OutRun 2

released on Dec 13, 2003

OutRun 2 (アウトラン2?), usually stylized as OutRun2, is a 2003 racing game released by Sega for the arcades. Although this is the first "official" sequel to Out Run, it is the fourth title in the OutRun series.

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an absolute masterpiece. shame that we never got an OutRun 3.
also all my homies hate Ignition from the mission mode.

picturesque beaches, plains, and deserts lay the groundwork for our adventure. castles, tunnels, even pyramids swelter from the sun in the open air. the breeze caused by our bewilderingly precise driving is positively intoxicating. nothing else gets the blood pumping like so. the open road is a living obstacle course: dominated by family road trips, oil tankers, and party busses that only seem to get in the way of our high-octane blast-processed driving. heart-wrenching drifts and turns serve as dopamine infused climaxes when nailed with perfect accuracy. the retro-futuristic ost acts as a motivational serenade to keep us coming back. outrun 2 emphasizes the astounding journeys within driving (to an almost cliche degree), alongside continuing the original game’s legacy in an evolutionary way.

Only those who are the drift kings will understand that this is the best arcade game

modding eurobeat into this game is probably one of the better ideas i've had in my life

One of the best arcade racers ever made. Released in 2006, this sticks to a more traditional mechanical ethos, but still manages to sit on top of its contemporaries. Drifting down tight curves at almost 200 MPH, avoiding traffic, while driving some of the best feeling cars in video games. Just the right amount of weight in every vehicle, where they aren't a chore to drive, yet they feel like they inhabit a physical space.
Aesthetically, OutRun 2 is choice. The music selection? Catchy as hell. The visuals? A bit dated by today's standards, but stylized just enough that they stand the test of time. Sound design? Incredibly convincing, only complimented by the solid force feedback. The artists on staff did an incredible job giving this game a vibe wholly unique to itself.
There are fifteen different locales you can visit on your road trip, each with a distinct aesthetic based on a real life location, and they all feel fully realized, and brimming with life. You're only seeing five out of the fifteen on any given run, so there's a good amount of potential variety on each playthrough. Not to mention, traffic patterns are never the same, and will always add a bit of spice to your drive.
The first OutRun has a timeless legacy that was well earned, and its so great to say OutRun 2 improves on its predecessor in every way imaginable. I do believe the former is still superior due to less complexity, and in turn, a broader accessibility, but once you've mastered the first game, and look for something more, 2 will be waiting for you. I see this one talked about a bit less, and I imagine its availability has a lot to do with it. Regardless, this game is absolutely incredible, and if you can find a way to take it for a ride, don't miss out.