These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Star Wars Episode I Racer
Best Level Ever: The climatic race of both games, the Boonta Eve Classic. Long, fast, with the right number of obstacles... It's drop-dead awesome.
Also, the Oovo IV racetracks. Long, twisting, fast, and with an epic zero-gravity pipe!!!
Breather Level: The Inferno, ironically the very last course in the first game, is far easier than the preceding levels in the Invitation course, especially The Abyss.
All of the Aquilaris and especially Mon Gazza courses in the original tend to be relatively easy. Aquilaris courses contain many twists and turns but are very light on environmental hazards, whereas Mon Gazza tracks are distinguished by many long, wide-open straightaways that make it very easy to gain momentum and keep far ahead of the pack. No accident that those are the two planets completely dispensed with by the end of the second circuit — it's a much harder slog to get from there to the end of the game.
Revenge has a couple more specific examples: The Badlands makes for a needed refreshment after the one-two punch of Watchtower Run and the Brightlands, while Serres Serrano comes at a welcome point after the difficult Ruins of Carnuss Gorguul and serves as your last breather before the much harder last four tracks.
Even Better Sequel: While not as remembered as the original game, Revenge took an already excellent licensed game and substantially refined the gameplay, physics and speed mechanics—it helps that it was also produced by the same folks behind ATV Offroad Fury. The most persistent complaint is simply that there wasn't more of it: with fewer pilots, half as many tracks, and only five distinct planets to the original's eight, the overall feel is greatly scaled-down. (Plus, the number of contestants per race is reduced from twelve to eight, although you'll certainly engage with them much more than in the original; meanwhile, the tracks are usually shorter, but they also recycle material less than the previous array of tracks.)
Game Breaker: Sebulba's flame thrower. If it hits someone's podracer, it shall make one engine burn, then get destroyed, and finally making the whole unfortunate podracer explode. Hello, curb-stomp race!
Good Bad Bugs: In The Gauntlet course, if by chance you decide to race backwards from the ending tunnel back to midway through the course, a racer will be stunned to find that more than half of the course has vanished (but is largely playable, aside from the heightened danger of falling off)! Fortunately, going as far back to the start as possible will allow the vanished course to reload.
No Problem With Licensed Games: The game was a critical and commercial hit for a reason; this game actually shows care and interest with a wide selection of drivers and creative track designs. The upgrade system also isn't a slapdash concept. You can even play the game two-fisted with a Nintendo 64 controller in each hand to mimic the twin-engine controls of the pod racers in the movie. Revenge was also very well received.
Polished Port: The Sega Dreamcast port of the first game; while the graphics are almost identical to the Nintendo64 version, the framerate is much smoother and the textures are much crisper and slick looking, and the sound design and music quality is no longer hampered by compression issues. Mini CGI cutscenes are also included in the start of each race.
Scrappy Mechanic: The part damage/repair outside of level concept of the first game. During races, taking damage or crashes actually effects the podracers performance stats in real time, which really undermines the part purchasing concept in a game where its ridiculously easy to crash or suffer collision damage. While you can buy pit droids to fix your pod inbetween races, it takes time for their work to take effect, and only four parts of a pod can be fixed at any time. The sequel thankfully eschewed this mechanic, by allowing you to keep your pod upgrades permanently upon purchase.
Scrappy Level: Grabvine Gateway; it's not a difficult level by any means, but it has some really tricky turns and cluttered pathways, particularly the swamp area late in it, where it's almost impossible to avoid crashing when you're racing at full speed.
That One Level: The Abyss, easily the hardest course in the first game. While the bulk of it isn't that hard on it's own, the one part that makes it so frustrating is that if you don't stick to the top path of the course (which is very hard to do without falling off), you have to take a much longer path back to the main track, and this will set you far back behind the other racers.
