One of Sega's Weirdest Games, 'Crazy Taxi,' Still Holds Up


Sega's late 90s arcade driving game is still worth all the quarters.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


It makes me happy to hear this because for the longest time all I can think of is Jeff Gerstmann playing the HD update to Crazy Taxi. He compared it to games like Burnout and such, and said he found the HD version lacking and inferior.

The thing about the HD update that isn’t really widely known is that Sega botched the port and never went back to fix it – your Taxi controls in the HD update aren’t analog. Whether you’re using an racing wheel, analog stick or a d-pad, the game treats all three input methods like a d-pad. You are either pushing 100% to the left or 0% to the left on the steering wheel.

The game is a lot more fun still with, y’know, controls that actually work correctly. It’s frustrating, because Sega went back and patched some of their other HD games – Sonic Adventure, NiGHTS, etc. when people found their initial efforts buggy or lacking. But Sega never went back and fixed Crazy Taxi HD.


Crazy Taxi pulls in players so well. Any average player’s first ever experience with the game is almost guaranteed to have some sort of success once the general goal of the game is figured out. The first civilians that the player encounters are relatively easy to get to their destinations, and there’s a good cushion of time to spend in getting them there. This implants a sense of expected success in the player, and gets them to put more money in and try again. Starting from the same place in the city every game is important for this as well, because as one improves, more of the city is unlocked. This means that even as the player gets better at the game, the unfamiliarity of the city as they get further from the starting point creates both a sense of reasonable difficulty and a sense of exploration, so there’s both a challenge and a reward to continuing to play.

I love the construction of this game, and all of the atmospheric bits (the music, the cartoonish 3D graphics, the amount of product placement) make it one of my favorite games period. I made a video about it during my freshman year of college and I still stand by it. I’m glad to see some love coming to Crazy Taxi from Danielle!