- Broken Base: The Special Cars. While some fans welcome this, others were not amused with this because it wasted modeling time that could be used for demanded cars that are not yet in the game, like Suzuki Swift Sport, Honda Accord Euro R and Nissan 300ZX.
- Character Tiers: The AE86 usually hangs out in the high end of the tier lists, due to it being an very consistent Jack-of-All-Stats in all courses throughout all games. That said, there were a few notable cars that surpassed it in certain games:
- 2: The Honda Integra Type R, due to it having faster recovery compared to other cars.
- 3: The Suzuki Cappuccino and the Mazda RX-8 had incredible top speed, but were balanced out by various factors. The Cappuccino was nerfed in 7AAX, and the RX-8 stands as a mid-tier car in later installments.
- 8 Infinity: The Honda S2000 is one of the more difficult cars to use, but in the right hands, can clear time attack boards for the Specialist ranking very easily, with it's only competitor being the G-Force Supra, at least in Hakone.
- Complacent Gaming Syndrome: In Ver. 2, everybody and their brother drove a Honda Integra Type R (DC2) and chose Irohazaka (usually Downhill) ad nauseum for every multiplayer match.
- To a smaller extent, the three Hachiroku variants (especially the 2 door) and the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 GT in 7 AA X and 8 Infinity
- Contested Sequel: Zero. Was the move from an up/down shifter to a 6-gear H-shifter necessary? Is the new soundtrack a refreshing change of pace, or "They Changed It, Now It Sucks!"? Was moving from data cards to the online-requiring Sega Aime infrastructure a wise move?
- Game-Breaker: The Integra Type R DC2 in Ver. 2, due to it having faster recovery from crashes, which meant that it was especially viable in Irohazaka.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Every game in the series runs at a constant 59.94 frames per second. If the framerate deviates from this at all, such as during emulation on unsuitable hardware, it affects the physics and performance of the cars themselves. At sufficiently low framerates, it may not even be possible to complete a run in the time allotted as the car is going slower than normal.
- Scrappy Mechanic: In Initial D 4, corners have arbitrary speed limits that, if exceeded, will either lock your car's steering (in version 1.2) or cause you to spin out of control (in version 1.5 as well as Initial D 5).
- Hitting the wall in Initial D 4 or exceeding the aforementioned corner speed limit will impose a temporary penalty to your car's acceleration, which can be partially mitigated by quickly releasing the gas, tapping the brake, then stepping back on the gas.
- Sequelitis: One of the biggest annoyances about all Initial D games after Ver. 3 isn't necessarily the quality of the games, it's that the game changes significantly with each new release, rendering techniques from the previous version useless, and as a result the game's playerbase has been getting smaller over time.
- Shocking Moments: Sega announcing a crossover with Wangan Midnight of all things caused both fanbases to rave, largely due to how unexpected it was.
- That One Boss: Takumi when he's in the Trueno, his father Bunta in all of his appearances, and Ryousuke. There's even a mode in IDAS ver. 2 and 3 called "The Bunta Challenge" where you battle a version of Bunta who improves with subsequent races. It's the only mode where you can lose points if you lose.
- That One Level: Happogahara in ver. 1 through 3 (and 5), Irohazaka and Myogi in Initial D 4. The latter, by the way, is supposed to be a beginner-level course, but it becomes That One Level when you combine it with the aforementioned Scrappy Mechanic.
- That One Sidequest: Bunta Challenge in ver. 2 and 3. Bunta, already an extremely difficult opponent (as anyone who has faced him at the end of Legend of the Streets mode can attest to), becomes even more difficult the more times you defeat him. What propels the mode into this trope is that it's the only one where you lose points upon defeat or retiring.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
- Initial D 4 employs a completely different physics engine from its predecessors. Fans complained. Then the "version 1.5" update was released and changed some issues with the original version.
- Initial D Zero, amongst other changes, requires unlocking the Eurobeat tracks that the series is so well-known for.
- Tier-Induced Scrappy: All FWD vehicles, both versions of the Roadster, and the AE85. Though the latter (and its driver in the anime and manga) are already in-universe Scrappies.
- Unexpected Character: More like unexpected crossover: Who expected Touhou Project to have an event based around the series in Initial D Zero?
YMMV / Initial D Arcade Stage