(N64 / Nintendo 64)

Cruis'n USA (N64 / Nintendo 64)

Game Profile

Put pedal to metal and hang on for a wild ride across the highways of America! Race along LA freeways, across the deserts of Arizona and to the nation’s capital Washington DC, experiencing the thrills of street racing while taking in famous sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Grand Canyon and the White House.

Based on the hit arcade game, Cruis’n USA features a wide selection of cars, from ‘60s muscle motors to Italian-styled sports models. Compete solo in a 14-stage cross country marathon, or go head-to-head with a friend in split-screen two-player mode.

Game Review


USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Put pedal to metal and hang on for a wild ride across the highways of America!

One of the first games to be announced for Nintendo’s 64-bit console, Cruis’n USA was given a fair amount of attention when it was first released; for the 32-bit generation, driving games that had established the credentials of rival machines (Ridge...

Game Screenshots

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Game Trailers

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User Comments (110)



E-dawg said:

I might consider downloading this, I have a lot of good memories of my childhood with this, plus my dad loved this game.



KeeperBvK said:

Yeah, I love this game. Might not be that much of a good game, actually, but I have fond memories of this. I love how the arcade cabinet had Ultra 64 in it. ^^
...but do we really need yet another racing game for the N64 on the VC?



Kevin said:

Ugh. Another racing game? They should have picked Majora's Mask instead.



Boredom_v2_2 said:

This is the game Nintendo and Midway made that's mostly in Arcades right? That sounds cool, but i'm kinda frustratred that it's another RACING N64 game. I mean what about the games from other companies!



This isn't just bad - its offensive. I therefore feel completely safe to proclaim that Cruis'n USA is one of the worst videogames ever, and whoever took the decision to release it on VC should hang their head in shame.



Luke said:

I am sorry i hate this game soo much it was so bad it made the virtual boy look good



Kenji510 said:

One of the cool and classics game to play for the N64... but i like the arcade version better cause it sounds way better too.



gustavo said:

i never played it,but i'm sure it is NOT better then majora's mask,rush and other bizarre stuff for nintendo 64,like space station silicon valley.It's a shame we'll never get to see clsassics like perfect dark or conker's,thanks to rare....



digibod said:

god i love this game, reminds me of my summer holidays last year in france. my seven year old loved it




Jon said:

this game was ok...got kind of repetitive, not too much different in all the levels. have it for my 64 already so there's no point in downloading it. also after you get one of the secondary cars the game gets boring, and you don't want to go through all the levels again.



Hexrapper said:

I loved this game growing up, I remember clearing every race first place and I loved to use the gold car, and then when I found out about the cheat code cars I loved using the police car =P. I really liked how it was a Point A - Point B racing game rather than one which centered around laps, I've played so few of those I guess this still stands as fresh to me in that way.

Love that early level where you drive through a forest and the trees fall, too =P. Sold it when the GCN came out along with most other N64 games to afford GCN games, so I'll definitely be giving it a download when it comes out.



sam said:

Controls are unresponisve, terrible frame rate that slows right down if too much is happening. Tracks are boring, cars are boring, music is awful. This is a real stinker. The arcade version was definitely more playable, but it still SUCKED!



Rossi said:

It looks ok i guess.. maybe if a free 1000 credits comes around one day, i will get it.. That most probably will be NEVER!



slangman said:

Definitely avoiding ths one, i read a review back in the N64 days from NOM (it was an offical nintendo magazine in my country) which they gave this game a bad review saying the game can be completed quickly and the music is awful. The sequel is better though.



Sariku said:

Ew... at first I was like "Why does everyone hate this game? Cruis'n World is a great game!" then I noticed it wasn't Cruis'n World...



Lando1 said:

why another racing game? there are enough racing games on VC why can't Nintendo bring out Super smash bros. or something



WiFi_Sly said:

i could think of about 20 games that should come out instead of this
if i wanted to play this i would go to chuckee cheeses (arcade place in usa ) and pay only 25¢



agent_lime said:

i agree with lando, they need to stop only putting racing games on N64. We aleready have mariokart, F-zero, and wave race.



