Opinion: Which Ridge Racer was the best?

Ah, Ridge Racer, a classic series that is no longer with us.  A racing series that once upon a time I held very near and dear to my heart. It was always that arcade racer that I could count on to get me through a bad day or just for blowing away some spare time. I loved just about every game in that series, well expect for a handful of them, I’m looking at you Ridge Racer 6, Ridge Racer 7, Ridge Racer: Unbounded and mostly definitely looking at you Ridge Racer: Driftopia, which has to be hands down the worse Ridge Racer title ever. I was so damned bad that the game never even left beta, and while it was in Steam Early access it was pulled and unplugged as of August 15th, 2014.

Thank the Gaming Gods!

Was probably the best for everyone, it was a really poor quality title, something that Bandai Namco should have NEVER allowed to happen. And that really saddens me as it seems that Bandai Namco has given up the ghost on a title that helped define several gaming eras on the PlayStation. There hasn’t been any announcements of any future Ridge Racer titles for any platform and maybe it’s for the best as they apparently didn’t love something that used to be considered one of their flag ship titles enough to see it through and gave it to Bugbear of all companies. No disrepect to Bugbear on that matter but this is Ridge Racer we’re talking about, this should habe been an in-house developed title and worked on by the same teams that made the previous titles. From people that eat, slept and lived Ridge Racer. How the mighty have falled.


But enough of about the bad, instead let’s mention some of the truly outstanding gems form the once popular series, such as; Rage Racer, Rave Racer (arcade only), Ridge Racer V and my personal favorite, R4: Ridge Racer Type 4. Those games were the stuff of arcade racing legend in my eye. The music was always great, hell right up until Unbounded and Driftopia, there has never been a bad Ridge Racer soundtrack if I can recall. The later is also probably why an official sound track was never released for either of them, especially since it was typical of Bandai Namco to release an official sound track…. eventually.

The controls were perfect, as they had to be as you were racing around the tracks at break neck speed. And of course the challenges. Sure it was about the racing but fans of the series can also recall those battle races where you had rvials in the form of nearly unbeatable AI drive cars that you loved to race against. Well mostly raged against them but loved it when you beat them.

Take that Devil and Angel! 

I have a lot of fond memories of the Ridge Racer series and I’m sure you do as well. In fact I’d love to know which titles were some of your favorites. Which Ridge Racer title really got you going? Which one keep you up at all hours as you tried to become number 1? My favorite? Easily R4: Ridge Racer Type 4!

And Bandai Namco? Please make this right, please bring this once great series back and do it justice.


About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.