Ones and zeros aren't scary on their own, but when they're combined into these ten video-game race tracks, watch out. These are the ten circuits our readers think are the most difficult video-game tracks out there.
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10. Yoshi's Island — Mario Kart 64
Suggested By: clank-o-tron
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? After a short start/finish area, this Mario Kart course splits up into dozens of pathways that loop around in circles and are generally annoying. There are some pretty sharp cliffs, and falling off requires replacement on the track by that little annoying cloud guy. Oh, and the track map stops working while you're in the most difficult part, so there's that, too. And remember the bridge at the end, with the giant egg? I refuse to play Yoshi's Island whenever I'm playing Mario Kart with my buddies, and for your sanity, you should too.
Photo credit: Fanpop
9. Nile — Hydro Thunder
Suggested By: Dominic Chan
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? As arcade games go, Hydro Thunder was one of the most entertaining. Sitting in the full cabinet, driving with the hand throttle, getting your seat shaken by the waves, you'd actually almost sort of think you were in a cartoon version of an offshore powerboat race. Except when you couldn't see the track. The Nile course (not pictured) was so dark at some points that you had to get close to the monitor and squint really hard to make it out, and even then, you still couldn't see where your boat was pointed. Inevitably, the race would not end in your favor.
Photo credit: Photobucket
8. Autumn Crossing — Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Suggested By: Optixtruf
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? Say, let's take the Elise out for an afternoon through the countryside. It's a lovely fall day, the leaves are beautiful, there's a barn and an old gas station — how very quaint. And look, there goes a Murciélago, an Aston Vanquish, a McLaren F1, and a Carrera GT! Being chased by the cops! With a helicopter! The combination of decent police AI and a tight, twisting course made Autumn Crossing one hell of a track.
Photo credit: Need For Speed Blogspot
7. Fire Field — F-Zero
Suggested By: pinkshinyalan
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? F-Zero was always nuts. Trying to keep your little oversteery spaceship race-car thing between the electroshock barriers was always infuriatingly fun, but it Fire Field (not pictured) took it to another level. In the original game, the course just twisted and turned a lot. In more recent iterations, the track got loops, corkscrews, jumps, and all kinds of other tricks up its sleeve. And not to mention the other drivers out there — they'll gladly slam you into the wall at the first opportunity.
Photo credit: Flaskpost
6. Laguna Seca — F355 Challenge
Suggested By: Dominic Chan
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? F355 Challenge was always great on a Dreamcast at home, but the game really got awesome in the arcade. It had a three-screen setup, so your peripheral vision was dominated not by some kid playing Whack-A-Mole, but by the second-place car creeping up on your right and trying to sneak by. For complete immersion, you couldn't do any better. And unless you're a pro driver, no matter how many times you take the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca, (not pictured) you will mess it up, at least a little.
Photo credit: Import Tuner
5. Citta di Aria — Gran Turismo 4
Suggested By: Turbolence88
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? Based on the real life town of Assisi (located smack dab in the middle of Italy) the Citta di Aria course in GT4 is absolutely insane. No more than a car and a half wide in most places and with more twists, turns, and elevation changes than you know what to do with, just kissing a wall can kill a perfect run (not to mention destroying priceless ancient architecture).
Photo credit: Gran Turismo 4 Messageboards
4. Fujimi Kaido — Forza Motorsport 3
Suggested By: Fordboy357
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? Just watch the video. The long, flowing track demands precision into and out of each corner. One slight driver error, and your perfect lap is ruined. But the track is so much fun, you're drawn back to it time after time like a moth to a flame. As our own Matt Hardigree said to me earlier today, "I played it last night. It's the Sisyphus of tracks."
Photo credit: Youtube
3. Targa Florio — Grand Prix Legends
Suggested By: ferli
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? Nordschleife? What Nordschleife? I see your 13-mile Green Hell and raise you one 45-mile jaunt around the island of Sicily. But not a modern lap of Sicily — oh, no. You have to do this one with very little Armco, a couple of hay bales, and on horrible pavement. In a 40-year-old Formula One car. Grand Prix Legends is one of my favorite games, largely because of the attention to detail paid by the original designers, but also because of the great grassroots community that's sprung up since its release. A team of volunteers recreated all 45 miles of the Targa Florio, in amazing detail, along with new cars, (they're working on getting 1960's period correct sports cars in-game) and a whole bunch of other new tracks, in their spare time. I could go on and on about this game, but the best way to really experience it is to get a copy on eBay and go racing!
Photo credit: Sim HQ Review
2. Rainbow Road — Mario Kart
Suggested By: Jackie
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? I think we all know the story here. Pretty colors, no guard rails, cars with little grip, and a blue shell on your 6 o'clock all combine to make Rainbow Road the stuff of nightmares. I can't tell you how many times I've hit banana peels that were strategically dropped on the yellow sections of the track. Gets me every time.
Photo credit: GameSpot
1. Desert Bus
Suggested By: randomnine
Why'd You Throw Your Controller? Released as a minigame in Penn & Teller's Smoke And Mirrors for the Sega CD, Desert Bus's reputation is legendary. It puts you in the driver's seat of a school bus headed from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada, in real time. The bus cannot exceed 45 mph. The road is completely straight, but the bus's steering has a slight lean to the right, so you can't just have something hold down the button and go about your day. The journey takes about 8 hours, and there's very little in the way of scenery, just a few rocks and signposts along the way. Once in Vegas, players can choose to make a return trip for another point. Sound like fun yet? For sheer ridiculousness and torture, Desert Bus gets the number one spot on today's list.
Photo credit: Royals Review.com