Anti gravity in racing are set far in the future, while there's enough time to build, add and refine as much to anti gravity racing (in the coming centuries until humanity finally see a anti gravity race in real life), there are however, enough games to form a list of the best and formidable anti gravity vehicular racing games out on the market, for any platform to date. It's always been a dream to take off the wheels of the cars and to have them fly or hover as they drive. They look great and interesting however they are only great enough to be seen on TV, so maybe no surprise that they made for great to be seen as video games. Why the odd term "Anti-Gravity Vehicular Racing", because there's the hoverboard scene, where players can ride hoverboards, which is a genre of it's own, so I think it's best to place that in another list or idea, if there's ever enough games for it and focus this article on vehicular racing without wheels on a track.

Anti-gravity racing which features vehicles games have had an interesting history, with some games almost unnoticed to the point where this sub-genre of racing has been taken for granted. Early games had the challenge to not only model vehicle body structures for games, to make them look futuristic but to model race tracks and landscapes to fit the setting of those games being set in the future. Some games forced the racing into industrial like tunnels, as outrageous as it seemed, maybe because to fit into the limitations video games consoles of the last few decades could allow. The genre has died down a bit, why, not sure, with some interesting releases time and again, which puts this style on racing back in the spotlight and gives each console generation something different, so here's a list of games that really added something interesting to the entire anti-gravity racing scene on the whole:

Starwinder was developed by Mindscape and released for the PlayStation in 1996. This game was an early attempt of getting an anti gravity racing game on the consoles, which were usually found on the PC, at the time. which shows how far console technology as come, at the time. It is a straightforward racing game. The tracks are set in tunnel like arenas, so it makes wonder why it's such a hallow look to the same, clearly a choice made because of the limited tunnel setting but at least the developers had went with it, maybe to ship the game as soon as they could. Maybe was hard at the time, to generate and conceptize future landscapes but at least a brave attempt in ginvg a look to the game when they could and seems to look interesting, today despite all the other games being released later, which had push the genre to what is expected from a futuristic racing game, Starwinder is a good example of an early game for the PlayStation while the other bigger game WipeOut had taken the show for decades to come, for the console.

Galaxy 5000 was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. Developed and published by Activision. Being an NES game in the late 80s, the game was one of those arcade like isometic view racing games like Badlands, which have been completely forgotten about in today's era of racing games. Players select their vehicles and are taken on tracks which completely cubiod and rigid, maybe because of the Nintendo's capablities at the time, which Activision somehow managed to get together, while the game featured three other competors to race again. The hover vehicles can also jump, which adds more of a challenge while racing on the course, which is almost forgotten about as current futuristic racing games, rely on ramps to preform jumps, so I suppose that's 51st century racing technology. It's maybe the only game on the console to be set to feature racing using anti gravity vehicles, considering that the PC had done better attempt at the time.

The game was quickly put aside considering that the production values of racing games quickly increased with other racing games such as WipeOut and F-Zero had taken the scene, making everyone quickly forgetting how fun racing games were back in the 1980s, with their isometic views, that pretty much almost, never got attempted again.

NYR: New York Race was developed by French company Kalisto Entertainment and released by Wanadoo Edition in 2001 for the PlayStation 2, The game is based on the vehicles found in the The Fifth Element. Yep, it features many vehicles from the cab which Dallas (Bruce Willis character) drives to minor characters that were found in the film. It's a dream race, for someone out there and that's pretty much it. For a game that was heavily inspiried by a movie like the Fifth Element (despite there actually being a game adapted from the film, maybe why this game was made to fulfill that),

This game was almost unheard and unseen off, maybe because the focus was more on Wipeout for the PlayStation 2 and with F-Zero for Nintendo. The game had a Gameboy color release too, with a top down view. Generic styled racing but at least it's something different but doesn't seem to make the futuristic feel, work well, which was an expectation in the market. This game is more of an art creative item then an aggressive racing game, which doesn't want to show off what the hardware does unlike many of the other games, tries too.

Powerdrome was released for the Atari ST and published by Electronic Arts. It was also release for the Amiga and DOS PC the following years. The player takes control of vehicles modelled from bikes (for some reason) called Blades. The visual of the game, was just plains of polygons being rendered on screen, so it was more of the imagination of the player to feel like they were driving in the future. The game is extremely primitive, that they may as well not have put this on the list but there is a good reason it is. The player can also use weapons to shoot down their opponents, considering that it's almost common, now a days, to have the feature in these games. When there were games like Hard Drivin' and Test Drive at the time, which went to show off polygons in the early era, so the developers clearly did whatever they do, programming wise to make this feel like the anti-gravity racing game, it should be, which is worth the achievement. The game was also remade for the PlayStation 2 game but only released in Europe.

