What makes a legendary video game car? Well, for this list I’ve included real-life cars only. That means no vehicles from Grand Theft Auto or Micro Machines, sorry. Quite frankly, I was never going to narrow down a complete list of my favourite cars from video games because there’s hundreds to choose from. If you disagree with this list (I’m certain 99% of you will), let me know in the comments below what else you would add.
Outrun - Ferrari Testarossa Spider
Outrun was released in 1986, the same year Fiat boss, Gianni Agnelli, was gifted his one-off Testarossa Spider. With the game recieving critical acclaim due to innovative graphics and selectable soundtrack, the Testarossa Spider had a platform to become the poster-car for the late 80’s. Outrun became a hit arcade game and soon enough every bowling alley had a ‘cabinet’ where you could drive your very own Ferrari.
Gran Turismo - Castrol Tom Toyota Supra
I could include so many cars from the Gran Turismo series but for the first game I have to mention the Castrol Tom Supra for its iconic livery, excellent sounding 3S-GTE and because this list needs a Supra somewhere.
Gran Turismo 2
Renault Espace F1
“Oh you can be a supercar, it’s cool. I’ll just be this weird-looking minivan…”
Gran Turismo 3
- Nissan Skyline NISMO GT-R LM
No other car has featured as much as the Nissan Skyline in the Gran Turismo series and the NISMO GT-R LM is surely one of the best, visually and performance-wise.
Suzuki Escudo Pike's Peak
I could include so many cars from the Gran Turismo series but this had to make an appearance. I mean, look at it. I can't remember seeing a bigger wing outside of Heathrow. Tune it up and you'd create a wheelie monster.
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue - Ferrari F2007
Ferrari are notoriously difficult when it comes to getting a licence for video games, hence why Outrun was so popular. Gran Turismo finally reached a deal and managed to get the F2007 Ferrari F1 car into the fifth installment of the series.
Need for Speed Underground - Hello Kitty Honda Civic
I mean, come on. How could I not include this? A Hello Kitty Civic is as JDM as you'll get.
Need for Speed Underground 2 - Cadillac Escalade
Underground 2 introduced many weird and wonderful cars. It was a game where you can modify and race a Hummer H2 against an MX-5. From its seemingly endless appearances on rap videos to ferrying burgeoning reality TV stars around, the Escalade's image is intertwined with this era. Anyone else getting flashbacks of Xzibit?
Need for Speed Most Wanted - BMW M3 GTR
You've defeated the blacklist and finally won your car back from Razor. Now just escape Sgt Cross and his demented police force by jumping the bridge. I can still hear that glorious V8 engine echo.
Need for Speed Carbon - Audi R8 LMS
Carbon may have been the beginning of the end the NFS street tuning culture but it was a lot of gamers first sighting of the first Audi R8. It looked incredible and stole the show.
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition - Dodge RAM SRT-10
If there's a car that sums up the Midnight Club series of games (and the mid-2000's West Coast tuning scene in general), the Dodge RAM SRT-10 is pretty much it.