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Ridge Racer (リッジレーサー Rijji Rēsā) is a 1993 racing video game developed and published by Namco. It was initially released on the Namco System 22 arcade system board, and was later ported to the PlayStation console in 1994. It is the first title in the long-running Ridge Racer series of games released for arcades and home consoles. The game's objective is to finish in first place in a series of races. Ridge Racer was among the first racing games to utilise polygon graphics to its full potential. The PlayStation version supports the use of Namco's NeGcon controller.
The first home version of Ridge Racer was released in Japan in 1994 as a launch title for the PlayStation; the versions for North America and Europe were released in 1995. The game was re-released in Japan for the PlayStation The Best range on 12 July 1997, and for the Greatest Hits and Platinum ranges in North America and PAL regions respectively the same year. The game played a major role in establishing the new system and in giving it an early edge over its nearest competitor, the Sega Saturn, and was considered a rival to Sega's Daytona USA.
After release, Ridge Racer received a highly positive reception. Reviewers praised the graphics, audio, drifting mechanics, and arcade-like gameplay, although some reviewers were critical of the lack of strong artificial intelligence and multiplayer mode. The arcade version was followed by a sequel, Ridge Racer 2, in 1994, whereas the PlayStation sequel, Ridge Racer Revolution, was released on 3 December 1995 in Japan, and in 1996 in North America and PAL regions. The game's soundtrack was remixed and released on the Namco Game Sound Express Vol. 11 album.