[[quoteright:271:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reikonagase_3764.png]]

->''"[[MemeticMutation Riiiiiidge Racer!]]"''
-->-- Sony Computer Entertainment president '''Kaz Hirai''' at {{E3}} 2006

->"No one knows how the race began or how the contestants became known as Ridge Racers..."
-->--[[CatchPhrase Unofficial tagline.]]

''Ridge Racer'' is a series of racing games created by Namco and initially released in arcades in 1993. They found greater popularity on the [=PlayStation=], where the first ''Ridge Racer'' game was announced as a launch title, owing much of its success to its emphasis on fast-paced racing over super-realism. Each game has multiple tracks that take place in the same city, with the same start/finish line but different vantage points. So far, seven official games have been released on [=PlayStation=] consoles (except for ''Ridge Racer 64'', which was a [=Nintendo 64=] game, and ''Ridge Racer 6'', an Xbox 360-only title), with side-games and remakes on the PSP and Nintendo DS. An eighth game, dubbed ''Ridge Racer Unbounded'', was released in 2012 and developed by Creator/BugbearEntertainment (developers of the first two ''VideoGame/FlatOut'' games).

There are currently 7 main titles in the series and many portable versions and spinoffs. It's become a tradition for a new {{Playstation}} console to have a new ''RidgeRacer'' game as a LaunchTitle, and the [[Nintendo3DS 3DS]], {{DS}} and {{Xbox 360}} were launched with one as well.

* Ridge Racer (1994 - Japan, 1995 - USA/EU), for arcades and the PlayStation.
* Ridge Racer Revolution (1995 - Japan, 1996 - USA/EU), for PlayStation.
* Rage Racer (1996 - Japan, 1997 - USA/EU), for PlayStation
* R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 (1998 - Japan, 1999 - USA/EU), for PlayStation.
* Ridge Racer 64 (2000), for Nintendo 64, features tracks from Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer 2 and its very own set of desert tracks exclusive to the N64.
* Ridge Racer V (2000), for PlayStation2.
* R: Racing Evolution (2003 - Japan, 2004 USA/EU), for PlayStation2, GameCube and Xbox.
* Ridge Racer DS (2004 - USA, 2005 - EU), for Nintendo DS, a port of Ridge Racer 64.
* Ridge Racer[[MarketBasedTitle (s)]] (PSP) (2004 - Japan, 2005 - USA/EU), for PlayStation Portable, mixed new vehicles with tracks from the previous games.
* Ridge Racer 6 (2005), for Xbox 360 (Launch Game)
* Ridge Racer[[MarketBasedTitle (s)]] 2 (PSP) (2006), for PlayStationPortable
* Ridge Racer 7 (2006), for PlayStation 3 (Launch Game) - Allowed complete customization of vehicles from body kits to engine parts and paint jobs. One of the few PS3 games to run at 1080p and 60 FPS[[note]]Even ''VideoGame/{{Wipeout}} HD'', which claims it can, cheats by adjusting the resolution when things get too hectic.[[/note]]
* Pachislot Ridge Racer (2008), for PlayStation2. A pachislot RolePlayingGame developed by Yamasa[[note]]They are also known for creating a real-life reproduction of the Soldat Raggio, the cover car of the PSP releases. This reproduction appears as the LethalJokeCharacter in ''Ridge Racers 2''.[[/note]]
* Ridge Racer 3D (2011), for Nintendo3DS
* Ridge Racer (2012), for PlayStationVita (Launch game)
* Ridge Racer Unbounded (2012), for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
* Ridge Racer Driftopia (2013), a new FreeToPlay game by Unbounded developers Bugbear for Playstation 3 and PC
* Ridge Racer Slipstream (2013), for iOS and Android devices, developed to celebrate the [=20th=] anniversary of the series

Not to be confused with [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Cliff Racer.]] Now has an [[AwesomeMusic/RidgeRacer Awesome Music page.]]

