The history of F-Zero is separated in two different chronologies. The first one is contains most of the games in the series, while the second one follows the history of the anime.
F-Zero begins in the year 2560 where human race's countless encounters with alien life forms throughout the universe greatly expanded Earth's social framework resulting in trade, technology transfer, and cultural interchange are carried out on an interplanetary basis. An association of wealthy space merchants created the "F-Zero Grand Prix", in an attempt to add some excitement to their opulent lifestyles. When the first race was held, people were angered at the brutality of the competition, due to the various obstacles and traps along the raceway. As time passed, however, they became accustomed to these dangers, and even began to demand more excitement and danger in the races. Winning the F-Zero championship soon became the highest claim to fame in the universe. This period of time is called the "old-school" F-Zero days where the rules seemed non-existent in F-Zero X.
It is unclear where BSF-Zero 2 Practice fits into this, or if Captain Falcon, Dr. Stewart, Pico, and Samurai Goroh were indeed participating in different vehicles. However, it is thought to be a direct sequel to the previous event, as it takes places in a league even higher than the previous ones called "Ace", and many courses are continuations of previously seen locations.
F-Zero X's storyline starts after the seven-year suspension of Grand Prix races due to the Horrific Grand Finale. The game explains the "Horrific Grand Finale" was a violent and fiery accident that burnt fourteen drivers to death, including Sterling LaVaughn during the old days of F-Zero. A racer named Super Arrow escaped unscathed as the only survivor. No racing was allowed by the Federation after the crash; despite the F-Zero racing prohibition, the sport went underground where many racers went to hone their skills in secret. The crash ushered in the establishment of the "F-Zero Racing Academy", after a speech, by Super Arrow to the Federation Congress, which helped to lift the ban. The fictional competition was brought back with the rules and regulations revised
F-Zero GX and its Arcade counterpart, F-Zero AX, do not mention the Grand Finale event, but instead the game states Sterling LaVaughn was racing during the F-Max era and the F-Zero Grand Prix was suspended four years ago. This game states the character Mighty Gazelle was injured in the huge accident four years ago. However, the Nintendo 64 game mentions that Mighty Gazelle's accident and the accident that suspended the Grand Prix were two separate events.
F-Zero Maximum Velocity takes place twenty-five years after GX and AX in the year 2585. Players race against the descendants of the F-Zero X racers.
This chronology follows the same characters, but with slightly different backgrounds. The games on this continuity follows the Anime history line. The events occur following the order of F-Zero: GP Legend, with the video game apparently taking place between episodes 8 and 9, and followed by F-Zero Climax concluding the series.
Some fans place this chronology somewhere in the overall continuity, either between F-Zero GX and F-Zero: Maximum Velocity or, following the year the anime it said to take place in, centuries before the other games with different incarnations of the cast.
Some speculate that the game Mach Rider is a spiritual prequel to the F-Zero series. This is due to the similarities between the universes of the games, both happening in a somewhat distant future, and similarities between Captain Falcon and Mach Rider. However, Mach Rider occurs during an alien invasion where there are few survivors and, according to the Vs. Mach Rider version, Mach Rider is actually a woman.