|Platforms||PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita|
|Modes|| Single player|
R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 is the fourth game in the Ridge Racer series on the PlayStation. Unlike some of the other titles in the series, this game is made only for a home console, and does not have an arcade machine version. It is the final Ridge Racer series game released in the PlayStation console before Ridge Racer V released exclusively on PlayStation 2. There are 8 tracks and 321 vehicles, all of which are fictional. This iteration was one of the first games on the PlayStation to feature gouraud shading on the polygons, giving the game a visual depth that was previously missing. It was also the first Ridge Racer game on the Sony system to feature a two-player split screen mode, and featured two different driving models.
The main mode of the game is "Grand Prix", where players take on the role of a racing driver new to the game's fictional "Real Racing Roots '99" Grand Prix. The Grand Prix is split into 4 stages - 2 qualifying races, 2 quarter-final races, 3 semi-finals and one Final race on New Year's Eve 1999 - between which the player receives either a new car or an upgrade to their current one, based on their performance in the stage. In order to unlock every one of the cars, the player must race with every racing team and every manufacturer, in every qualifying position possible, hence enhancing the longevity of the game.
R4 featured two models of handling; drift handling was the classic Ridge Racer handling where the player oversteers into the turn to slide the car around the corner, whereas grip handling is more realistic, employing the brake more and not utilising powerslides at all. There are a total of eight tracks to choose from.
Teams and vehicles
There are four fictional racing teams available, each one managed by a different character who briefs the player between races. All the team managers have their own backstories.
- Dig Racing Team - a former front-running team led by Robert Chrisman, this American organization has recently fallen on hard times after the team's director cut back on funding. This team features cars with "expert" tuning, and they are the hardest team to drive for in the game.
- Pac Racing Club - the newest entry into the Real Racing Roots '99 championship this Japanese team lead by Shinji Yazaki tunes their cars to a normal standard making them the more moderate of the four teams available and ideal for intermediate-level players.
- Racing Team Solvalou - this elite Italian team led by the charismatic Enki Gilbert are currently dominating the Real Racing Roots '99 championship. Their cars are widely regarded as the fastest in the game.
- R.C Micro Mouse Mappy - this French team has a new owner, Sophie Chevalier, replacing her ill grandfather this season. Ideal for beginners, cars are easier to control than those of the other racing teams. It is notable for its unusual headquarters which is a building inside a garage.
There are four fictional car manufactures to choose from and one special car available:
- Age Solo - a French manufacturer which specialises in compact designs with grip handling. Their Ecureuil supercar is able to tackle corners at high speeds. The Age Solo cars are Prophetie (resembles Mazda MX-5), Dirigeant, Bataille, Megere, Antilope (resembles E-Type Jaguar), Averse, Licorne, Sorciere, Supernova and Ecureuil.
- Lizard - an American machine company who creates outrageous, dynamic designs with flamboyant drift handling. Their Nightmare supercar - alike to the "Devil 13" from previous games - boasts ferocious speed. The Lizard cars are Bonfire, Detector, Wisdom, Officer, Colleague, Comrade, Ignition, Tamer, Cataract, Reckless and Nightmare.
- Assoluto - An Italian manufacturer which designs cars with sleek, aerodynamic curves ideal for drifting. The Vulcano special machine levitates and hence can tackle corners with very little speed loss. The Assoluto cars are Promessa (resembles Toyota MR2), Bisonte, Regalo, Fatalita (resembles Nissan Skyline GT-R R34), Rondine, Cavaliere, Infinito, Aquila, Estasi, Squalo and Vulcano.
- Terrazi - A Japanese manufacturer with stylish yet minimalistic designs and cars which stick to the road. Their Utopia prototype is shaped like a rocket, boasts acceleration just like one and is therefore the fastest car in the game. The Terrazi cars are Ambitious, Troop, Rumor, Wildboar, Capital, Cowboy, Starlight, Decision, Terrific, Destroyer and Utopia.
- Pac-Man - when the player unlocks all 320 cars, they are awarded with a secret 321st car shaped like Pac-Man and a bonus music track Eat 'em Up!
The game has 8 courses, 6 of them have a shared portion. The courses are:
- Edge of the Earth - in New York
- Out of Blue - in Yokohama. The finish line straight are shared with Helter Skelter
- Phantomile - in Yokohama
- Brightest Nite - in New York. The finish line inside the airport are shared with Edge of the Earth;
- Heaven and Hell - in Fukuoka. Half of the circuit are shared with Wonderhill
- Shooting Hoops - in Los Angeles
By winning at least one time the Real Racing Roots '99, these circuits are available in Normal and Reverse directions for Multiplayer and Time Attack game modes.
Special edition box sets of R4 were packaged with the Namco Jogcon controller designed specifically for use with the game. The portable PocketStation device could also be utilized in R4 to trade cars with friends.
R4 featured a CGI animated intro with the Ridge Racer "mascot girl" Reiko Nagase, who first appeared in Rage Racer set to an acid jazz piece called Urban Fragments by Hiroshi Okubo featuring vocals by Kimara Lovelace.
The game includes a bonus disc containing a new version of the original Ridge Racer, called Ridge Racer Turbo (known in Europe as Ridge Racer Hi-Spec Demo). This game runs at 60 frames per second with gouraud shading utilised on the car models, as seen in R4.
The game was critically acclaimed and a commercial success in Japan, the UK and the United States, with aggregate review websites GameRankings and Metacritic giving a score of 88.16% and 88 of 100, respectively.  The game was mainly praised for the very impressive effects and graphics (even some think that R4 surpasses the first Gran Turismo), design of tracks, enjoyable soundtrack, intuitive controls and progressive difficult level. Minor criticism was directed to the high amount of cars to unlock, where the most are just slightly modified versions of the main cars.
- While choosing the car, you can press L1 or R1 to steer the front wheels.
- While editing stickers, hold L1 and press directions to jump between buttons.
- Pressing triangle during demonstration and replay scenes toggles a motion blur effect. This also works in the Music Player in Options.
- After you complete a time trial, you're asked to choose an option. Press Square and Triangle to reveal a password. This password is used to get rankings on Namco Japan's website. New entries to the rankings were closed on August 31, 2001.
|Ridge Racer series|
|Arcade games||Ridge Racer · 2 · Rave Racer · Pocket Racer · V: Arcade Battle|
|Console and handheld games||Ridge Racer · Revolution · Rage Racer · Type 4 · 64 (DS) · V · Ridge Racer (PSP) (2) · 6 · 7 · 3D · Unbounded (Driftopia) · Ridge Racer (PlayStation Vita)|
|Mobile games||Ridge Racer · Drift · Accelerated · Slipstream · Draw & Drift|
|Related games||SimDrive · Ace Driver (Victory Lap · 3: Final Turn) · Dirt Dash · R: Racing Evolution · Critical Velocity · Pachislot|
|Universe and people||Ridge City · Ridge State · Shatter Bay · Real Racing Roots · UFRA · Reiko Nagase · Enki Gilbert · Shinji Yazaki · Sophie Cavalier · Robert Chrisman · Ai Fukami · Rena Hayami · Gina Cavalli · Stephan Garnier · Kara Shindo|
|Game mechanics||Drifting · Grand Prix · Slipstream · Nitrous · Car Classes · Customization · Special Machine|