The player controls a red car in a race divided into six stages. The goal is to reach the end of each stage without running out of fuel. If the car gets out of the road it will explode and additional fuel will be lost until you come back to the race. Bumping into traffic or opponents will not cause the player to instantly crash. You have the opportunity to counter-steer and allow the car to continue to race without fuel loss. The car has two gears; one low gear that tops at 192 kmph, and one high gear that tops at 400 kmph.
Along the race there will be bonus cars. Those will grant bonus points and additional fuel.
There are other ways to be granted bonus points. Racing for a while without bumping into other cars gives you bonus points (a train or an airplane or a super-hero will appear in the screen) and completing a stage without bumping into any car gives you 10000 bonus points.
Road Fighter was later ported to the MSX and the NES. It would also get three sequels, Midnight Run: Road Fighter 2, Winding Heat, and Road Fighters 3D. It was also released on the Xbox 360 as one of the launch titles for Game Room on March 24th 2010.