After Burner (1987)
By: Sega Genre: Shooting Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Featured Version: Arcade First Day Score: 24,000
Also Available For: PlayStation 2, 32X, X68000, FM Towns, Master System, PC Engine, Game Boy Advance, NES, Amiga, Atari ST, PC, MSX, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum
Hang On and Space Harrier were big hits for Sega and helped cement their reputation as purveyors of technically impressive arcade games that were also great fun to play, but few games would ever equal the impact that OutRun had. It is still fondly remembered today as one of the true greats but in the mid-80's it was simply jaw-dropping, so the game Sega followed it up with would have to be truly spectacular. It came just over a year later and saw players leave the tarmac behind and return to the skies. This time, however, they weren't colourful skies filled with peculiar alien creatures but were our own skies here on earth. That game was of course After Burner and it would go on to huge success itself. Some players, perhaps improbably, even preferred it to its predecessor.
RKS Score: 9/10
Gameplay Video: here's a video of the whole game being played by the talented Retro Hawk (check out his great channel here). Oh, and don't watch if you want to avoid spoilers!