----
A Ridge Racer game will typically have:

* Ridiculously unrealistic, dramatic drifting, to the point where turning is almost automatic and the brake button is rendered obsolete. The main draw of the series, and what separates it from other racing games.
** Later games added a nitrous boost (which is charged by drifting quickly) and slipstreaming (implemented as an almost literal RubberBandAI that also benefits you).
* Multiple tracks with identical start and ending points, but with completely different paths. You can even see the path of one track while racing in another.
* Numerous references to other {{Namco}} games. Since Namco owns the patent for minigames on loading screens, Ridge Racer games typically let you play games like ''{{Xevious}}'' or ''PacMan'' while the game is loading.
* Tracks shamelessly copy and pasted between games, sometimes blurring the line between a new game and an {{updated rerelease}}.
* A techno/house soundtrack done by Namco's sound team, which includes notable game music composers such as Kohta Takahashi and ShinjiHosoe. {{Lampshaded}} with a track in ''7'' named "Bad House Music".
* A bunch of fictional cars made by fictional brands such as Kamata (Japanese, similar to Nissan and Toyota), Danver (American, similar to Chevrolet and Dodge), Soldat (French-Italian, similar to Lamborghini and Pagani), Assoluto (Italian, similar to Ferrari), Age (French, similar to Renault and CitroŽn), Lucky & Wild (Canadian, similar to Ford and Chrysler), Terrazi (Japanese, similar to Honda), Himmel (German, similar to Porsche) and Gnade (German, similar to BMW).
* [[CoolCar Very fast, crazy and improbably cool hidden cars]]: the most recurring ones are the [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Kamata Angelus]] and the [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Soldat]] [[GratuitousItalian Crinale]], cars based on the angel and the devil.
* And [[HoodOrnamentHottie Reiko Nagase.]] Beware the Fandom if she's not included. See V's Ai Fukami and Unbounded's Kara Shindo for notable examples.

----
!!This series provides examples of:
* AnnouncerChatter: ''Ridge Racer 64'' had a terribly overenthusiastic announcer, ''Ridge Racer Type 4'' had a calmer, much better announcer with a deep echo on his voice, and ''Ridge Racer V'' had a not-so-bad radio DJ. Rage Racer had Reiko.
** Starting from ''Ridge Racer 6'', there are multiple announcers: ''6'' lets you choose between a normal, [[LargeHam ultra-hammy]] announcer; [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Heihachi Mishima]] and Reiko Nagase; ''7'' and ''3D'' have both a normal male announcer and Reiko Nagase at the same time; ''Vita'', instead, lets you choose between Reiko and the normal male announcer.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The Soldat Crinale is considered to be one: according to its description in ''7'', it can cause heavy addiction at the first race with it already, and if not handled well, the results can be deadly. [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Scared?]]
* BigBad: Monstrous in ''Ridge Racer 6'' and ''7'', and Devil Trailer in ''Pachislot Ridge Racer''.
** The Soldat Crinale, earlier on known as the 13th Racing, comes across as this in most of the series.
* BossGame: Most entries in the series do so.
* BossRush: Battle Royal mode in ''Ridge Racer V'', where you are pitted against all four bosses in a single race, and [[MirrorBoss you will use one of the boss cars]].
* BrutalBonusLevel: The MAX Tours in the [[RegionalBonus North American version]] of ''Ridge Racers'' and in ''Ridge Racers 2''.
* CityOfAdventure: Ridge City must be well off or it's citizens must be not too annoyed to allow many races that effectively closes off major arterial routes [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTJxPtJaLsI and even airports!!]]
* CoolCar: In ''R4'', your cars become cooler and more badass depending on how well you finish during the storyline races.
** The Special cars in all games. Some of them are pimped out hot-rods, others are little speedsters, others are FormulaOne car look-a-likes, others are antigravity racers, others are tremendously weird, others are rocket cars , but, let's just say it, these cars are absolutely epic. There are also the Kamata Angelus, the Angel car, which is very fast and easy to handle, posing a big threat even to the more experienced players, and the (badass) Soldat Crinale, the Devil car, which is the fastest car in the game, but handles like the road's made of ice.
