The History of the Raving Rabbids

Credit: Rabbids Invasion

Rayman has always been a character from a franchise that symbolized everything that classic video games represented but was around for modern consoles at the time and filled the void in the hearts of players from the lack of video games that felt similar to the classics in the era of Halo and Call of Duty when games like Sonic the Hedgehog were exploring different genres. However, an unexpected expansion of the Rayman franchise came from the menacing rabbits known in the franchise as Rabbids. From a common Rayman annoyance to adventuring with Mario across various titles, the Rabbids have made quite a name for themselves and Ubisoft, as not many brands get to collaborate with Nintendo’s flagship character. Below, we’ve detailed the games that have featured the Rabbids, from their introduction into Rayman to their series, their most recent releases with Mario, and some enjoyable Mushroom Kingdom nonsense.

Rayman

Credit: Rayman

From Rayman to Raving Rabbids

Rayman was one of many classic video games to receive an animated series before the Rabbids were part of the franchise. The now-infamous Rabbids first appeared in Rayman Raving Rabbids. Still, the game was initially slated to be Rayman 4 before that was eventually given to Rayman Origins after the original project game was transformed into Raving Rabbids. Although initially set to be Rayman 4, the game eventually involved the Rabbids, but as a classic Rayman platformer title, and the Rabbids as the enemy. At the same time, Rayman teamed up with a former enemy from the series, Andre from Rayman 3. However, when Rayman 4, Rayman Origins, was finally released in 2011, it had an entirely different concept, without the Rabbids or Rayman teaming up with his former enemy. Rayman Raving Rabbids, however, was the first title released from these various concepts. While it featured Rayman and the Rabbids, it evolved into purely a party game with Rayman as a prisoner of the Rabbids and in need to complete trials to climb to safety eventually, overall similar to Mario Party, without the board game aesthetic.

Raving Rabbids

CREDIT: Rayman Raving Rabbids

Rabbids Video Games

While the Raving Rabbids were intended to be enemies of Rayman in a classic Rayman adventure game, that changed when the developers could explore the developer options available with the Wii developer kit. Generally, the Wii was associated with games of this style. While the console had interesting capabilities unlike any other console at the time, the Xbox Kinect quickly mimicked such abilities without needing any controller or peripherals. Although the Wii may have altered the overall plans for what Rayman Raving Rabbids had become, the first entry was also released for handheld Nintendo devices, PlayStation, Xbox, and computer systems. From the original Rayman Raving Rabbids, Ubisoft released a sequel, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, also for Wii. However, the game was not published for any other console outside the Nintendo handheld, Nintendo DS. The third Rayman Raving Rabbids was significant as it was the final game in the Rayman spinoff series to feature the character in its title, as every entry after was titled after the Rabbids. The Nintendo exclusives for Raving Rabbids continued from Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 until 2010’s Rabbids Go Phone/Again, an iOS version of Rabbids Go Home. The Nintendo exclusives were on and off from here, as Nintendo received exclusive Rabbids games, but so did other consoles, such as Xbox with Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking, Rabbids: The Interactive TV Show for PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and a couple more Rabbids mobile-exclusive titles, before Mario and Rabbids mashup games were the new headliners of the Rabbids franchise. A new Rayman television series from Ubisoft has also been announced to be in the works.

Raving Rabbids Mario Bros

Credit: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

Rabbids and Mario Mashup Games

While the Raving Rabbids have evolved from simple characters in an unexpected Rayman party game to headlining their flagship series to becoming a new partner for Nintendo’s most famous character yet, the Rabbids have gone further and done more than anyone expected, even Ubisoft. The first Mario + Rabbids game was Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, released for the Nintendo Switch in 2017. It was unique to both series as it was a special mash-up of the two franchises and created an interesting turn-based combat game that featured Nintendo’s most respected characters. DLC came from the original Mario + Rabbids game, which expanded the crossover between the Raving Rabbids and Mario Bros. franchise to Donkey Kong with the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC, released in 2018. A sequel to Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, was released in October 2022 for the Nintendo Switch after being officially announced at E3 2021 and was quite different from the original game. Outside of being much less linear than the original, players can now freely, away from a grid format, and real-time elements have also been introduced into the game. Overall, the Mario + Rabbids crossover series may continue to release as long as their reception remains well-received and the Raving Rabbids remain beloved.

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