Pros: Numerous delightful racing/driving games were released for the original Xbox console; moreover, many such titles are also compatible with the Xbox 360 system, whose superior (HDMI) video output can make original-Xbox games look better than ever!
Cons: However, roughly 50% of all original-Xbox titles are not compatible with Xbox 360 consoles; therefore, note well my three separate lists below.
Preface (Feel free to skip ahead to the lists of games.)
After getting my first Xbox 360 console ( whose price Walmart had steeply discounted) in 2013, I upgraded it by adding an . Not only was that hard drive a handy place to “install” Xbox 360 disc-based games (and thereby save wear and tear on the console’s optical-disc drive), but also it was downright necessary in order to play original-Xbox games via that “360” console.
I was surprised and delighted to discover just how great a supposedly “outmoded” original-Xbox game can look when played via my 360 console’s HDMI connection to the Samsung LCD TV on the game-room wall. For example, I was astounded by the incredibly sharp, vivid graphics of the excellent , which had been released way back in 2002.
And – since my favorite genre is “racing and driving” – I was keen to collect basically every “360-compatible” original-Xbox racing/driving game available. [I currently have 45 such original-Xbox titles (as shown in the first of three lists below), which nicely complement the 84 racing/driving titles I’ve got in Xbox-360 format.]
A few months ago (in spring 2015), I bought (from a trustworthy acquaintance) my first – and, so far, my only – “original-Xbox” console in nice condition. [Together with its included wired controller, that console looks just like the picture atop this review.] Naturally, I soon thereafter acquired a large handful of “360-incompatible” original-Xbox racing game discs that also happen to be “exclusive” to the original-Xbox console. (You can see those eleven titles in the second of the three lists below. So far, my favorite games in that batch are: Rallisport Challenge 2; MotoGP 3: Ultimate Racing Technology; and Furious Karting.)
During the months when I was painstakingly building my American video games collections, I felt continually frustrated by the most widely disseminated, incomplete lists of “racing” titles for this or that particular system. Thus I hope my below — presumably comprehensive — overall list of recommendable original-Xbox racing/driving-game titles may be of help to some fellow collectors of this genre [though it’s possible I’ve overlooked a title or two that merit inclusion].
However, note that I have three key criteria determining (or at least influencing) which original-Xbox racing games ended up on the below list.
First, titles like “Driver” or “Grand Theft Auto” [which I myself neither play nor collect] are primarily role-playing, not racing, games. Thus I generally don’t include such games on the list.
Second, excessively puerile/adolescent/cartoony graphics, audio or themes normally don’t appeal to this adult gamer; so, you generally won’t find such titles on the list.]
Third, if a game simply incorporates hopelessly clumsy mechanics – or glaringly ineptly rendered audio/graphics – that keep me from enjoying the overall experience, that title is anathema ( is a prime example). [However, there’s a gray area, insofar as my below list does encompass a small minority of “borderline-acceptable” titles that somehow manage to amuse me enough to merit inclusion.]
As I’m American, my below list predictably comprises only NTSC editions; some games may bear different titles (or perhaps weren’t released) in other world regions. [Consult Wikipedia for details.]
Finally, my intention isn’t to discuss every game below; but the simple fact that these are the titles that made my list means each somehow merits a passing grade (though in several instances just a “D”). So, use the following list judiciously, perhaps consulting pertinent reviews, articles or videos at the worthy Amazon, eBay, IGN, Wikipedia and YouTube to decide for yourself if a certain title belongs in your collection.
RECOMMENDABLE RETAIL “ORIGINAL XBOX” RACING & DRIVING GAMES RELEASED ON DISC IN NORTH AMERICA
NOTE: I’ve divided my overall list into three shorter lists. The first list comprises original-Xbox games that can be played in Xbox 360 consoles (as well as original-Xbox consoles). The second list comprises games that can be played only in original-Xbox (not Xbox 360) consoles and weren’t released for any other console. And the third list comprises games that can be played in original-Xbox (but not Xbox 360) consoles and were released for at least one other competing console (such as the PlayStation 2 or GameCube).
