[[caption-width-right:257: ''[[TitleThemeTune Race to win, race to win, always race to wiiiin!]]'' [[note]] Clockwise from top to right: Metal Sonic, Shadow, Sonic, Tails, Espio, Silver, Rouge and Knuckles. [[/note]]]]

''Sonic Rivals'' is a 2006 action {{platform game}} for the PSP, published by Sega and developed by Backbone Entertainment in 2006 (with a sequel, ''Sonic Rivals 2'', released in 2007).

The main objective in these games is to race through each stage and beat your "rival" to the finish line. Stages are broken up by boss fights, where both characters fight against one of Dr. Eggman's[[note]]actually Eggman Nega from 200 years in the future disguised as Eggman[[/note]] robots, with the winner determined by who can land more hits.

Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow, Silver and Metal Sonic are playable in the first game, while Tails, Rouge and Espio are added to the playable roster in the second game.
!!Tropes used in the ''Sonic Rivals'' series:
* AintTooProudToBeg: In Espio and Sliver's story, [[spoiler:Eggman Nega's legs are caught in debris following the Ifrit's defeat and he's forced to beg them for help. It doesn't work and they leave him in the Ifrit's dimension.]]
* AmusementPark: Sky Park Zone.
* AndIMustScream: [[spoiler:The series has Eggman Nega on both ends of the trope. In the first game, he uses a special camera to turn people into cards and planned to do this to the entire world. He gets sealed in a card himself by the end of the first game, but he breaks out of the card by the second game only to get trapped in the Ifrit's dimension at the end.]]
* AndTheAdventureContinues / AWinnerIsYou: Each playthrough of the original ''Rivals'' ends with the main character searching for more cards, and immediately cutting to the credits.
* ArtificialStupidity: The AI characters in the boss fights.
* BadFuture / LethalLavaLand: Chaotic Inferno Zone.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Eggman Nega in both games.]]
* BigBoosHaunt: Mystic Haunt Zone.
* BigNo: Used by Shadow, Rouge, and Silver in the sequel when they respawn.
* BigShutUp:
** This is one of Knuckles' VoiceGrunting quotes during his dialogue with the other rivals.
** Silver says this to Knuckles, only for Rouge to call out the telekinetic hedgehog's tone of voice.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler:The Ifrit does this to either Tails or Sonic and Rouge or Knuckles, depending on whom you're playing as.]]
* CasinoPark: Neon Palace Zone.
* ComebackMechanic: Anyone not in the lead gets his or her top speed increased.
* ConflictBall: Very much so. Instead of the characters working together to save the day, they would have to resort into fighting each other to get to Eggman first.
* ContinuityNod: In Shadow's ending, he says that he won't lose to someone who blames his own failures on the past. This hearkens back to the resolution of his StoryArc that occured in ''[[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 Adventure 2]]'', ''[[VideoGame/SonicHeroes Heroes]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog Shadow]]''.
* DarkerAndEdgier: These games are certainly much edgier than the 8-bit, Advance, and Rush games. Darker maybe. The various characters seem unusually willing to fight each other for no particular reason other than to reach a certain destination faster. They don't even help each other defeat the bosses, even though said bosses are mutual enemies.
* DeathMountain: [[RemilitarizedZone Death Yard Zone]] in the first game, [[TheWildWest Frontier Canyon Zone]] in the second.
* DispenseWithThePleasantries: In the sequel, Silver does this to Sonic very nastily before Act 1 of Sunset Forest:
-->'''Silver''': Move aside, Sonic!\\
'''Sonic''': Hey, Silver. Long time no see. Guess you're looking for Eggman too, huh?\\
'''Silver''': [[TookALevelInJerkass I]] ''[[TookALevelInJerkass said]]'' [[TookALevelInJerkass move aside!!]]
* ExcusePlot: The first game's plot consists of Eggman ([[spoiler:later revealed to be Eggman Nega]]) planning to turn the world into a card and the four characters must fight each other in order to save the world. The 2nd game's plot is a little more detailed - something about Eggman capturing all the Chao to feed to an Iblis-expy called the Ifrit- but by and by the "plot" is mostly characters insulting each other for no particular reason.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: [[spoiler:Eggman Nega reveals that Eggman will never succeed, and that his failures ruin the Robotnik name.]]
* FireForgedFriends: Silver and Espio in the second game. Initially, their first meeting was iffy, but they then teamed up, and at the end of their story, they bid farewell to each other.
* GreenHillZone: Forest Falls Zone in the first game (which resembles [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1 Green Hill Zone]] down to the vibrant color scheme and checkerboard dirt) and Blue Coast Zone in the second (which includes elements of Greek architecture similar to Apotos from ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'').
* HardLevelsEasyBosses: While TheComputerIsACheatingBastard in the levels, the AI suffers from ArtificialStupidity in boss fights, and the bosses take very little effort to defeat anyway.
* HateAtFirstSight: Since this is Silver's official debut due to the RetCon, he gets this from the other three characters due to his hostile attitude.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Of its own accord, Metal Sonic tears out the Chaos Emerald powering it to save Shadow from being trapped in the Ifrit's dimension.]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:Eggman Nega unleashes the Ifrit, and upon its defeat is sealed in the Ifrit's dimension.]]
* LetsYouAndHimFight: What the series is all about. Even [[VideoGame/SonicHeroes Team Dark]] members Shadow and Rouge clashed in the second game.
* MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight: [[spoiler:Eggman Nega's]] motivation, which is only revealed in Shadow's playthrough, is [[spoiler:to erase the "[[FailureIsTheOnlyOption failures]]" of Dr. Eggman, because Nega apparently didn't have anyone recognize his genius because of Eggman's failures]].
* MinisculeRocking: The vocal theme of ''Rivals 2'', "Race to Win", is only one minute long.
* MonsterOfTheWeek: [[spoiler:Ifrit, the final boss in ''Rivals 2'']].
* MirrorBoss: Once a level, actually, with only special abilities being the difference. It's quite jarring with characters like Knuckles and Silver, who aren't supposed to be Mirror Bosses and have been established to have slower foot speeds and different skill sets in every other game in the franchise.
* NominalHero: In ''Rivals 2'', Metal Sonic plays a heroic role for the first time, but [[spoiler:only because he is under Eggman's control to fight off Eggman Nega.]]
* NoNameGiven: Two of the Bosses in ''Rivals 2''.
* NotADate: In the second game, Sonic teasingly asks Knuckles are him and Rouge are going on a date, only for Knuckles to tell him to knock it off.
* OmnicidalManiac: [[spoiler:Eggman Nega.]]
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Knuckles picks up on this just before he fights Rouge in the final level.
-->'''Knuckles:''' Rouge! There you are! What's wrong? You're too quiet.
* PaletteSwap: With the exception of super moves, all the characters play exactly alike.
* PlayingWithFire: [[spoiler:Ifrit]].
* PoorCommunicationKills: This is how many rival battles begin.
* PowerUpMagnet: The Magnet Powerup, which works almost identically to the electric shield from previous games in that it attracts rings to you.
* RecycledPremise: Silver's story involves [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 going back in time to save the future from a lizard-like fire demon who was unleashed into the world]]. To rub it in even further, said demon resides in a ravaged lava-filled city.
* TheRival: This is what the series is all about, [[TitleDrop hence the name]]. Instead of working together like in previous games, the characters are racing and battling each other in order to stop to Eggman [[spoiler:disguised as Eggman Nega]].
* RivalsTeamUp:
** This happens in Meteor Base Zone, the final level of the first game. One character of each story is assisted by a rival in one act and another in the next - Sonic is assisted by Knuckles and Shadow, Knuckles is assisted by Sonic and Silver, Shadow is assisted by Sonic and Silver, and Silver is assisted by Shadow and Knuckles. What makes this odd is that Sonic and Silver didn't team up in the stage, nor did Knuckles and Shadow.
** Knuckles and Rouge in the second game. Despite being both treasure hunters, they both (reluctantly) team up to retrieve the Master Emerald.
* RobotMe: Metal Sonic 3.0, a Robot Me for ''[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment another]]'' Robot Me.
* RuinsForRuinsSake: Colosseum Highway Zone.
* SealedGoodInACan: Every good guy who gets turned into a card is technically this, but breaking the can seems to be very easy given that any card retrieved gets immediately turned back into the character.
* ShipTease: Good God, Shadow and Rouge runs high in the first game. In one scene, when Shadow attacks [[spoiler:Eggman Nega]], he calls Rouge's card 'his'. In the very last cutscene, Rouge says 'That's my Shadow', and gets more flirty then usual when she's asking Shadow to look into 'their' future. Granted, she mentions that they are treasure hunting together, but this seems like an invitation to a date. Shadow tries to back out, and we don't know if he gave in. But, this is Rouge we are talking about, so... you never know.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: Crystal Mountain Zone.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Rouge is the only playable female character in the second game.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Similar to the US version of ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD Sonic CD]]'', hard rock plays on every level, even the bright and cheery ones. Particular noteworthy is Sunset Forest Zone, which also features the heaviest metal possibly heard in the series yet.
* SpaceZone: Meteor Base Zone.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The entire game is this to the Metal Sonic race from [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD Sonic CD]].
* StrictlyFormula: ''Rivals 2'' repeats the plots of the first game with each character. Silver traveling to the present time to find [[spoiler:Eggman Nega who is disguising as Eggman]], Knuckles searching for the stolen Master Emerald, and Shadow assisting Eggman in [[spoiler:battling Eggman Nega]]. Sonic's story is an exception as he and Tails must rescue the Chao.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Knuckles and Rouge in the second game. Justified in that Knuckles doesn't trust Rouge to help him retrieve the Master Emerald from Eggman. It doesn't help that Rouge stole it from him in the end of their story.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: It's got RubberBandAI and the ability to spam special abilities just to catch up to you.
* TheLostWoods: Sunset Forest Zone.
* TookALevelInJerkass: This happens to every single "good" character. All of them spend most of the time insulting and fighting each other in order to get to the main villain instead of working together to find him. The villains just do their gloating routine as usual.
** Silver is a more noticeable example. In ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'', he was a noble hero from the future who can be misguided with his intentions of building a better future. Then [[{{Retcon}} the events of that game was erased]], and in here, Silver is terribly rude and hostile to everyone he meets during his pursuit of Eggman Nega.
* TwoAndAHalfD: The first 2D Sonic games to ditch sprites entirely and use 3D graphics and variable camera angles. [[VisualEffectsOfAwesome The games look great for this reason,]] with many spectacular loops and corkscrews that fly all over the place, and a similar approach was adopted by the 2D sections of "modern" Sonic games, and Dimps for the Sonic games on Nintendo 3DS.
* TheUnfought: In ''Rivals 2'', just almost each character of all teams have fought two members of the other team once or twice. The battles that didn't occur were Sonic vs. Rouge, Tails vs. Knuckles, Sonic vs. Metal Sonic, Tails vs. Shadow, Knuckles vs. Espio, and Shadow vs Espio.
* VirtualPaperDoll: You have the ability to mix and match parts of each alternate outfit in order to customize a character's appearance. At least, in the first game.
* VoiceActing: Only in the second game. It's actually not too bad, although many will be inclined to skip it.
* VoiceGrunting: Only in the first game.