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Virtua Racing is Sega's first ever 3D, polygon-based racing game. The game consists of racing Formula-1-looking cars around a beginner, intermediate, or expert track, competing against a second player or computer drivers. Despite having Formula-1 cars, the game controls are very "arcadey" and players can see the leap they made from here to Daytona.

The Megadrive/Genesis version of Virtua Racing is of note as it is the only game for the system which features the SVP chip (Sega Virtua Processor). The chip is a 3D processor built into each cartridge (the console itself had limited 3D capability) and is very similar to the SNES's SuperFX chips, used in games such as Starfox and Stunt Race FX.


Virtua Racing Genesis Main Menu
Virtua Racing Genesis Race Menu
Virtua Racing Genesis Who needs texture mapping!?
Virtua Racing Genesis Lots of background scenery too!

Promo Images

Virtua Racing Magazine Advertisement Part 3
Virtua Racing Screenshot
Virtua Racing Magazine Advertisement
Virtua Racing Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "Virtua Formula" -- Chained version of multiple units with hydraulics
  • "SEGA AGES: Virtua Racing" -- Nintendo Switch title
  • "バーチャ レーシング" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Unnecessary? Yes Amazing? Also yes. AkibaTechno (254) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

Critic Reviews

Player One May, 1994 99 out of 100 99
Joypad Apr, 1994 96 out of 100 96
SuperGamePower May, 1994 4.8 out of 5 96
Consoles Plus Jun, 1994 94 out of 100 94
Hobby Consolas Jun, 1994 92 out of 100 92
Power Unlimited May, 1994 9.1 out of 10 91
All Game Guide 1999 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Score Oct, 1994 90 out of 100 90 Mar 22, 2007 7 out of 10 70
Retro Archives Jan 31, 2021 13.5 out of 20 68


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1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Virtua Racing appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


This game won't work on a model 3 Genesis.

SVP chip

This game caused a quite interesting problem for owners of phones. The SVP chip had a frequency that was so high it was picked up by the phones and they rang like crazy. It was enough to sure cause headaches!


  • Gamefan Magazine
    • 1994 (Vol 3, Iss. 1) - named the Best Genesis Driving/Racing Game of the Year ("Megawards" )
Information also contributed by Big John WV and DANIEL HAWKS !

Swing boat

In the arcade, Sega 32X, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation 2 versions of Virtua Racing, the swing boat in the Big Forrest stage moves back and forth. The Genesis version is the one exception where the swing boat is steady.

Related Web Sites

  • Sega's SVP Chip: The Road not Taken? (A feature article on the fansite Sega-16, which discusses the history of the SVP chip and its use in Virtua Racing, as well as the unused potential that the chip offered to Sega. The article also provides a comparison between the SVP, the 32x peripheral, the Sega Saturn, and Nintendo's SuperFX chip (Marc. 17th, 2006).)
Tibes80 (1567) added Virtua Racing (Genesis) on Jan 08, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Rik Hideto (461317) and FatherJack (62721)
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