3D third-person racing game. The player controls a car, a Ferrari Testarossa Spider, from a rear third-person perspective. In contrast to other third-person racing games at the time where the camera is some distance above the horizon to see into the distance, Out Run places the camera near the ground, directly behind the car, simulating a Ferrari driver's perspective view and limiting the player's view into the distance.The road also curves and dips,which, combined with the low perspective, increases the challenge by making it difficult to see what is on the other side of a hill.
The player must race to the end of each stage as fast as possible against a time limit while avoiding traffic. At the end of each stage, the player is presented with a fork in the road where the player must choose one of two stages. The left route presents an easier stage, while the right offers a greater challenge. Passing through checkpoints awards the player with extra time. Once the timer reaches zero or the player completes the race, the game ends. In addition to the nonlinear gameplay, Out Run also offered the choice of music to listen to while driving, represented as radio stations.