I've been playing a lot of Sonic R recently for some reason. If I had to guess it probably has something to do with the level design being as open as it is. Compared to something like, say, Mario Kart, or Need for Speed, the levels in Sonic R are infinitely more open. (Even Radiant Emerald, with it's two ring-activated shortcuts that you can open up at whatever time you need to.) This is good as it opens up a lot more variety in the races, and it becomes more than just "Fastest man wins!", and it also allows for things like the Tag mode and the Balloon mode, which I find pretty fun. Amy in particular is fun to play as because of the strategy needed to time your boosts effectively and take the right shortcuts. And sometimes the shortcuts aren't as good as they seem, as you miss out on rings you can use on the Accelerator or on the gates, like with the loop in Resort Island. Unfortunately, the characters are horribly, horribly unbalanced, especially with the Metal characters. Super Sonic is the best character in the game. Period. You cannot beat Super Sonic unless you're very good with shortcuts, and even then just based on raw speed Super Sonic is going to beat you anyways. Likewise Eggman and Eggrobo are easily the most useless characters in the game. They can't jump, they aren't very fast, and their bombs tend to help the player more than hurt them. This makes multiplayer with anyone except Sonic/Tails/Knuckles turn into "My character is better than your character", which really tends to make the game not all that fun.