In the sequel, the Nightlands of Ryloth is often held up as the equivalent, with many players online having bemoaned the fact that it's harder to beat than the Boonta Eve Classic which follows it. However, from the perspective of knockout completists, Gamorr's Watchtower Run has reached consensus status as That One Level. It's such a short track that you're under enormous pressure to rack up the seven knockouts in time, with the final attack on Aldar Beedo usually coming down to the very last stretch of the track. Accomplishing this with a non-secret character is a mark of true Podracer-brawling skill.
Anakin Skywalker: One of the fastest racers in the game, and has great handling turning response; his only significant handicap is his average acceleration.
This likewise transitions to both Adult and Young Anakin Skywalker in Revenge.
Ebe Endocott: Average speed, but excellent handling.
Ody Mandrell: A good "beginner" racer with generally average stats, but great acceleration. Returns in Revenge.
Teemto Pagalies: A "Jack of all trades" Pod with all around average stats. Returns in Revenge.
Fud Sang: Also a pod with all around average stats.
Toy Dampner: Decent acceleration and good handling.
Shrivel Braittrand from Revenge is the definitive example. All of his stats begin and max out as entirely equal except for one stat (repair) being a single point behind! His gameplay does bear this out, too, being an all-around solid craft that's not the most exciting to fly, but won't let you down.
"Bullseye" Navior: A very small podracer that has good stats on almost everything, but suffers from poor acceleration and very sensitive steering. Upgrading him eventually elevates his pod to one of the fastest and most maneuverable in the game, making him ideal for time trials. If it weren't for his aforementioned twitchy steering (which is a double edged sword; it can help on very sharp turns, but also make it very easy to buffet his pod into a wall) combined with his high speed and very low durability, he'd be an out and out Game Breaker.
Occo Ninebar from Revenge. Absolutely the easiest pilot to take out as an opponent, but he's fast, zippy, and can actually be quite lethal if you know how to handle him as your own vehicle.
Tzidik Wrantojo from Revenge is comparable — a bit hardier than Occo, but still very much on the lighter end of the spectrum, with the maneuverability to compensate.
Mars Guo: A large podracer with slow speed, but great handling and steering. Returns in Revenge, though strangely with his stats inverted: he's got jaw-dropping speed right out of the box and can upgrade to one of the best top speeds in the game, but his steering is painfully bad.
Wan Sandage: Good steering and handling, but weak top speed. Returns in Revenge with a major upgrade: he has an excellent defense stat and can really dish out the damage on his opponents.
Ark "Bumpy" Roose: Very bulky podracer with all around mediocre stats. Also qualifies as a Joke Character.
Clegg Holdfast: A fast podracer with all around decent stats. Returns in Revenge.
Sebulba: Has the highest top speed of all the racers, with above-average handling, steering and acceleration. Also has a "Flame Thrower" function which can be activated by tapping the R button twice. Likewise, both Episode 1 Sebulba and revamped Sebulba in Revenge have similar stats, but with the flamethrower function removed.
Mawhonic: One of the faster pods in the game (ironic for a pod of its size), which combined with good handling makes him a very adept racer. Returns in Revenge.
Aldar Beedo: A four engine pod with superb top speed, and great turning capabilities. Returns in Revenge.
Scorch Zanales from Revenge is appreciably fast and can really take a hit. He and Aldar Beedo are the bulkiest characters in the game — it takes a lot of persistence to bring them down.
Watto, a secret unlockable in Revenge, comes with endgame stat distribution out of the box, like the other secret pilots. So even though his stats aren't actually unusually good, his tournament campaign is a breeze — he'll easily demolish the competition and cruise to first place while incurring barely a scratch.
Ben Quadinaros: A four engine pod, notable for being one of the fastest podracers in the game, but is handicapped by its poor maneuverability. Returns in Revenge with better handling, but his very frail machine takes a lot of skill to use in combat.
Jinn Resso: Hidden racer, unlockable with a code. Average stats, but has high top speed.
Darth Maul: Hidden racer in Revenge. All stats maxed out.
Darth Vader: Hidden racer in Revenge. ALL STATS MAXED OUT.