The first game that began the madness of this series. All the games are very similar, with the main goal being to collect the most fares in the amount of time given. The very first game was released into arcades in 1999, followed by a release for Dreamcast in 2000. Then in 2001, the game was brought to PlayStation and GameCube. The map is based off of San Francisco, with this map being much larger then the one found in the arcade version, allowing the player to explore more of the area and get lost. The soundtrack also features hits by The Offspring and Bad Religion.
These games are arcade based, with no real end or storyline, just fast paced, collect as much money as you can gameplay. In the first game, there is a section of mini games, called Crazy Box, to help hone your skills. There are only four characters to choose from in Crazy Taxi. Though, that changes as more games were released.
Crazy Taxi 2
Released in May 2001 on the Dreamcast, this game introduced four new drivers to choose from, as well as two new maps. The maps are based on New York City, one being called Around Apple and the other being Small Apple. Along with the regular gameplay, two new gameplay features were added:
- Mechanics of collecting multiple passengers from a single spot, as opposed to the normal one passenger a taxi.
- The Crazy Hop, which allows the taxi to clear traffic and obstacles with short jumps.
By utilizing the "Crazy Hop" and "Crazy Dash", the driver accumulates more tips from the passenger, which increases the final score. Each customer will have a different colored ring above them, each color having a different meaning. Green means long distance, yellow is mid range and red is short distance. The longer the distance, the more money made, however there is a time limit when going to a destination. If you don't make it, the passenger will actually jump out of your cab. There are no restrictions to the player besides time limit, allowing the player to drive as fast and as recklessly as they wish.
The sequel's soundtrack is done by The Offspring and Methods of Mayhem.
Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller
Released for the Xbox in 2002, and PC in 2004, High Roller reuses the original arcade map modified to use the Crazy Hop. High Roller includes three maps, West Coast from Crazy Taxi, Small Apple from Crazy Taxi 2 but set at night, and the new location Glitter Oasis, based on Las Vegas.
This game adds an additional four characters to choose from, and allows the player to unlock different modes of transportation. These can be unlocked by completing different levels in Crazy X.
- Completion of Level 1: Maps o the locations are available on the menu, which includes all the destinations and short cuts.
- Completion of Level 2: Provides the player with three more different types of vehicles to ride on, a stroller, carriage and a pedal bike.
- Completion of Level 3: Allows player to use any cabbie on any map.
The soundtrack for High Roller features three bands, The Offspring, Bad Religion and Silverbullit. Additional songs for the menu and credits are provided by The Offspring, Bad Religion, Methods of Mayhem, and Brian Setzer.
Handheld Crazy Taxi
There were a few games released specifically for handheld devices.
Crazy Taxi Catch a Ride was ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2003. Fundamentally the same as Crazy Taxi console versions. It includes the maps based on San Francisco and Los Angeles, yet has a smaller selection of mini games. Original four cabbies are in this game to choose from. The game also has several save slots, allowing the player to save their progress.
Crazy Taxi Fare Wars was released for the PSP in 2007. This game is effectively a port of both Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2 to this system without any changes to the gameplay, but lacking the original in-game advertising and original soundtrack. The game does have its own soundtrack, but also allows the player to use their own music stored on the PSP. There is also a multiplayer feature over the PSP's ad-hoc wireless system, allowing players to vie for fares on the same map, as well as steal passengers from other players. Players can ram their opponents to steal their fares, or use the new interference feature to crash or slow down their fare delivery time.
Crazy Taxi City Rush was released for iOS and Android systems in 2014, which is free to play. However, unlike all the other games, the player has no direct control over the speed of the taxi but can use touch motions to swerve in traffic and make turns.