LIST #1 (OF 3): “360-COMPATIBLE” ORIGINAL-XBOX RACING/DRIVING GAMES
[Note that your Xbox 360 console must not only have a hard drive installed but must also be online such that Microsoft can download the pertinent “emulation” file allowing your original-Xbox game disc to play via the Xbox 360 system. That emulation file is automatically downloaded and stored on the Xbox 360 console’s hard drive the first time you insert a 360-compatible original-Xbox game disc; thereafter, it won’t be necessary for that Xbox 360 console to be online in order to play that original-Xbox game.]
- 4×4 Evo 2
- ATV Quad Power Racing 2
- Auto Modellista [Note: Be aware that the “car handling/steering” in this game (not only in this Xbox but also the virtually identical PS2 and GameCube editions, which I’ve likewise collected) is notoriously touchy/difficult! “Casual/occasional” gamers would do well to skip this title.]
- Burnout 2: Point of Impact
- Burnout 3: Takedown
- Colin McRae Rally 04
- Colin McRae Rally 2005
- F1 2001
- Flat Out
- Ford Mustang Racing
- Ford Vs. Chevy
- Forza Motorsport
- Grooverider: Slot Car Thunder
- Hot Wheels: Stunt Track Challenge
- IHRA Professional Drag Racing 2005
- IHRA Drag Racing: Sportsman Edition [Note: This game typically costs well over 20 dollars – not because it’s particularly good (it isn’t!) but simply because it’s relatively rare. Thus I chose to settle for the basically identical PS2 edition, which is dirt-cheap.]
- IndyCar Series 2005
- Maximum Chase
- MotoGP 2
- MTX Mototrax
- MX Unleashed
- MX vs. ATV Unleashed
- MX World Tour featuring Jamie Little
- NASCAR Thunder 2002
- NASCAR Thunder 2003
- NASCAR 06: Total Team Control
- Need for Speed Underground 2
- Outrun 2
- OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast [Note: This game typically costs at least 30 dollars because it’s relatively rare. Thus I chose to settle for the basically identical PS2 edition, which can be found for well under 10 dollars.]
- Pocketbike Racer
- Project Gotham Racing
- Project Gotham Racing 2
- Pro Race Driver
- Quantum Redshift
- Rallisport Challenge
- SEGA GT 2002
- Speed Kings
- SSX 3
- SX Superstar
- Test Drive (2002)
- Test Drive: Eve of Destruction
Note: The following two “360-compatible” original-Xbox titles are more “combat-driving” than “racing” games, but they might nonetheless be of interest.
Starsky And Hutch
In this vein, the following “360-compatible” original-Xbox title might likewise be of some interest.
LIST #2 (OF 3): “NON-360-COMPATIBLE” ORIGINAL-XBOX RACING/DRIVING GAMES THAT ARE “CONSOLE EXCLUSIVES”
- Chase: Hollywood Stunt Driver [Note: This game looks like a blatant imitation of the original “Stuntman” release for PlayStation 2. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing; so, if you’re a fan of the Stuntman games, definitely check out this Xbox game and decide if it’s for you.
- Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller [Note: I opted to skip this game. Somewhat like the “original” Crazy Taxi (which I have for GameCube), this game strikes me as a tad too annoyingly adolescent; moreover, whatever “racing” there is, is simply “against the clock,” not “head to head.” That said, if you’re a fan of this series, definitely check out this installment via YouTube and decide if it’s for you.]
- Furious Karting
- Group S Challenge
- IHRA Drag Racing 2004
- Midtown Madness 3
- MotoGP 3: Ultimate Racing Technology
- Room Zoom: Race for Impact
- Rallisport Challenge 2
- World Racing
- World Racing 2
LIST #3 (OF 3): “NON-360-COMPATIBLE” ORIGINAL-XBOX RACING/DRIVING GAMES THAT ARE NOT “CONSOLE EXCLUSIVES”
I myself don’t own any of the following titles in “original-Xbox” format; instead, I own them all in other (generally PS2 or GameCube) formats. [My reasoning is that I’ve only got one original-Xbox console, but I’ve got several PS2 and (GameCube-compatible) original-Wii consoles; hence, I’d rather limit the amount of wear and tear on my sole original-Xbox-console specimen.] Nevertheless, for interested devotees/collectors of original-Xbox games, I’m providing the following list.
* * *
You may also enjoy the following: