• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Nov 4, 2010

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 52
  2. Negative: 27 out of 52
Buy On
  1. Dec 21, 2010
    Sonic Free Riders is certainly a hit, with some of the best Sonic-themed racing action since the hedgehog grabbed his first hoverboard. The menu system is unnecessarily clunky and there is a bit of a learning curve to playing the game, but once you figure it all out, there is no end to the fun you and your family and friends will have playing this game.
  2. Dec 22, 2010
    The tracks are well designed, the level of board customization makes the game more robust than many racers, and the numerous multiplayer modes keep the game entertaining past the main missions. It's not amazing, but it's definitely one of the games you should get to round out your Kinect collection.
  3. Dec 21, 2010
    Sonic fans will no doubt lap up the game and aim for top marks on all tracks, although it's safe to say some patience and learning is a must. For Kinect hungry gamers, there's something charming on offer, but you might not feel that right away as this is not the most pick up and play Kinect game available.
  4. Official Xbox Magazine
    Dec 21, 2010
    "Quotation Forthcoming"
  5. Dec 21, 2010
    For a first generation Kinect game, Sonic Free Riders definitely gives the gaming community an interesting premise. Even though the Kinect is a glorified EyeToy for XBox 360, SEGA have managed to successfully capture the Sonic franchise, turn it into a racer and more importantly, a controller free racer.
  6. Jan 18, 2011
    Sonic Free Riders might look like just another board racing Kinect game, but it's a league above others like CrossBoard 7 in terms of depth and replayability.
  7. Dec 21, 2010
    I was both impressed and discouraged with Sonic Free Riders. On one hand, it's a more interesting and deeper game than I expected with some great courses and gameplay elements. On the other hand, the darn controls are too finicky to make this a consistently enjoyable game.
  8. Jan 4, 2011
    Sonic Free Riders feels like a rushed game: it's got a great potential and looks like one of the deepest games in the Kinect launch line-up, but all is compromised bye e very imprecise Kinect support, not on par with other games seen so far. Too bad the developers didn't have more time to improve this only, but essential, aspect.
  9. Dec 22, 2010
    Sonic Free Riders is probably the most complex Kinect title to date. Its lack of polish doesn't help it in shining on the shelves, but it's still the most hardcore experience you may have with Microsoft new peripheral.
  10. Jan 9, 2011
    Sonic is back and features high speed and a good ammount of unlockables. Unfortunately, the controls doesn't respond properly sometimes, conforming an experience less enjoyable than we would like.
  11. 60
    Sonic Free Riders can be fun under the right circumstances, and kids will probably enjoy it, but it's mostly just another irrelevant speed bump on Sonic's journeys throughout the world.
  12. Dec 22, 2010
    Sonic Free Riders offers a decent amount of content with an intriguing control premise.
  13. Dec 22, 2010
    The track design is superb and there really is an amazing game buried underneath the problematic controls. It is a shame that most people will never be able to experience it due to frustration.
  14. Dec 21, 2010
    Overall, Sonic: Free Riders is game that could have used a few more months in the shop to fine tune some of the controls and the responsiveness of such.
  15. Dec 21, 2010
    Sonic Free Riders would have been a decent, if not exciting, racing title for the Kinect had it not been plagued by a bad turning system.
  16. Dec 21, 2010
    To conclude, Sonic: Free Riders makes a good launch title for Kinect, utilizing it well, though you can't help but feel more could have been done with the technology. Whilst it initially lacks in content, this is a game for those casual racing fans that aren't looking for anything overly intense.
  17. Game Informer
    Dec 21, 2010
    "Quotation Forthcoming"
  18. Jan 2, 2011
    An unimpressive game that lacks any real charm.
  19. Jan 7, 2011
    Sonic Free Riders could have been a good game were it not for the complicated controls and the weak campaign mode. It's best for Sonic to throw away the hoverboard and keep using those fast legs of him.
  20. Jan 3, 2011
    The game will be too complicated for most of the people, but those willing to give it more than one chance may ultimately enjoy it.
