Retro Game Showcase: Crash Team Racing

Release Date: September 30 1999

Developer: Naughty Dog Studios

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Available on: Sony Playstation

The very first track you race on is also a very memorable one.

What you should know about Crash Team Racing

  • Crash Team Racing was Sony’s effort to bring its beloved mascot, Crash Bandicoot into the kart-racing genre, to compete against the likes of Mario Kart.
  • It released on the Sony Playstation on September 30th 1999, to critical acclaim.
  • The game follows Crash Bandicoot and all the other characters facing off against the evil Nitros Oxide, who claims to be the “fastest racer in the galaxy” and wants to turn Earth into a multistory car park.
  • The game features up to 15 playable characters, each with different kart stats.


The Good

  • The controls are absolutely sublime, no matter who you race as.
    Each kart responds perfectly to controller input and never frustrates the player.
  • The graphics are great for PS1 standard, if a little dated now.
    It has a very recognizable aesthetic and unique art style that makes it utterly enjoyable to look at. Tracks look fantastic and are very memorable.
  • Large list of characters!
    8 from the start, with up to 7 more unlockable characters from the Crash Bandicoot universe. Each character has different stats and can fit any playstyle the player chooses. The track selection is also nothing to sneeze at for its time.
  • Adventure Mode is viable single-players
    It provides an avenue for players to spend more time on the game if they’re playing alone.
  • Up to 4-player split-screen is available
    The Playstation Multitap makes it an absolutely awesome kart racer to play with friends on a couch.
  • The game’s difficulty is competitive, yet not impossible.
    Learning all the tricks to drive fast as well as figuring out all the shortcuts on a track is immensely satisfying. Easy to learn, hard to master.


Prepare for Aku Aku (or Uka Uka if you’re playing as one of the baddies) to hound you all throughout Adventure mode.

The Bad

  • The Adventure mode is a long one.
    A bit too long, perhaps. Players may end up burning out if they’re not the sort of people who are completionists.
  • The boss levels are cheap in their difficulty.
    They’re not difficult but extremely annoying.


Each character has their own unique kart design, and they’re also varied in performance.


Crash Team Racing is probably one of the finest kart racers from the sixth generation of consoles, not just on the Playstation. With the remake on the horizon, it definitely helps to come back and enjoy this classic, and eagerly await the remake coming in June 2019. If you have a Multitap, it makes it even better as a party game. This is one of the must-haves in the PS1 library when you just want to sit back and drive fast.

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