28 years later, hero modder gives Wipeout's godawful PC port the amazing shine-up it deserves

Wipeout car going down the track.
(Image credit: PlayStation)

In recent years Sony has woken up to the fact that, surprise surprise, it can make a lot of money by releasing decent versions of its games on PC. The core of its business will always be the PlayStation platform, so we're just gonna have to deal with waiting a couple of years (or in Bloodborne's case, forever), but the mood music has changed completely and that's great, because PlayStation makes a lot of top-tier games.

Funnily enough, this is also something of a return to PlayStation's earliest days. Sony became incredibly protective of its exclusives after the original PlayStation, but greenlit many of that console's most emblematic exclusives to release a PC version. One of them was Wipeout from the late great Psygnosis, except… well, the PC version was a bit rubbish (here's some YouTube footage of it running via emulator).

Quick note: I looked this up and Wipeout, often seen as WipEout or WipeOut, is apparently correctly stylised as wipE′out″. Well if Sony's 1995 marketing team think I'm doing that they can fucK'off".

Now an anonymous hero has gone back to right another wrong of the past. "Wipeout: Phantom Edition is an enhanced PC source port of the original Wipeout," writes… err, Github account name Wipeout Phantom Edition (first spotted by DSOGaming). "It uses game data from the PlayStation version and is much more comparable to the PlayStation version than the official PC port."

Clearly there's someone out there who has a lot of love for Wipeout, wanted to play it in its full glory on contemporary hardware, but didn't want to lose their job over it. They're a hero.

The improvements made by Phantom Edition include an uncapped frame rate, high-res rendering for a massive improvement in textures, fade effects for objects in the far distance, increased view distance, improved ship lighting, and something called "PSX-accurate rasterization and blending." It adds keyboard and mouse support, new options menus, a new music and sound effect system, configurable aspect ratio, widescreen support, and the ability to use custom music tracks.

Finally, Phantom Edition also goes above-and-beyond by including three "collision response" options, which basically mean you can play this with the original game's collision mechanics, or those of BallisticNG (a much-loved Wipeout copy-slash-tribute), or those of Wipeout 2097.

Players will need the game data files from the original Wipeout NTSC PlayStation CD release, so it's either off to eBay or to parts we couldn't possibly mention. Which does rather show up the ludicrous state of things. This is one of the most iconic games in PlayStation's history, here it is looking absolutely amazing and re-presented with a bunch of contemporary features, and it's all been done by a modder or a small team rather than, y'know, Sony paying some studio to do it. In a better world Sony would just give this hero a check and stick this up on Steam for everyone to enjoy: as it is, Wipeout fans will need to poke around some dark places to enjoy this.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."