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The Top 7... Fastest games of all time

Doing 150MPH in Gran Turismo is pretty fast, right? Wrong. It's as fast as a terminally geriatric snail that's taken to tethering itself to a tree and trying to walk through treacle – at least compared to the games on this list. Some of these games let you break the sound barrier. Some literally keep accelerating until you inevitably blow up. They're all stupidly fast, but which is the fastest game of all time? Find out right here…

 

7. WipEout HD

WipEout doesn't look like it's going to be a mega-fast game when you first start it up. It's impressively smooth, sure, and the craft reach some nice speeds as they glide serenely around the tracks. But it's just lulling you into a false sense of security. It's waiting for you to get used to how it plays, before it lets you try Zone mode. 

The idea is simple. The game accelerates for you and you haven't got any brakes. That's it. You just have to avoid the walls as much as possible until the game gets too fast for any human to be able to control. The expert in this video isn't human. He's actually the cyborg offspring of an olympic athlete and Data from Star Trek.



How fast is it? Top speeds in Zone mode have been known to breach the 1,600kph barrier. So that's as fast as 50 real-life roadrunners. Not the animated fella who 'meep meep's at Wile E Coyote, that would be silly.

 

How fast does it feel? Alright, about as fast as the animated Roadrunner.

But it's not just current-gen tech that lets you reach insane speeds. Check out this little beauty:

 

6: F1

Domark's sensational Formula One racer is still one of the fastest games ever made. The main game moves at a fair lick of pace, especially on higher skill levels. This is despite the 16-bit machine having to render true 3D scenery objects without any kind of DSP chip to accelerate the graphics (geek mode cancel).

So check out the full-screen single player mode, which is, in its own right, smooth and vroomy.



Looks pretty quick, right? Yeah, but I know what you're thinking - there are loads of games faster than this. Ah, but have you seen the game's Turbo mode? Didn't think so.

Basically, this takes the game engine from the 2-player mode (smaller car sprites and reduced scenery) but runs one whole screen of it. That leaves the top half of the screen showing nothing but sky and the track map which, when coupled with some rather large black borders, allows the processor to concentrate on making the remaining 30 per cent of the screen run like greased lightning. And it absolutely does:


Above: Add swathes of blue sky to the black screen borders and your processor will show you love 

How fast is it? F1 cars of the day used to reach 200mph on the long straights. But Turbo mode easily moves another 50% faster than that. So... one and a half Nigel Mansells? Possibly even more.

 
How fast does it feel? Like someone strapped a NASA-engineered rocket to your arse, lit the fuse and said 'try not to hit anything'.

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60 comments

  • knightofthewind15 - November 20, 2012 11:58 p.m.

    I don't know, Sonic Unleashed looked a lot faster than all the others. I mean, sure the game in first place showed how fast you were going according the SPEED GAUGE, but not with true logic. If someone used a program that calculated the speed of the games, I honestly think Sonic Unleashed would have been in first place. Think about it,if Extreme G3 in real life, would you REALLY be going over 1,000 miles per hour? Extreme G3 looks almost as fast as Sonic Unleashed, but not as fast in my eyes.
  • james-carruthers - April 28, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    In G Surfers you can jump over Everest at over 10000KPH.
  • james-carruthers - April 28, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    Obviously never heard of G Surfers. You can fly over Everest at over 10,000KPH.
  • DAiello - August 13, 2010 11:29 p.m.

    not completely accurate because according to the theory of special relativity, the closer to the speed of light you get, the more energy is required and therefore, you need an infinite amount of energy in order to go faster than the speed of light.
  • philipshaw - August 11, 2010 9:52 a.m.

    My cousin rented Extreme G for the N64 once and even that game was mega fast. But wipeout and F-Zero are the only games that went so fast that I felt sick
  • elpurplemonkey - August 11, 2010 6:29 a.m.

    I had completely forgotten about Extreme G. I played the hell out of the first one back in the day. Also, that Concord photoshop is priceless.
  • Comassetto - August 10, 2010 6:20 p.m.

    What about the old classic Top Gear... shouldn't get a place in there?
  • SwampRock - August 10, 2010 10:51 a.m.

    Where's burnout revenge? I love that game too much, maintained within the top 100-200 on the leaderboards when I played!
  • AnonymouZ - August 10, 2010 8:55 a.m.

    this is why i hate racing games.
  • Trg564 - August 10, 2010 8:05 a.m.

    I believe the correct response to being Sonic/any of the vehicles would be SHEEEEEEEIT
  • Guardian88 - August 10, 2010 5:09 a.m.

    I freakin' live F-Zero! I had the game on the gamecube and played every game mode, bought every car, created my own cars, and bought every track. F-Zero is a kick ass game...now I want to see F-Zero for the Wii.
  • MassEffect2 - August 10, 2010 4:25 a.m.

    I dont know why but i pissed myself on the gran turismo one XD
  • shyfonzie - August 10, 2010 4:16 a.m.

    I want to play GX reallllly bad now.
  • ihitthedrum - August 10, 2010 4:15 a.m.

    The reason Gran Turismo stops at 2,147,483,647 is because in some programming languages, that's the maximum an integer can reach. Just a random tidbit of information.
  • BlackElement17 - August 10, 2010 3:38 a.m.

    That was a fast list.
  • Chewrocka - August 10, 2010 3:35 a.m.

    I love F-zero GX but i wish you got podracer for the N64. It was right up there with XG in blazing fast polygons.
  • Gahmah - August 10, 2010 3:20 a.m.

    The sound the car makes in gt3 right before it tops out makes me laugh every time, reminds me of the laser boss from sonic 2.
  • whiteknight1981 - August 10, 2010 2:46 a.m.

    I want to say I laughed at the Speed Incarnate picture but it was so fast that my eyeballs went forward in time. I'll feel better about it after I stop staring at naked future chicks (cause, you know, clothes are passe in the future)
  • Darkhawk - August 10, 2010 2:26 a.m.

    Let's not forget Kinetica (PS2). That game was rad. Review here: http://ps2.ign.com/articles/166/166286p1.html
  • VirAetas - August 10, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    Ahh sweet mother speed how I love thee. However I must admit I was sad to see that the old N64 Star Wars: Episode I Pod Racer game didn't make the list. Yeah the movie was "merrr" but the game really did a great job of making you feel like you're going 800 mph down an icy mountain with two giant engines pulling your tiny pod screaming along. Then you hit the boost and all hell broke loose. There was no greater feeling in a race than blowing an engine and sailing hell for leather over the finish line to get first place then explode in a fireball of glory. But maybe that's just me ^_^

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