* {{Crossover}}: In the Vita ''Ridge Racer'': "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcPKS4XxZNQ REEDGE RAYSORE... ALL OF US...]] [[VideoGame/DaytonaUSA Do do-do do do do do do DO doooooo...]]"
** One of the machines you can get in Ridge Racer 2 for PSP is from an old arcade game called RallyX. You get a ''pixel perfect version of it.''
* DefeatMeansPlayable: All of the boss cars are unlocked this way, via a [[DuelBoss one-on-one race.]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Rage Racer'' and ''Unbounded'' are this compared to the other games in the franchise.
* DifficultButAwesome: A lot of the special machines, particularly in Ridge Racers 6 and 7 when there were numerous ones of them, qualify. Oh, sure, cars like the Kamata Angelus/Angel are [[GameBreaker good at everything]], but there are some quirky special machines out there, each with their own perks, including:
** The long-running -- and implied BigBad -- [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Soldat Crinale/Devil]], which turns as if the car is constantly driving on ice, but consistently boasts one of the highest top speeds in the game.
** The Ridge Racer 6/7 Terrazi Terrajin, a rocket car with only two gears which can get ridiculous rocket starts precisely for that reason.
** The Ridge Racer Type 4 [[LethalJokeCharacter Age Ecureuil]],a ''single gear'' little bugger which looks like a BMW Isetta and corners so absurdly tight at top speed that it can be hard to avoid smacking into the walls when learning to drive it.
** Type 4's [[FlyingCar Assoluto Vulcano and Ridge Racers 6 and 7's Pronzione]], which can hover around corners at absurd speeds and [[FridgeLogic somehow still need a transmission with separate drive gears.]]
** Some of the nitrous types in 7 ''breathe'' this trope. Example given, the [[MythologyGag General]][[AceCombat3 Resource]] Reverse Charge nitrous, which only charges when the boost is active during a drift. Use it wrong, and the rest of it is [[LostForever gone for the duration of the race]], but use it right, and you can have endless level 3 nitrous boosts.
* DynamicLoading: The [=PS1=] port of ''Ridge Racer'' and ''Ridge Racer Revolution'' have Dynamic Loading ''{{Mini Game}}s'', the former being a shortened ''{{Galaxian}}'' stage, and the latter being one of the "Galactic Dancin'" [[BonusStage Challenging Stages]] from ''{{Galaga}} '88''. This led {{Namco}} to patent mini-games during loading times.
** ''Ridge Racers'' has ''Rally-X'' during the initial load screen (though this can be disabled via a menu); scoring 50,000 points or higher and completing PRO Tour 18 unlocks the Rally-X secret car mentioned under GuestFighter. Similarly, ''Ridge Racer 6'' has ''Pac-Man''.
* EasterEgg: R4 has one if you win five races with PRC, a sweet fax praising your success from none other than Reiko.
* EasyModeMockery: In ''Rage Racer'', new cars from Grade 4 onwards do not have automatic transmission, forcing you to use manual. This does not apply to Grade 4 cars that are upgrades of lower-grade cars.
* FakeLongevity: After completing Classes 1 through 5 of ''Rage Racer'', your reward, aside from being awarded 99,999,999 eg, is the Extra GP, which is...''all five prior classes all over again'', only with the tracks in reverse. Completing the Extra GP is required to unlock Class 6. Oh, and all that eg you earned for completing the standard GP? It doesn't carry over to Extra GP. Time to start with the Gnade Espinoza all over again!
* {{Fanservice}}: The hidden menu look in the PS Vita version has quite the sexy Reiko Nagase in the background, wearing a skimpy latex racing suit based on the Soldat Crinale. The normal menu isn't safe from this either.
* FauxSymbolism: The logo for one of the fictional sponsors in the game is an Ouroboros (that is, a dragon eating its own tail, which is a symbol of eternity).
** The Kamata Angelus, the Angel car, and the Soldat Crinale, the Devil car, are rather blatant examples of this. Hell, their logos are in the shape of an angel and a demon, to boot.