  21. Dec 22, 2010
    Sonic and friends don't feel very well on Kinect.
  22. Jan 3, 2011
    The game menu likely was created by a fully fledged sadist, and even worse, the handling of the game creates an immersive halo effect of fail. This game could have been so much been better, but it isn't. Hands off!
  23. Dec 22, 2010
    Its presentation goes the distance, but the cruddy gameplay and unbalanced AI keep this ride firmly grounded. Get your cruising kicks elsewhere.
  24. Dec 21, 2010
    Sonic Free Riders is the Mario Kart of Kinect, but the unresponsive control scheme will have players aching for a standard controller. If you have the patience to deal with the laggy control scheme, you will find that there is a decent amount of content in Free Riders; too bad most players won't ever want to see it.
  25. Dec 21, 2010
    Sonic Free Riders serves up a rather disappointing playing experience and everything it gets right is pulled down by the clumsy and sluggish controls that do nothing other than make it feel like you're not in control. Despite initial optimism and potential this is one of the weaker Kinect launch titles.
  26. Jul 11, 2011
    Sonic Free Riders could have been a great game if the controls worked.
  27. Jan 7, 2011
    Until they manage to learn how (something other developers seemed to have understood rather quickly), SEGA isn't allowed to put another Kinect game on the market...but we all know that's not how it works, am I right?
  28. Jan 10, 2011
    A nice and content filled concept gets completely spoiled by the bad implementation of Kinect controls.
  29. Dec 22, 2010
    Lousy controls hinder almost every attempt Sonic Free Riders makes at being a fun racing game.
  30. Dec 22, 2010
    One could theoretically get better at playing Sonic Free Riders, but the rewards for mastery pale before the spastic mess of a game you have to deal with.
  31. Jan 11, 2011
    Sonic Free Riders has a lot of good ideas, but none that are brought to fruition what serves as the ultimate experience.
  32. Jan 18, 2011
    Sonic Free Rider aims those who are the most dedicated and aren't afraid to see all their efforts leading to nothing. Indeed, this game got nothing else new than a high level of frustration.
  33. Jan 6, 2011
    Sonic Free Riders has some interesting ideas, but fails with its horrible controls. And what use is a racing games with sloppy controls?
  34. Dec 22, 2010
    There's some fun to be had in the Time Trial mode, but only because you don't have to struggle with the inadequacy of the rest of the game. Online play may eventually offer some fun as well, but right now it doesn't seem to work.
  35. Dec 22, 2010
    The only reason to buy Sonic Free Riders would be if it was actually free. And even then, only if you just really liked the box.
  36. Dec 22, 2010
    The third chapter of the Sonic Riders series is an epic fail because of one of the worst control system in the entire Kinect line-up.
  37. Dec 22, 2010
    Sonic Free Riders can offer some real fun when everything comes together and works properly but those instances are rare and the rest of the time the game can be very frustrating. The lack of content also makes it quite a steep purchase.
  38. 40
    And it's a testimony to their patience and kind-heartedness that they didn't punch us in the face for wasting an evening of their precious, finite life.
  39. Games Master UK
    Dec 29, 2010
    Tragically, it doesn't actually seem to work. [Jan 2011]
  40. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Dec 28, 2010
    Wrong control system. [Feb 2011, p.108]
  41. Feb 10, 2011
    With ring collecting and extreme gear upgrades, this should have been a fun racing game for Kinect; instead, it's an unresponsive mess that flat out doesn't work. Did no one test this game and see that it's broken?
  42. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Jan 6, 2011
    A messy control system. [Issue#67, p.88]
  43. Jan 5, 2011
    If it's not clear by now, I'm not recommending that anyone get suckered into purchasing Sonic Free Riders. It's very clear that Sega did little QA on the final product before shipping it to meet the Kinect launch date and the end product is an absolutely mess.
