In many ways this game can be considered Pole Position 3, as it improved upon its original formula and bears much similarity to its predecessor.
In Final Lap, up to eight players would simultaneously race on the Suzuka Circuit in a Formula One race. There was also a single player mode, in which player score was based on how far the car traveled until time ran out or if the player completes four laps (on default settings), which was close to impossible.
The player either piloted the Williams/Lotus or McLaren/March F1 cars on the Suzuka track, rendered perfectly, even down to sponsor billboards. The only music is the theme when race being start, which plays for three seconds and sounds like the Pole Position start music, only more late '80s synth style.
It ran on Namco's System 2 hardware, which was composed of:
- Motorola 68000 x2/12.288000 MHz
- Motorola 6809 3.072000 MHz
- Hitachi HD63705 2.04800 MHz
- Namco C-140 Custom PCM chip
- Yamaha YM-2151 sound processor
In 1990, Philip Morris, the tobacco conglomerate, filed a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement against Namco, Atari Games (the Final Lap distributor in the U.S.) and Sega on behalf of their Super Monaco GP game because both of these games featured a Marlboro billboard, which was found on the real-life Suzuka and Monaco tracks.
Philip Morris was under investigation at the time for their role in preteen smoking, and the appearance of one of their brands in games aimed towards children and teens did not help their image. Namco was forced to pay a settlement and Sega had to edit their game to remove all Marlboro signs.