* FinalBoss: The Soldat Crinale/13th Racing in the original, ''7'' and ''Unbounded''; the Kamata Angelus/White Angel in ''Revolution''; the Assoluto Squaldon[[note]]known in Japan as the Assoluto Dragone[[/note]] in ''Rage Racer''; the {{four|Is Death}} hidden cars in ''Type 4'' and ''V''; the [[{{Eagleland}} Screamin' Eagle]] in ''64''; the Monstrous in ''6''; the ''RallyX'' player car in ''[=3D=]''; and again the Kamata Angelus, now known as the Zihua Archangel, in ''Vita''.
* FourIsDeath: ''R4'' and ''V'' have exactly four boss cars.[[note]]Well, theoretically there are 16 boss cars in ''R4'' due to the game's team mechanic, but the car models themselves are actually 4.[[/note]]
* GaidenGame: ''R: Racing Evolution''. It's actually very close to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOCA_Race_Driver Toca Race Driver/Pro Race Driver]], with real cars, real tracks and a story mode with cutscenes.
** To some extent, ''Unbounded''.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: Monstrous. Since this machine has no maker stated, it makes this machine even more mysterious. Racers have to wonder if where did this machine come from. [[spoiler: Even Kamata Angelus and Soldat Crinale users don't know about it.]]
** The maker Zihua from ''Vita'' does count as this, but it's not completely out of nowhere.
* GuestFighter: The player car from ''Rally-X'' in ''Ridge Racers''. Starts off the line with rather slow acceleration, [[LethalJokeCharacter but soon reaches a very high top speed]], even outrunning series mainstay supercars like the Angelus and Crinale. And it has the longest and most powerful NitrousBoost in the game[[note]]Although it does take forever to charge.[[/note]].
** The Vita game features the Hornet Stock Car from ''DaytonaUSA'' as DLC. [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer Yes]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMR36BApWvI a car from a completely different series]] gets an appearance in this game as DLC, as well as its own track. This is also the first time that a car from a series not owned by Namco appears in the Ridge Racer series.
*** Didn't we mention that ''Ridge Racer'' and ''Daytona USA'' had a FandomRivalry back in the days?
* HoodOrnamentHottie: Starting with ''Rage Racer'', where Reiko Nagase became an unofficial mascot for the series.
* InNameOnly: ''[[http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-04-ridge-racer-unbounded-announced Ridge Racer Unbounded]]'', from the ''VideoGame/{{FlatOut}}'' creators at Bugbear Entertainment, with a major emphasis on destruction and a ''NeedForSpeed Underground''-ish vibe. Fans couldn't cry "Ruined!" fast enough.
* InsistentTerminology: Some entries in the series refuses to call cars "cars", using "machines" instead, as some of the unlockable vehicles aren't actually cars.
* InternalHomage: Every course in ''Ridge Racers''.
* {{Irony}}: Reiko was first featured in ''Rage Racer.'' Her voice and looks portray her as anything but angry, and as the series went on she only got sweeter.
* LethalJokeCharacter: Deliberately used on some cars throughout series.
* MarathonLevel: Many racetracks in the series are 6 or 7 kilometers long, however, the game's exaggerated drifting physics let you tackle the circuits in times that are impossible in RealLife.
* MissionPackSequel: ''Ridge Racers 2'' is the same thing as ''Ridge Racers'' with a few new courses, modes, and music tracks. Even the menu interface is ''perfectly identical'' to the original.
* NamesTheSame: There's a special car in the series called Angelus. [[{{BuffyVerse}} You don't say?]]
* NitroBoost: Introduced in the PSP games, where you earn nitrous by drifting, and you can have up to 3 tanks at once. Starting from Ridge Racer 6 was the ability to use multiple tanks at once, to a maximum of 3. The more tanks you use, the longer and more powerful is the boost. Unbounded also has Nitrous, but in two forms, you only get one bar, and straight-on jumps now also charge them (in previous games, you had to be drifting just before the jump for charging to take place). The first is the plain old Boost bar, available in the Shindo Racing events. The second is the Power bar, which is seen in every other game mode, where it's used not only to boost speed, but to destroy parts of the environment or take down other vehicles.
