• Publisher: Namco
  • Release Date: Mar 22, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 58
  2. Negative: 0 out of 58
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  1. Offering silky smooth visuals with some of the most frantic gameplay we’ve seen to date on the diminutive, yet highly capable, machine.
  2. 100
    A dream come true for most racing gamers. It takes the very best elements of the home console series so far and presents an incredibly slick racing experience -- all in perfect 16:9.
  3. 100
    It's focused, detailed, highly tweaked on gameplay, and loaded with options galore. It's got the old-school greatness of the series and a shiny new gloss rolled into one, with nothing ruined or tarnished in the process.
  4. Thanks to the responsive controls, the over/understeering necessary for drifting soon becomes second nature. The d-pad and analog nub both provide for excellent handling, with neither having a clear advantage over the other.
  5. Namco blows the doors off the PSP with this beautiful arcade racer, and leaves all of the other launch titles in the dust.
  6. The slick visuals and awesome sound and music rival anything you have ever played on a console.
  7. PSM Magazine
    Simply put, it's the best racing game we've played since "Burnout 3," and an amazing portable achievement. [May 2005, p.78]
  8. 95
    Anyone doubting the power of the handheld will be left eating their words after sampling just one lap of this unbelievably accomplished first effort from Namco.
  9. 95
    The verdict is clear, this is the epitome of great racing, handheld or otherwise. It's a greatest hits collection of the greatest arcade racer of all time, presented as stylishly and lovingly as possible. The words 'fast,' 'exciting' and 'beautiful' applies equally to the cars, tracks and gameplay.
  10. 95
    To call Ridge Racers on the PSP a satisfying game would be a lie. The entire experience is euphoric, a game that is beyond satisfying and is quite easily one of the finest racers on a handheld to date.
  11. Serious racers and arcade fans alike are going to love this.
  12. The only requirements needed to have a blast playing Ridge Racer on PSP are (a) a pulse, (b) the skill to be competitive in a driving videogame (not everyone’s cup of tea) and (c) some historical perspective of what this series has meant to Sony in both sales and as a measuring stick of its then-new systems’ power.
  13. 91
    Packed with replayability. There are so many races that this game may take you some time to beat. Plus, this game is perhaps one of the best racing games I have played including any console racing games.
  14. 91
    Like the Takedown system in "Burnout 3," the new Nitro system in the PSP Ridge Racer takes a great game and, by maximizing one mechanic, makes it even better.
  15. 91
    With just enough simulation style presentation to wow gamers and blending in just enough arcade style gameplay to ensure that everyone can enjoy the title, Ridge Racer is a definite pick.
  16. While the wireless feature is one of the best things in Ridge Racer, the very best feature of Ridge Racer comes in the form of its gorgeous graphics engine... Ridge Racer looks freaking amazing.
  17. With its impressive graphic and new Nitrous boost feature, RR positions itself as the best game in the series and it provides a great example of the quality of games we can expect from the PSP.
  18. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    There's just an undeniably addictive aspect to Ridge Racer's single-player and multiplayer modes. [May 2005, p.111]
  19. One major flaw slows the game down from taking the PSP checkered flag by itself. The flaw I am speaking of is a disappointing lack of course variety.
  20. Cheat Code Central
    Everything just feels so unbelievably right. The control you have over your car is so spot-on that you can literally "feel" it when you nail a drift just right or when you’re careening down a straightaway at speeds of nearly 200 MPH.
  21. Play Magazine
    You'll be astounded by how much game there is here. [May 2005, p.67]
  22. A fantastic achievement for a first gen PSP title, it is immensely playable and arguably the best Ridge Racer on any console or hand-held to date.
  23. A delightful racer perfectly suited to PSP. Even three minutes waiting for the train can be packed with thrills.
  24. The combination of the brilliantly designed World Tour mode, Wi-Fi connectivity and the PSP hardware itself creates an experience that proves to be a killer-app if you’re considering a purchase of Sony’s new handheld.
  25. Graphically, the game is - for lack of a better expression - gorgeous.
  26. AceGamez
    A wonderful feel good game, as the gameplay is simultaneously exhilarating and relaxing.
  27. If I had to put a score on it, it would very likely be an eight edging towards a nine, and, in this hypothetical scenario, I'd probably also spend tonight lying awake - not excited about tomorrow (Merry Christmas, by the way), but haunted by the suspicion that I was being too harsh. [JPN Import]
  28. 90
    The sheer thrill of being able to play better-than-arcade versions of the Rave Racer tracks (probably some of the best in the series) in the palm of your hand is almost worth the price of admission alone... The best Ridge Racer game to date? Without a doubt. [JPN Import]
  29. It's simplicity is it's beauty, and it's a testament to Namco's skill that they've managed to make basic arcade racing so fun and so damn addictive. It doesn't do anything out of the ordinary, the AI isn't great (indeed, in places it's seriously poor) and there is no real selling point - apart from the overriding fact that it's pure, unadulterated arcade fun. [JPN Import]
  30. 90
