Does the original F-Zero hold up for you against X or GX? Edit: F-Zero 99 discussion in here too

I like F-Zero on SNES but it really does feel like F-Zero X and GX knock it out of the park so hard that it’s difficult to feel the same level of excitement when going back to the original game.

The thing is, I actually think this is one series that benefits tremendously from 3D physics, course design, and analogue controls. 2D plains and digital control just feels so imprecise and lacking in comparison.

But maybe there’s something about the sprite based F-Zero games that I’m not giving enough credit for. Obviously the original was a looker as a launch game on its hardware. And the GBA games have their fans too.

But there’s just so something “next level” about the two 3D entries in the series that placed them so far above nearly every other racing game in my eyes that it’s hard not to feel like they make the 2D games nearly irrelevant these days.

Even today, playing F-Zero X and GX on the harder difficulty levels produces a level of excitement that almost no other video games rival in my eyes.

What do you think?


Personally I don’t rate the N64 game much at all. It’s at the bottom along with F-Zero 2 on the SFC. The original does feel different but it is still a fantastic Racer and holds up very well in this day and age.
F-Zero AX or GX is awesome and so it should be. It was made by Sega after all :+1::grin:


Hard disagree on this. I actually think F-Zero X may be even better than GX.

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For me nothing beats the original with its use of mode 7, snappy controls and killer soundtrack. The GBA ones come close to feeling like the original.

I like X and GX, but they feel so different compared to the original. Almost like they’re two different similar series.

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Interesting. I didn’t like the GBA versions because they weren’t close enough to the original in terms of handling. Though I seem to remember that they were made by one person? Respect.

GX is phenomenal.

I’ve not really played X.

GP Legend is closer to the original than Maximum Velocity.

I have not tried Climax though - unfortunately it never got an English release :disappointed:

Definitely, I think part of it is how different it feels to play compared to X and GX. All three F-Zero games offer intense racing but the Mode7 F-Zeros (especially including Maximum Velocity on GBA) are intense for different reasons.

The digital handling means you end up having to bash a button round corners for grip instead, bouncing off the edges of the course adds a new level of anxiety to narrow segments of track, and on master difficulty the AI simply cheats by going faster than you, minus the ability to boost. You end up playing a very strong game of defense by hogging the ‘check’ marker behind you.

Given Mode7 F-Zero has its own ways of still creating heart-pounding race finishers it definitely holds up!


For me, the blurry graphics and odd track design puts me off.

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Mode 7 racers were amazing for the time. Compared to all but Super Scaler or equivalent games, they were the top of the heap. Every behind the car console racer was kinda jank until Mode 7 honestly, which pretty much means every single racer on a console older than Super Fami.

But I never found them much fun. F-Zero 1 has great music and a really amazing idea, and speed that put other stuff to shame. But the flat slip-fest meant I’ve never given it a huge number of hours. Same goes for SMK even, though it has the wackiness and chaos to mix it up more.

F-Zero X was the game changer. Simple graphics, but 60fps in an era were almost all racers were unstable 30 (and had massive texture seam issues on PS1/Saturn even though they could still be solid games like Sega Rally), it was first console game ever to really look like an arcade game to me, apart from Tekken etc technically (but the cheapo PS1 arcade board means it was more like an arcade game that looked like console games).

The first loop level, that was it. We had our futuristic racer that actually felt like the future. and is still beautiful to play today.

Plus the awesome butt-rock soundtrack.


there’s that one track that straight up sounds like Carcass’ Heartwork and even had death growls. always makes me laugh, but the soundtrack definitely rules

Yea, I basically feel the same way as you. I find them fun, but just mildly so. I can play them every now and then. But F-Zero X is just a whole different level.

I don’t think there’s a bad FZero game. They’re all fun pick up and play and yeah it must of been amazing to play the original back in 1990.

And I enjoy them all in their own way. Thanks to the 60fps play field, the original holds up!

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This is pretty much how I feel about most older racing games. For whatever reason the limited draw distances and flat maps just don’t appeal to me in a way that other older games have never bothered me.