SKTTR said:

@Sariku: There is no gameplay difference between Cruisn' USA and Cruisin' the World.

to all others: you might like this oversimplified straightforward arcade racer.
but if you want realistic physics and deep gameplay avoid it!



Adamant said:

"I don't get why everybody's whining about how bad Cruis'n USA is. It's a fun Arcade Racer"

^qft. Well worthy of a VC release, this one.

Realistic physics, feh. Realistic racing games are among the most boring games on the planet.



KeeperBvK said:

"A two-player mode has been included but even it can’t save the game from mediocrity"

You're saying it can't be saved from mediocrity, but still you're giving it just a single star?



Roo said:

I remember the legendary N64 Magazine (UK) review of this back in '98:


True, true.



Steve said:

We, at least this time we don't get it 1.5 years later than the Americans but even before them.



WarioFan63 said:

Well after some extensive research, the Cruis'n game I actually had fun with back in the day was Cruis'n World, not USA. In fact, I've never even played USA.

I might still give this a try someday though.



sashaboo said:

It really bugs me that medicore games like this are being released on the VC when there are much better N64 games that we could have had instead, such as pilotwings 64, Goldeneye, Donkey Kong 64 and many more. Be another 4 weeks or more now before we see what crap N64 game we are getting next. Although there are some good N64 games on there. We,ll be waiting a lifetime before the N64s catalouge is complete. i wont be Downloading this game for sure. I would advice anyone to get F-zero x, Mario kart 64,1080 snowboarding or Wave Race 64. They are all top qualtiy and worth downloading. Dont let Nintendo rip you of with crap like Cruis,n USA



Shiryu said:

I wish they released Road Rash 64 and Destruction Derby 64, both by Looking Glass and destributed by THQ. I have them both and Im afraid not many people know just how good both games are... wich slims the odds of them making it to the VC.



oooooomonkeys said:

i got this straight away, i loved it in the arcades fantastic game much better than the wii remake, still just as good as i remember it being.



Link79 said:

What's with the overly negative review? I never really played it but one star? Seems a little over blown. I know a few people who really liked this game. Was it that awful? I'm not really into racing games so I think I'll pass anyway.



Dazza said:

@Link79 - I have to agree with Damo. I remember this from back in the days and it is a real stinker. Cruis'n World was quite a lot better, I wonder if your friends are thinking of that.



Jesse_Blue said:

I remember this one and the Europe and World iterations as fine arcade games as "realistic" as Burnout or NFS. Never played the N64 version though.



Serpent said:

I would recomend everyone avoid this one and get Cruisn' World instead when it comes out.



KeeperBvK said:

I'll just repeat my question:
"A two-player mode has been included but even it can’t save the game from mediocrity"

You're saying it can't be saved from mediocrity, but still you're giving it just a single star?

An answer would come highly appreciated.



Dazza said:

@KeeperBvK - Are you asking why Damo awarded this a paltry 1 star if he considers the game mediocre? I think the reasoning is clear in the tone of the review. Cruis'n USA is a mediocre game coupled with terrible framerate problems. I suppose if not for the framerate problems he might have awarded it 2 stars.



KeeperBvK said:

Yup, that's what I was asking and I actually gotta say, that Damo's review doesn't state it's an otherwise mediocre game with a terrible frame rate, but rather a game that's mediocre, the frame rate already counted in.
But so in the end it's a terrible game (hence one star) and not a mediocre game, correct?...or at least in his eyes.
I'd rate it two stars for basically delivering what it tries to deliver: Nonsense arcade racing. In my eyes it's definitely not among the worst VC games, although it's still pretty weak.



Bass_X0 said:

ha. yeah. i'd rather download Cruis'n USA than download two 1-star NES games.



HVGN_Nerd said:

this game kicks! i gave it 5 stars to balance the rating a bit...
its more a 3 star game boosted to 4 though because it's
so much fun



ICEknight said:

this game kicks! i gave it 5 stars to balance the rating a bit...
its more a 3 star game boosted to 4 though because it's
so much fun

If you don't think it's worth 5 stars just don't give it that rating, please. Else, that's rigging the votes.