    Everything racing fans could want: solid graphics, tight controls, expansive courses, unlockable secret vehicles, and (of course) the multiplayer option.
  31. After playing Ridge Racer we can never look at portable racing games the same away again.
  32. Minus a slightly slow difficulty progression, Ridge Racer is a great bit of fun to play through. With great control, amazing graphics, and a kick-ass soundtrack, it is by far the most enjoyable of the launch titles.
  33. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    The drift mechanics have been completely restored, resulting in a racing game that offers 100 percent adrenaline-fueled, arcade-style fun. [May 2005, p.92]
  34. The incredible graphics, tight controls and excellent music/sound effects are more than enough to warrant having this game.
  35. 86
    In the end it's this lack of additional play modes that lets Ridge Racers down a bit, but that shouldn't detract from the fact that what is offered is extremely entertaining, remarkably solid and technically incredible.
  36. The graphics are some of the best offered in the first run of games, and it’s just plain fun. The only mark against it is the pitiful AI that doesn’t seem to notice you at all if you’re good enough with the nitrous and that power-slide.
  37. 85
    One of the flagship titles for the PSP, and it shows the system off beautifully, the graphics and the gameplay combining to make this the greatest Ridge Racer title yet.
  38. With loads of classes, cars, tournaments and many bonus extras to unlock, Ridge Racer provides a long lasting challenge that even experienced players won’t 100% complete in a hurry. If straight-up arcade drift racing is your idea of fun, Ridge is an essential purchase.
  39. The best Japanese PSP launch title and a fine showcase for the handheld's capabilities. It's fast, looks great and is packed with classic Ridge tracks. And the lag-free eight-player WiFi races are breathtaking. [JPN Import]
  40. Weekly Famitsu
    8 / 8 / 9 / 9 - 34 gold [Dec 2004]
  41. It exudes a sense of style that perfectly accentuates the game's over-the-top racing maxim. Still, players and fans who are hoping for something new or different are apt to be disappointed. Beneath the gorgeous exterior lies a game that, while fun, is a bit archaic.
  42. For fans of the series, there’s no question – you need this game. For someone looking for a solid racing game, this looks to be your best option for quite a while, so give it a look; just don’t expect a whole lot of variety.
  43. Does a fine job of showing off the system's technical prowess while simultaneously providing more of the same smooth Ridge Racer gameplay that still holds up after all these years.
  44. Driving the cars has a slight learning curve, mostly with figuring out how to drift through the corners; drifting is really important to this game, with the nitrous boost tied to it.
  45. netjak
    I was hopelessly addicted from the first race. Unless you hate racing games or the Ridge Racer series, I'd highly recommend this one.
  46. Overall Ridge Racer has proven to be a decent, though not essential purchase for the system, and one that you at least probably won’t go wrong with.
  47. However, the series is starting to act like geriatric "classic" rockers who take the same "Greatest Hits" out on the road year after year. It's got its play list down pat, but there's nothing new there.
  48. 80
    Far and away the best racing game on the system, combining slick looks, beautiful sound, and content overload to create a title that every PSP owner should take a look at.
  49. Ridge Racer PSP is everything about the system that is cool. Quick gameplay, fun racing, top soundtrack and it exploits the power of the system quite well.
  50. The game’s greatest strength, along with its smoothness and superbly rendered backdrops, is its appeal to both newcomers and hardened hands.
  51. Visually, this is right up to PS2 standards. Truly stunning to behold on the PSP's crystal clear screen. Throw in a wireless multiplayer mode and you've got an essential launch title for Sony's babystation. This is the best Ridge Racer we've seen in some time. [JPN Import]
  52. Edge Magazine
    Racers has an appealing lack of pretension that suggests it has nothing to prove other than that Ridge Racer is a delight to play. And it is, with no call for caveat – for a handheld, for a ‘remake’, for a launch title. It's simply one of the best pure arcade racers to date. [JPN Import; Feb 2005, p.68]
  53. games(TM)
    Ridge Racers emerges as the consummate package as far as PSP launch titles go – true, it cribs from every other game in the series instead of offering real originality, but that’s a small price to pay for the amount of quality that’s packed into the game. [Feb 2005, p.116]
  54. 80
    We'd have liked some more multiplayer and customization options, but the highly exaggerated drifts combined with responsive controls make the game exceptional fun.
  55. Game Informer
    Looks great, and moves pretty damn fast, but it does little more than meet the average requirements of any car game... Despite the new-fangled PSP, this game remains stuck in the arcade era. [May 2005, p.138]
  56. The game is a work of art visually; you won’t believe you’re playing on a handheld. Unfortunately, the gameplay isn’t up to the same level as the graphics. [JPN Import]
  57. It will never have the depth of a "Gran Turismo," but then again, it’s not supposed to. 400 horsepower of arcade style fun isn’t a bad way to ring in your new PSP.
  58. While for me not quite as addictive overall as another recent PSP racer, "Wipeout Pure," Ridge Racer is more than worth the money. If you are a fan of the series or if you just love arcade racing, you certainly cannot afford to pass this one up.

