Road Rash is a motorcycle-racing video game series by Electronic Arts in which the player participates in violent, illegal street races. The series started on the Sega Genesis and was released on various other systems over the years. The game’s title is based on the slang term for the severe friction burns that can occur in a motorcycle fall where skin comes into contact with the ground at high speed.
Six different games were released from 1991 to 2000, and an alternate version of one game was developed for the Game Boy Advance. The Sega Genesis trilogy was rereleased in EA Replay.
Road Rash debuted on the Sega Genesis in 1991. The game takes place in California, on progressively longer two-lane roads. The two-player mode allows one person to play at a time. There are 14 other opponents in a race. A port of the game was released for the Amiga, and various scaled-down versions were made for Master System, Sega Game Gear, and Game Boy. The Game Boy version is one of two licensed games that is incompatible with the Game Boy Color and newer consoles in the Game Boy line. A SNES version was planned and then canceled.
An updated version was made for a CD-based platforms such as Sega CD, 3DO, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Microsoft Windows. It features a number of changes such as the ability to choose characters (with various starting cashpiles and bikes, some with starting weapons) before playing, fleshed-out reputation and gossip systems and full-motion video sequences to advance a plot. The updated version features all-California locales: The City, The Peninsula, Pacific Coast Highway, Sierra Nevada, and Napa Valley. The roads themselves feature brief divided road sections.
The Sega Genesis trilogy features music by EA composers Rob Hubbard (1 and II), Michael Bartlow (1), Tony Berkeley (II), and Don Veca (II and 3). Later entries were among the first video games to include licensed music tracks from major recording artists in gameplay.