Also... Are you sure you've played this same game, rather than Cruisin' the World?



theberrage said:

This review is a prime example why you shouldn't let reviews determine if you play a game or not. I don't think this game is anywhere as bad as the other games that share the same rating. Sure it's nothing great, but it's AT LEAST AVERAGE.

3/5 for the game
1/5 for the review



E-dawg said:

Whats with the harsh rating? This game is very similair to OutRun and is quite good (3.5 Stars). I Think this game deserves a fair go...



brooks83 said:

It's true this game is no masterpiece, but it can be fun when played with 2 people. I guess I'm in the minority of people who like this game. I'd give it a 3 out of 5



chiefeagle02 said:

I remember playing this when it hit N64 and enjoying this because I really liked the notion of a cross country race. The races were too short though, but I know it was made for the arcade where a single session isn't expected to last more than fifteen minutes (I think the main reason it was made was for Nintendo was to showcase its Ultra 64 hardware early on before the console was released, so one could look at this as a glorified tech demo...but I may be wrong). I'm not sure if I'll download this. I had fun playing it back in the day, but the game (let alone the series) hasn't aged well...but there are worse ways going about spending 1,000 Wii Points. I'll get it only if I'm really desparate for a road trip (which is rare because I travel a lot).



Damo said:

Some of the 'why?' comments in this thread are hilarious.

Why would we award a terrible, jerky, slow, poorly rendered and terribly programmed racing game 1 star?

Why do you think?



meatlander said:

I don't understand the bad review either... sure the game isn't worthy of 5 stars but I'd at least expect it to get 2 1/2 or 3.

I personally loved this game when I was younger. And no matter how hard I try, I can't recall any of the problems the reviewers seem to have. I don't remember anything jerky or slow about the game... nor do I recall driving through objects or crashing into things miles away.

Did something go wrong with the VC port?



digibod said:

i like cruisin usa, its sequels,world and exotica are very rare, hope they make it to the vc



blackknight77 said:

I watched a video demo of this on another site. I have to say it still looks like a cool game. Plus I enjoy arcade racers



BJ1 said:

Not a Cruis'n fan but this game doesn't deserve a 1 out of 5. More like a 2 out of 5.



sashaboo said:

Its a real shame that we are getting crap like this on the VC. we dont get many N64 games then we got to put up with this rubbish when there are much better games that could have come to the VC. Who ever had the idea to bring this to the VC should be very ashamed.



waldojeffershead said:

The best in the Crusin' series, far better than crusin' exotic or world. This is an honest 5 stars, I loved the game new and it is nearly as enjoyable to re-live, 1000 wii points is a bit steep, but I'm getting my money out of it. I was shocked to see such a low rating, I guess nerds don't enjoy racing games. I also have to say, this game is far more fun and holds much higher replay factor then any Zelda/Link game to date. Don't hesitate to purchase!



Damo said:

"I was shocked to see such a low rating, I guess nerds don't enjoy racing games...this game is far more fun and holds much higher replay factor then any Zelda/Link game to date"




MrPoo6321 said:

Cruis'n USA is not as bad as the review sounds. I dowloaded it and I have not experienced any of these framerate drop-offs. Also I think it's hilarious the way the cars flip around when you have a wreck. It seems that most non-American gamers hate this game. I played the crap out of this game with my brother and sister and the nostalgia factor is through the roof for me. I played through the single-player mode and couldn't help but smile the whole way through. It made me feel like a little kid again. I don't care how crappy everyone else says this game is... it reminds me of my childhood and I still get a kick from playing it and that's all that counts.



MasterMario said:

@Damo: The reason I said that was I didn't think that Nintendo would put a bad game on the VC. What's next, Superman 64?



