Sega recently announced a brand new 2D Sonic adventure called, Sonic Mania. This announcement has once again ignited much interest in the spiky blue fur ball, but I feel like it is my civic duty to remind everyone that the majority of Sonic games released over the past few years have been extremely disappointing. I myself am a huge Sonic the Hedgehog fan, but I refuse to be bamboozled again and have chosen to look to history as a reminder of what may be to come.
So without further ado, here are my Top 5 Worst Sonic Games of All Time. Please note that this list is based on Sonic games I have played, as I have not played every single Sonic game released.
5. Shadow the Hedgehog
Even though this game does not star Sonic the Hedgehog himself it is in the Sonic universe so it counts. Shadow is basically Sonic’s opposite that made his first appearance in Sonic Adventure 2 as a playable character. Shadow had potential, but the story for this game was handled so poorly that it made Shadow seem dull and uninteresting. On top of that, the gun-based gameplay was just corny and felt so out of place. I mean who were they trying to make Shadow appear to be, the Last Action Hero? Not to mention, the terrible soundtrack that you had to endure while you played this mess. I would have rather see them bury Shadow than embarrass him like they did in this tool of a game.
4. Sonic and the Black Knight
I am going to keep my disgust for this game short and sweet. They gave Sonic a talking sword and placed him in a medieval world that is supposed to be similar to King Arthur. There is a character named Merlina for crying out loud. The gameplay itself was cramped and slow a lot of times which slowed down Sonic’s movements way too much for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with new ideas and innovation, but there is a proper way to go about it and Sonic and the Black Knight was a huge reach in the wrong direction.
3. Sonic Unleashed
Terrible, just terrible. Sonic Unleashed was the game that made me lose all hope in Sonic games. This game made me finally realize that Sega was going through an identity crisis and had no idea what to do with Sonic anymore. Maybe I’m being too harsh, so you tell me if this sounds good to you: completely change everything you’ve come to know and love about Sonic, add a supernatural element where he now changes into a werewolf at night, and then split the gameplay to where he runs during the day and howls, scratches, and bites enemies at night. I personally felt that the gameplay between regular Sonic and the werehog Sonic were too conflicting, which has speed during the day, and extreme slow down at night. On top of that, the werehog gameplay had you basically climbing and clawing, that’s it. Too boring to continue to discuss.
2. Sonic The Hedgehog 2006
This was supposed to be Sonic’s grand entrance into “next gen”, but instead it turned out to be such a huge disaster that I never could bring myself to complete it. Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 tells the story of a psychic silver hedgehog from the future called Silver the Hedgehog (how original), who comes to the past blaming Sonic for the destruction of his world. The premise seems interesting, but there are so many holes in the plot that you never grasp what is going on let alone care about anything that happened, is happening, or will happen. On top of that there is this weird chemistry between Sonic and a human female character named, Princess Elise. A little beastiality anyone? Ultimately this game tried to take itself too seriously and reminded me of a bad movie rather than a Sonic game.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
This was supposed to be Sonic’s grand return to the greatness he lost so many years ago. This was supposed to be a true sequel to the classic that is, Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 was supposed to redeem Sonic. I remember being so excited for this game only to be let down after playing the first stage. The biggest insult was what they did to Sonic’s speed mechanics. He took forever to accelerate, and I mean forever. They took Sonic who used to be a Chevy Corvette and dumbed him down to a Nissan Sentra. To top it off, this in no way felt like a true sequel, instead it was basically a rehash of the classic games even down to the reuse of some of the old levels. Only this time, just about everything was done completely wrong.
After reading this, keep in mind that Sonic is one of my favorite characters of all time. I remember growing up only having one game to play for months and that game, my friends, was Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic kept me entertained for most of my childhood and for that he will always have a special place in my heart. But I, for one, will never except trash no matter what form it comes in. Would it be great to have another Sonic game that delivers? Why, yes, it most certainly would. Could Sonic Mania be that game that takes me back to a time when Sonic was great? Why, yes, it very well could be. However, I encourage everyone to do what I do, and that’s look to history to warn us of what may be coming in the future.
Let us know what you think of this Top 5 list in the comments below. Agree or disagree, we encourage feedback. Stay tuned for more Top 5 lists, up to date gaming news, and the like right here at TiCGN.