[[caption-width-right:320:Race to win.]]
''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:
* ArtificialStupidity: The AI characters in the boss fights.
* AndTheAdventureContinues[=/=]AWinnerIsYou: Each playthrough of the original ''Rivals'' ends with the main character searching for more cards, and immediately cutting to the credits.
* BigNo: Used by Shadow, Rouge, and Silver in the sequel when they respawn.
* BigShutUp: This is one of Knuckles' VoiceGrunting 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.
* 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 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.
* 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.
* GreenHillZone: Forest Falls in the first game (which resembles Green Hill down to the vibrant color scheme and checkerboard dirt) and in the sequel, Blue Coast, which includes elements of Greek architecture similar to Apotos from ''Sonic Unleashed''.
* HardLevelsEasyBosses: While TheComputerIsACheatingBastard in the levels, the AI suffers from ArtificialStupidity in boss fights, and the bosses take very little effort to defeat anyway.
* 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 Team Dark members Shadow and Rouge clashed in the second game.
* MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight: Eggman Nega's motivation, which is only revealed in Shadow's playthrough, is 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: The Ifrit 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 [[MirrorBoss Mirror Bosses]] and have been established to have slower foot speeds and different skill sets in every other game in the franchise.
* NoNameGiven: Two of the Bosses in ''Rivals 2''.
* OmnicidalManiac: Eggman Nega
* PaletteSwap: With the exception of super moves, all the characters play exactly alike.
* PlayingWithFire: Ifrit.
* 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 like the main villain]].
* 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:or Eggman Nega]].
* RivalsTeamUp: This happens in the end of the first game where the characters team up to enter in the Meteor Base, often where one character 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.
* RobotMe: Metal Sonic 3.0, a RobotMe for ''another'' RobotMe.
* 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.
* 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.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The entire game is this to the Metal Sonic race from [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD Sonic CD]].
* 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.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: It's got RubberBandAI and the ability to spam special abilities just to catch up to you.
* 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 to everyone he meets during his pursuit of Eggman Nega.
* TwoPointFiveD: 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.
* VirtualPaperDoll: You have the ability to mix and match parts of each alternate outfit in order to customize a character's appearance.
* 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.