30 Years of Video Games – Destruction Derby (1995)

I’m waving goodbye to my 20′s and to celebrate I’m counting down 30 games from the last 30 years.  Join me while I countdown 30 great years of game memories.

Destruction Derby

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have an innate attraction to destruction and enjoying watching things crumble, break, explode, implode, collide or tear apart is seemingly part of our primal instinct.  Combine that with fast cars and you’ve got a seriously dangerous concoction.

The dawn of the polygon heralded in earnest by SEGA’s Saturn and Sony’s Playstation brought with it so much potential, but nothing came close to the excitement that blowing and smashing things up in three dimension for the first time did.  Developer Reflections’ Destruction Derby for many was their that first experience and one likely changed what they expected from video games forever.  Watching realistic 3D models buckle and twist apart was an exhilirating experience, as parts of cars seemingly flying off into the distance and the smoke begins to pour out of the engine block.  Damage modelling was something we expect nowadays but back in 1995 it was a genuine surprise and its area specific damage system was not only impressive but encouraged strategic driving for maximum damage.  It doesn’t look much now but it was a technical marvel at the time and one I’m not ashamed to say I thought would never be topped.  Of course it was and Codemasters’ 2012 Dirt Showdown is at its a core just a prettier more modern version of the same game.

Destruction Derby was a game built around what the new technology could do and that was a role is played admirably.  The driving was fast, the carnage brutal and the game offered up enough variance in the way of tracks and event types to ensure that the core mechanics of the game never got old.  Destruction Derby wasn’t the best game available in the early days of the system but it was sure one of the most enjoyable and one that I still go back to from time to time.

A number of sequels to the game were released in the following years with  the faster and prettier Destruction Derby 2 being a particular highlight.


Have a favourite game from 1995?  Tell us in the comments below.  Don’t forget to come back soon for the next game in our countdown.  Miss a year?  Catch up below.

1994 – 1993 – 1992 – 1991 – 1990 – 1989 – 1988 – 1987 – 1986 – 1985 – 1984 – 1983