In the summer of 1994, the big two 16-bit publishers, Nintendo and Sega, released new racing games for their respective systems. Both of them pushed the envelope in graphical capabilities thanks to special chips in their cartridges, and were also fun to play. So which one is better? Well, click below and lets find out.

Virtua Racing
Virtua Racing is a Genesis port of the arcade title. Thanks to a special on-board processor, the game managed to pull off some impressive visuals, even if they were scaled down compared to the arcade version. The game was single-player (whereas the arcade game had cabinets that could link up for multiplayer), and contained three tracks, each of which was tied to a difficulty level (a fact that Nintendo made sure to mention in an ad for Stunt Race FX). Players could select from one of four views by which to experience the race. Although the game was light in terms of content, the game’s graphics and presentation paved the way for more modern racing games. Since it’s release, Virtua Racing has received re-releases on the Saturn and 32x, as well as a PS2 remake. The original cartridge was pricey due to it’s chip, and the game doesn’t work on later models of the Genesis, such as Majesco’s Genesis 3.

Fact: Virtua Racing was one of the games featured in the 1994 Blockbuster video game championships.

Stunt Race FX
Developed by Nintendo EAD and Argonaut Software, Stunt Race FX was one of the handful of games which made use of the Super FX chip. Featuring 3 cars (and an unlockable 4th), players have their choice of several game modes for a total of 24 tracks. Speed Trax contains traditional beat-the-clock style racing, Stunt Trax features an obstacle course, Battle Tracks features 4 tracks for head-to-head multiplayer, and Test Run/Free Trax in which players can practice on the game’s courses. The game features damage, and your car can be destroyed by taking too much of it. While the control isn’t as precise as Virtua Racing’s, the game’s variety and silliness makes up for it tenfold.

Fact: The game was called Wild Trax in Japan, and a soundtrack, Rare Tracks for Driving was released by….wait for it…Sony.

Although these weren’t the first racing games to feature polygonial graphics (indeed, Namco’s Winning Run back in 80s was among the first to use polygons), the level that these games utilized them made them more immersible than ever. Modern day racers such as Gran Turismo and Burnout owe a lot to these groundbreaking titles. Did you play either of these titles? Which one was your favorite? Sound off below.