The Best (Top 99) “RACING & DRIVING” Games for Original (First) Xbox Classic Console for Adults and Older Kids (Collector’s Complete List)

The ORIGINAL Xbox console, released in 2001
The ORIGINAL Xbox console, released on November 15, 2001

See it at Amazon 

 

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 (a special-edition-white, 4 GB “Slim” model whose price Walmart had steeply discounted) in 2013, I upgraded it by adding an official Microsoft hard drive. 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 Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, 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 (Smashing Drive 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.]

  1. 4×4 Evo 2       See it at Amazon
  2. APEX       See it at Amazon
  3. ATV Quad Power Racing 2       See it at Amazon
  4. Auto Modellista       See it at Amazon     [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.]
  5. Burnout        See it at Amazon
  6. Burnout 2: Point of Impact       See it at Amazon
  7. Burnout 3: Takedown       See it at Amazon
  8. Colin McRae Rally 04       See it at Amazon
  9. Colin McRae Rally 2005       See it at Amazon
  10. F1 2001       See it at Amazon
  11. Flat Out       See it at Amazon
  12. Ford Mustang Racing     See it at Amazon
  13. Ford Vs. Chevy       See it at Amazon
  14. Forza Motorsport       See it at Amazon
  15. Grooverider: Slot Car Thunder       See it at Amazon
  16. Hot Wheels: Stunt Track Challenge       See it at Amazon
  17. IHRA Professional Drag Racing 2005       See it at Amazon
  18. IHRA Drag Racing: Sportsman Edition       See it at Amazon    [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.]
  19. IndyCar Series 2005       See it at Amazon
  20. Maximum Chase       See it at Amazon
  21. MotoGP       See it at Amazon
  22. MotoGP 2       See it at Amazon
  23. MTX Mototrax       See it at Amazon
  24. MX Unleashed       See it at Amazon
  25. MX vs. ATV Unleashed       See it at Amazon
  26. MX World Tour featuring Jamie Little       See it at Amazon
  27. NASCAR Thunder 2002       See it at Amazon
  28. NASCAR Thunder 2003       See it at Amazon
  29. NASCAR 06: Total Team Control       See it at Amazon
  30. Need for Speed Underground 2       See it at Amazon
  31. Outrun 2       See it at Amazon
  32. OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast       See it at Amazon    [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.]
  33. Pocketbike Racer           See it at Amazon
  34. Project Gotham Racing       See it at Amazon
  35. Project Gotham Racing 2       See it at Amazon
  36. Pro Race Driver       See it at Amazon
  37. Quantum Redshift       See it at Amazon
  38. Rallisport Challenge       See it at Amazon
  39. SEGA GT 2002       See it at Amazon
  40. Speed Kings       See it at Amazon
  41. SSX 3       See it at Amazon
  42. SX Superstar       See it at Amazon
  43. Test Drive (2002)       See it at Amazon
  44. Test Drive: Eve of Destruction       See it at Amazon

Note: The following two “360-compatible” original-Xbox titles are more “combat-driving” than “racing” games, but they might nonetheless be of interest.

RoadKill       See it at Amazon

Starsky And Hutch       See it at Amazon

In this vein, the following “360-compatible” original-Xbox title might likewise be of some interest.

SpyHunter 2       See it at Amazon

 

LIST #2 (OF 3): “NON-360-COMPATIBLE” ORIGINAL-XBOX RACING/DRIVING  GAMES THAT ARE “CONSOLE EXCLUSIVES”

  1. Carve       See it at Amazon
  2. Chase: Hollywood Stunt Driver       See it at Amazon   [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.
  3. Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller       See it at Amazon   [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.]
  4. Furious Karting       See it at Amazon
  5. Group S Challenge       See it at Amazon
  6. IHRA Drag Racing 2004       See it at Amazon
  7. Midtown Madness 3       See it at Amazon
  8. MotoGP 3: Ultimate Racing Technology       See it at Amazon
  9. Room Zoom: Race for Impact    See it at Amazon
  10. Rallisport Challenge 2       See it at Amazon
  11. World Racing      See it at Amazon
  12. World Racing 2      See it at Amazon

 

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.

  1. 187 Ride or Die
  2. Arctic Thunder
  3. Burnout Revenge
  4. Colin McRae Rally 3
  5. Corvette
  6. Crash ‘n’ Burn
  7. FlatOut 2
  8. Ford Bold Moves Street Racing
  9. Ford Racing 2
  10. Ford Racing 3
  11. Hummer Badlands
  12. IndyCar Series
  13. The Italian Job
  14. L.A. Rush
  15. Lotus Challenge
  16. Midnight Club II
  17. Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix
  18. Motocross Mania 3
  19. MX 2002 featuring Ricky Carmichael
  20. MX Superfly
  21. NASCAR 07
  22. NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup
  23. NASCAR Heat 2002
  24. NASCAR Thunder 2004
  25. Need for Speed: Carbon
  26. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
  27. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)
  28. Need for Speed: Underground
  29. Powerdrome
  30. R: Racing Evolution
  31. Rally Fusion: Race of Champions
  32. Splashdown
  33. SSX Tricky
  34. Test Drive: Off-Road Wide Open
  35. TOCA Race Driver 2
  36. TOCA Race Driver 3
  37. Total Immersion Racing
  38. V-Rally 3
  39. Whiteout
  40. XGRA: Extreme G Racing Association

*    *    *

You may also enjoy the following:

The 135 Best RACING Games for Xbox 360

The 292 Best RACING Games for PlayStation 2

The 121 Best RACING Games for PlayStation 1

The 81 Best RACING Games for Original Wii

The 48 Best RACING Games for GameCube

7 thoughts on “The Best (Top 99) “RACING & DRIVING” Games for Original (First) Xbox Classic Console for Adults and Older Kids (Collector’s Complete List)”

  1. Hey Mike,

    Congrats on another epic resource for gamers!

