From Horizon Chase Turbo to Formula Retro Racing World, there are plenty of retro-inspired racing games out there when you’re in the mood for a nostalgic trip down memory lane. But sometimes you can’t beat the original classics.
Thanks to emulation, you don’t need to dust off your old hardware or shell out extortionate amounts of money on old games to enjoy some retro racing. And now one of the most influential arcade racers of all time has arrived on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Pole Position now playable on PlayStation and Switch
Developed by Namco, the seminal Pole Position is now playable on PS4 and Nintendo Switch as part of the Arcade Archives series. Other games to get the Arcade Archives treatment include Namco’s RallyX.
For those who didn’t grow up in a time before TikTok, Pole Position originally hit arcades in 1982. It was a massive hit, becoming one of the most influential racing games of all time and paving the way for modern F1 racers. It may seem primitive now, but Pole Position helped shape modern racing games.
Before Pole Position, most arcade racers were played from a top-down perspective. Pole Position bucked this trend, shifting the camera behind the car to create the now-ubiquitous third-person chase camera.
Admittedly, Pole Position wasn’t the first game to do this – that honour goes to Sega’s Turbo released a year earlier. But it certainly helped popularise it.
Notably, Pole Position was also the first game to feature a real racing circuit with a recreation of Japan’s Fuji. In another first, you had to complete a qualifying lap before advancing to the grand prix and use your driving skills to finish in pole position.
Pole Position went on to become Japan's highest-grossing arcade game in 1982, so we have this game to thank for popularising racing in arcades.
Relive the arcade racing classic
Pole Position was ported to numerous home systems, but this is the original arcade classic. The rom is based on the Japanese game but the options menu and manual are available in Japanese, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Published by Hamster Corporation, the new Arcade Archives version comes with options to change the game difficulty, display settings, and view online leaderboards.
Will you be reliving this arcade classic on modern systems?
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