There comes a point in almost every adventure or story-driven game out there that the developers lead players into the general vicinity of a vehicle. When you get to hop in and drive or interact with said vehicle, well, it can sometimes feel like hoisting the flag.
If you catch my drift, nudge nudge nudge.
We sat down and plotted out our favorite and most memorable vehicular moments in all of gaming. We missed some, of course, but it’s your job to tells us which ones we skipped. So, dig our list, then step up to the plate.
The Damn Bike Level – Battletoads in Battlemaniacs
Most obnoxious vehicle section ever? Yeah, that’s probably a more apt description of this entry.
We’re picking it because we feel like we have to. It sucked too many hours out of our lives and, for most of us, remains unbeaten for the simple reason that it’s unfairly hard. Like, throw your controller at your cat hard.
Flying the AC-130 – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
This whole mission was brilliant. Sure, it was basically a mini-game in and of itself, but firing rounds down on your enemies from an extremely high vantage point was a rush.
Battle of Hoth – Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
There’s a reason why we have relived the Battle of Hoth in video games countless times. It can all be traced back to Shadows of the Empire. The thrill of mowing down AT-STs and sticking tow cables to AT-ATs to wrangle them down to the ground remains one of the best vehicle-based moments in gaming history. Most gamers love Star Wars (at least the originals), so getting to play one of the series’ most famous sequences was truly a nerdgasmic experience the first time around. We also didn’t mind reliving the death of Luke’s co-pilot, Dack, over and over again.
Seems you couldn’t take on the whole Empire yourself, could you, Dack?
Escaping the Pillar of Autumn – Halo
The final moments of the original Halo were intense. You have to get out of the Pillar of Autumn by way of Warthog, and the sequence that unfolds is glorious. It doesn’t hurt at all that the Warthog is one of the best vehicles in all of gaming.
Sewer Surfin’ – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
“Ow, my toe, my toe, my toe!”
Anyone that’s played Turtles in Time has probably heard that line more times than they care to admit. That’s absolutely the case with us. While the level “Sewer Surfin’” remains one of the best zones in Turtles in Time, it also remains one of the most frustrating. It didn’t help that your asshole find always took the pizza when you needed it most.
The Train Level – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Okay, so Drake may not have actually been conducting the train in this pick (my god, CONDUCTOR DRAKE!); but, this level was remarkable in play. The environment changed as the train snaked through it and Drake was challenged with a whole array of enemies… including a chopper. This whole section was a blast, and it was tough to boot.
Riding the Brumak – Gears of War 2
You feel like taking on the center of a locust horde, do ya? How about you do it from atop the back of a nasty brumak? Yep, that goes down in Gears 2, and it’s glorious. Not to mention the fact that you feel unstoppable the whole way through.
Meeting Epona – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
We’ll be honest, we almost forgot to include this one on the list. But hot damn, your first ride with Epona absolutely deserves a spot here.
You probably remember it as vividly as we do: you pay that creepy dude at Lon Lon Ranch 10 Rupees and then you serenade a stable of horses with Epona’s Song to reveal your true life companion (Screw Zelda!). You then had to prove your worth by beating the creeper in a race to earn the right to keep such a majestic horse.
But once that was accomplished, Epona was constantly by your side as you explore every nook and cranny of Hyrule Kingdom. Gamers formed a true bond with the creature over the course of Ocarina of Time, which is why Epona is now such a staple of the Zelda franchise.
Motorcycle Chase – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
The motorcycle chase at the end of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is one of the most high-octane chase sequences we’ve ever played in a video game. The sequence was incredibly long, but not in a bad way, as you rocketed from a Metal Gear factory and into a forest trying to escape your pursuers. It was cinematic and insanely intense.
Minecart Levels – Donkey Kong Country
Firstly, you're welcome for the above image.
At first glance, the minecart levels of Donkey Kong Country might not seem that tough. But that’s a completely wrong assumption to make. They required an intense level of concentration, skill and a little bit of luck. Basically, getting through them made hair instantly grow on your no-no areas. But because of their challenge, these minecart levels also made for some of the best moments in Donkey Kong Country (as well as all the sequels).