Formula 1 racing came full circle on the video game circuit when Namco’s Pole Position was released in arcades around 1982. Pole Position’s rear-view racing format pretty much cemented what the visual perspective is in any racing game you play these days.
In the cockpit of a F1 race car, drivers must complete a time trail lap to qualify for a race at the Fuji Racetrack. After qualifying, gamers are put up against other strong racers in search of championship gold. Sounds linear and simple, and that’s because in some part it actually is. We’re not dealing with the complex gameplay of Gran Turismo, its Pole Position; put your feet on the clutch, break when necessary and beat the clock to qualify. That’s pretty much it, and its great.
Namco set the trend for 3D racing on the arcade circuit. Resurrected in numerous compilation packages on next-gen consoles, Pole Position justifies how classics never go out of style.