aka: 3D Out Run, Out Run, Sega Ages: OutRun
Moby ID: 16
Arcade Specs
Buy on Genesis
$64.00 used on eBay
Buy on SEGA Saturn
$93.07 used on eBay
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Conversion (official) Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

OutRun is a racing game that allows the player to race across varied terrain in a readily available Ferrari, complete with a female passenger, over a series of short tracks.

Gameplay is viewed from just above and behind the car. The roads are full of sharp bends and hazards, contact with which can cause the car to roll and lose the player's time. On each section of track there is a fork in the road, allowing the player to choose which direction he or she wishes to go. The player has to to complete five track sections in total, out of the fifteen in the game.


  • SEGA AGES アウトラン - Japanese Nintendo Switch spelling
  • アウトラン - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

8 People

Best Outrunners
US Product Manager



Average score: 74% (based on 62 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 194 ratings with 9 reviews)

Another opportunity missed

The Good
It's amazing how much the pc version gets slated in a lot of reviews, compared to some appalling attempts. I have played literally every version known to man so I thought I would write a review. First off nice title screen making use of the 16 colour vga, all the tracks seem to remain faithful to the arcade, i.e. the dips and bends. The frame rate is ok-ish, even for a 286 this game wasn’t really pushing the boundaries, on today’s system it runs very fast if not too fast. All in all not that bad of a conversion.

The Bad
The main problem with this game is size, the main car is absolutely tiny in comparison to the other cars, and it makes u feel like Alison in wonderland. Also the game is so easy to complete, because the car is so small the road is huge and u don't need to break once. The sound (or lack of) is bad, just simple 1 note music from the pc speaker even though the actual sound samples are on the disk. As I said, the main thing is size, just look at the title screen, proof it could of been a lot better, but then as per usual with a lot of outrun conversions they were always rushed.

The Bottom Line
If you want Outrun then buy the arcade machine or get a decent emulator to play the real thing, outrun is a game that can't be converted, it’s an ARCADE game and always will be. The best conversions in my opinion are as follows -

The 8 Bit Consoles - Turbo Graphics PC Engine The 16 Bit Consoles - Sega Megadrive The 32 Bit Consoles - Sega Saturn

DOS · by Stephen N (11) · 2004

In my book, it's among the top 5 racing games.

The Good
Music would probably be the first thing. Passing Breeze is one of the most moving pieces of music I have ever heard in a console video game. The other songs are very good, but I don't think it gets much better than passing breeze. Also, I find the graphics technology to be incredible, considering it wasn't even Mode7-type "3D" (Mode7 is what the SNES used for lots of "3D" stuff, although it was just scaled 2D) Outrun used an confusingly incredible technology called Bi-Linear Parallax scrolling, which is certainly convincing enough, I mean, it really looks 3D. The control is very nice, too, as far as pre-16-bit system racing games go. Also, I love the way it has so many different ways you can go, there's probably at least 20 different routes altogether...Also, playing this game just gives me one of the most incredible feelings of nostalgia that I've ever experienced playing a video game, which probably is influencing my praise of this game more than it would for others...

The Bad
See, I played this as a kid, and I could never get very far for some reason, I just kept running out of time. I finally found some on-line documentation, and I figured out that...YOU USE UP AND DOWN TO SHIFT GEARS! I can be so stupid sometimes. (although, maybe it wasn't just me who couldn't figure that out) Anyway, that was probably the only thing I didn't like about it, this being the fact it didn't have any in-game documentation. Also, AI of "enemy" cars seemed to lack a lot.

The Bottom Line
An incredible technical and musical masterpiece for the SMS. (Sega Master System) Maybe I'm giving it more credit than it deserves, but I really love this game.

SEGA Master System · by J. David Taylor (27) · 2003

A Catastrophe

The Good
Outrun is a very special game to me for it marked the beginning of high speed racing games, but for the Atari ST version like the Amiga version, since they are identical I don't have anything positive to say about this most appalling piece of programming in the history of software.

