Sonic has been in the spotlight a lot the past few months, and especially now with the recent release of Sonic Mania, and for the first time in a long while, all the buzz about the speedster seems to be very positive. Sonic Mania is even being called by many to be the best Sonic game ever made…quite an impressive feat that no one thought would ever be said in modern times.
To celebrate Sonic’s good fortune, I am here to assemble a list of all Sonic’s games, from worst to best. And by all of them, I mean just the ones I own. There are an awful lot of Sonic games, I mean an awful lot, and I probably don’t even have half of them. I will not be including spin off games like the fantastic Sonic Spinball or Sonic and Sega’s All Star Racing. It’s about his main line games today…for the most part.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (GameGear, 1992)
Times Beaten-1 (Sort of)
What a disaster this one is. As a kid, I could never get passed the second act, because of some stupid hang glider. I couldn’t figure out how to use it. But now, thanks to the internet, I learned how, and it’s the worst mechanic of all time, that barely works.
Aside from that, half the levels seem to be annoying mazes, and worst of all, you can’t really see very far ahead of you, which means every enemy will come out of nowhere and hit you, especially when running.
It’s one of the hardest Sonic games of all time, but for all the wrong reasons. I had to put in the stage select code 100 times, and some levels were so bad, I just skipped them without beating them.
There is a hidden level unlocked by finding all the Chaos Emeralds, or just using the stage select, by I didn’t bother. The game would actually have to be fun for me to want to do that.
Sonic Heroes (GameCube, 2004)
This game should be much, much higher on the list. It is possibly the best 3D adaptation of the the feel of the Genesis games, with nothing but speed, killing robots, and platforming.
The fact that there are 5 campaigns, and 12 playable characters (split into four teams) is amazing.
It’s just a real shame that the controls are so unbelievably slippery and rambunctious , which is deadly when combined with the fact that you can fall off of almost anything. Any time you attack, jump or even move, you’re at risk of randomly flying off the edge of a stage. It’s also very difficult to judge where you’re landing for most of the jumps, and jumping between rails doesn’t always execute correctly.
There’s a few other glaring issues, and all of them make this completely unplayable.
Sonic The Hedgehog (PlayStation 3, 2006)
This game had so much potential. New type of storyline, three awesome hedgehogs with their own campaigns, plus playable minor characters and beautiful level designs. But no…it turned out to be a disaster thanks to the development having been rushed, thus we all got stuck with an unfinished product. When you weren’t waiting for the game to load, you were getting game over after game over due to bugs and glitches, such as springs not bouncing you far enough and many other unavoidable death traps. I only beat this game on sheer luck of no glitches happening within a level. I always say, that if the developers were able to put the right amount of time into the game, it would have been one of Sonic’s finest games, not one of the worst.
Sonic The Hedgehog (GameGear, 1991)
This is basically a dumb downed, but different version of the original genesis game. It is very short, but fun. Not much else to say.
Sonic Gems Collection (GameCube, 2005)
This is a compilation of some of the crappier Sonic games. It comes with Sonic CD, Sonic The Fighters, Sonic R and a bunch of games on GameGear… Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, Sonic The Hedgehog: Triple Trouble, Sonic Drift 2, Tails’ Skypatrol, and Tails Adventure. Though it’s not fair of me to say they are crappy. I only played 2 of them. I beat Sonic the Fighters which is pretty bad and I didn’t ever have time to beat Sonic CD in one sitting and the stage select is terrible, only allowing you to play part of a stage. Gems technically shouldn’t be on this list, but since I didn’t play most of the games here, I figured I’d throw it in as one, instead of listing them separately.
Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut (GameCube, 2003)
This is an updated version of Sega’s ambitious, first 3D Sonic game. It isn’t very good, but it’s a somewhat well put together game. The variety of playable characters makes it diverse and interesting. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and that robot whose name I can’t remember have fine campaigns, but Amy walks unbearably slow, making her story miserable, and the last character, Biggs the Cat, is awful beyond description. Each level you just fish. I think fishing in real life is one of the most boring things a person could do, but it is much worse in a not so good game playing as a fat, retarded cat. I quit the game at this point, because I couldn’t catch the fish in the second or third level, and as far as I know, there is no trick, just wait and hope it bites…just like real fishing!
The coolest feature of this game is the Chao Garden, where you can raise little blue alien things and level them and evolve them into cooler little blue alien things. I never dabbled in this though, so I don’t know too much about it.