Antigraviator is a PC game developed by Cybernetic Walrus and published by Iceberg Interactive in 2018. While the market has almost seen it all, around this time, there was barely any new anti gravity racing game at the time. Antigraviator is a PC game that takes the current PC technology of today and delivers a racing game. Generic and straightforward but then there wasn't much anti gravity games in the previous few years (maybe Pacer) but not as much as the 90s and even 80s, so maybe it's an achievement to release a game just of recently, considering there was an F-Zero game for the Nintendo or a WipeOut game for the PlayStation for a while or any game for the PC, so Antigravitator answers this with it's currently release. Average at best but at least there's something to see from 2018 and maybe an inspiration for games for the future in 2028 or 2038 because the market seems already content with the current anti-gravity racing games but I don't think, that should be the case.

Fatal Inertia was developed and released by Koei in 2007 for the Xbox 360 marketplace and released the following year in 2008 for the PlayStation 3's PSN. Fatal Inertia was Koei's attempt to show what they can do with the anti gravity racing scene. The crafts in the game are divided in four classes, a chance for Koei to be crafty in naming them as it's already common enough for racing games to have vehicle classes. The games setting was the world needed a new sport away from cities and Fatal Inertia was popular to be noticed, making the vague premise of the game. Fatal Inertia was interesting because it made use of the Unreal Engine 3 software, which is known to have a terrain editor, which allowed developers to create terrains quickly and effectively with the game engine's editor, which wasn't found in the previous Unreal Engine and barely in the second Unreal Engine, which is why many of the tracks are set in raw terrain and water and not urban landscapes like cities and towns, which is why the story is explained in such a way. The game being on PSN for the PS3. The game wasn't budging with its price in terms of a sale, hardly (I had this wish-listed for a while and never budged until I gave in, purchasing it). There was never a game like this because of the games setting in wildlife natural like terrain and was almost forgotten about since a WipeOut game on the PSN was released, with achievements, which gave a reason to play that, over this.

CyberRace is another hover vehicle like racing game, developed by designer Syd Mead, who was known for his sets on the 1982 film Blade Runner and many other science fiction movies such as Aliens and Star Trek. CyberRace is published by Cyberdreams in 1994 and it delivers. Being in MS DOS, which has a very digital like feel to make it feel more like a video game, adds that character, one of the first games that really combined 3D and textures, to give the game more of the feel, then the games before it. The game has a cinematic story, which is rare for a game like this, (funny when you watch it), where the player has to race to save his girlfriend and the player ventures out, taking part in races, controlling crafts named Sleds and the player can shoot down opponents, while trying to win. The races feel very open world but the course is mapped with dots, lined together, so the player knows where they're going. The game and more of a gem if anyone is willing to look into the game, considering that 1994 was the era where PC gaming really started to push 3D gaming to what it is today, even the use of the game being on a CD-ROM, which was being introduced or a set of floppy disks, if anyone didn't have a CD-ROM. The package also had a toy model of a Sled aircraft with it, which somehow appears on internet shopping websites.

Star Wars Episode I: Racer was first released for the Nintendo 64 and Windows in 1999 and later ported to the Dreamcast in 2000. It was later re-released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, last year in 2020. Star War Episode I: Racer was unexpected. It takes the pod-racers scene which was a highlight from the film and makes a racing game out of it. Star Wars is known for its interesting visuals on the big screen, with characters and its setting, having a distinctive feel, which looks great on screen, so what better way to make a bunch of video games out of them. The pod-racing scene, had many vehicles with it's own unique look and feel to them and with the trend of anti-gravity racers being popular such as F-Zero and WipeOut, Star Wars Episode I: Racer was one of the more unexpected released to have come out of LucasArt's studio, at the time.

Star Wars Episode I was well praised well. The game had an arcade version from Sega, which is rather rare now a days. The game had a sequel titled Star Wars: Racer Revenge for the PlayStation 2, which follows loosely from the first game, where the characters re-race to win back what they feel like they loss in the first game. The game popularity, helped it being re-released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The Switch version supports the motion controls found on the support, to pilot the pod-racers.

