Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Although it shares its name with Sega's super 3D road racer coin-op, this isn't a conversion, strictly speaking. It has similar rip-up-the-road action, but the main difference between this and its arcade namesake is the split screen which allows two players to race head-to-head - a neat innovation which puts Super Monaco GP way ahead of the other Sega driving games.
There are a selection of tracks, engines and gearboxes (automatic to 7-speed, which is most difficult to control but provides the best acceleration), and you can even tinker with the car aerofoils and suspension to customise it to your own driving style.
Graphically this is very good - fast and effective 3D and tidy sprites - and it plays well too, even in a single player mode in which you race against a field of ruthless computer-driven cars. If you're after some hard-driving thrills, forget the rest - this is the best!