The Top 7... Fastest games of all time

3. Burnout 3: Takedown

Burnout games have always been quick but, for us, it's Burnout 3's single-seater that's quickest. There's just something about the way the back end of the car steps out over bumps that makes it feel a twice as fast as it already is. And the experience is more exhilarating than that ride you took in a shopping trolley with your mates. Yeah, the one that ended in that trip to A&E.

The thing that makes Burnout 3 feel so fast is that you're often racing into oncoming traffic, so its speed is combined with yours to create obstacles flying towards you at 250mph. This is about as fast as games get before they start taking away your punishment for crashing. Burnout, on the other hand, loves to see you go from 208mph to zero in 0.01 seconds. Crashing at this speed looks ace too but, despite the fireworks, it's the long sweeping powerslides that keep us coming back for more.

How fast you actually go: 209mph. A stupidly realistic speed in a stupidly unrealistic game. But still, despite the comparitively slow-sounding realism, that's as the combined speed of 4.4 racing greyhounds. Not sure how fast the 'point 4' would run, mind. Looks a bit unbalanced.

How fast it feels: Excuse me - sorry to trouble you. I think my brain may have dribbled out of my ears and stained your seat a funny colour. Do you have any calipers?


2. F-Zero GX

We've said before that F-Zero GX is better than WipeOut HD and we stand by that assessment. The biggest reason is the sheer speed of the thing. While the tracks do undulate and change direction in the blink of an eye like WipEout's, there's something about the way the cars are stuck to the track that makes the feeling of speed more pure. There's much less chance of hitting the wrong boost pad and flying off up a cliffside.

So what about speed? Well, we're well into sci-fi territory now. The game can top 2,000kph (1,242mph) in regular play, which makes it technically faster than our winner. But, in terms of how it looks while it's running, it doesn't quite have the eye-melting speed to give it the crown. But we're still talking the second fastest game ever, here. Just look at it go:

And then there's the snaking. A frankly ridiculous technique of weaving left and right  to acheive massive speeds through what could be described as a bug yet Nintendo said was always supposed to be in it. With this technique, it's possible to top 5,000kph. Are you sure you're ready for this?

We've not included this in our reckoning, as it's regular gameplay that we're interested in today, but the fact that the game can do these sorts of speeds just cements it as the fastest game ever made.

How fast is it? 1,242mph is damn fast. That's 1.6x as fast as the current land speed record, which is held by Thrust SSC at 763mph. But if you want to get snaking, the 5,000kph speeds are four times as fast as the current land speed record. Let's just say your dog wouldn't be able to chase it down the road.

How fast does that feel? Erm... a bit squelchy, actually. Can you 'not look' for a sec? Thanks...


  • 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 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:
  • 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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