I was wondering constantly about whether or not I should do a Top 5 list on Sonic the Hedgehog games. Now, by the time I finally decided to do a list TiCGN’s very own Nick Edward had dished out his personal Top 5 Worst Sonic Games which you can check out by clicking this link. Let’s balance out some of those negative thoughts of the Blue Blur with some positive ones. It’s better late than never so let’s check out my Top Five Best Sonic Games.
#5 – Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Now that I think about it, I may know why it took me so long to make this list: These are some seriously close contenders, perhaps even to the point where I may change my mind about the rankings of these games during this writing. In this case, I kept struggling to decide between Sonic Advance or Sonic 3 regarding the #5 slot. In the end, I felt the need to give the nod to the latter. Maybe Advance could be the invisible #6 of this Top 5.
So what is it about Sonic the Hedgehog 3? Well, it builds on the formula set by its predecessors by upping the scale even further with longer and wider level designs (not to mention the additions of new power-up shields). Sonic 3 even added exclusive racing stages for the multiplayer mode, spherical special stages, and a load of save files to maintain your progress. All while keeping the classic platforming gameplay that caused me to fall in love with Sonic.
#4 – Sonic Colors (Wii)
Sonic Unleashed was the kind of game that people really wanted to love, but couldn’t due to a certain half of the game being monotonous combat that lasts longer than needed. So what does Sonic Team do for the succeeding installment of the series, Sonic Colors? They take stellar modern Sonic gameplay and cover it with a theme park set in outer space! To make sure they don’t screw up on this one, they also replaced the 4Kids voice actors (while keeping good ol’ Mike Pollock as Dr. Eggman) with a much better cast that suits the characters perfectly. Complementing this is the fact the writing for this game was far superior to any Sonic game up until this point.
To top it off, there’s hardly anything around to interfere with the gameplay aside from the entertaining cutscenes. Sonic Colors has about six worlds with six levels in each. These levels can be accessed as simply as selecting one from a map screen. The environments along with the soundtrack are some of the most gorgeous things the entire series has ever used. Sonic Colors actually takes cues from the Sonic Rush series using the boost meter to be part of the experience for speed’s sake. The game makes sure the feature is anything but exploitable for level completion. Not only are recurring aspects that gamers have complained about in past titles, like Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic Adventure 2, and Sonic Heroes, are gone. This leaves the player with the finest 3D Sonic mechanics since the Blur’s appearance in Sonic Adventure. Simply put: Sonic Colors was a return to form.
#3 – Sonic CD
This sleeker Sonic basically sticks with what made the first game do so well and ran (pun intended) with it! But hey: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? What’s notable about Sonic CD‘s take on the formula is that the levels do a much better job at keeping the flow moving. Players don’t need to expect Sonic to push any blocks or wait on moving cylinders. The CD-quality soundtrack and whimsical levels also make the universe feel more alive and a blast to explore. Exploration in Sonic CD was a welcome addition for those players that needed to see everything. Sonic travels back and forth in time to trigger a good future for each Zone, even grabbing Time Stones that have been made available in special stages.
If the SEGA CD original version doesn’t tickle your fancy, other versions are available. Players may be into Stealth and Taxman’s smartphone/Xbox Live remake of the game. It, among other things, does iron out Sonic’s control even further to align it with the Genesis classics that includes the extremely catchy soundtrack from the Japanese version of the game. Which ever version may be the case, this Sonic adventure is always a joy to play. Fans should feel privileged to experience this gem from SEGA’s failed CD add-on.
#2 – Sonic Generations (Consoles/PC)
If Sonic Colors didn’t convince gamers that the industry’s favorite hedgehog was back in full force, Sonic Generations surely hammered down that confirmation. Sonic Generations laid down a solid formula for 3D installments to work with and successfully proved that with its massively multi-layered level designs that beg for players to replay and discover within. 3D Sonic gameplay has never felt better since this game was released. Players get the chance to play as something more than a 3D version of Sonic.
That’s right! Classic SEGA Genesis-era Sonic is back for players to enjoy. The two Sonics traverse through various worlds that are lifted from different periods in the franchise’s history. The biggest example is easily Crisis City from the infamous Sonic the Hedgehog game released in 2006. What was originally one of the more frustrating experiences in an already broken and unpolished game became one of the most enjoyable and best-looking Zones of Sonic Generations. Not to mention those iconic and memorable moments from past stages (City Escape truck chase, anyone?) only become grander and more memorable in Sonic Generations.
#1 – Sonic the Hedgehog 2
All the previous games I ranked are pretty awesome Sonic games. Out of every Sonic game, I truly believe the honor of #1 has to go to the first sequel. Sonic 2 is arguably one of the greatest sequels to a platforming series ever made. Sonic 2 expands upon the formula of the original in every conceivable manner and then some. Sonic 3 does a great job of upping the ante; it is just Sonic 2 will forever maintain its position as a gaming masterpiece.
Everything about Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is seamless in the games production. The levels are all big and have so many different paths to take, the environments are much more colorful and varied, the soundtrack is the catchiest in the franchise. Gameplay in Sonic 2 had gotten more fluid and swiftly paced while still being as fun as ever. This game is filled to the brim with imagination that even extends as far as to feature the series’ signature variation of special stages: The pseudo-3D half-pipe. The multiplayer versus mode with Sonic and then-newcomer Tails also has fun quirks that keep the competition fair yet heated. With all these features in mind it is no wonder this is the Sonic game I personally come back to the most.
-Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
-Sonic Rush Adventure
-Sonic Pocket Adventure
-Sonic & Knuckles
Let us at TICGN know what you think are the best Sonic games made in the comment section below.