Gaming is an expensive hobby, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of great games for various consoles that won’t break your budget. This is especially true of racing titles, which are ubiqui­tous and often inexpensive. Here are six such games that are not only cheap (assuming you are okay with cartridge or disc only), but also a ton of fun.

A nice port of Nintendo’s 1990 arcade game, F-Zero, which was a launch title for the SNES, features blazing speeds (with a soundtrack to match), slick and colorful graphics, smooth scaling with Mode 7 effects, and a variety of track components and hazards, such as landmines (which reduce your power meter and sometimes cause you to lose control of your vehicle), jump plates (which launch you high into the sky), left-pull and right-pull magnets, dash zones (which give you a brief burst of acceleration), and roughs, the last of which slow down your hover car and interfere with its handling. From time to time, you will need to pull over and make a pit run to restore your car’s power.

The year prior to the release of Gran Turismo, a revolutionary racing sim for the PS1, PlayStation owners were treated to the humbler, but still enjoyable Rage Racer, which was developed and published exclusively for the PS1 by Namco, creators of the Pole Position and Ridge Racer series. In fact, this is the fifth game in the popular, long-running Ridge Racer series, after Ridge Racer (a PS1 launch title), Ridge Racer 2, Rave Racer, and Ridge Racer Revolution.

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Brett Weiss (35 Posts)

A full-time freelance writer, Brett Weiss is the author of the Classic Home Video Games series, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987, Encyclopedia of KISS, and various other books, including the forthcoming The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A–M). He’s had articles published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Video Game Trader, Video Game Collector, Filmfax, Fangoria, and AntiqueWeek, among others.  Check him out at www.brettweisswords.com