    Jeeps appear here to receive short-shrift – though “4×4 Evo 2” does top the list with its TJ cover art. Then again, who needs Jeeps when the Godzilla Monster Melee has Tokyo run-amok.

    Super Mario Brothers plus poor motor skills equals humiliating defeat for this would-be gamer – though I wish it oughtn’t to be, Zilla and the gang would stomp-me-silly…

    1. Rick,

      Glad you duly appreciated that cool cover art for 4×4 Evo 2!

      Ya know, I’ve long suspected that “poor motor skills” was at least partly the real reason why many “grownups” are so prone to disparage videogaming as “kids’ stuff.” Me, having gotten started with home-console gaming while still in my twenties, I’ve (reasonably well) maintained my abilities in the “eye–hand coordination” department. And I figure that continuing to supplement my sundry other activities with a (usually) daily dose of “gaming” will (hopefully) help keep those motor skills from deteriorating excessively.

      Anyway, thanks much for the comment, thou “Jeepster”!

      Mike

      1. Before my hand-eye coordination went around the bend, it was better suited to painting a straight line quickly than saving Mario’s princess. My old DOS version of Zentris (a ripoff of Tetris) had the action increase with the levels – great for keeping the 95 percent of my brain that I don’t use in shape.

        Until lately, restricted eye movements limited gaming to Scrabble, Monopoly and Pinochle CDs. Windows XP used to offer a pinball game that I enjoyed – though it seems to have gone into exile with Windows 7.

        1. All those titles you mentioned (directly above) are worthy ones indeed. BTW, during my recent several-month-long project/quest (i.e., to finally “complete” my game collections for the several respective consoles I happen to own), I bought a PS2 game called Ultimate Board Game Collection whose rear-cover blurb reads: “Contains 20 all-time favorite board games.” I need to get around to exploring that one, one of these days.

          I likewise recently collected the following PS1 (PS3-compatible) titles in the “puzzle” genre:


          Card Games
          (A1)
          Family Card Games Fun Pack
          Chess
          (A1)
          Chessmaster 3D
          Chessmaster II
          Crossroad Crisis
          Devil Dice
          Scrabble
          Monopoly

          So far, Monopoly is the only one of those titles that I’ve gotten around to playing at length. This cheap, supposedly outmoded ol’ PS1 version is MUCH preferable to the more recent, pricey PS3/Xbox 360/Wii versions (those versions’ continual, intermittent implementation of the annoying “Mr. Monopoly” character [not to mention the requirement to always have FOUR (human and/or computerized) players] amounts to a deal-breaker for me [and for presumably ANY “old-time” Monopoly player who grew up with the original board game])!

          Anyway, there are still (as you’ve made clear) plenty of PC (as well as “console”) puzzle/board games available these days. Maybe you can find a few titles that work satisfyingly for your purposes!

        2. P.S.: You also mentioned “pinball,” which is one of the things I particularly relish!

          I’ve got numerous versions (for various consoles) of pinball games. But the best (by far) are the ones that totally simulate actual vintage pinball machines from past years/decades. My favorite such game compilation is Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection, which I have not only for the original Wii but (still better) the Xbox 360 console. Behold (via the below YouTube URL) some of the graphics/gameplay of that one:

          1. The original Monopoly is a great game – but when my 32-bit Dell imploded it became worthless. The (needlessly) updated Atari version is 64-bit compatible with the Dell replacement and is annoying as possible – the overall childish repetitive audio and animation is difficult to tolerate – even when muted.

            The obsolete Dell needed a motherboard and power supply nearly equivalent to the cost of a new computer, so the superior Monopoly CD was retired. My original copy of Hasbro’s interactive Scrabble CD is also kaput. And they call the inferior upgrades progress…

            The video you’ve included is a hoot. My daily chores here would never allow me the practice time necessary to become a pinball savant – though I’d love to get a used machine for my game room when its storage days are done.

  2. Rick,

    Indeed, owning an actual pinball machine would be cool. But when I was planning/renovating/furnishing my billiard/gaming room in late 2009 through early 2010, I had to face the reality that those “real” machines inevitably break down; and I wanted neither to periodically pay a “pro” repairman nor to invest the requisite time and money to acquire such expertise myself. Hence, I finally decided to make do with playing “simulated” pinball via the videogaming flat TV mounted on the game-room wall. [And, re that main room’s former walk-in closet (whose floorspace measures 10′ by 6′), instead of putting a real pinball machine (or two) in there, I converted it into a (miniature) “golf” (i.e., putting) themed room (with cool-green “Astroturf-like carpeting, etc.), with a gravity-powered ball-return lane flanking the featured, nearly 10-feet-long, “putting green.” Admittedly not as exciting as the pinball machine(s) would’ve been… but way less expensive/frustrating in the long run!]

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