In Top Gear 2, players race on tracks spanning the globe, earning money for upgrades along the way. Tracks feature backgrounds from each country like Australia, Great Britain and Japan. Some tracks feature weather effects like rain, snow or fog. Each event features 20 racers for the player to drive against. The game uses a password system, rather than saving progress.
The game features a robust career mode featuring 16 territories with 4 tracks from each. After each race, players are given points that go towards that country's ladder ranking. The player must be at the top of the ladder at the end of the 4 races in order to qualify to move on to the next territory. The territories are (in order)
- Australasia (Australia and New Zealand)
- United States
In addition to points for rankings, after races players are given money to put towards upgrading cars. Money can also be picked up by driving over icons that sometimes appear on tracks. Players can upgrade:
- Engine - Boosts top speed
- Dry Tires - Helps the car turn better
- Wet Tires - Used on rainy tracks
- Gearbox - Increases the number of gears
- Nitro - Each upgrade adds one more burst of nitro during races
- Side/Rear/Front Armor - Decreases the amount of damage taken
- Respray - Changes the color of the car. Resprays are free upgrades
When the SNES version was released Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the review scores of 7,7,7,6 and 6 out of ten. Mike Weigand, who gave the score of 6, wrote, "...if you liked Top Gear, then you will probably also like Top Gear 2! This time there are some improvements over the original -- most notably the scrolling is much smoother! Good weather conditions, too".