  44. 30
    The good Kinect games can be really entertaining, the bad ones where the motion controls doesn't work like intended is horrible. Sonic Free Riders falls is a game in the later catergory, and is a completely broken game. Really. Avoid at any cost.
  45. Dec 22, 2010
    The two worst games I've played this year have both been on Kinect, and Sonic Free Riders - you might not be surprised to learn - is one of them. Avoid.
  46. Dec 23, 2010
    During this Christmas season, please don't take the chance and inflict Sonic Free Riders upon unsuspecting players as gifts. Christmas morning should be about joy, not pain and tears.
  47. Dec 22, 2010
    The voice acting and sound effects are over the top to the point of aggravation.
  48. Dec 22, 2010
    Unless you're obsessed with all things Sonic, or you simply must own every Kinect title, stay away from Sonic Free Riders.
  49. Dec 22, 2010
    To its credit, the game is colorful.
  50. Dec 22, 2010
    But perhaps the most tragic thing here is that despite a critical drubbing for each game this series has made exactly the same mistakes every time.
  51. Dec 22, 2010
    The worst defect a video game can have, is to be so poorly designed and/or implemented that it becomes unplayable. Which is the case of Sonic Free Riders, a perfect example of an opportunistic product, a rehash of an older title repackaged to take advantage of Kinect's launch window. Movement caption is poor, the environments are confusing, the menus probably are the work of the devil himself... to sum it up, this surfing experience was more of a nightmare than the dream we'd all love to play thanks to Back to Future 2.
  52. Dec 22, 2010
    But all of the good in the world is a moot point if your game doesn't actually seem to work correctly, and that's definitely the case that I ran into here.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 118 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 118
  2. Negative: 92 out of 118
  1. Apr 12, 2012
    This is by FAR, the WORST Sonic game EVER CREATED!
    The Menu! The fukin MENUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU Is pure Garbage!
    There are voice commands... But
    This is by FAR, the WORST Sonic game EVER CREATED!
    The Menu! The fukin MENUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU Is pure Garbage!
    There are voice commands... But they dont even display them until you have it selected!
    What are we supposed to DO?! MEMORIZE THEM?!
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 23, 2012
  3. Mar 16, 2011
    I am an active Sonic fan, playing nearly every one of SEGA's Sonic games. I have always liked the Sonic Riders series for bringing originalityI am an active Sonic fan, playing nearly every one of SEGA's Sonic games. I have always liked the Sonic Riders series for bringing originality to hoverboard racing games and keeping a great amount of re-playability. NEVER have I been this disappointed with a Sonic game, especially in the Riders series. I was anxious to see how Kinect could perform with racing games, as all other motion sensing games Kinect has respond very well. After playing it, I regret asking myself that question. At the start of the game there are even problems. The menu's controls are pure ass, requiring you to slide back to turn a wheel to get to the next option. Half the time, it directed me to the PREVIOUS option instead of the next. Adding to the problem, it requires you to drag the button down instead of hold your hand over the option. There are voice commands but would ANYONE want to remember the names of these buttons? Moving on to the gameplay, all characters play like complete ass. Turning your body either doesn't respond or sends your character FLYING ACROSS THE DAMN SCREEN(my Kinect is fully calibrated just so you know). Jumping will tire you the most, as the requirement of it is so frequent, as well as how you must turn to get a good ranking on the jump. On one of the maps, you need to jump off a ramp and start swimming by flapping your arms to get up to the surface. A jump, now horrible and unresponsive swimming? How much worse does it get? The unresponsive controls get worse too, as this game makes you reach out and grab rings. You will constantly find your characters arm reaching out and going back to their body, requiring you to reach your arm out AGAIN. It is a struggle to get anything above last place and after a few races you will be begging not to play again. Anyone with a sane mind should avoid spending even a cent on this piece of garbage. This game looks as if it was meant for a controller with the menus and everything, it looks like a regular 360 game ported to Kinect. If SEGA wanted to release a Kinect game, they should've added controller use too. AVOID PLAYING THIS GAME AT ALL COSTS. Full Review »