If you’ve ready anything I’ve written since I started here at Gaming Irresponsibly, you’re more than likely aware that I have been a lifelong fan of the Sonic The Hedghehog series. With Sonic 4 Episode 2 right on the horizon, I felt like it was a great time to count down my personal Top 10 Sonic games. The Sonic series hasn’t been the most consistent video game franchise, with most of the good games coming in the early-mid ’90s or in the last couple years, but nevertheless, the series has had a good deal of solid games. Also, before anyone asks why Sonic CD is not on this list, the reason is because I hate Sonic CD. It has the worst level design in the series, with no thought or care put into the level layouts whatsoever. There seems to be this idea that Sonic CD is the best Sonic game, but that is just flat out wrong, period. It’s better than some of the really bad Sonic games like Sonic ’06 and Sonic and the Black Knight, but it’s still terrible. Anyway, Top 10 Sonic Games!
10. Sonic Rush (2005)
Admittedly, I have Sonic Rush on this list only because I need a number 10, as I am not really much of a fan of this game. It falls prey to a lot of the traps that most of the modern 2D Sonic games on handhelds suffer from. The game can largely be completed by simply holding right on the d-pad, with very few instances of real platforming. However, the reason this game makes the list over some of the other Sonic games I didn’t love is primarily because of the boss fights, which are pretty good. The game also looks pretty good, especially for a DS game.
9. Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 (2010)
Sonic 4 Episode 1 was billed as the return to the Genesis era Sonic games, and the true sequel to Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Ultimately, it did live up to this billing, but it was a step in the right direction, and a decent enough game. When compared to the other 2D Sonic games of the past decade, it definitely had in edge in several areas, namely less “hold right” focused level design and some decent platforming. The physics and handling just didn’t quite feel like the classic games, but hopefully Sonic 4 Episode 2 can fix those issues.
8. Sonic 3D Blast (1996)
Sonic 3D Blast was an interesting game in that it played almost nothing like any Sonic game before or after it. This game came out during that always interesting time when the new generation of console is out (in this case the Sega Saturn), but most people are still playing the prior generation. Polygonal games were the new craze, but the Genesis obviously could not handle those kinds of games, so Sonic 3D Blast was an isometric adventure game with some light platforming elements. The game did not play very fast at all, and was actually more like an isometric sequel to the early Genesis game “Flicky”. Despite being a completely different game, I actually enjoyed this game quite a bit for it’s great level design and awesome music.
7. Sonic Adventure (1999)
While Sonic 3D Blast was billed as a 3D game, Sonic Adventure was the series’ true entrance into full 3D games. When I got this game with my Dreamcast a dozen or so years ago, I thought it was the greatest game ever. It was only until I played the game several years later that I realize that it is a deeply flawed game, but I still like it. The sonic levels hold up okay, though the gameplay does feel a bit sloppy. The real problem with the game is all the time that is spent playing as the other characters. However, if you ignore the other characters, Sonic Adventure is a pretty good game, if a bit short.
6. Sonic Colors (2010)
While Sonic 4 Episode 1 was a step in the right direction for the future of the Sonic series, Sonic Colors was the first genuinely good Sonic game in a very long time. For the first time in a long time, Sonic was the only playable character, Tails was the only sidekick character, and no terrible gameplay gimmicks like the werehog. Sonic Colors was simply a fun playing game with a story that didn’t take itself too seriously.