Nowadays car games are more than light entertainment to give you square eyes and burn the day away. They’re big business.
Games even form the basis for big Hollywood movies, something the Need for Speed franchise - which celebrates its 20th birthday this year - knows all too well.
Over the last 20 years, NFS has released 23 instalments, sold 150 million copies worldwide, conjured up some big, drifty marketing campaigns… and of course a CGI-free film with lots of fire, lots of explosions, and a healthy dose of cars crashing in slow motion starring our favourite fictional meth cook, Aaron Paul.
But it all started back in 1994 with The Need for Speed, a simple racing game for the 3DO.
Back then, with only a smattering of pixels to smear around the screen, the developers didn’t have the processing power to create photo-realistic games we’re used to now.
Even so, those square pixels were mindblowing at the time, recreating eight, (yes, eight!) cars vaguely recognisable as a Toyota Supra, Dodge Viper and Lamborghini Diablo VT. They even sounded realistic, too. A bit.
But with closed-circuit racing, point-to-points and police pursuits, the premise of the game was very much as we recognise NFS today. Though unfortunately we had to wait another decade for nitrous.
So with NFS blowing its birthday candles out, we thought we’d offer you 20 of our favourite retro racing titles ever. Have a nostalgic click through and then tell us: what did we miss?