The Bad
This is just not outrun, all the fond memories u may have had playing the father of racing games in the arcades will be shattered and lost for ever if u ever play this version. First of all you are greeted with an impressive title screen, makes u think wow this is going to be good, apart from the amiga version where it plays the most appalling rendition of bolted together samples of the orchestra of doom which has nothing to do with outrun anyway, after the title screen you are presented with the game, WITH PULL DOWN MENUS, I have never played a racing game with pull down menus, it really makes the game look cheap and nasty, then you have the main graphics, at first glance I really thought this was the commodore 64 version for the graphics are as blocky as hell, the frame rate is just useless, you jump at like 10 feet at a time, with probably an average of about 5 frames per second, then you have the passengers swapping seats, yes swapping seats, when u turn the car the man and the woman swap sides, the sound is comparable to a zx spectrum 48k with no thought of taking advantage of the sound capabilities. This type of shoddy workmanship just proves it was just another rushed crappy conversion to grab a quick buck on a new format yet again. It is such a shame, the ST and especially the amiga version could have been so much better, considering the Amiga actually used the same 68000 processor that the ORIGINAL arcade had as well, there was no excuse for this mess.

The Bottom Line
Look elsewhere, avoid like the plague.

Atari ST · by Stephen N (11) · 2004

[ View all 9 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Outrun on Amstrad GX4000 Robert Francis Jul 17, 2011



The classic red racer you use in the game is quite obviously a convertible Ferrari Testarossa (right down to the "Cavallino Rampante" logo featured in the back of the car), however SEGA had not licensed the likeness of Ferrari products and got into a series of legal issues with Ferrari. The eventually settled but it wouldn't be until OutRun 2 that the car would become an "official" Ferrari.

Copyright infringement

There was a patent case over the DOS port by Unlimited Software, the porting division of Distinctive Software. Accolade, for whom Distinctive had written The Duel: Test Drive II sought a preliminary injunction against Distinctive Software. It did not deal with the general look of the game, but rather the underlying source code.

Distinctive used some of the underlying "computer code" from The Duel for the OutRun DOS port, which Accolade challenged as an infringement of their copyright. Distinctive argued that these were standard libraries and routines, re-used in different games only for the sake of not having to reprogram them. Also, they claimed Accolade never contemplated the transfer of copyright in the library codes and, even if it did, the codes were not subject to copyright protection in the first place.

Ultimately, Accolade lost the case because the licensing agreement only referred to the concept and design of the game, but not the underlying codes.

The full case can be read through a link in the related links section.


A special edition of Outrun on cassette for Commodore 64 was bundled with a cassette containing the music from the original arcade game. The intention being to be listened to while playing the game!

Game Art Beyond

In 2018, Out Run was selected as one of the biggest classics on the Commodore 64 by the creators of the C64 graphics collection Game Art Beyond. Out Run was honoured with a high resolution title picture (based on the Amiga title screen artwork) in a special C64 graphics format called NUFLI, along with a new C64 SID interpretation of the famous Splash Wave theme. After listening to it completely, a short version of Passing Breeze can also be heard - this tune was missing in the original C64 conversion.


The PC version has undocumented support for the Tandy TL/RL/SL series; there are a few digitized sound samples that can be heard if the joystick is not chosen to play the game (since the TL/RL/SL couldn't play digitized sound and access the joystick at the same time, due to a rediculous design flaw).

MSX versions

Two versions of the game exist for MSX computers. The first one is for MSX1 computers, was developed by US Gold and is nearly identical to the other 8 bit versions of the game. It was likely released in both tape and disk formats. The second one was developed by Pony Canyon for MSX2 computers and had improved graphics and speed. It was likely released in Japan and in cartridge format only, although pirated disk versions do exist.


Second game Sega made in the 80's that used "Super Scaler" technology.

Differences between The Japanese and Over Seas versions

There are some differences between The Japanese and Over Seas versions of the game in terms of arrangement of courses. The famous Rock Tunnel stage is an entirely different in the Over Seas version as well as it appears much sooner in the game. Only Mega Drive edition of "Outrun" includes both options to play different versions.

Commodore 64 version

In C64 version "Passing Breeze" tune is replaced with "Radio Off" option.


  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #44 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by Garcia, Robbb, Sciere and Zovni


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  • MobyGames ID: 16
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Nintendo 3DS added by Michael Cassidy. SEGA Master System added by Tibes80. Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. J2ME added by chirinea. Arcade added by FatherJack. Amstrad CPC added by Zovni. Amiga added by Martin Smith. ZX Spectrum added by Terok Nor. Game Gear added by Macintrash. Commodore 64, Atari ST added by Servo. SEGA Saturn added by Игги Друге. MSX added by koffiepad. TurboGrafx-16 added by Katakis | カタキス. Genesis added by Syed GJ.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, chirinea, Sciere, Kabushi, Martin Smith, Freeman, Neville, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, Rik Hideto, Malte Mundt, Harmony♡.

Game added March 1, 1999. Last modified February 13, 2024.