Top Gear Rally Soundtrack (N64), Barry Leitch, 1997
After two generally well-received entries in the Top Gear franchise, developer Gremlin Interactive must have felt that the series needed a bit of a shakeup. That was probably correct, given Top Gear 2 had felt like an expansion pack of Top Gear – and considering that these two games didn’t look very different from Gremlin’s earlier Lotus trilogy of racing games. The result was Top Gear 3000 – the original trilogy’s black sheep, with its sci-fi trappings and weapons system. While swiftly forgotten, Top Gear 3000 kicked off the Top Gear franchise’s experimental phase. The results of this attempt to reinvent the series and keep it relevant hit the Nintendo 64 in quick succession: Top Gear Rally, Top Gear: Overdrive, Top Gear Rally 2 and Top Gear Hyper-Bike. Reviews for all these titles were reasonably strong, with critics commending Top Gear Rally for its realistic gameplay and accurate physics.