WaddleWave said:

I dont want my car to handle like a Grand Turismo game(awful) where you need a real driving wheels and a set of pedal to fully play it.1) Is the framerate that bad, can someone compare it to something that has the same problem of slowness? I really dont care if the graphics are 2D or not, and the handling, 2)isn't it perfect for this game?
@waldojeffershead-I think the only Zelda games that are good and not boring like the one that came for the Wii, are the SNES and the first one for N64 in that order, I always thought that for the Wii they were going to add newstuff and battle system, they just went back to "a link to the past", ugh.
@Lando- Im asking those two question because it's at the top ten most popular and hasn't back down yet.



rarson said:

Alright, I have to admit that I liked Cruis'n USA when it was in the arcade. At the time, the graphics seemed pretty good and it was much harder to notice the wonky handling when you were sitting in an arcade cabinet with a steering wheel (of course, playing it today, the game feels absolutely ridiculous). There was even some pretty cool novelties in this game, like hitting deer or driving a bus, shortcuts, etc. that helped make it feel like a solid, competent racer. At the time, I thought it was decent competition for other arcade racers, like Ridge Racer.

I also enjoyed the fact that you got another free race if you won, which I could usually do the first time around (after that, it seems as though the rubber-band AI would make it impossible to get another free race). And of course, I loved it for the fact that I was getting a glimpse at the next generation of Nintendo hardware, the "Ultra 64." I think that probably even skewed my bias in favor of the game a bit.

But here's the thing: by the time this game came out on the Nintendo 64, it had already been far surpassed by other racers, both in the arcades and on home consoles of competitors Sony and Sega. I'm not even kidding when I say that nostalgia was the only reason to play this on the Nintendo 64 (with all the delays of the N64, it really did feel like it took THAT long to come out). And even that wasn't enough to save this game, because it barely resembled the arcade version.

When you looked back at the arcade game, which seemed a lot more polished (and yet still not all that graphically complex), it really made you wonder about the difference between the hardware in your console and the hardware in the arcade cabinet (which was supposed to be pretty much the same) and why the Nintendo 64 couldn't even handle such a simple arcade arcade game. I chalk that up to Midway doing an extremely poor port job. The frame rate problems seemed odd given that the graphics were "dumbed down" to accommodate the obviously less-powerful console, so clearly the code wasn't optimized for the hardware. I bet that the "Ultra 64" arcade hardware was significantly different from the final N64 hardware which went through so many delays, and Midway just scrambled to get it done as fast as possible as Nintendo had an extremely small number of launch titles.

The handling was ridiculous. Even in the arcade version, the cars rotated as if they were on a pole (which was even more noticeable when taken out of the arcade and put into the home using an analog thumb stick). They didn't feel like they're interacting with the track at all. In more recent arcade sequels (I would never insert another Cruis'n cartridge into my N64 again after this fiasco), they seem to have sped the games up a bit, which actually exacerbates the noticeably bad handling.

There is no AI to speak of in any Cruis'n game to date, as far as I can tell. You can feel your rivals hovering behind your car in the air just in front of your TV screen, as if they are chained to your bumper. You know they are there, because at the slightest mistake, they will slingshot ahead of you. And of course, sometimes they are inexplicably slower or faster than you (for no reason other than to make the race "close"), and there's simply nothing you can do about it. Midway is notorious for this "rubber-band" crap, and apparently someone in an office somewhere thought it makes games more fun, but it's extremely aggravating to have an entire race of flawless driving ruined by one little mistake near the end.

The first Cruis'n was definitely the best, and if you liked the game, maybe it's still worth a quarter in the arcade cabinet, but I rented the N64 version long ago (after being dissuaded from purchasing it by poor reviews) and was extremely disappointed. I think you'd have to be nuts to pay $10 for this game, to be honest (especially if you already bought the cart years ago).

Here's the bottom line: the arcade game was a disposable racer with a few novelties thrown in, meant to showcase the Ultra 64 hardware. Even the arcade version didn't even withstand the test of time by the time the home version came out. Then, instead of adding depth, updating the handling, or basically improving ANYTHING, they rush out a glitchy, crappy port. I liked the arcade game a lot, but this version even ruined that for me. If you pay money to download this game, you are a sucker. Sorry, but that's the inescapable truth.

I apologize for writing such a lengthy comment.



