Best WipEout Games
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

While many people associate Ridge Racer or Tekken with the early years of PlayStation, for others, it's WipEout that really sums up the incredible impact Sony's 32-bit console had on the gaming landscape.

Not only did this 1995 racer represent the pinnacle of home gaming technology with its intricate circuits and intense speed, but it exhibited a degree of 'cool' that, even today, still feels unmatched. Thanks to its futuristic techno soundtrack and impeccable branding by The Designers Republic, WipEout became a commercial and critical smash hit and spawned a series that remains beloved, even today.

But which of these titles represents the apex of the WipEout franchise? We asked you to vote a while back, and the results are shown below. Remember, this is an evolving list – you can still vote, even now, and your input might change the ranking over time.

11. WipEout Merge (Phone)

Developed by Amuzo Games, WipEout Merge (formerly known as WipEout Rush) is a smartphone title which, instead of allowing you direct control of the action, has you playing as a team manager who must influence each race by deploying randomised cards.

Despite boasting some impressive visuals and a faithful soundtrack, WipEout Merge failed to find its audience, and development appears to have stopped; its online features have also been disabled.

10. WipEout Fusion (PS2)

Considered by many to be one of the weaker entries in the WipEout series, WipEout Fusion deviates greatly from the visual language laid down by The Designers Republic (the company was asked by Sony to pitch alongside other agencies in order to work on the game, and refused) and therefore doesn't quite feel like it's part of the same series.

The visuals are also slightly disappointing, while the track design lacks the dazzling intensity of its forerunners. Fusion is possibly a better game than many people give it credit for, but it definitely feels like something of a low point for the series.

9. Wipeout 64 (N64)

Wipeout 64 caused quite a stir when it appeared on the Nintendo 64 in 1998, mainly because it was seen by many fans as a 'Sony' series (despite the fact that the original game and its sequel had both launched on the Sega Saturn).

Even so, it felt exotic and interesting to Nintendo players – something that was helped by the fact that this was no simple 'port' of WipEout 2097, but a game which made excellent use of the N64's analogue control to present a very different take on the franchise. Shame about the loading times, though.

8. WipEout (PS1)

Released alongside the PlayStation in the West, WipEout instantly gave the console a level of street cred that was arguably missing from other systems.

With its pumping soundtrack, winding tracks and incredible sense of speed, the game quickly found its audience and would later be ported to PC and Sega Saturn. While it has since been overtaken by its sequels, the original WipEout is still a fun time – especially if you opt to play the excellent fan-made Phantom Edition mod, which has recently been ported to PC and Steam Deck.

7. WipEout Pulse (PSP)

The second WipEout title to launch on PSP, WipEout Pulse arguably lives in the shadow of WipEout Pure – and somewhat unfairly, we'd say.

Sure, it doesn't reinvent the wheel (can we even use that phrase when talking about an anti-grav racer?), but Pulse provides more of the same, along with an excellent selection of music and some blisteringly attractive visuals.

Pulse was later ported to the PS2, which could be seen as a possible admission by Sony that sales on PSP hadn't quite reached the levels expected.

6. WipEout Omega Collection (PS4)

More of a remaster than a brand-new game, WipEout Omega Collection takes classic tracks from the series and gives them a PS4-style lick of paint. The courses from WipEout 2048 really get a chance to shine on the big screen, and the PSVR mode is nothing short of revolutionary.

There's definitely a feeling of familiarity breeding contempt here, though. As much as we love playing through WipEout's illustrious history, we'd have preferred a brand-new entry, if we're honest.

Still, this is a wonderful 'greatest hits' package that all series fans will appreciate.

5. WipEout HD Fury (PS3)

Initially released in digital form as WipEout HD in 2008, this PS3 title takes courses from WipEout Pure and WipEout Pulse and gives them a 1080p sheen.

A year later, the game's expansion – Fury – would arrive, offering four new tracks, four "Zone Event" tracks, new craft to race in and three new game modes.

WipEout HD and its expansion were then bundled together in a special retail release, which is the one to go for if you're looking to experience this game today.

4. WipEout Pure (PSP)

Just as it had done with the original PlayStation back in 1995, Sony made sure it had a WipEout title ready for the launch of the PSP in the West.

WipEout Pure was a glorious return to form after the misstep that was WipEout Fusion on PS2; despite the fact that The Designers Republic still wasn't involved, Sony's Studio Liverpool (formerly Psygnosis) did a pretty good job of imitating the design style, creating a title which felt like it belonged in the world the first three games inhabit.

Fantastic visuals and fast gameplay gave PSP owners something to crow about at launch, while downloadable content and online multiplayer sweetened the deal.

3. WipEout 2048 (PS Vita)

Sony kicked off its PS Vita adventure with this all-new WipEout entry, and it didn't disappoint.

Great visuals, sounds, controls and overall gameplay made for a remarkable experience on a portable device; WipEout 2048 really did feel like a home console title in the palm of your hand.

It's a shame, then, that the Vita's commercial failure meant that very few people got to experience the brilliance of this game – although, thankfully, some of its circuits were recycled for Omega Collection on PS4.

2. WipEout 3 (PS1)

While many people will tell you that WipEout 2097 is the best entry in the franchise, there are others who swear that Wipeout 3 (or Wip3out, if you prefer) is the real champ.

The final game in the series to feature the involvement of Sheffield-based design agency The Designers Republic, WipEout 3 takes the company's unique visual style to the next level; everything is stripped down and minimalist, giving the game a sense of aesthetic maturity that simply wasn't seen in PS1 titles in 1999.

It also boasted an increased difficulty level, making it feel like it was for hardcore fans rather than casual players. In 2000, European players got Wipeout 3: Special Edition, which should be considered the game's definitive version, as it includes additional circuits and more content.

1. WipEout 2097 (PS1)

No futuristic racer on PS1 did speed, sci-fi aesthetic, and electronic beats better than WipeOut 2097 (WipeOut XL in North America). The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy headlined 2097’s OST, matching the adrenaline-inducing gameplay perfectly. 2097 also introduced the ability to destroy other racers with some awesome weapons like the Thunder Bomb and Quake Disruptor, a mechanic that would continue in all future WipeOut games.

Few games got our blood pumping faster; this is perhaps the absolute zenith of the series, despite the fact that we've seen multiple sequels since.