A person is shown holding a video game controller playing a racing game.

4 Chevrolet Video Game Appearances That Millennials Remember Best

Have you ever visited a Chevy dealer in a video game before? Well, the odds are that you technically haven’t given that most video games let you select your purchase from a screen. However, we’re positive that if you’re a millennial, then you’ve purchased a Chevy in a video game before.

The early 2000s were filled with street racing video games and young, little gamer nerds living vicariously through the gaming console. None of us were old enough to drive, but we could spend hours behind the controller, ruining our teeth with soda and running from the cops. It was a great way of daydreaming about the future without getting into legal trouble. Let’s just hope that none of us drive like we did in those video games.

Although those levels, races, and missions were all fictional, luckily for us, Chevy made these gaming sessions feel much more realistic by adding in real, official Chevrolet models. We could drive these models in-game knowing that we could grow up to drive them in real life. These 4 Chevy appearances stick out in my memory, and I’m certain they’ll trigger something in yours as well.

A red 1964 Chevy Impala Convertible is shown parked in a rocky mountain area.

Midnight Club: The Chevrolet Impala

Would you believe that one of the most affordable models in Midnight Club III is $21,450? Yes, a starter car for 21K. Seems like a steep price for a rookie street racer. But hey, when you can win thousands of dollars each time you win a street race, the cash racks up fast.

Thanks to its “lower” price and decent power, the 1964 Chevrolet Impala gives you a great start into the racing world. In fact, this model is one the five available cars you get to choose from when you first start the game. In-game, this model is considered a Class-D muscle car that can reach a top speed of 170 MPH. Surprisingly enough, you can buy this car for MUCH cheaper in the game than you can in real life. The 1964 Impala is currently sold for anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000, sometimes more or less depending on its condition.

The 1964 Impala made another appearance in the later Midnight Club title, Midnight Club: Los Angeles. It comes with the same bodystyle as it did in the older games. You’ll also find a newer, 1996 Impala in this game. This one comes in four different versions, three of which are police cars. You can choose from the following three ‘96 Impala Police Cars:

  • Black
  • White with Red, Yellow, and Blue Vinyl
  • White with Blue and Pink Vinyl

So, whether you want to enforce the law or break it, Midnight Club has an Impala for you. The unfortunate part is that you can’t actually chase down speeders, but you CAN have fun messing with other cars by throwing your lights and sirens on.

Need for Speed Most Wanted: The Corvette

No street racing game is complete without a Corvette, and nothing is more nostalgic for us millennials than a mid-2000s Vette model. That’s why the Corvette C6’s appearance in Need for Speed: Most Wanted is so memorable.

This sixth-generation Corvette spanned from 2005 to 2013. It landed a top speed of 189 MPH, it packed a 6-liter V8 engine, and packed 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. You could unlock this car by beating “Blacklist Racer #5,” however, you still had to pay for it. And just like in real life, the cost isn’t cheap in Need For Speed. You have to spend $80,000 on this sucker. However, it’s a great model to do what you do best at in this game, which is to run like hell from the cops.

A red 2001 Chevy Corvette is shown parked after leaving a used Chevy dealer.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2

Now, let’s go back a few years, but only one Corvette generation. The Z06 C5 Corvette appears in the best Need for Speed game of all time (in my humble opinion), Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. This game was given to me when I was 7 years old, and my cousin and I played it so much that I’m surprised it still works.

This one’s got a top speed of 171 MPH, packing a 5.7-liter V8. The C5 generation only ran from 2001 to 2004, but it definitely had a “short but sweet” run. Like any true sports car, this slick model was available in yellow, gray, blue, black, and red in the game, and it came with standard red brake calipers.

Oh, and just like in Midnight Club, you can be the cop in the game. The Z06 Corvette is one of the available cop car options, but the twist here is that you can actually chase speeders and make arrests in this game.

What makes this game unique compared to the others mentioned here is that it included track races rather than free roaming street maps. While this may sound drab, it’s actually fun. Players can choose what they want the weather to be like on certain tracks. Plus, there are several fun short cuts you can take, and cool areas to visit such as caves and forest parks. You can even stop by gas stations and jump ramps that bust through billboard signs. Unrealistic? Maybe. But fun for 6-year olds and 36 year-olds alike? There’s no doubt about it.

Midnight Club: The Monte Carlo

The Impala wasn’t the only Chevy muscle car to make it into Midnight Club III. The 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo makes its appearance at the game’s beginning as another starter model. Chevy is two for five in this game!

While it’s not as fast as the Impala, the Monte Carlo is a great drifting car. It’s slightly cheaper than the Impala, with a price of $20,750. Also unlike the Impala, you can purchase this car in real life for this much and less.

That said, I always found this car underrated and chose it while my cousin chose the Impala. It’s got that well-defined hood scoop, a nice rear spoiler, and it’s just more fun to customize. It may be slower, but it’s got a much tougher “look” to it, and it can take curves like a champ.

A green 1970 Monte Carlo is shown parked by a grassy area.

Why Classic Cars Dominate the Video Game Vehicle Lineup

While there are many “newer” Chevys in video games, you’ll notice that each of these models has been around for quite some time. While the Vette was new upon Need For Speed: Most Wanted’s release, the Corvette itself originated way back in 1953. The Impala first showed up only a few years after this in 1958, followed by the Monte Carlo in 1970. These are some of Chevy’s biggest car titles, along with the Camaro and the Bel Air, which also make several in-game appearances.

This is because these old Chevy models are known for their performance value. Both the Monte Carlo and the Impala SS have raced in many NASCAR events over the years. Plus, according to the official Chevrolet website, “Corvette Racing won more races than any other GTLM team” just in 2020 alone, with 6 impressive race wins.

While the Monte Carlo and Impala SS are now retired, the Corvette’s legacy lives on far past its Need for Speed appearances. Even though we’re all old and spend most of our time working these days, it’s nice to know that the Corvette is still alive and well and will continue to make appearances in future street racing games.

Which street racing game will you show your grandchildren when they come to visit you in their brand new hover car?