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Top Racer Collection Review


Gamers of a certain vintage will remember Top Racer with fondness. The hours I spent playing the original games on my Super Nintendo back in the day were long, and it is to games like this that I can trace my love of racing games; something that continues to this day. Of course, I knew it as Top Gear back in the day, but Top Racer was the name in Japan, and it is this title that has stuck. 

Top Racer Collection is from QUByte Interactive and bleem.net, as the collection promises to bring together the entire Top Racer back catalogue, along with some new content to add some spice to the proceedings. But are these games as good as I remember, or should I fire up Forza Horizon 5 again? 

Top Racer Collection review 1
Proper nostalgic racing

Normally at this point I’d start rattling on about the story of the particular game that I am reviewing, but as this is a racing game, there isn’t any of that nonsense to worry about. We have a car, we have a series of tracks, and we have a cup to win. Just drive, and try not to lose!

Top Racer Collection is billed by the developers as a “brand new 30 year old game”, and what we have here is a pretty perfect recreation of the games from the ‘90s. The graphics are pixel art, looking very cool and suitably retro, whilst the view of all four games is very much in the “behind the car” viewpoint, allowing for a surprising turn of speed. In fact, the way the road has stripes on to make it look like the cars are going at huge speed is still effective today, and while Forza Motorsport isn’t sweating, that is really not the point. It’s the feeling of nostalgia that is the real triumph here with Top Racer Collection. 

And as you may expect to hear, the sound is basic in the extreme; a kind of hum from the motor and a few chirps from the tyres as we hare round the corners. That said, the music plays as a great collection of tunes straight out of the 90’s video game playbook. All in all, playing Top Racer Collection has made me feel like a young man for a little while. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Top Racer Collection review 2
Double the retro racing joy

As the title suggests, Top Racer Collection is a collection of games from the 90’s. Those games being Top Racer, first released in 1992, and the imaginatively named follow up, Top Racer 2, which hit the SNES in 1995. Top Racer 3000 came next in the list, hitting the market in 1995, and to round out the collection is a new game called Top Racer Crossroads; a remake of the first game with new cars included. Apparently these new cars relate to not only popular cars from other games but also to those from Brazilian car culture. How true this is I couldn’t say, but playing the first game again with four new cars does add a new dimension to the gameplay. 

Playing through the games in order means it is easy to see the evolution that went on as the series continued. Top Racer was the most basic of the games, with a mere 32 tracks to race on, and only four cars to choose from. And going from the first title to Top Racer 2 allows the differences to become clear; not only are there double the amount of tracks to race on, but there are now upgrades available to buy for your car. You also have to be a bit more careful whilst driving as while crashing in the first game only slowed you down, in Top Racer 2 there is a damage mechanic you have to keep an eye on. 

The third game is the most bonkers, mostly as it is set in a future time where we go and do some car racing all around the galaxy, visiting a variety of different planets to race in different conditions. The upgrades that are available to purchase go all the way up to 11, with nuclear fusion engines to be purchased as an example. And the action on the track seems to have morphed as well, with ramps available to let you jump over the cars in your way, teleporters to take advantage of, and patches of road that refuel and repair the car. Top Racer 3000 is a much more polished experience and with a mighty 47 tracks to race on, there is a lot of content to go at. 

Top Racer Collection review 3
You should embrace the Top Racer Collection

You should be mindful that the gameplay in all of these games is basic, to be kind, and it pretty much revolves around holding the accelerator (weirdly mapped to the Y button) and steering left and right to stay on the track, avoiding obstacles. There is a nitro boost that can help keep you competitive, and apart from this, there isn’t a massive amount of things to worry about. It was a simpler time back then, but that means Top Racer Collection provides fun, giving us a chance to go playing a simple game and not having to worry about anything aside from avoiding the other cars. Those other cars are a real pain as the levels increase, blocking you at any opportunity, but you learn to adapt. 

As a proposition in this day and age, Top Racer Collection is not a Forza or GT7 beater, but it isn’t meant to be. For gamers of a certain era, this is an easy sale, as the nostalgia is strong. For everyone else? The gameplay may be a little too simple. However, with four distinct games to go at, there is a lot of content, and I’m a big fan of what has been achieved here. Really, you should be giving Top Racer Collection a bit of a whirl, left to embrace the nostalgia. 


  • Simple, clean racing action
  • Lots of content to go at
  • So much nostalgia
  • Driving action may be too simple for some
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, QUByte
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 7 March 2024 | £16.74
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Simple, clean racing action</li> <li>Lots of content to go at</li> <li>So much nostalgia</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Driving action may be too simple for some</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, QUByte</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 7 March 2024 | £16.74</li> </ul>Top Racer Collection Review
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