WaddleWave said:

Wow... you know... you can copy paste that whole comment for San Francisco Rush games and the whole game lineup in Midway Arcade Treasures 3... dang... "Arcade"? Offroad Thunder and Hydro Thunder was a frameskip mania in comparison to it's real arcade counter-parts, SF 2049 has a huge problem saving(it may erase your whole M.A.T.3 save) and the only truly arcade there was SF Alcatraz Edition. I recommend Midway to launch California SPEED and/or Cruis'n World...better yet... Nintendo better let EA launch Beetle Adventure Racing.



J_K said:

I don't want to use a word like completely as some points are valid, but it's a nearly completely unfair scoring on this game. Yes, against non-arcade based games it is a bit limited, that's a given as all racing quarter munchers end up that way. Honestly the game captured the Crusin' USA arcade game fairly well aside from some really cruel censorship of the bikini bimbos into mostly covered girls which was just dumb. The handling worked well, collision was good as well (Far nicer than Ridge Racer 64 was by a longshot much years later.) The big problem with the game is that it's limited in being an arcade game and with that can wear thin a lot faster just due to limited content, but it is a good racer and I think should have been more fairly scored on a 3/5 rating or even a 2.5 if need be but 1 is indefensible and I'm not even a huge fan of it by any means.



Damo said:

J.K. - I'm not arguing that it isn't a decent conversion of the arcade game. The issue here is that the arcade version was a terrible game to start off with, and this watered-down port is even worse.

I'd say a 1/5 is perfectly defensible when you consider how godawful this game really is. I understand that many people have a soft spot for it but I honestly think it's a clear cut case of rose tinted specs being worn. This isn't a good racing game; in fact I'd even go as far as to say it's one of the worst examples of the genre I've ever experienced in my long time as a gamer.



J_K said:

Ahh I had it, but it was never a huge favorite of mine. My argument was that it drove well enough compared to some other racers on the system, and it had a nice small variety of cars, and sadly ultimately more track to mess with than the Rush titles which is sad in itself. I just think 1 was way too harsh.



rarson said:

"This isn't a good racing game; in fact I'd even go as far as to say it's one of the worst examples of the genre I've ever experienced in my long time as a gamer."

Yup, that's Cruis'n in a nutshell. By far, the worst part of the game is that it aged extremely poorly. The arcade game was passable when new but even by the time it had hit the console, it was extremely outdated.



rarson said:

Oh yeah, I didn't realize this until a few days ago but the original Cruis'n arcade hardware was actually a 32-bit Williams board.



The_shoemaker said:

My friend has the original cart for this game and he says it's really good. But i can't decide to belive the half a million people who say this game is bad, or the 5 people who say it's good....



Tannman42 said:

Oh dear god no!!! Why couldn't they have released Beetle Adventure Racing instead?



TinnyTB said:

This game is one of the best on Nintendo 64, I still plays it sometimes on my old N64.



Ricardo91 said:

This game looks like a pile of Horses*!t to me.

Cruisn' Exotica, people! (that was ported to N64, right?) Haven't played cruisn' world before.



Mipsymoodle said:

its an OK game, 3/5, id prefer exotica but this will do because i did want one of the cruisin games, they are fun to play with friends but single player is just terrible



Roo said:

This is still the worst Nintendo game on VC. Absolutely shocking!



Beau_Skunk said:

I don't understand why people hate this game so much. I liked it when I played it on N64 personally. True it's not as good as Mario Kart 64, Wave Race 64, or F-Zero X, but it's still a decent arcade style racing game with some nice secret cars, (one of wich is a schoolbus) and tracks.

I give this game 3 stars. I disagree with the rest of the planet here.



carson said:

I am the Crusin' USA champion at my local bowling alley. The Arcade Version is the only way to go. I had my Liscense plate at the top of every Level. My favorite was Red Wood Forest with the Green Jeep. I used to rent the N64 version. It's allright but of course you dont get the full Arcade Experience.



deadbattery said:

I used to always play these games in arcades. Thank GOD I never got this on N64.

