Oh, how far we've come. Atari's Gran Trak 10 was seminal in the sense that it presented the genre in its purist, embryonic form.
F-Zero birthed a lot of the futuristic tendencies found in Psygnosis' WipEout series, not to mention SEGA's Daytona USA.
Another arcade title, only by this time, SEGA had produced a racer with rich, blue-sky environments and catchy theme tune. Playing Out Run, you could almost feel the breeze in your hair.
Before Motocross became all the rage through RedLynx's Trials series, Excitebike kickstarted a franchise when the first title bunny hopped onto the scene in '84.
There are imitators, and then there are initiators. And Nintendo's indelible Mario Kart very much belongs to the latter category. Few racing franchises can hold a candle to its defining success, and given the reception of Mario Kart 8, don't expect The Big N's mascot racer to slip from the starting grid anytime soon.
Forget Silverstone and Monte Carlo, in 1991, Codemasters pulled a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids move and created Micro Machines. In it, players were tasked with speeding along various household environments, whether it was a rather messy kitchen table or desktop.
Perhaps more than anything else, WipEout opened up the engine of the racing genre and electrified it to its core. The result? A blistering arcade racer with an excellent soundtrack, and it's one we're holding out hope for a reboot.
Though Reflections Interactive's Driver released under the seemingly-inescapable shadow of one Grand Theft Auto, the studio's title still birthed a franchise, with the crown jewel being Driver: San Francisco in 2011.
With Gran Turismo selling like gangbusters across PlayStation platforms, Microsoft and Turn 10 introduced a pretender to the crown in the form of Forza Motorsport back in 2005.
Despite the most recent installment failing to light up the sales chart, Gran Turismo is still to this day a sale juggernaut for Sony. But will that trend continue onto PlayStation 4 with the arrival of GT7?