Released in 1993, Sega’s coin-op driving masterpiece should be lagging in the slipstream of other driving titles by now. Just what is the game’s secret?

If you were to set foot inside the Heart of Gaming, a densely packed treasure trove of classic and modern arcade games in Croydon, there is one cabinet you’d almost certainly have to queue to play on. Featuring chunkily texture-mapped stock cars, snaking between each other on swooping circuits below an azure blue sky, Daytona USA, is one of the greatest driving games ever made.

Released in 1993, and available in a variety of cabinets from basic standing model to full-on deluxe recreation of the player’s 41 Hornet car, Sega’s masterpiece always pulls a crowd. And not just in this specialist coin-op den. The game can still be found in public places all over the UK and beyond, while myriad ports have made their way to everything from Dreamcast to PlayStation 3.

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