For some people their first racing game was Gran Turismo or Mario Cart, but for me my first racing game was Crash Team Racing.
In fact this was my first Crash Bandicoot game. I had played the original crash bandicoot at a friend’s house, but had never got further than the second level.
Crash Team Racing was a high quality cart racer. This game is one I remember because it was very accessible to my brothers and I as young players, and it really allowed us to play together. When my brothers played there were lots of moments where I as the older brother was asked to help get past a tough stage, and we shared in victories together.
Whilst I have vague memories of the single player campaign, along with a final boss that would cheat by starting the final race before the countdown was to start the race was complete, where the real joy of this game came out was in the Battle Mode.
Pick your favourite racer and try to blow up the competition. This was a versus mode that my brothers and I played endlessly. We did not have a multi-tap for the ps1 and so only could play 1-v-1, and we would play winner stays on, obviously the most fair way to play that totally didn’t mean that I, the oldest brother could just keep playing endlessly. It was a good way for us to let out that sibling competitiveness.
This was a game that brought my brothers and I together, both when we were trying to get past a hard race, or in the arena, joined in rivalrous combat.
Something that is funny about looking back at the these games that I grew up with is not always the single player experience I remember, but rather how these games brought me closer to my brothers, and how those experiences were something we could share in together.
I am aware that Crash Team Racing has recently been remastered, but I am not sure that it is a game I will pick up soon. My brothers don’t have PS4s and we have all have our own lives in different parts of the country, it is hard to sit down and play together.
But in a few years my child will be old enough to start playing games. And Crash Team Racing might well be the perfect way for us to share in a piece of my childhood together.
Did you ever play Crash Team Racing? Did you prefer it as a single player or a multi-player experience? Share your stories in the comments below!