Awards & Rankings

#8 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2005
#5 Most Shared PSP Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 78
  2. Negative: 7 out of 78
  1. Nov 9, 2011
    I picked up this at the same time I bought my PSP 1000, and at the first glance... this game is IMMENSE! Since the PS1 release of the firstI picked up this at the same time I bought my PSP 1000, and at the first glance... this game is IMMENSE! Since the PS1 release of the first Ridge racer, I have been a fan of the series and it is always interesting at how each newer version of the game changes radically from the last.
    The main talking point at the release of the PSP / and this game was its graphics and the speed that this small portable system can put out - and rightly so... no problems at all in that court.
    Being an arcade game, there are little to no instructions- race, drift around the corners to increase your boost bar, and then use the turbo to go ... faster....
    Controls are fairly decent, until you drift around a corner. The most remarkable thing in the RR world is when you can drift around a left corner... whilst TURNING RIGHT! ... I dont mean like that scene in the pixar movie, "Cars"- but... you can, drift around a left corner, skidding to the right?!? - the drifting in the game unfortunately seems to be based on a "roller coaster" so little to no feeling is apparent. - until you actually realise this, the game is damn fun though! - it is a shame though, and it looses points for some race-lovers who like to race normally by using brakes and a grippy tire system (as done in the early RR series)
    There are many stages in the game, or "series of races". each comprising of around 3-5 races. There is only a small number of tracks, taken from other versions (from PS1, PS2, Xbox360 etc) and they are flipped, reversed, and so on.
    As soon as you complete a stage you automatically get awarded a set of cars... which seem to be almost identical to the car you were just racing. It ended up becoming a chore just watching these segments in the end (similar to a loading screen)

    Verdict: On the whole, this is a very entertaining game, until you realise that you are just repeating yourself by playing the same tracks over and over. - oh and until you see the "rollercoaster" drifting system at work...
    ...Oh, and ... If you have a choice between this and the PS3 version... GET THE PS3 ONE!!!

    Nice graphics
    A lot stages to beat!

    Lack of feeling whilst drifting
    Win a car after every race, ... (yawn!)
    Feels like its stretched out too thin, game pace issues
    Full Review »
  2. KC
    Mar 1, 2009
    the opening of the game and all that looked pretty polished when i first started it, so i got ready for the race of my life, but what i gotthe opening of the game and all that looked pretty polished when i first started it, so i got ready for the race of my life, but what i got first was visuals that looked crummy even for a psp, followed by what sounded like a black guy in the background sounding really happy and optimistic all the time really that got on my nerves. All that was still okay until the race started and the physics kicked in, that were totally unrealistic. the 'car' felt very artificially stablised, which i guess was to make the ride seem really smooth, but all it did was me hitting the "Home" button and playing Wipeout Pulse instead. Now that's a racing game. Full Review »
  3. Feb 14, 2021
    I never played a Ridge Racer game prior to playing this one, so I have no history to look back on in regards to the series, so my review won’tI never played a Ridge Racer game prior to playing this one, so I have no history to look back on in regards to the series, so my review won’t touch on any sort of comparisons. With that said, even 15 years later, the game still looks and plays fantastic! You could tell Namco went all-out for this title and, remembering this was a launch title for the PSP, it made quite the statement on what the little handheld could do. Visually, the game is stunning. Cars, lighting, backgrounds…they all look impressive and are very detailed. The game is also really fast with zero framerate issues which gives you a tremendous sensation of speed as you’re playing. The sound is good with a few exceptions (i.e. hitting the wall or another car) and the soundtrack is noteworthy (even though that style of music is not my thing). I realize Ridge Racer is an arcade racer, but where it falls short sometimes is the physics. For one, running into another car yields an unsatisfying knock sound and nothing resembling what would really happen…the other car doesn’t slide or spin out, nothing happens to your car other than slowing down, etc. I can live with the fact there’s no visible damage, but if I hit a car in the rear quarter panel, I’d expect it to slide out of the way. The other instance where the physics fails is in the drifting. If you do it right, it’s quite the sensation and is very satisfying. However, if you start to drift the wrong way (i.e. the turn is to the right but you misjudge it and start to turn/drift to the left), you will still drift in around the turn even though you’re facing the wrong way! That takes you out of the game for a moment. Otherwise, the controls are good and the game is a lot of fun…up to a point. As you progress, the game gets harder and harder until you reach a point where you feel like you have to run a perfect 3-lap race with absolutely zero mistakes to win. Keep in mind, you start every race in last place so you have to pass 11 other cars while also negotiating the track without ever slipping up. That standard of perfection becomes frustrating after a while and takes away from the enjoyment and the desire to keep playing. But Ridge Racer is still a phenomenal game and one that proved that console-level gaming could be had on the go! Full Review »