[Review] OutRun


REVIEW # 00000000 00011110

69.2 Magical Sound Shower

OutRun is one of the best selling game of all time and won the Golden Joystick Award for Game of the Year. Is the game that defined the difference between a Racing game and Driving game even if some titles released later still confused the two genres (like Test Drive, for example) and hase been widely acclaimed as one of the 100 most important titles in video game history.

My heart says…


The MS-DOS version of OutRun was one of the first game I ever played on my first computer, a woderful 286. At that time was already an old game, since I played in 1994, 8 years after the first release but I still remember the arcade version that dominate in my grand-grandma bar, smashed everyday by swarm of teenager willing to fight for the highest score.

OutRun cabinet

Then there was a Ferrari, a blonde chick sitting next to you and sun, a lot of sun. Who could ask for more?

Splash screen


The wonderful intro with the Ferrari ready to start the engine on a sunny californian (maybe) road with a summer tune in the background it’s a piece of gaming history. Good beginning for SEGA…

OutRun opening



The main feature of OutRun is the game engine, especially fot its detail and fluidity, then we have the bright colors that were perfect for the context, a sunny american coast, and Ferrari shiny red shade. To be 1986 is definitelu not bad even if the car sprites are quite repetitive.




If there was a plot surely it could be like “my blonde fiancee want me to go with her on the sunny west coast streets just to make sure everybody could see her on a Ferrari”. But I’m not really sure this was the intention of the developers…



The gameplay id quite simple, maybe TOO simple. You have to drive your car on a road race, trying to avoid the traffic and to go out of the track and you have a limited amount of time, that can be increased every checkpoint.

Your car is 2-gear Ferrari (gear “Low” and gear “High”…) and sometimes you will face a pitchfork whee you have to choose left or right: every direction leads you to one of the five different finish lines each one with a particular ending scene (those are quite funny though).

There’s nothing particular you have to do if not be aware of the other cars so the game is only a race against the time that can be translated in a race against the high score, since every second you save at the end of the race is converted in points.

Ok, we are in an arcade game, but maybe with something more to do this could have been a way better experience.



Here comes the best part of the game. The music you have to choose at the beginning of the game, moving the radio tuner (this was a wonderul idea) are awesome and make you really feel as you are driving a Ferrari in the sunny street on the West Coast.



Despite my love fot OutRun we have to say that the longevity is not a key point of the game. There are 5 different game endings but the game is quite repetitive. There are other features that made this game great…

Final Score 71/100


Year: 1986

Developer: Sega AM2

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Racing

Games Mode: Single Player, Multiplayer

Original Platform: Arcade, ported on Amiga, Amstrad CPC Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, Game Gear, Genesis, MSX, SEGA Master System, SEGA Saturn, TurboGrafx-16, ZX Spectrum

From same developers:

  • Space Harrier (1985)
  • Afterburner (1987)
  • Virtua Fighter (1993) and sequels
  • Virtua Cop (1994) and sequels
  • Virtua Striker (1994) and sequels

From the same publishers:

  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986) and sequels
  • Altered Beast (1988)
  • Golden Axe (1989)
  • Sonic the Hedgedog (1991) and sequels

Inspired to:

  • Hang-On (1985)

If you liked you can also try:

  • OutRun Europe (1991)
  • OutRun 2019 (1993)
  • Ferrari F355 Challenge (1999)

Other chapters of the saga:

  • Turbo OutRun (1989)
  • OutRunners (1992)
  • OutRun 2 (2003)

Follow I ❤ Old Games on Facebook!


23 Comments Add yours

  1. Ryan says:

    Used to love this as a kid in the arcades!I had the port of it for the ZX Spectrum and it was just awful. Really really bad. I got it for the Genesis now and that is much more akin to my memories of it in the arcade.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes, unfortunately the ports for Specturm sometimes were very very awful…


    2. steviegill (cakeisaliegaming) says:

      Yeah the Speccy port was pants, but I later got it for the Amiga and it was much better

      Liked by 1 person

      1. benez256 says:

        The Amiga ports are always quite good…


  2. While some of the ports play well enough, and it looks good I just can’t stand checkpoint racing. I suck too much at them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Usually I suck too, but OutRun is quite easy, or at least is easy the DOS version I have…


      1. I always got excited by the arcade cabinet, don’t think I ever passed the 2nd checkpoint

        Liked by 1 person

  3. allendemir says:

    Never had the chance to play this game, it always looked a really fun arcade-style racer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes, definitely very arcade…


  4. Mr. Panda says:

    I’ve always heard things about this game, so it’s good to hear that it has some good points. I can see where it might not be the most engaging game to play, but I’m sure it was impressive for its time. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      During the years OutRun earned a cult status. Basically is a good game, not the greatest i saw, but always a good game. I think the biggest contribute to this status are the sound and the west coast atmosphere. And the Ferrari, for sure…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rob Jon Andrews says:

    This is one of the 1st arcade machines I remember. Your right, that opening with the Ferrari and leggy blonde is so iconic. Good article

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I fondly remember it too, thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It was awesome seeing these type of games in the arcade centers in the early 90’s.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.