[[caption-width-right:250:And this isn't even half the stuff you can make.]]
In a brief pitch, the equation tends to be ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' + ''VideoGame/LittleBigPlanet'', a racing game that takes the realistic yet fun driving system and doubling it up with the ability to [[LevelEditor create tracks]], Mods (The Drivers) and Karts, each and every one of those goes more in depth than ''VideoGame/TrackMania'' even, and adds so much to the driving aspect to hold up on its own.
This game was announced at E3 2009 and released on May 21st, 2010 in Europe and May 25th in the United States.
The game itself follows this sort of Urban Vinyl style of figurines which the developers have seen and by which they were inspired. They explain it as the sort of thing that proved itself a blank canvas for artistic potential.
!!The game features examples of these tropes:
* [[AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther Aww Look, They Really Do Like Each Other]]: [[http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/11/14/modnation-racers-road-trip-track-studio-your-wish-is-our-command/ This]] Playstation Blog post reveals that Biff and Gary carpool to and from work.
* ButtMonkey: Gary [[strike:Raisins]] Reasons.
* CarFu: In addition to the powerups, you can sideswipe other cars, provided your boost bar isn't empty.
* ComedicSociopathy: Most Mods out there, including the commentators, watch the MRC to marvel at just how violent the races can get.
* CoolCar: Quite a few kart body types, from various "normal" cars to cardboard boxes, trains, and even an airplane, colored and decorated however you want.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Uncle Richard.
* CynicalMentor: The Crew Chief.
* DefeatMeansPlayable: Several of the elite racers in career mode.
* DifficultySpike: Flaming Jumps. Not only is the track itself much less forgiving than previous ones, with fewer drifting opportunities and plenty of ways to fall off the track completely, it's also the first track in career mode where you must finish in first place to advance instead of just the top three. The elite driver, Hale, only makes matters worse. If he ever gets any kind of lead over you, expect it to grow exponentially if you can't keep up or use shortcuts.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Pretty much everyone.
* FantasticRacism Towards the final boss in one cutscene, who is Italian:
--> '''Tag:''' (Offers to hug cheif after he starts to cry about bad memories)
-->'''Chief:''' This is a RACETRACK! What are you doing?! Never hug me. Hugging's for Girl scouts, Hippies, and ITALIANS!
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Before the race starts, racers can be seen doing all manner of gags at their wheel. In addition to that, there are many, many gags in the form of the news that moves across the top of the screen. There is a large pool from which they are picked, many of which are unique to career races alone.
* GottaCatchEmAll: The tokens, used to buy accessories for the various editor modes.
* HeroicMime: Tag.
** Within reason, it is to work around the fact that Tag could just as well be anything, with any voice, including no voice at all.
* [[HeyItsThatVoice Hey, it's that voice!]]: Believe it or not, Biff and Gary are, in the Japanese version of the game, voiced by [[spoiler:Solid Snake]] and [[spoiler:Raiden]] respectively.
** In the English version, Biff is voiced by RichardEpcar, and your Crew Chief is voiced by MichaelMcConnohie..
* IllNeverTellYouWhatImTellingYou: Chief's confession to Tag [[spoiler: that it was Espresso who cause his trauma inducing crash 25 years ago.]]
* JerkAss: Biff Tradwell, especially to Gary, who appears to have gotten used to it.
--> '''Biff:''' Hey Gary, if two's company and three's a crowd, what's one?\\
'''Gary:''' The number of people at my birthday party?\\
* KillItWithFire: The Vita version adds fire to the power ups you can aquire, and what happens when you reach Level 3? You fire a gigantic Phoenix of course.
* LevelEditor: It takes the LittleBigPlanet approach by making it the big selling point of the game, but there is also a very, very indepth Mod and Kart Studio in comparison to similar features in other games.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading: A fairly common gripe. 45 second loads, anyone?
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The level 3 missile powerup does this.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The Hydra, the level three variant of the rocket power-up, a MacrossMissileMassacre that will relentlessly lock on to every driver in front of its user, and it will have enough missiles for each and every single one of them.
* NintendoHard: Some of the bonus missions fall under this.
* PreOrderBonus: In addition to the first shipment including a code for a [[LittleBigPlanet Sackboy]] Mod and Kart, depending on where the preorder was made. There were codes for [[VideoGame/GodOfWar Kratos]], [[UnchartedDrakesFortune Nathan Drake]] or [[RatchetAndClank Ratchet and Clank]]. Some recieved a code for "Air Raid" DLC.
* RedHerring: Look at the picture at the top of the screen. See that guy in white standing in the foreground by the company logo? You think he's the final boss? Nope. He's not even an elite character. Who's the final boss? You see that guy in the background, flying in the air behind Tag? That's him.
* RubberBandAI: While not as blatant as some racing games (at least to start with), it's definitely present.
** May be a case of ArtificialBrilliance, as defended by the developers in this [[http://kotaku.com/5548612/modnation-racers-creator-talks-playing-creating-and-sharing-beer Podcast]]
* RuleOfFun: Comes up time and time again. For example, the power-ups are indeed implemented for this rule. In particular, thankfully, to avoid the blue shell effect, you are able to use boost gained from certain activities to generate a temporary shield. A welcome addition.
** Though it doesn't completely remove FakeDifficulty generated by the power-ups, mostly the level 3 ones, where the Sonic Rift tends to be ambiguous about when it hits a racer, the Bolt Storm randomly delays without any warning, and an entire Hydra barrage might prove too much for a shield to block entirely. When these come rapidly one after another, particularly in online races, there will be times where you simply can't avoid taking a hit.
* ShoutOut: In one of the final cutscenes from the career mode, the BigBad gets arrested. A cop then explains that his fingerprints were found on a bomb. The cop is a redhead who wears black sunglasses, wears a tuxedo and ends his bit with an IncrediblyLamePun. Does this remind you of [[CSIMiami someone else]]?
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: Determining the gender of a mod is solely up to the clothes and accessories applied to it.
** Well, that, and the voice.
* [[ThisIsWrongOnSoManyLevels That Is Wrong On So Many Levels]]: Biff Tradwell's response to Tag picking his nose waiting at the starting line in Rumble Jungle. Jez looks on in a similar disgust.
* UnlockableContent: Most of the parts for the create modes.
* VirtualPaperDoll: Color and add accessories to your Mod to make them look like they're wearing almost anything, though you can't change the basic body shape. It helps that a blank Mod looks like a vinyl figurine.
** You can also make your mod look more like a Virtual Metal, Cloth, or Rubber Doll.