Developed by Codemasters, the Micro Machines games took the popular children's toys and turned them into a top-down racer set in a Macro Zone. Whether racing 4x4s on the breakfast table or F1 cars in the games room, the Micro Machines series has a great combination of fun, amusing details (such as the cereal boxes with "100% Artificial Ingredients" written on them) and multiplayer madness.
Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament
Micro Machines Turbo Tournament '96
Micro Machines: Military (basically Micro Machines for military junkies, or people who enjoyed the tank levels a lot)
Micro Machines V3 (the first 3D game in the series)
Micro Machines 64 Turbo (V3 for the Nintendo 64)
Micro Maniacs (featured small people-like thingsnote They do have a backstory. rather than cars).
Micro Machines (yes, that's what they called it)
Micro Machines V4 (the first game that allowed you to choose your own cars for all races, unfortunately balanced by the removal of characters.)
Divergent Character Evolution: The characters were updated for the re-release. Some of the more boring characters were removed. For instance, Jethro, who just happened to be black in the original, seems to be from Jamaica and a fan of reggae.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Anyone with a basic knowledge of the English language would assume that is is indeed about small automobiles/aircraft/combat vehicles/whatever they think are "machines".
Excuse Plot: Subverted - while the plot in Micro Maniacs is just a justification for tiny people running around, it's as developed as a real plot and has a resolution for every character.
Known Only by Their Nickname: Project-X and Maw-Maw were created by Minimizer and given those names, while Dynamo, Waldo and Mesme are known by their real names (albeit with Only One Name), but V4, Vortex, Pyra, Beatbox, Twister, Roach and Toxin never have their real names mentioned. note Although Roach's surname is probably Minimizer.
Level Ate: Several racing environments, from the kitchen to the breakfast table to eating out at restaurants.
Level Editor: Included in Micro Machines 2 for the PC, and Micro Machines Turbo Tournament 96 for the Genesis
No Problem With Licensed Games: It helps that the licence is for a series of toys rather than a film or something, but up to and including V3 (followed by dropping the party element and including the very different Micro Maniacs) the series were some of the best party games ever produced. 64, Turbo, and the remake of the original also got adequate reception, and while Micro Maniacs would naturally be a little far out for fans of the franchise, newcomers to the series liked it.
The best known ones are the original, which is loved for it's simplicity and eclectic design, and V3, which managed to avert Polygon Ceiling.
Polar Opposite Twins: Vortex and Pyra are almost the same, except for the exact details of their accidents. Of course, they're not twins.
Also Project-X and Maw-Maw, who are siblings, both being the creations of Dr. Minimizer. While Maw-Maw is a courageous guard animal, Project-X is an aggressive Super Soldier.
Polygon Ceiling: The fact that Micro Machines V3 averted this makes it one of the two best-remembered games in the franchise (aside from the original).
Real Is Brown: Perhaps not brown specifically, but Micro Maniacs is definitely much duller and less colourful than the games before and after it.
Rubber Band A.I.: In the original game, a car that was behind you would be faster than if it was in front of you. It didn't matter how far ahead/behind they were, however, so if that wasn't enough, there was no further help coming. It also featured a rather hilarious, and unintentional, inversion: if you put the fastest drivers in the fastest cars, the speed boost from being behind would be more than the AI could handle, causing the cars to leave the track and fall even further behind.
Stylistic Suck: Nicknames that compliment the characters such as Ace Spider and Fab Bonnie eventually become mediocre things such as Able Chen and Fair Anne, and ultimately insults like Poor Dwayne and Dire Walter.
Micro Maniacs made everyone ugly, but it was ultimately just a way of making it seem Darker and Edgier.
Toy Time: Again, several racing environments, from the sandpit to the bedroom to the games room.
Vehicular Combat: The tanks in the first game can shoot (meaning the best thing you can do is take an early lead and then run the rest of the race backwards - tanks are equally slow in both directions), and the various weapons in the 3D games.
Visual Pun: The races are real world environments - because they're Micro Machines. Most characters have puns based around their character woven into their backstory (mostly because Dr. Minimizer likes to use the cause of death as the motif for the second life, and because said death is often the direct cause of rebirth).
V4's bike accident made him a bike character (Dr. Minimizer reconstructed him).
Vortex was playing with black holes.
Same with Pyra (but with fire).
Waldo had a Minimizer copy accident (making him a science themed character).