Sonic Blast (Game Gear, 1996)
This is a simple little game that lets you play as either Sonic or Knuckles. It has some annoying levels, and is one of the easier Sonic games out there, but it’s a short and sweet playthrough that is more or less entertaining.
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U, 2014)
This is an okay game, but nothing great…at all. It’s the slowest Sonic game I can think of. It’s more of an adventure game with a heavy focus on bland combat, with some fun speed parts every now and again.
Playing as four awesomely somewhat redesigned characters, each with unique attacks and abilities is the best feature, but overall, it’s an unsatisfying experience.
Sonic and the Secret Rings (Wii, 2007)
This is another not so good game. Sonic had it rough in the beginning of this generation of consoles it would seem. But it was still an okay game I suppose. It is certainly playable in any case. It was also very different from previous games, so it had that sort of intrigue going for it. The best part about it is a very, very fun multiplayer party game that could rival the Mario Party series.
Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis, 1996)
This was certainly a change of pace for the Sonic series. As the name implies, you are in a very ugly, confusing, 3D world. It is sometimes hard to land on enemies when you are trying to kill them, but besides that, it’s very fun, but not great.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (DS, 2008)
Sonic tries his hand at an RPG game, and I’ve gotta say, it’s not bad. I mean, it’s nothing spectacular, but you get a whole slew of playable characters, an interesting story, and good use of the DS touchscreen to use special attacks. And I guess this would be sort of considered a spin off game now that I think about it. Oh well.
Sonic and the Black Knight (Wii, 2009)
If you ever wondered what all your favorite Sonic characters looked like clad in medieval armor and equipped with matching weapons, then this is the game for you. You even get to play as a bunch of them! It actually is pretty fun thanks to it’s unique qualities. There are a lot of awesome animated cut scenes as well. It has the same control scheme as The Secret Rings, but a bit easier to use. I would recommend this to anyone who hasn’t played it.
Sonic Unleashed (Wii, 2008)
You know, making this list has made me realize one thing. Sega really has gone all out in creating new ways to play Sonic, and I must give them huge respect for that. Most of their games are entirely different and completely unique, and whether they are good or not, it is fun just to experience something new.
Sonic Unleashed is no exception, and this one is literally split down the middle between good and bad. The game has two main gameplay styles. The first is running, mostly side scrolling, high speed sections as normal Sonic that are amazing and incredibly fun. It might be the best Sonic gameplay up to the point of this release. It’s that good. Then you turn into a werehog and punch the crap out of things. This kills the flow of the game and is a bit boring and repetitive. Not a bad game overall, though nothing remarkable.
Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode I
(Wii, PlayStation 3, 2010)
Times Beaten-Once for each console
When they announced a continuation of the Genesis titles, picking up where Sonic 3 & Knuckles left off, it was some of the greatest news I have ever heard in my life. When I played it, it was a major disappointment. It did not have the feel of the old games at all. The controls and handling weren’t the same, and the game seemed to lack the speed and fun of the games it was trying to impersonate. And it was shorter than most of them. A total regression, though it was still enjoyable overall.
Sonic Rush (DS, 2005)
This was Sonic’s first adventure on DS and what a thrill it was. Lots of great, high speed, side scrolling action and a new character to play as. Lot of fun, with great music. This is the way Sonic should be.
Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II (PlayStation 3, 2012)
Sega seemed to put a lot more effort into this game than episode 1. It is way better, and we had our old buddy Tails tailing us again. It was a bit longer of a game I believe too, and if you have both episodes, you unlock a short campaign where you play as Metal Sonic. A very enjoyable game, though it’s feel and control scheme was still that of Episode I.
Sonic: Lost World (Wii U, 2013)
This game is sort of reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy, for you can jump and walk around all sorts of floating lands and the like. It has a nice mix of 3D and 2D gameplay, and both styles are fun. There are some very funny moments in the story; one line made me laugh hysterically. The game is a bit too easy, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. Yet another unique experience for the blue blur.
Sonic Colors (Wii, 2010)
When this came out, it was the first undisputed good 3D Sonic game to come out in years. Sticking to mostly 2D gameplay with plenty of speed parts and slower platforming parts, it is a joy to play from beginning to end. The Wisp power ups are diverse and fun to use, and the whole carnival in space setting is quite awesome.
