Midnight Club Games Ranked From Worst To Best

A game series inspired by the most notorious street racing group in Japan. Midnight Club was first released for PS2 in 2000 and was similar to Need for Speed because you had these really fast vehicles plus awesome soundtracks. However, Need for Speed games back then weren’t open-world.

Not until Need for Speed: Underground in 2004, which itself was inspired by the Midnight Club series. In fact, Midnight Club is a continuation of the Midtown Madness. Which is an open-world sandbox-style racer in which you can drive a variety of vehicles.

Unlike Midtown Madness though, Midnight Club is more focused on the racing element rather than just clowning around and destroying stuff. So, which is the best Midnight Club game? To answer that question, I’ve compiled a list of all Midnight Club games ranked from worst to best.

This article is a great resource for anyone who’s new to the series and wants a starting point. Honestly, you can play any of the games in this franchise in whichever order you wish. They don’t have interlinked stories or progression, working just fine as standalone titles (much like NFS).

Midnight Club Games: Ranked From Worst To Best

Things can get confusing if you look at all the “remix” editions and DLCs. In total, there are 4 mainline Midnight Club games. Coming in at number 6 is the original which was released for PS2 and defined an entire generation of open-world racers during the 2000s. 

6. Midnight Club: Street Racing

Developer Angel Studios
Release DateOctober 26, 2000
Platforms PS2, Game Boy Advance

Everything about this game evoked feelings of awesomeness- from the excellent cover art to the catchy soundtracks. In fact, the developers of Midnight Club: Street Racing managed to get a permit for closing down Times Square in New York. Just so they could do a photo shoot for their game cover art.

Marketing material for this game emphasized its realistic depiction of both London and New York, along with characters who were flowing with charisma. Racing didn’t take place on preset courses, but in the streets with traffic going both ways. And the game doesn’t force you to go through fixed paths, instead, you’re encouraged to take shortcuts and create your own routes.

Midnight Club uses a checkpoint-based racing system, with story bosses who do all kinds of crazy maneuvers. Sometimes, they’ll even taunt you. 

5. Midnight Club: Los Angeles Remix

Developer Rockstar San Diego
Release Date October 21, 2008
Platforms PSP

This isn’t an updated version of the regular Midnight Club: Los Angeles, but its own game that uses the base version as a starting point. Los Angeles Remix was created specifically for the PSP; hence it has controls that are designed for portable gaming. Plus, it adds a second city in the form of Tokyo (the map for which is lifted straight from Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition Remix).

And the actual L.A. city design is scaled down compared to the full console release. That’s because Rockstar copied their old Midnight Club II L.A. assets and put them into this game. Cops won’t chase you while you’re cruising, and story cutscenes have been removed. 

4. Midnight Club II

Developer Rockstar San Diego
Release DateApril 9, 2003
Platforms PS2, Xbox

It does everything the original did, but better and bigger. Midnight Club II still has unlicensed cars, meaning you can’t enjoy a ride in some Lamborghini or Ferrari. However, the cars are clearly modeled after their real-life counterparts and can go just as fast (if not faster).

Unlike other racing games that put invisible walls around your tracks to prevent you from veering off-course, Midnight Club II lets you approach checkpoints freely. In some events, you don’t even need to complete them in any particular order. Your vehicles can take damage, although this won’t affect performance (and there are plenty of ramps for doing some crazy jumping stunts).

3. Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition

Developer Rockstar San Diego
Release Date April 11, 2005
Platforms PS2, Xbox, PSP

Okay, we need to clear out the confusing part- Dub Edition is the standard version of this game. It’s not an add-on pack or DLC, but the base game (there is no Midnight Club 3, only Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition). Then, you have the Remix version with more cars, soundtracks, races, etc.

For many people, Midnight Club 3 is the absolute peak of this legendary racing series. It achieves the perfect balance of story, adrenaline-fueled racing action, and quirky gameplay mechanics that can’t be found in any other game. By the way, this is also the first Midnight Club to feature vehicle tuning (probably inspired by NFS Underground).

2. Midnight Club: Los Angeles

DeveloperRockstar San Diego
Release DateOctober 20, 2008
PlatformsPS3, Xbox 360, PSP

This is the last Midnight Club game ever released. Later, Rockstar put out a “Complete Edition” which contains some DLC content (new vehicles, maps, etc.). And unlike previous installments, there are no alternate cities- you only get L.A. which is the largest city ever put in a Midnight Club game.

In fact, the amount of area covered by L.A. in this game is larger than all 3 maps combined from Midnight Club II. Plus, there are tons of options in terms of racing modes. You can get into freeway brawls with other racers or jump into a proper tournament.

Some races are for pink slips, which means the winner gets their opponent’s car. Cops are properly implemented in an open-world fashion. Previously, they were scripted to only appear during races.

Now, cops can show up anywhere as soon as you commit an infraction (running the lights, hitting traffic, speeding, etc.). In Los Angeles, your car gets special abilities- EMP blasts, super armor, slowing down time, etc. 

1. Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition Remix

DeveloperRockstar San Diego
Release DateMarch 12, 2006
PlatformsPS2, Xbox

It’s the most complete Midnight Club experience, made even better with the addition of extra vehicles and challenges. The Remix version of Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition lets you carry over save data from the base game. So you don’t have to restart your entire career if you buy a copy of this game.

A new city has been added that isn’t present in the base version- Tokyo. Which is based on the Midnight Club II map, with some upgrades and a career mode. The UI has also been redesigned with a different color palette and you get 25 new licensed soundtracks from various pop/ hip-hop artists. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I don’t own a PS2 or Xbox, how to play the old Midnight Club games?

A: You can use an emulator such as PCSX2 for the first game. If you’re looking for Midnight Club II, it even has a PC version.

Q: What really separates Midnight Club from NFS?

A: The fact that you have multiple cities and locales, characters with excellent dialogue, and well-written stories. Midnight Club didn’t have any licensed vehicles for the first couple of games, but more than compensated for it with truly zany stuff (like rockets).

Q: If I own an Xbox Series X, can I play Midnight Club?

A: Los Angeles is playable through backward compatibility, but I can’t speak for the first 3 games.

Q: What kind of music is licensed for Midnight Club games?

A: Mostly pop, electronic, hip-hop, etc. You’ll find tracks from artists/ groups such as Nas, Kasabian, Hundred Reasons, Ash, Marilyn Manson, etc. 

Q: What does the Midnight Club: Los Angeles Complete Edition contain?

A: It has the base game, along with all DLC packs released for Los Angeles. There are 3 South Central packs containing map extensions and vehicles, as well as a police car pack. Plus, the cover art for the Complete Edition is different.


Why did the Midnight Club series die out when it had so much personality and character? It’s not like Rockstar’s hurting for money or anything, because they are making enough cash off RDR and GTA to buy a small country in Africa. Well, the demise of Midnight Club started with LA which reduced the game’s scope from 2 or 3 cities down to just one.

Granted, this one city was larger than all cities from its predecessor combined. But it wasn’t the same experience that players had come to expect from Midnight Club. And for some reason, Rockstar really cut down on marketing for Midnight Club: Los Angeles.

The shift in game design combined with poor marketing led to a drop in sales. Since 2009, fans have been yearning for a new Midnight Club. Will Rockstar deliver?