* NoExportForYou: ''Ridge Racer 2'' on PSP was released in Japan, Europe, and Australia, but not North America. Inversly, ''Ridge Racer Unbounded'' was released in North America, Europe, and Australia, but not Japan. The latter could also apply to Ridge Racer 64, with 64 being the first Ridge Racer title ''not'' to see a Japanese relase. In contrast, the ''Pachislot Ridge Racer'' is exclusively sold in Japan.
* NostalgiaLevel: ''Ridge Racers'' and its sequel on the PSP, full stop.
* [[RegionalBonus NTSC-U Bonus]]: The US version of ''Ridge Racers'' adds the Max Tours, the hardest tours in the entire game.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: The Kamata Angelus. A divine-looking FIA GT Series racer look-a-like, it is the four-wheel embodiment of an angel, as it is fast, easy to handle and with the utter absence of weaknesses. [[ThatOneBoss No wonder it's often the hardest car to defeat.]]
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: The Soldat Crinale. A badass-looking matte black Le Mans Prototype with a frightfully tremendous top speed, but it is very punishing to drive. [[DifficultButAwesome Those who are able to control it, however, can easily make the competitors eat the dust.]]
* PaletteSwap: Used by the majority of cars in the PS1 games. However, these palette swaps also have some performance variations, from subtle to really blatant.
* PimpedOutCar: The Extra and Duel cars in ''V'', the Class 4/5/6 cars in the PSP releases and the Class 3/4 cars in ''6''. However, in ''7'', this trope is taken UpToEleven: there are over 375k possible combinations of modifying each of your vehicles visually with front and rear bumpers, hoods, wings, liveries, rims and much more, and over 2k possible tuning combinations for engines, tires, suspensions and Nitrous. These are numbers that can challenge even games such as GranTurismo and ForzaMotorsport!
* PreorderBonus: Pre-ordering Unbounded would give players a few cars from previous Ridge Racer games, including the Kamata [=RC410=] from 7, and the original incarnation of the Assoluto Bisonte from 64.
* RealSongThemeTune: ''V'' had "Fogbound" by Japanese electro rock band Boom Boom Satellites as its theme song. You can hear it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwHkS-6EA9g here]].
** ''Unbounded'' had a lot of real life songs, which is kind of weird for this series. The soundtrack has various songs by drum n bass, house and dubstep personalities such as [=RuN RiOT=], The Crystal Method and even {{Skrillex}}; however, Bugbear didn't forget the amazing Namco music team, and had some new songs made for the game and even songs from older Ridge Racer games, especially from ''6'' and ''7''. In fact, the track that was used the most in trailers for this game was "Road Mauler" from ''6'', which is an amazing industrial metal tune, and is really fitting for ''Unbounded''. You can hear it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q9MnoiKTa4 here]].
** ''7'' had together with the amazing music by the Namco music team, a nice amount of real life songs of artists signed in the Japanese electronic music label King Street Sounds.
* RecurringBoss: Soldat Crinale and Kamata Angelus throughout the series.
* RubberBandAI
** Taken to the ''n''th degree in the above-mentioned Max Tours from the US version of ''Ridge Racers''. You only race against 3 CPU players rather than the standard 11...and they're the hardest [=CPUs=] you'll ever face.
** ''7'' gives you and the AI a much more literal version of the trope in the form of slipstreaming.
* SceneryGorn: In ''Unbounded'': after destroying many scenery objects or in the ''Ghost Bay'' scenery, which is the final world of the game.
* SceneryPorn: Sure, it might be an arcade game which puts its emphasis on gameplay rather than realism and graphics, but goodness gracious, the tracks are absolutely gorgeous. This is especially the case with ''V'', ''6'' and ''7''.
