Who doesn’t love a good racing video game? Racing video games have been popular since the 1970’s. One great aspect of racing games is that you can play as yourself or as a character. Games can have you racing anywhere from a real race track to a whimsical fantasy land. Whether you are an avid gamer or just a gamer for fun there is a racing game available for you.

Arcade style racing games were invented and released in the early 70’s. Many of these arcade games were single player overhead view noncompetitive racing games. These games allowed the gamer to race against a clock/computer. In the later 70’s video game companies broaden the spectrum to include competitive games where two players could race against each other. Early style arcade games often used black and white graphics. It wasn’t until Sega introduced Monaco GP that color graphics and the vertical view was introduced.

The 80’s brought major innovation to the racing video game genre. Not only were players allowed to drive their vehicles in all directions they were able to compete using the third person perspective. Music was also introduced to the backgrounds of most racing games. Real circuit driving was pioneered by Namco when they introduced Pole Position. This game was a revolutionary racing game in its time. The graphics were featured in a higher resolution and the third person perspective was used. When Pole Position 2 came out they added improvements. Players were now allowed to pick the course they were interested in racing on. Along with that feature came greater detailed graphics.

Racing simulators became all the rage starting in the early 90’s. Papyrus Design Group launched the game Indianapolis 500: The Simulation. The game was based off of the actual race track. Not only did it offer 3-D graphics you had set up options, car failures and handling issues. Sega was the first company to introduce multi-player machine linking with their Virtua Racing in 1992. If fantasy racing was more your style, Nintendo introduced the ever popular Mario Kart. The bright colors, colorful environment and recognizable characters made franchise history.

In today’s era video game companies are full speed ahead with racing game development. Racing games have become ultra realistic and competitive. Yes you can still find fun racing games like Cars the movie and Super Mario Cart to play around with. Although they now offer more of a free racing style with courses that allow racers to drive all over the course. Today the buzz has become all about Forza Motorsport 3 introduced by Turn 10 Studios exclusively for the Xbox 360. The game has over 400 cars available for players to customize and 100 plus tracks to race on. The Forza 3 tool features the ability to paint the vehicles and upgrade race cars. If you are an online racing gamer you’re even allowed to set up a store front to create car designs to sell to other players.

Gaming through the decades has defiantly come a long way. Yes customizing cars and racing against friends that live miles from you is a thrill but I still like some old school Pole Patrol. When you take a look back on history and see how far the video gaming world has come it is hard to imagine the future. With features like the Forza 3 car set up tool I can only envision what the world of video game racing will be ten years from now.