The ten best-looking 16-bit cars

Racing games didn't always have a million polygons and textured scenery. Sometimes, all you got were some colored pixels and chirpy music. With your help we've identified the ten best-looking cars from the 16-bit generation.

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Photo Credit: MobyGames

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The ten best-looking 16-bit cars


10.) Victory Run

Suggested By: evoCS

16-Bit Platform: Turbografx-16

Why It Was Cool: One of the first games to recreate the Paris-Dakar Rally, Victory Run also added some Oregon Trail-esque elements to the mix. Players had to buy replacement parts and make repairs at certain points along the long journey. No one died of dysentery though.

Photo credit: MobyGames

The ten best-looking 16-bit cars


9.) Ivan "Iron Man" Stewart's Off-Road

Suggested By: Quattro-luvr

16-Bit Platform: Sega Genesis

Why It Was Cool: Doing jumps and burning nitrous is awesome! Playing a game from some guy named "Iron Man" is pretty sweet too. And don't forget the babes in the Winner's Circle. Though some folks may have gotten turned around and a little confused by the game's display, it was too much fun to stop playing.

Photo credit: MobyGames

The ten best-looking 16-bit cars


8.) Marauder - Rock & Roll Racing

Suggested By: Milkplus

16-Bit Platform: Sega Genesis

Why It Was Cool: 16-bit versions of all your favorite rock and roll tunes formed the soundtrack to this game, while you drove highly modified versions of almost-real cars. The Marauder was kind of a 1968 Camaro with a giant 4x4 lift kit, supercharger, and lasers. The cars in Rock & Roll racing really didn't like each other - in addition to crossing the finish line first, you had to blow up your opponents with any number of power-ups you could grab along the way.

Photo credit: Games Database

The ten best-looking 16-bit cars


7.) Battle Cars

Suggested By: toast

16-Bit Platform: SNES

Why It Was Cool: In a post-apocalyptic world, cars outfitted with spikes, missile launchers, lasers and other generally mean things fought for sport. As you fight your way through this dangerous world across many different courses, you could upgrade your car's weapons or performance parts. The player could only choose from three cars though, leaving the unobtainable boss cars to torture you.

Photo credit: MobyGames

The ten best-looking 16-bit cars


6.) Jaguar XJ220

Suggested By: SennaMP4

16-Bit Platform: Sega Genesis

Why It Was Cool: An entire game devoted to just one car today would be dismissed as a cheap marketing ploy. But back in 1993, Jaguar XJ220 was entertaining, and had a couple of advanced features that hooked players early on. It included a track editor, so that players could design and re-design their own layouts, and damage modeling on their cars. The game's developers also paid special attention to the sounds of the cars, making sure they were recreated as accurately as possible in the game.

Photo credit: MobyGames

The ten best-looking 16-bit cars


5.) Zero 4 Champ RR

Suggested By: Canuck Chinaman

16-Bit Platform: Super Famicon

Why It Was Cool: Zero 4 taught Canuck Chinaman the basics of driving with a manual transmission:

"At the control, the I and II buttons are the clutch and gas (no brake) and the d-pad is the 'shifter' so-to-speak where you use the direction to shift thru the manual gate. With that knowledge of driving manual, I was able to 'convince' a salesman to let me test drive a used 5-spd NA Miata at my local Mercedes dealer when I was 17, but that's another adventure ;)"

Photo credit: Vidoevo

The ten best-looking 16-bit cars


4.) Super Mario Kart

Suggested By: waveridin1959

16-Bit Platform: SNES

Why It Was Cool: The Mario Kart franchise has remained remarkably intact throughout its long life, changing very little. Sure,the graphics look shinier now than they did in 1992, and there are more things going on on-screen, but you still control a twitchy little go kart driven by someone from the Mario universe and shoot shells at each other over a quick race. It's easy, it's fun, and it all started here.

Photo credit: MobyGames


3.) Virtua Racing

Suggested By: Mazarin

16-Bit Platform: Sega Genesis

Why It Was Cool: Originally a big double-cabinet arcade game, Virtua Racing was ported to the home-use Genesis when it became a huge hit. It introduced polygonal graphics into racing games, (it was originally developed as a proof-of-concept, and then became a full game when Sega realized how cool it was) as well as different view modes (a concept that Daytona USA would take off with).

Photo credit: Youtube

The ten best-looking 16-bit cars


2.) F-Zero

Suggested By: nibby68

16-Bit Platform: SNES

Why It Was Cool: It is the year 2560 and a new racing series, even better than the old Formula 1 has been created. It is called F-Zero. Four drivers compete on a variety of different worlds and courses for the championship, while trying to avoid destruction. When I first discovered F-Zero, my world changed. I sat up all night at a friend's house playing through as much as I could. The old SNES cartridge doesn't work anymore, but I'll still fire up the Game Boy Advance and play it on there from time to time. Great games like F-Zero don't die, they just get miniaturized and put in Game Boys.

Photo credit: MobyGames

The ten best-looking 16-bit cars


1.) Outrun

Suggested By: I Can Be Stig?

16-Bit Platform: Sega Genesis

Why It Was Cool: What's not to love about driving your convertible Ferrari Testarossa through a whole bunch of different environments with a beautiful blonde at your side? The game's designer, Yu Suzuki, has called Outrun not a racing game, but a driving game. Sure, you have to get from checkpoint to checkpoint in the allotted time, but in between, you're just cruising. The game featured five different endings depending on which road you chose near the beginning of the drive, and in the arcade, the cabinet featured a motorized seat. Otherwise, you could just play at home on your Sega Genesis.

Photo credit: SegaScrutiny