Also, I read that the Virtual Console version censors a bikini girl with a Cruis'n USA t-shirt. ARE YOU S***TING ME?



deadbattery said:

I saw it on Wikipedia long ago, which, of course, doesn't necessarily mean it's true. It doesn't matter anyway, since I'll never download this.



Captain_Konami said:

Ok, I need to really enthusiastically support the original review and score here. People keep defending this game as a "good" game, but I challenge anyone to list even three things that make this game "good". I know people will list the selection of cars (which is a very poor small selection of cars compared to so many other racing games, and its not like the cars even handle that differently......it almost seems insulting to offer a set of different cars that all end up being the same in practice). And then what? The interactive tracks? (As I recall it was like driving down a hallway with scenery wallpapered up, save for the rare token objects to hit and have no effect on) The challenge of the other cars on the course? (My Commodore 64 Pole Position game had more AI, and was a fuller environment with more reactive car handling than this, and that's an ARCADE port some decade or more before this, on a weaker system......)

This game may be an ok arcade game, but how does that make it "good" in any other format, especially the one being reviewed here? It's a hollow game with a poor driving experience, very very few added things to create any depth of gameplay, and the visuals are so obviously flat and repetitive that this game is indeed an insult on any game system save for maybe the Atari 2600.

I have a challenging time believe that anyone's first experience with this game after the age of 12, or outside of "playing with your pal" (which can make even the worst game fun), I have a hard time believing this will provide a satisfying long term experience for anyone outside of those situations.

Needless to say this was a blind purchase for me by my mom back in the day, and it was one of the most disappointing and wasteful experiences I've had with a video game. Maybe if it hadn't been such a tragic underuse of so powerful and great a game system as the N64.

This game should roll over and thank its lucky stars for getting even 1 star. It's shallow, it's driving feel is so poor/lame/unreal as to almost not even count as a car game, and it's a flippin N64 game while accomplishing as little as it does. I encourage people who (have actually played the game and) question the 1 star score to raise their standards and look for something with more to offer than a handful of cars and a simpleton gaming experience. Acceptable game for the preteens. Terrible gaming standard for most anyone else. If you want your racing simple, go get a classics collection with something like Pole Position (or even Night Driver would be better ) and don't settle for poor and inadequate.



Roo said:

Holy smokes. As a guide on how to balls up a videogame, this is superb.

Despite what BassX0 might have said above, its well and truly the worst Nintendo game in VC. Give me the likes of Soccer, Ice Hockey and Golf over Cruis'n USA anyday.



Rally said:

Why in the world are we picking on Midway for this game? I disargee with Ricardo91 and Captain_Konami. You know, the selection of cars was ok, but the graphics are ok, too. Hello, people! It's a 90's game!

Anyway, Here are three reasons for you, Captain_Konami.

The Graphics (It's not any Wii, but it'll do)
The Tracks (Each One With It's uniqueness)
The Music (It Was Wicked, With It's Own Style)

When I was young, I played this game like there was no tomorrow. Anyway, judging that this is an old game, I give it 4.5 stars or 9.5 out of 10.

I Still say it's not a Wii, but again, top notch racing game from Midway.




CodyRBurns said:

This game is fun, but doesn't have the same feel as it's sequels, Cruis'n World and Cruis'n Exotica. Still, this is a good way to waste some time and enjoyable every once in a while!



Rally said:

It would be funny if you ran over the people at the finish line and the screen said fatality.




Rally said:

I downloaded this game. To be honest, it wasn't that bad. It looked like it came from the arcade machine. Really, I'd buy this game instead of going to Chuck E Cheeses. The controls were kinda weird, until I fixed them.

Definitely a great download.



gdjman68 said:

this isnt a bad game, its the nostalgia factor i think, ive downloaded it anyway, 6/10



koolkitties said:

Guys. Play this game with a friend. It's one of the most loosely developed games, and its shoddy collision detection, graphics, knowledge of physics and bitmap women make it the perfect 2-player "co-op" racer. The key is to have one guy make traffic jams and beat on the AI cars while another person takes the lead. It may sound like the first person (not meaning the also hilarious first person mode) has the most fun, but the joy of this game's not-even-physics engine gives the demolition player just as much fun.

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