Year Of Release: 1986
Out Run was one of Sega’s biggest titles of the 1980’s developed by the legendary Yu Suziki. Out Run would turn out to be one of the most popular racing games of the decades. The fact that you could still find Out Run arcade machines in arcades all over the world even into the 1990’s proves this. Out Run had many things going for it the first being its arcade cabinet. Out Run came in two forms one was a standard stand up arcade cabinet (with a steering wheel) and the other was a deluxe sit down arcade cabinet that was supposed to look like a Ferrari. This cabinet had force feedback, a realistic stick shift and a (at the time) very high quality CRT monitor.
Out Run is classified as not a racing game, but as a driving game. At the time there was no other racing game like this. Before you even drive off, you are given the choice of what song you want to play. The game has nice big bright colourful graphics and it also has some of the most impressive scaling of any arcade game of this era. The game has a very chilled out vibe to it as you and your hot blonde girlfriend are just out for a drive in your cool as ice Ferrari Testarossa.
Out Run stood out from the other racing games as it had a nonlinear approach. While you start from a certain point as you are driving you will come to forks in the road. You get to pick either left or right with each one offering you a different route to the end of the game the left route is the easier drive whereas right is more challenging. Some routes are way harder than others some with a very tight time limit. You are not racing against other cars, but against the clock where you need to make it to the next checkpoint before it runs down. This nonlinear approach makes Out Run a game you want to play again and again to see what the other routs look like.
Current High Score: 52,897,690 by Richard Jackson
Out Run would be ported to pretty much every home computer and console. The Sega Master System port was seen as the flagship version when it was released in 1987 even though it was far from arcade perfect. A 3D version that made use of the Sega Master System 3D Glasses was released two years later and is regarded as one of the best ports of the game.
As Out Run was a very advanced game for its time the home versions would have to be severely downgraded in many ways. But one cool thing is that some versions of the game came with a cassette tape that had the actual arcade music. So you could pop it in your 80’s style boom box and listen to the authentic arcade sound as you played the game.
Turbo Out Run was an unofficial sequel was released into arcades in 1989. Turbo Out Run would also be released to many home systems and computers.
Many Out Run spin offs would be released over the years Battle Out Run, Out Run Europa, Out Run 2019 and Out Runners.
Out Run would finally get an official sequel called Out Run 2 that was released into arcades in 2003. This game kept the spirt of the original Out Run games, but featured amazing graphics and a just incredible arcade cabinet. Out Run 2 was a huge hit and would be ported to the original Xbox.