The original Out Run was a force of change for arcade racers in the mid’80s. It began a sub-genre of clones that included arcade and console gamers alike – with Rad Racer/Highway Star from Square being one of the most prominent. The not-quite-a-Ferrari at the time gave the game a bit of visual cache too and the fast-paced driving action saw you explore the game’s world with a variety of branching paths. Going to the left in the fork in the road gave you an easier path, while the right was harder. Each had unique sights to see and there was no true right or wrong answer – just a preference in stage and a tougher difficulty curve. Later games mixed things up with gimmicks like turbo and multi-player, but nothing was quite able to capture the spirit of the first game until Out Run 2 – which sadly can’t be obtained anywhere now digitally.
Fortunately, physical copies of the Xbox versions of both the regular and Coast 2 Coast incarnations are playable on the Xbox 360 even with the PS3 and 360’s downgraded port being taken off of digital marketplaces ages ago due to the loss of the Ferrari license. Thankfully, since the original game used a car similar to, but legally distinct from a Ferrari, it is available digitally – and at a fantastic price point. SEGA AGES Out Run is now available on the eShop for $7.99