You might not get the appeal of Outrun if you didn't experience it in the arcades back around 1986 or 1987. It was really quite an impressive leap forward for racing games (the rather limited Pole Position being the leader of the pack to that point). It was the first racer to implement parallax scrolling, as well as having a gear shift and seat that tilted when you took sharp corners and crashed. These days it seems a little limited and simplistic compared to the highly evolved racers on our current generation systems, but it's still a pleasant enough game to give a spin even twenty years later.
Playing this on a home system (or emulator) omits the experience of the game's moving seat and gear shift, which really added a level of tactile involvement to the game. Even with just a joypad, however, one can appreciate the pleasant and clean graphics, fairly good gameplay and multiple race paths (with a variety of colorful scenery) that actually give you an impetus to replay the game multiple times. It also has some classic tunes such as "Magical Sound Shower" and "Passing Breeze", which provide a relaxing calypso counterpoint to the tension of the race.
Unfortunately there's no easy way for us to get a sit-down Outrun cabinet to enjoy the game in it's original glory (unless you happen to be rich or a brilliant engineer), but we can at least take a trip down memory lane with relative ease thanks to emulation and the many ports of this game.
* Gameplay Video