50 Years Of The Austin Mini: The Top Ten Classic Mini Games
I love Minis. I’ve owned two of them and driven a few more, been to the shows, watched every Mini-related DVD and TV production ever released, joined the forums, and seen The Italian Job (the original – there was no remake) at least 16 times.
I’m also well aware that this week marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the classic Austin Mini, and so I feel duty bound to celebrate this great little car in the best TTB way possible – by hunting down the top ten games featuring it and displaying them here for all to see.
Oh, and these aren’t in any particular order – I haven’t even played some of them, so that wouldn’t be fair!
Classic British Motor Racing (Wii : 2006)
Classic British Motor Racing allows you to race classic British cars in classic locations around Britain – so it’s fitting that it features a Mini very prominently. That’s not all, though, as you also get behind the wheel of an MGB, a Triumph TR6, an Austin Healey 3000, a Triumph Spitfire, and 9 other classic British sports cars!
London Racer Series (Playstation/PS2/PC : 2000 – 2005)
Produced by Netherlands-based game developer Davilex, the London Racer series of games (originally known as M25 Racer) featured a huge section of somewhat-realistic London for your racing enjoyment. It also had classic Minis! You may even find a copy of one of these games in your local games bargain bin, and they’ll run respectably on a modern PC, so why not?
GT Legends (PC : 2000)
GT Legends is a historic racing game for the PC, and features a large selection of classic tracks and cars, including the Cooper S seen above. I think that this is one of the most underrated racing games of all time, and not just because of the Minis!
Super Skidmarks (Commodore Amiga : 1995)
Super Skidmarks is a top-down 3D-ish racer for the Amiga, and featured up to 4 player simultaneous racing, a huge variety of courses, and some pretty nice graphics for its day. It has Minis, buggies, and even cows, and some of the races even let you hook up caravans!
GTI Club (Arcade : 1996 / PS3 : 2008)
GTI Club is a classic sit-down arcade racer, allowing you to take the wheel of an oddball selection of hot hatches including a Renault 5, a Golf GTI, and of course, the decidedly non-hatchback Cooper S. It was recently re-released for the Playstation Network as GTI Club+, so there’s no excuse to avoid this game! (Well, unless you don’t actually have a PS3 I guess).
Project Gotham Racing Series (Xbox / Xbox 360 : 2001 – 2008)
The Project Gotham Racing series of games are the flagship driving games for the Xbox and Xbox 360, known for their excellent graphics coupled with slightly arcade-y handling. Gotham 4 introduced the ability publish screenshots directly from the game to the internet, so there are loads of them to pick from, and plenty featuring Minis.
Autotest (Commodore 64 : 1990)
Something a little different here – a precision driving game based around the idea of autotesting. Autotest has 4 cars to choose from (which are all very Mini-like, but not “officially”) and features all the fun of manoeuvering around obstacles.
Mini Desktop Racing (Wii : 2007)
Mini Desktop Racing features Minis in their mini-est form, tearing around various tiny landscapes, much like the classic Micro Machines games of yore. Only this time in 3D and with motion controls!
Big Red Racing (PC : 1996)
“I feel like drinking a gallon of turpentine and p***in’ on a brushfire!”
Ah, Big Red Racing. This game featured a crazy range of vehicles from spaceships to snowploughs, helicopters, and even something that looked like a bathtub. It also featured the Mini – fittingly on the game’s Italy track, and even had a bus overhanging a cliff on part of the level as an homage to The Italian Job.
Gran Turismo Series (PlayStation / PS2 / PS3 : 1997 – 2007)
The Gran Turismo series of racing games have always been known for their high levels of realism, excellent graphics, and a huge selection of cars to pick from. The game has featured plenty of Minis down the line too, but perhaps most interesting is the Mini Marcos from Gran Turismo 4 (pictured above).
Obviously the Mini has been in a lot of other games too, so I’m sorry if I missed your favourite. If you have any great Mini-related games in mind, why not suggest them in the comments below?