Sonic Riders is a fast-paced racing game featuring a variety of characters from the Sonic series, created by Sega and their second-party Sonic Team, for the Nintendo GameCube, Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation 2, and the PC. Sonic Riders is the fourth racing game in the Sonic series, followed by Sonic Drift, Sonic Drift 2, and Sonic R, as well as a release to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Sega later released a sequel, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity.
Sonic Riders puts a sequential amount of characters, both new and returning, onto hoverboards, where players must race seven competitors on a variety of fourteen tracks. Each character holds their own special ability, serving as a minor advantage in the race.
As part of the HUD, an "air tank" has been implemented on the lower right-hand of the screen. In Sonic Riders, air is the main source of fuel for Extreme Gear, diminished slowly but surely throughout the race. Certain maneuvers the player does can deplete more air.
Sonic Riders takes fictional Sonic racing to the next level, by adding tricks and maneuvers to the game. Players can build tension before jumping, afterwards performing their stunts which can replenish their fuel tank depending on the given rating of the trick.
In Sonic Riders, players can upgrade their characters by adding to their attributes. There are three editable attributes; speed, flight, and power.
- Speed: Refers to grinding on rails.
- Flight: Refers to players thrusting themselves in-flight through a sequence of hoops.
- Power: Refers to players bashing knocking obstacles out of the way.
Riders comes with a variety of game modes, such as the main story mode, mission mode, survival mode, and shop.
- Story Mode: Players join in a sequence of consecutive races.
- Mission Mode: Unlocked after the story mode is completed, players complete their given tasks in order to unlock gears.
- Survival Mode: A mode in which players select either "race" or "battle". In race, players try and compete for a Chaos Emerald, hurdling it without having it stolen by your opponent. In battle, players propel attacks at each other while on the track, losing health points each time a player receives damage.'
- Shop: Players can shop for new and unlocked Extreme Gear with the collected rings from previous races.
There is an assortment of gears to use in order to win a race. They include hoverboards, skates, and bikes, each with their own pros and cons.
While taking a stroll across town, Sonic and his friends spotted a robbery at a museum. Tails notices the thieves stole a Chaos Emerald. Sonic chases the thieves, but fails to capture them. Later on, Dr. Eggman announces a new "extreme gear" competition. This competion is known as the "EX World Grand Prix". Also Sonic must master the extreme gear to stop the thieves. Sonic eventually learns the thieves are a group called the "Babylon Rouges". The group consists of Jet the Hawk, Wave the Swallow, and Storm the Albatross. While Sonic is training, Tails is studying the extreme gear and learns that the machines are Babylonian technology. At the last race in the tournament, Wave helps Jet by sabotaging the race by wiping Sonic out. Since Jet is the winner he wins all 7 Chaos Emeralds. With the emeralds, the Babylon Rouges can open the gate to their home land. But in their homeland their is a ancient treasure brought by the Rouges' ancestors. Eggman wants it. So he goes into town and finds the gateway to the way to the treasure. At the same time Sonic and Jet try to stop him. It turns out when Eggman opens the gate he finds out that the treasure is guarded by a monster known as the Babylon Guardian. After winning, Sonic and his friends find out the treasure is just extreme gear. In the end Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles befriend the rouges, but still remain as good rivals.
 Extreme Gear
Extreme Gear is just like a hoverboard. You get on and it floats in air. It can grind on rails, it can fly, and it can break through certain stuff. The Extreme Gear can sometimes go over 200 mph. It can ride Turbulence, which speeds it up by about 50 mph. In some spots, you can go to over 500 mph. It is introduced when the Babylon Rogues start riding in on them stealing the Chaos Emerald at the beginning of the game. Sonic races against all of the robots to try and catch them, in the next level, but he loses the rogues. So, Tails makes the Sonic team their own Extreme Gear. The Extreme Gear also is designed for the certain person riding it. Tails is a flying type, so his Extreme Gear is a flying type Extreme Gear. This Extreme Gear can fly off of ramps and use shortcuts. The Power Extreme Gear can break through certain unpassable objects, and the Speed Extreme Gear can grind on certain rails.
- Sonic the Hedgehog - Speed Type
- Miles "Tails" Prower - Flight Type
- Knuckles the Echidna - Power type
- Shadow the Hedgehog - Speed type
- Dr. Eggman - Power type
- Amy Rose - Speed type
- Cream the Rabbit - Flight type
- Rouge the Bat - Flight type
- Jet the Hawk - Speed type
- Wave the Swallow - Flight Type
- Storm the Albatross - Power type
Music from the game features in the following CD soundtracks: