Sega Rally 3 contains three racing modes: World Championship, Quick Race and Classic. World Championship mode is a single player game which takes place across three stages (Tropical, Canyon and Alpine) and largely follows the format of the previous Sega Rally arcade games. The game is a 22 car race played to a time limit, and the player’s starting position for one race is determined by their finishing position in the previous race. Unlike the previous games in the series, each race contains two laps. If the player finishes the third stage in first place, they are able to play a head to head race on the bonus Lakeside track.
Quick Race is a single or multiplayer mode, in which six cars (containing any mixture of human and AI players) race three laps on any of the three World Championship courses. In World Championship and Quick Race modes, players can choose from one of six licensed cars from Citroen, Ford, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Subaru and Suzuki. Additionally, in Quick Race players can choose two secret cars: the Bowler Nemesis and the McRae Enduro.
Classic mode is a single or multiplayer mode which takes place on the Desert ’95 track, recreated from the original Sega Rally arcade game. In single player, the mode is a head to head race against a single AI opponent, while multiplayer allows for up to six human players with no AI opponents. The Toyota Celica and Lancia Delta HF Integrale cars from the original Sega Rally can be used in this mode exclusively.