Crash Team Racing was a childhood favourite of mine. It was probably one of the first games that I spent over one hundred hours playing and booting up Beenox and Activision’s remake reminded me of just how much I missed it. CTR: Nitro-Fueled is a top class remake of the absolute classic kart racer which pulls together a wealth of content from the original game and its sequel.

Following on from the mammoth success that both Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited Trilogy enjoyed, Activision decided that Crash Team Racing was the next fan-favourite due for an upgrade and boy have they delivered on that promise and then some! Beenox has done an incredible job with this remake which was rebuilt from scratch and looks better than ever. Graphically, CTR: Nitro-Fueled is absolutely stunning, including beautiful colourful environments and tracks which come to life in glorious high detail and high quality lighting. The characters and karts also look exceptional and have clearly been given great time and care; their personalities coming to life through precise animation, fitting voice lines and a wealth of unlockable skins, all of which feel true to the character they belong to!

Speaking of unlockable content, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is stuffed to the grills with it. The game features a huge roster of characters (each of which has their own set of unlockable skins), a large selection of kart bodies and wheel types (each of which can be customised with a set of different colour palettes), unlockable stickers for your kart and plenty more. There are also many tracks present in the game, with a large chunk of Crash Nitro Kart’s tracks making their way to this game in addition to the full roster of Crash Team Racing’s tracks.

If that wasn’t enough for you, Activision have announced that a considerable amount of free DLC content will be coming to the game with continued support planned beyond the already announced content roadmap. This makes CTR: Nitro-Fueled a fantastic value proposition given the wealth of content already included in the game. The most exciting DLC announcement so far has to be the reveal of Spyro joining the roster via an upcoming Grand-Prix. The current post-launch roadmap is detailed in full below. Did we mention that the game also goes for a lower price point than standard full game releases?

Beyond content and graphical remastering, Beenox have also made some more changes under the hood. This remake plays, in my opinion, a lot more smoothly than the original game. While some of you out there might prefer the roughness and challenge that the original offered, I believe that within a short amount of time playing this remake, you will be converted to enjoying the new gameplay even more than you enjoyed the original. For example, while the triple-boosting drift mechanic has made a return in its original form (hold one trigger to charge drift and push the other once charged), making a mistake by holding the drift too long isn’t punished as harshly as it was in the original title. I feel that this is a positive change; one of the many small modifications that Beenox has made to make this entry feel more smooth, polished and enjoyable to play.

That being said, the AI seems to have become more difficult to beat as a compensation for the easier drifting mechanic. In Adventure Mode, the fully-fledged story mode which makes a triumphant return much like the game itself, you are tasked with coming first in each of the tracks that were in the original Crash Team Racing game. After completing a few tracks, you will then face a boss level on another track. On some tracks, I found it very difficult to come first with certain AI opponents seemingly having what felt like constant speed boosts, even playing on normal mode. After many tries, these tracks were eventually cleared. Adventure mode was the feature which set CTR apart from Mario Kart and that remains true today with this remake.

With the release of Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, finally, Mario Kart 8 has some actual competition and in my opinion, it comes first in this race! Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is a must have on all platforms, delivering what is probably the best kart racer in recent memory.

Note: Both the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch editions were tested for the purposes of this review.