Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart is a Sonic fangame kart racer released by Kart Krew on Nov 17, 2018, based on the Sonic Robo Blast 2 (and hence DOOM) engine. Sonic Robo Blast 2 is a well-known 3D Sonic fangame that aims to capture the feel of the 2D Sonics in 3D. So naturally, people decided that it obviously needed a kart racer based off of it. And you should play it.
Are you really surprised that the first stage is Green Hills Zone? Taokaka by Deercat
I was introduced to this game by a friend of mine who hung around the student union at my university (the typical hang-out spot for FGC heads like me) who happened to be one of the devs on the project. It instantly became a huge hit for us and became a mainstay game that we still play occasionally, and for good reason. It's no secret that I've played a STUPID amount of Mario Kart Wii, and this game easily dethrones it as my favorite kart racer.
This pack includes DIC Mario who uses all the lines from the show (and whose character select portrait is the infamous 'Chinese cowboy' stomach ulcer pose). Mario & Luigi by mitsame
It's essentially your typical Mario Kart-like, except probably the highest-quality one out there. Controls are simple, with accelerate, brake, drift, and throw item. The drift functions like Mario Kart Wii and onward drift (no destroying your DS!) with 3 power levels, except that you are required to hold into the turn to gain sparks. The items are your typical Mario Kart items, but with a few twists (they're also way cooler looking), especially with the Self-Propelled Bomb (a.k.a. Blue Shell) allowing you to outrun it as long as you're racing perfectly. Rocket Sneakers (Golden Mushroom) run on a meter, so they require careful timing to get the most out of them as opposed to wildly mashing the item button. Hilariously, Bananas come in x1, x3, and x10 variants. Holding items behind you is balanced in this game by having you slow down after a bit, so they're not just cheap blocks against everything for free.
CHAO IN SPACE. Twinkle Cart also does what later Mario Karts started doing, where instead of 3 laps they would split tracks into 3 sections. Glover by Udgey
The controls are a bit more slide-y than Mario Kart, but in a good way, more like Double Dash's controls but actually good. Wii feels stiff and a bit too perfect in many ways, and Double Dash has you uncontrollably slide on anything other than 50CC, but this game strikes a very good in-between in general. If you prefer either, you can learn more towards one side via your character choice. You don't have the crazy air drifting control you have in those games either, which helps as the tracks have a lot of jumps and big air sections for spectacle.
I included this because Ai no Supreme! has been in my head nonstop since the Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S premiere. Lucoa by ThePinkGalaxy
There's a Battle mode as well, but honestly I haven't played it much because the racing is just so god damn fun that no one votes for it in multiplayer! Players out in Battle mode can come back in by taking out another player, and can drop item boxes that give powered up items. It's fun, but racing has always been more fun in these types of games.
DAYTONAAAAAAAAAAAA! Blitztank by Hexioum
The characters in the game are balanced by two stats: speed and weight. Speed naturally gives you a higher top speed, but impacts your acceleration in turn. Higher weight reduces your drift control, but allows you to bump players a la Mario Kart. Both stats alter how quickly you gain drift sparks. All of these factors are neatly laid out in a graph on the character select screen. Just for funzies (and differentiating in multiplayer), you can change your character's color from a massive selection.
The courses, frankly, are gorgeous. They are immensely detailed; I noticed a ton of little things while taking screenshots for this article that I didn't even know about! They're colorful, inventive, and just plain fun to drive on. A lot of them are based on Sonic or other Sega properties (there's a Daytona and Persona map in the base set), and they all play great music from various games. Speaking of the music, although most of it are tracks from other games (a surprising amount of which not being Sega!), the other music in the game is excellent as well.
They're all animated too! Yuzuriha by Chengi
Of course, being in the DOOM engine means that the game is immensely customizable. In addition to new tracks, you can add a whole host of new characters! Some of these are included in the game (in bonuschars.kart, they're all from other Sega franchises) while you can freely download and add mod characters from the forums. There's WAY TOO MANY high quality characters on there; even the meme characters are usually good quality. There's a limit of 128 addons loaded, which you will easily hit in no time. They'll also automatically download when you connect to a server that has them. They're required to fit the main game's balance system unless they add custom scripts so don't worry, they won't suddenly be broken.
There's no single player content in the game aside from Time Attack (with player and staff ghosts), so the only content you can really play is splitscreen or online multiplayer. There's no CPU players yet so that's about the best you can do. Racing both offline and online will help you unlock more courses. There's plenty of servers running, and it's not hard to run your own (I have a lot of difficulties with it for whatever reason but apparently that's just me) and get a few friends to play along with you. The game supports up to 16 players with 4 on a single machine (which can play online too!). I've never had a single issue with the online play, it runs incredibly well as long as you don't have terrible ping.
A surprisingly not-overbearing amount of Touhou mods. Kochiya Sanae by polnyanski
The game perfectly captures that Sonic feel and charm while not forgetting to be something of its own, a trap that a lot of other games fall into. If anyone asks me for freeware recommendations, this is easily at the top of my list every time. It's easily the most fun I've ever had playing a kart racer ever.