Sega Rally Championship
After the release of Daytona USA in late 1993, Sega would go on to further revolutionize the racing genre with another landmark title one year later: Sega Rally Championship. While still beholden to the arcades, Sega rally was a more realistic take on a completely different discipline of racing. At a time when licensed cars were a rarity in gaming, director Tetsuya Mizuguchi — now famous for Rez, Lumines and, most recently, Tetris Effect — inked deals with manufacturers Toyota and Lancia, popularizing the Celica and Delta all around the world and inspiring a new legion of rally fans.
It helped too that Sega Rally was as close to perfect as racing games get, with an expertly tuned physics model that still feels rich, rewarding and enjoyable so many years later, ingeniously designed courses and, in true Sega fashion, an iconic soundtrack. This is the title that inspired Codemasters’ Colin McRae and Dirt franchises, and, as far as I know, the only arcade cabinet that Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson owns. — Adam Ismail