In real life, for obvious reasons, only a few are taken for intense high-speed races and dangerous firefights. However, thanks to video games, we can experience an adrenaline rush, turn high-speed turns, or shoot at enemies without putting ourselves in any danger.
Decades ago, some genius came up with combining these two pursuits to create a luxury survival race, a perfect mix of high-octane racing and spectacular shootouts. We’ve seen hundreds of these crossovers, but none have topped the top ten survival games listed below.
Rocket League (PC, PS4, etc., 2015)
The launch version of the Rocket League was a regular football game where players swapped cars with rocket engines. The main goal of every game is to score as many goals as possible into the opponent’s goal and prevent the opposing team from doing so. In the original version, you could crash into enemy vehicles, but many new features have been added to the game over time.
During a game, you can knock your opponent out of bounds with a giant spring boot, unleash a tornado that sweeps everything in its path, or even starts playing basketball instead of soccer. All of this turns Rocket League into an exciting survival race where the rules of the game change at any time.
Burnout (Xbox 360, 2005)
In the first part of the Burnout series, the focus is on fast racing and superb driving – it is understood that to win, you must move carefully between obstacles and under no circumstances collide with opponents or environmental factors. But in Burnout Revenge, we can break through traffic at breakneck speed, knocking opponents into walls and leaving as much damage as possible.
The other drivers were just as aggressive and kept trying to push us off the track. If one of them succeeds, the game will mark him as our mortal enemy and give us a new task – rehabilitate him as harshly as possible. This is probably the best version of burnout. EA should shelve their Burnout Paradise remake and release the remake of Burnout Revenge.
Crash Team Racing (PSX, 1999)
Although Crash Team Racing was created according to the rules of a kart simulator featuring Mario, the game turned out to be pretty self-sufficient. Among its strengths, notable is the excellent level of design and track development, with plenty of entry points, challenging jumps, and dangerous locals to avoid. Weapon upgrades and nitro boosters can be found on every track, and skilled drifts are rewarded with additional promotions.
The game also delights with its beautiful cartoon graphics, responsive controls, and spectacular skirmishes with opponents. Crash Team Racing may still be the only serious competitor in the Mario Kart series.
Rollcage Stage II (PC/PSX, 2000)
The main highlight of the Rollcage Stage II is the unusual cars with huge wheels so they can roll over and continue racing in any position. As you might guess, the gameplay here is very dynamic. The race didn’t stop for a second, and the car accelerated on any surface, including walls and ceilings. Accidents often happen on the track, but you can get back to work quickly and catch up to your opponents with the right skills.
The in-game tracks themselves are relatively short, each with several cuts in hard-to-reach places and an abundance of various weapons to add to the chaos of the game. Rollcage Stage II is an excellent arcade game with beautiful graphics, a driving soundtrack, and explosive gameplay that defies all laws of gravity.
Twisted Metal (PS3, 2012)
When it comes to survival racing, the first thing many people think of is the Twisted Metal series. However, while an entire generation of gamers grew up early in the series, these games look dated these days. Luckily, we got a reboot in 2012 with excellent graphics, classic gameplay, extra game modes, and online multiplayer.
Gameplay remains an explosive derby, with participants systematically destroying each other with machine guns, rockets, and other weapons until only one person remains in the arena. The local controls can take some getting used to, but after a few games, you’ll get the hang of it and start wreaking havoc across the vast arena, turning your opponent into a smoking pile of twisted metal.
Vigilante 8: The Second Offense (PSX/N64/Dreamcast, 1999)
2nd Offense is a direct sequel to Vigilante 8. In front of us is an exciting battle royale with various unusual weapons. In each arena in the game, you’ll find additional vehicle upgrades that you can use to move around impassable areas of the map, such as lakes or snow-covered plains.
The new recycling feature allows you to collect parts from destroyed enemies, then use them to improve your car’s performance, increasing attack, speed and armor. The game looks great in single-player and AI mode, but it’s more fun to play with friends in split-screen mode.
Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now (PC 1998)
Carmageddon II is the equivalent of the 1975 B-sci-fi action movie Death Race 2000. The game is also set in a post-apocalyptic future, with racers on armored vehicles dangling various weapons and competing in deadly races for sizable cash prizes. There are several ways to win the race: get to the finish line first and eliminate all opponents, or kill every pedestrian on the level.
In its year of release, the game was a real breakthrough thanks to beautiful graphics, realistic car deformations, and many hapless pedestrians trying to throw themselves under the wheel. The title is also known for its rich dark humor, charismatic racer (only a protagonist named Max Damage deserves it), and crazy upgrades (for example, jelly-like suspension). This is a true classic of the genre.
Super Mario Kart (SNES, 1992)
This franchise deserves the second spot on our list, thanks to the formula it uses that continues to improve with the game. Still, even the first part of the series has been perfectly preserved. Sleek pixel graphics, a set of famous characters, and insidious weapons can make any match unforgettable.
Super Mario Kart is a timeless classic in console gaming. And the beauty of Mario Kart is that you can slide from first to last (or vice versa) in the blink of an eye. Also worth mentioning are the intuitive and straightforward weapons, well-designed maps, carefully tuned difficulty, and a battle mode designed only for two participants.
Blur (PC/PS3/Xbox 360, 2010)
Blur was developed by Bizarre Creations, who previously worked on the Project Gotham Racing series. The result is a very competent racing game that incorporates everything you’d expect from the genre. There’s dynamic gameplay, cars with easy controls, and a detailed race track that’s highly interactive. Combine that with the wide range of available weapons, and you have the best modern survival race.
Every match will leave a lot of unforgettable impressions because, in just a few minutes, you have time to shoot lightning exactly a kilometer ahead, dodge a homing missile at the last minute, or drop a bomb on an opponent trying to adapt to a turn. Nothing is more exciting than Blur.
Road Rash 3 (Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, 1995)
Road Rash 3 combines high-speed motorcycle racing with selective violence. Winning every race depends on your driving skills and your readiness to throw your fists on the road. In the game, you can kick nearby opponents and hit them with various weapons – including clubs, tire irons, and chains.
Of course, opponents themselves are not against hitting you with a helmet bat, but these are far from all the dangers of the road. You need to maneuver in traffic, dodging cars, road signs, and pits to avoid accidents and finish the race ahead of time. Road Rash 3 is rightfully considered the best part of the series, as the later 3D graphics parts can no longer reproduce the magic of the original trilogy.