Sonic The Hedgehog Chaos (Game Gear, 1993)
Okay, this one might not really deserve to be this high up. I haven’t played it in 20 years. My cousin had it and I used to play it all the time. I don’t remember if I beat it ever, I don’t think so. But I remember loving it. Every level was so much fun. This was the best handheld Sonic game I ever played and still is. I think…
Sonic Generations (3DS, 2011)
The modern handheld Sonic meets up with old school Sonic to save the world. You get to race through levels of old, as well as levels from more recent handheld games. It is a lot of fun, taking the best of both genres and mashing them into one incredible game.
Sonic Generations (PlayStation 3, 2011)
I know this is technically the same game, but it is not at all. The story is the same. Modern Sonic and old Sonic team up. But this time it is the modern Sonic from home consoles and you play through different levels than the 3DS version, taking them from console Sonic games and different Genesis games instead. It is a truly great game that plays and feels like the Genesis games when playing as old Sonic, something Sonic 4 failed miserably at. The 3D Sonic levels are remastered and some of the most fun you’ll ever have playing a 3D Sonic game.
Sonic The Hedgehog (Genesis, 1991)
Times Beaten-Around 5-10
The game that started it all. It was an amazing game when it first came out, and still is today. This is some of the finest platforming you will ever come by, as well as some of the best music.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Genesis, 1992)
Times Beaten-Around 10
This I believe is the first Genesis game I ever played. It took everything amazing about the first game and simply made it better, adding a few multiplayer modes, a new character, better graphics and the ever so helpful Super Spin Dash. A true classic right here.
Sonic The Hedgehog 3 (Genesis, 1994)
Times Beaten-Around 10
This took everything amazing about the second game and made it better even further. A true masterpiece.
Sonic & Knuckles (Genesis, 1994)
Times Beaten-2 or 3
As a very young child, I probably played this one the most, but could never come close to beating it. I finally did for the first time probably as an early teenager. This game had the most fun and creative levels, some of the best music, the best cover art, best boss fights and the best addition ever, Knuckles. He has different abilities than Sonic and Tails, which makes for some more fun gameplay. He is way cooler than Sonic and Tails and was my favorite character in the franchise until Shadow came along, which ironically, I always wanted to see a black Sonic ever since I saw the cover art of this game.
This game coincides with Sonic 3, for they were meant to be one game, but was much too big. So instead they made Sonic & Knuckles the coolest cartridge ever and made it so you can connect Sonic 2 & 3 into the top to allow you to play Knuckles in those games. This game also had a very good storyline for being completely nonverbal.
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (3DS, 2014)
This one surprised the heck out of me, especially after playing the less than stellar counterpart, Rise of Lyric. This game is nothing but platforming and running, but like the Genesis games, going too fast isn’t always the smartest thing to do.
There are four playable characters that can be switched to on the fly each with a unique abilities to help find secrets or progress through levels. There are tons of things to find and upgrades to purchase. The only thing lacking is awesome music; though it is still good, it’s lacking compared to most of the series. Overall, this is a very fun game that sticks to Sonic’s roots.
And the best Sonic game is…
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (GameCube, 2002)
Times Beaten-Hard To Say
This game is incredible. A good story told out through 2 campaigns with 3 playable characters in each campaign, each with unique missions to complete. On top of that was the fact that each level had 5 Sonic Emblems to earn by completing various challenges, which gave huge replay value to the game.
A whole slew of awesome upgrades to each character enhanced the gameplay a lot, as well as the new, intriguing characters added to the game. The gameplay is a lot of fun for each character as you travel through amazingly designed stages with awesome music. Each character even has their own style of music for each of their levels.
There is some fun multiplayer too, though nothing mind blowing.
The most time consuming thing is the Chao Gardens. Unlike the first game, I put hours upon hours into growing my Chaos. It is so addictive. I never got bored of replaying the levels to find power-ups for the lil’ buggers. When you beef them up enough, there are countless events they can participate in against other very strong Chaos. It’s fun. I couldn’t stop playing this game. But eventually a busier lifestyle and new systems and games to play forced me to put a stop to it. If I didn’t have a massive backlog of games, you can bet I would go back to this game.
The reason I say “hard to say” next to “Times Beaten” is because I’ve played through each level countless times, though only did the full story mode twice.
And that’s it! I have a handful of Sonic games in my aforementioned backlog, so I will update this list as I get to them. Who knows what the future will hold for Sonic, but for right now, it looks pretty good.