• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Nov 16, 2006

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Fast-paced action and plenty of challenge make for a really fun title. [Jan 2007, p.72]
  2. Fast and furious and good old-fashioned Sonic fun, for all its faults. It looks splendid, too, with perspective changes and all manner of background detail. [Christmas 2006, p.58]
  3. 74
    It mixes snazzy visuals with a good sense of speed, so there's little doubt hardcore Sonic fans will find a lot to like. Plus, it has a rewarding multiplayer mode and wager system, which only adds to the experience.
  4. Sonic Rivals runs a fairly solid race, but it’s running in circles around a limited amount of content.
  5. Sonic Rivals still stands head and shoulders over other recent efforts in the franchise - and, indeed, over many other recent PSP titles - simply because the game at the heart of it all is downright fun.
  6. As the name suggests, Rivals plays well against a friend. Racing the computer is cool, but costing your bud the race with a last-minute cheap shot is a whole lot better.
  7. Outside of the odd frustrating stage, the only criticism I have of Sonic Rivals is its brevity.
  8. 70
    Sonic Rivals focuses on the speed of Sonic, there is never a dull moment.
  9. 70
    Holding right on the D-pad just gets boring before long. And why's Sonic gone and got all rude? [Issue #147, p.82]
  10. Sonic Rivals feels a little like a mini-game to a bigger game. We expected more content than this. The cards are utterly useless in their attempt to milk replay out of the title, and seemed thrown in at the last minute.
  11. 70
    A fun but shallow game. The graphics and speed-based level design are great, but the game's short length and lack of truly compelling replay value are cause for hesitation.
  12. Sonic Rivals keeps it simple and offers plenty of high-speed thrills, though it also has its share of frustrating moments.
  13. Take one part Sonic, add in one part racing, mix with two parts cheap deaths, and you’ve got Sonic Rivals. Fans may like it but I think most should steer clear.
  14. The base gameplay is decent, although the inclusion of power-up attacks and platforming obstacles only serves to muddle the experience, making success feel more like a matter of blind luck than skill.
  15. Unfortunately, it brings little to the table beyond sheer speed and smacks soundly of the "battle" mode we spent many a day playing back in the Sonic The Hedgehog 2 era.
  16. Often good fun, but the fudged Rivals idea kicks the purity of standard Sonic quare in the onions. [Christmas 2006, p.91]
  17. 65
    The game is easy to pick up and great to look at, but there's little to it.
  18. A series of unlockable wardrobe items do little to massage the questionable value for money factor of what is ultimately a short game that puts an interesting, er, ‘spin’, on the classic Sonic gameplay, yet fails to live up to such past successes.
  19. You could do far worse than invest in a copy of Sonic Rivals, and a nice foundation has been laid for a sequel to eradicate the cracks present here. [Jan 2007, p.99]
  20. Sega tries to breathe new life into the stale Sonic franchise with this racer, but sadly forgot to rev up the overly simplistic gameplay and slim selection of modes and characters.
  21. It's a blast in short bursts with buddies, but otherwise gets old fast. [Jan. 2007, p.86]
  22. Once the glow of nostalgia has faded, the fact that the gameplay is predictable and unfair can't be ignored. Disappointing. [Christmas 2006, p.101]
  23. Sonic Rivals pulls it together pretty well, but the game feels more like a mini-game than a fully fleshed out product. Overall, Sonic Rivals is unfortunately too short, and the concept is too simple, to hold the interest of most gamers for very long.
  24. It's like an old-school Sonic game minus anything that made those games good. [Jan. 2007, p.106]
  25. Welcome to Sonic Hell, where it feels like you're stuck in Rome and some gladiator prisoner that is being forced to compete mercilessly non-stop with other combatants. [Jan. 2007, p.91]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Feb 1, 2014
    Sonic Rivals is a 2.5D racing game. It is really good for 2006 Sonic game. and for a PSP game is still good. The story is very basic. You play as Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow, Sliver, and beat all the stories, Metal Sonic. You play the game left to right with a opponent, hinting the name Rivals. There's power ups you could get. The power ups are basic, but it gets the job done. A special power you could get make every character different. The whole point of the game is card collecting. This is the replayability of the game. Is fun collecting all the card. Plus every three cards, you could unlock a piece of clothing is a great reward. But you will get a card you already have. So is base in luck. I never try online card trading because I not sure I will find anyone. You could get this game in PSVITA(PSN). I say get it if you interest. Full Review »
  2. Feb 21, 2013
    This is an extremely fun 2d racing game, fusing classing sonic level design put int 2.5D, and really fun racing mechanics. the card collecting of saving your friends is a fun concept for single play, and the multiplayer and wager system is awesome as well. Theres lots to like here, this is a great 2d sonic game, that will keep you entertained for hours on end. good graphics and music, plus creative design, this is a great game, wether your a sonic fan, or looking for a fun racer/platformer hybrid. Full Review »
  3. Jul 30, 2012
    The game is insanely fun it makes me play this more than 5 hrs! The fastest time to ever complete this game is about 14 hrs possible! The worlds longest PSP game ever! Multiplayer adds more entertainment, trading and swapping cards with your friends', and more! Full Review »