Road Rash

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Road Rash
Road Rash Logo.png
Developer(s)Electronic Arts Electronic Arts Mobile
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts Electronic Arts Mobile
First releaseRoad Rash
September 1991
Latest releaseRoad Rash (Java)

Road Rash is a motorcycle racing video game series by Electronic Arts in which the player participates in violent, illegal street races. The series started on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and was released on various other systems over the years. The game's title is based on the slang term for the severe friction burns that can occur in a motorcycle fall where skin comes into contact with the ground at high speed.

Six different games were released from 1991 to 2000, and an alternate version of one game was developed for the Game Boy Advance. The Sega Genesis trilogy was re-released in EA Replay. The series sold 3 million units by 1998.[1]


Road Rash (1991)[edit]

Road Rash debuted on the Sega Genesis in 1991. The game takes place in California, on progressively longer two-lane roads. The two-player mode allows two people to play alternating. There are 14 other opponents in a race. A port of the game was released for the Amiga, and various scaled-down versions were made for Master System, Game Gear, and Game Boy. The Game Boy version is one of two licensed games that is incompatible with the Game Boy Color and newer consoles in the Game Boy line.[2] A SNES version was planned and then canceled.[citation needed]

Road Rash II (1992)[edit]

Road Rash II was released in 1992 for the Sega Genesis. The sequel took the engine and sprites from the first game and added more content. The largest addition was proper two-player modes: "Split Screen" versus the other computer opponents, and the duel mode "Mano A Mano". The races take place all across the United States: Alaska, Hawaii, Tennessee, Arizona, and Vermont. The list of bikes has been increased to fifteen (separated into three classes, with the later ones featuring nitro boosts), and a chain was added to supplement the club. Other details include the navigation of the menu screens being considerably easier; and more manageable passwords, being less than half the size of the first game.

Road Rash (1994)[edit]

Road Rash was released in 1994 for CD-based platforms such as 3DO, Sega CD, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Microsoft Windows. It features a number of changes such as the ability to choose characters (with various starting cashpiles and bikes, some with starting weapons) before playing, fleshed-out reputation and gossip systems and full-motion video sequences to advance a plot. The game features all-California locales: The City, The Peninsula, Pacific Coast Highway, Sierra Nevada, and Napa Valley. The roads themselves feature brief divided road sections.

Road Rash 3 (1995)[edit]

Road Rash 3 was released in 1995 for the Sega Genesis. Races take place across the world, each level featuring five of seven total locales: Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Australia, and Japan. In addition to the standard fifteen bikes, four part upgrades are available for each. Eight weapons are available, and Road Rash 3 introduces the player's ability to hold on to weapons between races and the ability to accumulate multiple weapons.

Road Rash 3D (1998)[edit]

Road Rash 3D was released in 1998 for the PlayStation. The game is mostly not based on sprites. The race courses were pieced together from an interconnected series of roads. The game has less emphasis on combat in exchange for a stronger emphasis on the racing.

Road Rash 64 (1999)[edit]

Road Rash 64 was released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64. Electronic Arts did not design or publish it; the intellectual property rights were licensed to THQ, which in turn had its own Pacific Coast Power & Light (founded by former EA employee Don Traeger) develop the game.

Road Rash: Jailbreak (2000)[edit]

Road Rash: Jailbreak was released in 2000 for the PlayStation, with a handheld port released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance with the same title.[3] New features include an interconnected road system and two-player cooperative play with a sidecar.

Road Rash (2009)[edit]

Road Rash was released in 2009 for J2ME. It was sold on EA Mobile site only.[4]

Spiritual successor[edit]

A spiritual successor, Road Redemption, was later released in 2017 and 2018 for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.[5]


The Sega Genesis trilogy features music by EA composers Rob Hubbard (1 and II), Michael Bartlow (1), Tony Berkeley (II), and Don Veca (II and 3).[6] Later entries were among the first video games to include licensed music tracks from major recording artists in gameplay.[7]

The rock radio station in EA's 2004 game The Urbz is called "Road Rash FM",


Criterion Games considered developing a new Road Rash game multiple times, potentially a Burnout Versus Road Rash,[8][9] but nothing has come of this; they have also expressed a desire to move away from racing games in particular.[10] Dan Geisler, main programmer and co-designer of the Sega Genesis trilogy, was working on a new title along with a number of the original Road Rash staff members, then named Hard Rider: Back in the Saddle; he first announced it via a Reddit thread,[11] and frequently mentioned progress on his Twitter account.[12] However, he was unable to find funding for it and dropped the idea.[13]


  1. ^ "EA Ships Road Rash 3D, Atlantic Ships Tunes". GameSpot. June 10, 1998. Archived from the original on October 16, 2000. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  2. ^ "What games written for GB will not work correctly on GBC & why ? - GB DEV FAQs by GeeBee". GeeBee. Archived from the original on 2018-09-03. Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  3. ^ "Road Rash: Jailbreak (Game Boy Advance)". IGN. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  4. ^ "Road Rash (Java); EA Mobile site". Archived from the original on 2009-12-03.
  5. ^ "Road Redemption Early Access review •". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2019-10-08. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  6. ^ "Road Rash Technical Details". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  7. ^ "Electronic Arts and BAM Magazine Announce the Road Rash Music Search". Business Wire. 1999-05-28. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  8. ^ "Criterion will do another Burnout, interested in Road Rash". GamesRadar. 2012-10-17. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  9. ^ "Criterion Games Dev Talks Cancelled Road Rash, Burnout Not in Development, Teases Non-Racing Game". PlayStation LifeStyle. 2013-07-31. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  10. ^ [1] Archived October 30, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Why hasn't this game resurfaced : Gaming". Archived from the original on 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  12. ^ "Dan Geisler (DanGeislerSr) sur Twitter". Archived from the original on 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  13. ^ "Dan Geisler on Twitter: "Couldn't fund Hard Rider. It would have been fun. Kickstarter wasn't viable. Thank you all for the love an encouragement"". Archived from the original on 2016-01-09. Retrieved 2015-09-05.

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