This is one of those more controversial entries in this top 50, it has to be said. A lot of people think the second one was the best of the lot, whilst others prefer the soul of the original Lotus Turbo Esprit Challenge. I personally think of this one as being the best of the bunch, as it kept the fun factor and graphical edge of the second game, whilst being true to the Lotus heritage in both game and company.
What made this one different to the others was the random track generator, which allowed you to type in whatever you wanted, whether it is special numbers or non naughty words, and from nothing you would have a track mysteriously appear. What this gave Lotus III was a naturally long life and with the options of multiple players via split screen you were given a product that could entertain frequently without really getting stale.
Coming forward to now you have to say that it has lost a bit of edge, mainly because back then we never had the mix or quantity of arcade and simulation racers. Forza, GT, Burnout, Blur and Split/Second all do well in their own divisions of the racing genre, and because the arcade racers provide instant thrills and the simulation boys allow for major tinkering, it leaves Lotus III in today’s world unsure as to what it can be.
It can be fun for an hour or two, don’t get me wrong, but due to how far we’ve come, it’s hard to rate it as a classic when compared to the current market. Leave it in the 16 bit years though and it can hold its head high in the fun division. Just leave the Amiga’s sim side to Geoff Crammond though.