Midtown Madness is a good racing game and this comes as a surprise because arcade-racing titles like this don't usually translate well on the PC. In "Cruise" mode, I got to drive anywhere and everywhere in the city of Chicago. Driving through heavy traffic is unlike anything else and the AI (though weak) offers a convincing city-traffic model. It's fun to run lights and zip in and out of oncoming traffic or simply to go with the flow. And there is something to be said for careening into parked cars and terrifying pedestrians into eating the pavement. That said, I got more pleasure from driving than racing.
Like Chi, I was put off by the weak selection of cars. Why would I ever choose a VW Beetle (that drives like a Beetle in real life) over a Mustang GT? Why would I choose a flatbed pickup truck at all? Neither of these vehicles wins races, which leads me to believe that there was little logic behind the casting of vehicles. It is readily apparent that these cars are better suited for leisure than for competition when barreling down city streets at top speed to avoid police offered more of a high than racing other drivers. And jumping drawbridges and rounding the bases at Wrigley Field in my GT beats the racing by a long shot in my book. It's a decent arcade-racer that isn't any more than what you'd expect.