AI is unbelievably well designed, and your performance is not based on the car you drive, but how you handle the controls.