WipeOut started off on the PlayStation by Psygnosis, which shows off futuristic racing. A basic hovercraft racing game, where players can collect weapons and other items on track, which helps them to win the race. The game had a Nintendo 64 release titled WipeOut 64 and a follow up, titled WipeOut 2097, released in 1997 for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. The success of the series early on, has led Sony to buy the studio out and renamed it Studio Liverpool and they have created more games, exclusive to various Sony consoles and handhelds over the years, to show off their hardware. WipeOut 3 for the PlayStation, which which really pushed the PlayStation at the time, boosting a higher resolution unlike the previous games, giving it a more clearly look and also a pit lane to repair the race crafts. The PlayStation 2 released WipeOut Fusion which included helixes and hoops to high ramps, which was almost unseen in an anti-gravity racing games. The studio later went to create WipeOut Pure and Pulse for the PSP. The series followed with WipeOut HD for the PSN for the PlayStation 3, which continued to show what PlayStation hardware did, along with DLC for that game titled Fury HD. Their last game was WipeOut 2048, for the PlayStation Vita. What made each game unique was their original track in every department. The crafts are owned and managed by teams, each craft being different in a sense of speed and power, making each different. By the time you'll play each game, you keep finding teams like FEISAR, AG Systems and Pir-hana being seen across many of the games.

The WipeOut series was fruitful for Studio Liverpool as they also went on to create a few official Formula 1 games after the year 2000 for the Sony PlayStation, to help boost the Formula 1 scene and giving the sport an official game, with similar features like pit lanes and fast racing. The studio shut down shortly after the last WipeOut game in 2012 however they later went on to make another hover racing game, titled Pacer, which was originally meant to be a Formula hover vehicle game but went back to the WipeOut feel, last year (in 2020). The WipeOut series is also known for the electronic techno soundtrack found in the game and The Designers Republic who creates some of the graphics and symbols, found in the game. The WipeOut series has added so much depth in the games, which adds to what makes these games entertaining.

The F-Zero series is Nintendo's main anti-gravity racing series found across many of their early consoles. The series started off with F-Zero in 1990 for the Super Nintendo, being a launch title, maybe to help show off Mode 7, to give the perspective view needed to make it look like a race scene. The Nintendo 64 had F-Zero X, which pushed the series into 3D. The GameCube later had F-Zero GX, which really ramped the action during races such as extremely fast speeds, considering racing games were popular at the time, which were really fast, which looked great. The F-Zero has however since stopped there, until then, with no games being released for the Nintendo Wii or DS and no news yet for the Nintendo Switch. The game series also found its way on the Nintendo Advance with F-Zero: Maximum Velocity and GP Legends. There have also been an arcade version titled F-Zero AX, which was produced by Sega with Nintendo. There have been many other releases only found in Japan for the game but nothing else since. F-Zero features characters, with their own vehicle and story for entering the tournament.

The F-Zero colorful and fun feel is what made the series what it is, unlike any of the other racers, which look more industrial. Many racers have also been inspired by F-Zero, clearly WipeOut being one of them. The F-Zero series has managed to stay unique on its own, even with one of the character Captain Falcon appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series. The series also has an anime which makes use of the look of the game, for good reason. The F-Zero series future is uncertain however it maybe shouldn't be surprising that many fans and newcomers want to see a game for the Nintendo Switch or any other future Nintendo console.

Other games out there:

Hyperdrive - Arcade game from Midway, if you were lucky to see this in the arcades. Never had a port
Hi-Octane - Quickly got overshadowed by other games. Made from Bullfrog, the folks who also made Magic Carpet, who are known for their limited draw distances, which was present in this game, which put people off.
Beam Breakers - Urban first person looking racing game with anti-gravity cars, released in 2002 by a European publisher JoWood.
Aero Gauge - Generic anti-gravity racing game for the Nintendo 64.
Pacer - Spiritual successor to the WipeOut series, recently just got released but WipeOut is already on the list.

That's the list of the best anti-gravity vehicular racing games, out there. Then there's the hoverboard games, which fit in a sub-genre of their own, where racers ride on hoverboards, like skateboards but they have no wheels but hover. Games like Trickstyle, Sonic Riders, Streak: Hoverboard Racing and Air Boarder 64, for example, all representing hoverboard racing, for hopefully, that sub-genre in racing will developer over the course of the next century, for someone to type a top 10 list article about those, if it ever comes to be.


List by 91210user
(06/09/2021)

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