Daytona USA

  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 12, 2001

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. Daily Radar
    With a ton of options, gorgeous graphics running at consistently high framerates and plenty of tracks to choose from, the few niggling problems (like online lag and touchy controls) seem to slip away into meaningless babble in the heat of a close race.
  2. 100
    This is a classic, and we cannot recommend it to you any higher even if you are planning on ridding yourself of the Dreamcast and moving on to PlayStation 2 land.
  3. This one is packed full of race courses, new and old, classic and new cars, network action, and a heck of a lot of options.
  4. AllDreamcast
    One of the most popular arcade games of all time, and now Dreamcast owners can experience the best version of the game yet. Sega's flagship racer has arrived in style.
  5. 93
    Despite controls that are a bit touchy and online gameplay that can be awkward, Daytona USA 2001 is the true flagship racing game that we've been waiting for.
  6. Each track looks great, and they are filled to the brim with hovering blimps, helicopters, city structures, and countless other details that just scream "Sega!"
  7. The only real criticism of this game is that it's an old title that we've seen in the home before. Still, though, this is a fantastic port, and the addition of net play adds a whole new dimension.
  8. A fine home conversion; it's a beautiful, if shallow and short-lived, arcade racer.
  9. Da Gameboyz
    With better than arcade graphics, an incredible frame rate, stellar multiplayer modes and an online mode, it is hard to pass up this title. Yes, the control is a little less than desired, but you can compensate for this.
  10. A greater variety of tracks, cars, and options makes this sequel seem fresh and new, while the addition of Internet play provides an assurance that you'll enjoy the game for many months to come.
  11. This game throws physics and realism out the window in favor of fun and excitement. The dated graphics won't thrill anyone, but the solid gameplay and online capabilities more than make up for these shortcomings.
  12. Solid graphics, fast and furious gameplay, and awesome online multiplayer battles make this an arcade racing title that should not be overlooked.
  13. The action is intense, and the super-strong vehicle lets you slam into walls and other racers without worry.
  14. What small scratches dot the surface are allowable, because as an overall package this becomes one of the most worthy and required purchases you could ever make. Whatever you do, don't pass it up.
  15. Daytona 2001 returns to the much truer arcade-style control, at the expense of that initial accessibility.
  16. 70
    Okay, so maybe a re-release/upgrade of racing games from five years ago isn't something to cheer about -- but it sure is a slick retrospective, and a fun one at that. Daytona USA is an arcade classic, perfectly preserved.
  17. One of those great arcade games that doesn't make the journey home very well. Although the Dreamcast version does have most of the features of the big arcade machine, it's missing the essential multiplayer fun. I think I'll save my quarters and pay a visit to the local bowling alley instead.

Awards & Rankings

#25 Most Discussed Dreamcast Game of 2001
#6 Most Shared Dreamcast Game of 2001
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Dec 11, 2015
    Just recently picked this game up, and I've gotta say this is currently my personal favourite SEGA Dreamcast title. Although the visuals won'tJust recently picked this game up, and I've gotta say this is currently my personal favourite SEGA Dreamcast title. Although the visuals won't blow anyone way, it's the thrilling, fast-paced game play that brings you back to this arcade classic time and time again. This is pure arcade racing action at its best - no unbalanced or irritating power-ups, it's just down to you and your driving skill. There is a vast array of tracks to race around (Although initially it may seem like there is only eight, all tracks have a regular, reverse, mirror, and mirror reverse mode, effectively giving you 32 tracks.) and a bunch of unlock-able cars. Cars each have different stats and control very differently, so it is easy to find a driving style that suits you best. RGB sliders allow you to create custom paint jobs for each car, which another welcome extra.

    The music in this game is very odd, and undoubtedly SEGA - it's so bad it sort of does a complete 180 and becomes undeniably awesome. Even if you don't buy this game, I'd recommend checking out the soundtrack. It's certainly... unique. Alongside the cartoonish crash physics, it's clear the developers weren't taking themselves too seriously and this helps make Daytona a blast to play - just so long as you aren't looking for ultra realism. I wasn't expecting the next Gran Tourismo, but this game never claims to be, and instead basks in its own wackiness.

    Like many other arcade games though, this game extremely difficult. It also seems to get some sick enjoyment from singing the catchy 'Game Over' jingle at the end of every stage - even when you actually win the race. I personally really like this difficulty. Although it may not be for everyone, it gives you a great sense of accomplishment when you finally win. To come 1st you pretty much have to run a perfect race without any screw ups. This may not sound too hard, but part of the challenge lies in adapting to the controls - perhaps the most frequent, criticism of the game. In my opinion, it just takes some getting used to, particularly when you use this technique I picked up from an online video. If you move your thumb from side to side over the analog stick the controls will be very twitchy and over-sensitive. However, if you push the analog stick forward and sort of roll your thumb around the top to go left and right the car's steering becomes much smoother and easier. Still perhaps a little over-sensitive, but I certainly got used to it. The game's area of exploration and secrets lie in your control of the car - every now and again I will find a new technique, and finally being able to flawlessly drift around that particularly tight turn provides a great sense of accomplishment.

    Daytona USA 2001 is in my opinion a must-have title for any racing or arcade fans. The graphics aren't amazing, but they do the job. Customisation options really add longevity to the game, and the fast paced nature of the races keep you on the edge of you seat the whole time. I unfortunately do have to knock off a point for lack of accessibility, as Daytona is not kind to new players. If you don't want too much challenge, this probably isn't the game for you. However, for me, as a fan of arcade racers, Daytona USA really hit the spot and excels in almost every other area.

    At the time of writing this, Daytona USA 2001 is only available for SEGA Dreamcast. Although the original arcade version is available for digital download on Playstation and Xbox, this 2001 version has never seen any sort of re release. This could be the reason for it's high price online, although to be honest I don't think there is the demand to support it. I bought my copy for £25, and if you aren't familiar with arcade-style racers or difficult games, I wouldn't spend much more. But if you do like racers and you see it at a fair price, then pick this game up! You won't be disappointed!
    Full Review »
  2. Fighter17L
    Jul 27, 2005
    Well, if my memory serves me correctly, Daytona 2001 is running on the Naomi board. This game is really nice. I saw this game in a arcade Well, if my memory serves me correctly, Daytona 2001 is running on the Naomi board. This game is really nice. I saw this game in a arcade before, and two Daytona machines were hook up each other, allowing two player play. NICE!!! Full Review »
  3. TheGameGuy
    Mar 11, 2002
    Daytona always had superb gameplay, now it's got good graphics too.