Top Racer Collection is a bundle of four Top Racer games, known as Top Gear in North America, a racing series where players have to win races by placing in the top 10, earn money and upgrade their ride. The series first began in March of 1992 with Top Racer (Gear). The series span releases from the Super NES right up to Sony’s juggernaut: the PS2. The bundle contains Top Gear, Top Gear 2, Top Gear 3000 and Top Gear Crossroads.

All four games are the same concept of racing games; get in the top 5 in order to progress to the next race. However, Top Racer 2 and 3000 bring their own little extra gameplay content. In Top Racer 2, winning races earns you money that can be used to boost up your ride; strong engine, better tires, etc… And unless you’re a pro and finish 1st every time (you won’t), you’ll need a bit of grinding in order to get your ride up to par.

Still in Top Racer 2, in later races also allow you to pick up money icons for bonus cash. You’ll also have to keep an eye on your gas tank. Using nitro will increase the consumption and if you’re not careful, you’ll run out of gas before reaching the end. Longer racers will have gas icon pick ups, but again, you still need to manage your gas consumption because it is still possible to run out.

And given it’s futuristic implication with its title, Top Racer 3000 takes players across the universe where you’ll be able to race other racers on various planets (whom have roads for whatever reason). Akin to Nintendo F-Zero, instead of “manually” fixing your ride, you can drive over specific colored surfaces that will either refill your tank or fix your ride. In all four games, your ride can be dinged up if you drive into obstacles or fellow racers. The more banged up your ride is, the less efficient it’s gonna be.

Fans of pixelated visuals will have a blast here. All four games still hold up pretty well; despites not being able to see very far in the distance, it’s still pretty far enough to catch a glimpse of the other racers’ behaviors. Each race has a unique color palette; whether it be racing during the day, at night, during rainy day or even snow. The soundtrack for all four games are pretty enjoyable; Top Racer 2 remains the GOAT in that department (among other reasons).

The main problem I have here is that both Top Racer and Top Racer Crossroads are always split-screen, even against A.I. which is quite annoying because you can’t benefit from the full screen visuals. It also makes it harder to see in the distance and try to anticipate the behavior of other racers so you can avoid them properly. Top Racer 2 aside, gameplay is pretty shallow.

Top Racer Collection is a great look back at racers from the golden era of gaming. Sure they are not as deep as more recent racers (Top Racer 2 does have some replay value thanks to its upgrades), all four games have their benefit to them; whether it be simply racing non stop or trying to iprove your ride (in TP2). But given its shallow gameplay, these are the types of games you play in short bursts; like a race or two. I played Top Racer 2 back in the day; and even now, I’d find myself playing 2-3 races before taking a break (1 race for the other 3). Racing fans or casual gamers might want to bite the bullet and get a glimpse in the past, but those looking for a racing sim experience might want to look elsewhere.

  • 80%
    CX Score - 80%



  • Top Racer 2 is GOAT


  • Unnecessary split screen on Crossroads and TP1
  • Pretty shallow gameplay compared to new racers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *