Memories of those golden years of classic arcade racing games come flooding back with the slick Hotshot Racing, which receives a collectible physical release this month. Reminiscent of such favourites as Hard Drivin’ and Ridge Racer, we thought its release the perfect excuse to take a look back at some genuine arcade car racer milestones that likely served as inspiration.

Gran Trak 10
Gran Trak 10
Atari (1974)
In glorious black and white, this was ground zero for arcade car games – steering wheel-equipped cabinet and all – and cast a template that would be revisited 12 years later in Atari’s much better-looking Sprint games.

Monaco GP
Monaco GP
SEGA (1979)

Another overhead racer, this plopped the car in the middle of a colour, scrolling track and challenged the player to race fast enough over various surfaces to extend their time. The series later spawned SEGA’s faux-3D Super Monaco games, via the company’s much-loved Turbo.

Pole Position
Pole Position
Namco (1982)

The most successful racer of the “golden era” of the arcades, this compiled many previously used features into one slick, challenging and really fun F1 package. It also added a qualifying lap, a real-world track (Fuji Speedway) and product placement. Two out of three ain’t bad…

Out Run
Out Run
SEGA (1986)

A seismic leap in graphics and music when it hit arcades, hurtling down multiple-choice branching highways in an open-top Ferrari was just as much fun on an upright arcade machine as it was in the wild hydraulic one that the player sat in.

Hard Drivin'
Hard Drivin’
Atari (1989)

Billed rather hyperbolically as “The world’s first authentic driving simulation game”, Hard Drivin’ was the first example of a polygon graphics-driven arcade racer, taking us one (small) step closer to more realistic 3D visuals.

Ridge Racer
Ridge Racer
Namco (1993)

A masterpiece of design, this first-person racer was an audio-visual sense assault, and a truly engaging racing – and drifting – experience. Few will forget the ‘Riiiiidge Racerrrrrr!” voiceover guy – paid tribute to in Hotshot Racing, as is the game’s style in general. Ridge Racer also inspired SEGA to develop their arguably even better smash hit Daytona USA, which could be played head-to-head on up to eight connected arcade machines.

Pedal pedigree

Racing Apex

Hotshot Racing started life as Racing Apex from London based Lucky Mountain Games, with their past experience – including work on the Midnight Club and Burnout series – colliding with that of Sumo Digital (more racing games than we could list, including entries in the TOCA Race Driver, Dirt, F1 and Forza Horizon series, plus all of the Sonic Racing games).

Hotshot Racing launches on Switch and PS4 on March 26. Pre-order now at JB Hi-Fi.