** The new triad of circuits that appeared in ''3D'' and ''Vita'', ''[[SharkTunnel Oceanfront Cruise Way]]'', ''[[SlippySlideyIceWorld Silver Mountain Skyway]]'' and ''[[TheWildWest Redstone Thunder Road]]'' are no exception to this trope.
* SecondPlaceIsForLosers: In ''R4'', your team representatives treat anything short of a first-place finish as completely unacceptable, even if you qualify for the next race.
* SequelDifficultyDrop: Throughout the lifetime of the series, the drift mechanic and the collision physics have become more and more forgiving. In the mid-90's games, colliding with anything will cause your car to bounce off with a sharp loss in speed, often bumping into other cars or walls if there isn't enough space, and drifting often slows you to a crawl afterwards. Later games make it trivial to drift with only a negligible loss in speed, and are far more forgiving on smacking into objects, although continuous wall-smashing is still very punishing. This is especially evident in ''[=3D=]''.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''6'' could be regarded as one to ''Revolution'' and the PSP installments; ''7'', instead, is definitely regarded as one to ''Rage Racer'', as both games share customization mechanics and a credits system, plus the career modes in both games are very similar to each other.
* SharkTunnel: Used in Oceanfront Cruise Way in ''[=3D=]'' and ''Vita''.
* ShoutOut: Everything {{Namco}} has ever done, period. DigDug makes car parts, ''{{SoulCalibur}}'' characters make wheel mods, [[VideoGame/{{Klonoa}} Phantomile]] is a track in ''Type 4'', Ridge State has a ''{{Xevious}}'' tournament, [[VideoGame/TalesOfEternia a Craymel-powered engine for the Kamata Angelus]]...
** The tracks are also littered with {{Shout Out}}s to other games. Pay close attention in ''Ridge Racer V'' and ''64'', for example, and you'll see the logos of the factions from ''VideoGame/AceCombat3Electrosphere''.
*** Reiko Nagase is Kei Nagase's ''sister''. The one from ''VideoGame/AceCombat2'', actually: there are ''three'' Nagases in the whole AceCombat franchise.
**** Also, Rena Hayami from ''R: Racing Evolution'' bears a [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute suspicious resemblance]] to Reiko.
* TitleScream: '''RIIIIIIDDDGE RAACEEEEERRRRR!!!!'''
* TrueFinalBoss: It is revealed that the Devil Trailer in ''Pachislot Ridge Racer'' is behind the Soldat Crinale of the entire series. And the player must destroy it in order to complete the battle.
* UnstableEquilibrium: In ''R4''[='=]s GP Mode, do well in each race and you'll get the top-of-the-line cars that will help you secure even more first-place finishes. Do poorly, and you'll get bad upgrades that make winning the next races horrendously difficult, on top of [[WhatTheHellPlayer being trash-talked by your team]].
* UpdatedRerelease: ''Ridge Racer Turbo'' was a prototype 60-frames-per-second version of the original that was released as a bonus disc with ''Ridge Racer Type 4''.
* VideoGameLives:
** ''Rage Racer'' gives you seven lives per GP. Retiring a race or failing to place third or higher takes away one life. Lose all your lives and you'll lose all of the medals you've earned for the current GP, although you'll retain all of your other progress.
** ''R4'' allows you to fail up to three times per heat; the fourth time results in a GameOver and you will have to restart the entire heat.
* WhatTheHellPlayer: In ''R4'', your crew will berate you in the first two heats if you don't finish in 1st, as well as give you inferior new cars instead of better ones. Dig Racing Team is somewhat of an exception; your crew is particularly nice to you, but the owner (who is never shown on-screen) has a differing opinions of you.
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: According to the intro, ''7'' is set in a fictional nation called Ridge State, in which car racing is oh-so popular.
* XMeetsY: ''Unbounded'' is ''Ridge Racer'' meets ''{{Burnout}}'', which would make sense considering the developers (Bugbear Entertainment, who did the ''VideoGame/{{FlatOut}}'' series) with a dash of SplitSecond and {{VideoGame/Blur}}.
----