Virtua Racing

Arcade Video game published 31 years ago by SEGA Enterprises, Ltd.

Listed in MAME

Virtua Racing screenshot

Virtua Racing © 1992 Sega.

Virtua Racing is a Formula One-themed racing game in which players can race on one of three different tracks. Each track features timed checkpoints that must be reached within the time limit or the race is over. Each race consists of up to five laps with a field of 16 drivers. Players start a race in last place and must fight their way up the field.

Contact with barriers, trackside objects or rival drivers will result in a crash or, more usually, a spin-out, costing the player valuable seconds. Players can also spin-out if they stray off the track onto a low-traction surface (such as grass). Rival drivers will also try to ram the player's car.

Virtua Racing offers both manual and automatic transmission and enables players to switch between four different viewpoints on the fly. The game's three tracks are named 'Big Forest', 'Bay Bridge' and 'Acropolis' and each offers a different level of difficulty: beginner, intermediate and expert.


Runs on the Sega "Model 1" hardware.

Players: 2
Control: paddle
Buttons: 6


Virtua Racing was released in August 1992 in Japan and in October 1992 in North America. This was the first racing game to be fully rendered with shaded, filled polygon graphics.

Sega went to General Electric Aerospace (who made the first 3-D simulators for NASA in the 1960s) in 1991-92 for assistance to develop a CG platform architecture for their new experimental 3-D system, which later became known as the Sega Model 1 hardware. Virtua Racer was the game being written to find out how viable hardware 3-D games were, it was never designed to be released, but it was such a success internally they decided to actually release it.

The first AM-2 polygon race game. The game features many epoch-making ideas: changing the point of view freely, feeling the hardness of the steering, the seat interacting with the gravity.

In true Sega fashion, their 'Virtua' prefix was used on a variety of other products such as "Virtua Fighter", "Virtua Cop", "Virtua Striker" and "Virtua Tennis".

Toshiba EMI released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Virtua Racing & Out Runners - TYCY-5365, 5366) on 15/12/1993.

Michael Jackson used to own this game (Wide Vision model, serial number: 00461579). It was sold at the official Michael Jackson Auction on Apr. 24th, 2009.


Director, Chief Programmer : Yu Suzuki
Programmers : Takuji Masuda, Masahiko Kobayashi, Masahiro Kawamura, Kazuhiko Yamada, Shin Kimura
Chief Designer : Toshihiro Nagoshi
Designers : Seiichi Ishii, Kunihiko Nakata, Toshiya Inoue
Music Composer : Takenobu Mitsuyoshi
Sound Effect : Yasuhiro Takagi
Hardware Designers : Shoji Nishikawa, Keisuke Yasui
Mechanical Effect Technician : Masaki Matsuno
Electrical Technician : Futoshi Ito
Program Supports : Ikuo Taniguchi, Yasuhito Shoji, Satoshi Hosoda
'Fresh' Staffs : Kohki Koiwa, Takeshi Suzuki, Toru Ikebuchi, Yasuo Kawagoshi, Yasuko Suzuki, Nobukatsu Hiranoya, Naomi Ota


Sega Mega Drive (1994)
Sega 32x (1994) "Virtua Racing Deluxe"
Sega Saturn (1995) "Time Warner Interactive's Virtua Racing"
Sony PlayStation 2 (2004) "Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 8: Virtua Racing Flat Out"
Sony PlayStation 2 (2005) "Sega Classics Collection"
Nintendo Switch (2019): Digital release.


Game's picture.
Game's ROM.
Game's screenshots.