I’m a huge fan of the F-Zero serie, maybe my absolute dream serie, with Zelda but in only three main games. I personally don’t mind the other entries in the serie.
I bought F-Zero when I was 14 with the brand new modern SFC, imported like a boss. This game catched my imagination like no others, I litteraly dreamed I played it on arcade with two trackballs commands (?) and I still was not disapointed when I’ve got it. In my teenager room there has ruled Stunt Car Racer on Amiga, and then for many years of fun after school there was F-Zero. Very different in many ways, but the same excellence of racing experience.
Then one day the sequel of the One, entering the fast 3D area, F-Zero X is still my favorite racing game ever and I still play it all the time (original stick on CRT required). And it sort of combined Stunt Car Racer and F-Zero qualities.
F-Zero GX was a massive disapointement for me, I played it a lot at the time cause it was the next gen sequel of my best racing game(s) ever (and it’s a very good game), but finally hated it for years for not to be the sequel I was waiting for. Today I can finally have fun with GX, there’s no more expectation, it’s a different game with strong qualities, but not on the level of the two last entries imo, and with not enough respect of the primary essence.
The sens of physics is the worst, X managed to make you feel aeronotic sensations, like being in a delicate metal box cutting the air with crazy jet engines at Mach speed, with a graduate sens of speed and risk while you slowly take speed. And if you lose control with a rude manoeuvre, the aerodynamics physics punishes you with a big restart from scratch (with the high speed setting wish imo is the only fun way to perform in GP mode as you can properly slalom across the competitors, wish is part of X fun, I reserve drifting fun and corner speed for TT).
This sens of reel, simulation like, has vanished in GX, I often sayed it’s a good Super Monkey Ball 2 mini game in comparaison. They sort of mixed the two handling models, so that if you loose control you drift (wish can be anticipitated with R+L), and not even in a pleasant way.
The game offers too speed by default in regard of its non tangible sensations to be as credible as X, with controls not as perfect that they were (and attacks turning system was so better than that), slaloming isn’t as good cause the competitors movements are less readable, more chaotic. Fortunately slalom from corner to corner is still very good, but not as X.
Track level design is solid with good concepts (the strength of Amusement Vision) but not as precise and well crafted as X imo. In X you can have a blast just to master the basic tracks, the mark of the best, a game with immense solid fondations.
Can we talk about the sluggish flying sensation when you take a nosedive in GX?
I also prefer the amazing textures art work of X with its focus on the track (while the landscape is more dreamy with a global better sense of scaling, all depending of your speed and always accurate).
GX art direction is good but with slightly more random visuals (still very good, very shinny), ridiculous caracter design (poor Captain Falcon, I hate you AM) and musics just OK, not respectful and concequently disapointing in regard of X master piece (I still hope to have someday the stereo music of Expansion Kit, my only X minor complaint with track pop up).

And so F-Zero, I guess it depends on your expectation, for me if it’s not as fun as X, but it’s still an excellent oldschool racing game with crazy good art in the visual department and with its lovely space groovy jazz musics. I agree with both harborline_765 and D.Lo in many ways, not as fun as the 3D roller coaster but it has its own flavor depending on its own gameplay mecanics, not as thrilling but enough if you jump into it.
And I like to drift in TT (practice alone) with the Golden Fox while holding gaz and counter steering, very fun. It’s a shame they don’t make it effective (so Dr Stewart would have been really interesting), I think it might be the origin of Super Mario Kart drifting (as a sequel).

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The original F-Zero blew my mind. A friend at school had a brother who bought an import Super Famicom with Super Mario World and F-Zero.

SMW I thought was cool, but with F-Zero when the camera zoomed down onto the track and the perspective changed. Well, that was it for me. I was in 1000%. It blew my tiny little mind wide open.

I had to wait a while to get my own SNES. Joint Christmas and Birthday present. I picked the pack without a bundled game and added Pilotwings and F-Zero. I played F-Zero through to completion. No idea how many tries and retries it took but I had callouses on my thumbs from the circular recesses in the SNES d-pad. It’s a hard game, especially near the end of the higher classes. Loved every minute of it.

And I can still hum all the tunes almost 30 years later.

I’ve never played X and played a bit of GX. Played a lot of Wipeout. But the original F-Zero will always be a special game for me as my gateway into console gaming.

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Yea, until recently, I though GX was the best game in the series. But now I realize that F-Zero X is a superior game, and quite possibly the greatest racing game ever made.

GX handled a bit smoother, but X felt more exciting with its punishing physics, airborn controls, very refined grip, boost mechanics, and really sharp turns at times.

For those that don’t know, the boost in X sort of stacks if you don’t slow down. So hitting boost markers and using your own boost without hitting anything or decelerating makes you go faster and faster after each boost, even after each boost ends. You just need to hold that level of speed without slowing down until you trigger your next boost. Of course that drains your life, so you’re basically about to explode if you’re shooting for first place in the hard modes.

GX was very different from what I can surmise. Each boost just hits a top speed, then you return to your default speed. There is a lot less “risk vs reward” gameplay. With that said, it’s still freaking phenomenal and nearly black magic with how good it feels to play. But you can win without boosting because the AI basically avoids boosting until you do. It’s all using some flawed rubber-band logic.

But if you deeply invest in X and clear out at least Expert mode (which is where the game feels fairly balanced and exciting) then immediately go to GX, you can feel the drop in quality.

And this is coming from a guy who has said that GX is the best racing game ever… I was wrong.

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Both are brilliant, and GX was insane looking for the time. One of the games that shows the Gamecube was the actual beast of the gen for anything except RAM heavy games.

But X was just more fun. Perfect arcade balance and controls, and that rock soundtrack made it feel like a post-apocalyptic 80s anime. Still very hard on the top levels, but beautifully playable with a brilliant difficulty curve.

I think GX was just a little too fast and difficult to be as fun. It gives me more of a feeling like playing a bullet hell shooter, or a rhythm game, than a racer, it’s non-stop white knuckle risk taking but also with a lot of memorisation and pattern organisation too.

And the soundtrack, while still great, was a bit more ‘generic clean futuristic’ with a rock/techno mix. Still, I beat it on Master.


Ok, this thread has made me want to revisit F zero X.


Me too. I remember completing it fully back in the day. I haven’t done so with GX though, I remember it being very tough at the higher difficulties. Need to go back to that too :slight_smile: I have listened to X’s amazing soundtrack recently, it… rocks !

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Do it!!!

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