Being a Sonic fan for a majority of my life, I’ve played nearly every Sonic game that’s ever existed. As such, I’ve played each game so many times that I’ve even began collecting them as of recently. Doing so, I’ve had the opportunity to play games I haven’t even looked at in several years.
I’ve never been big on the classic Sonic games, or really anything before 1999 when Sonic Adventure for the SEGA Dreamcast was released, so don’t expect to see anything before then in my list. To celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 24th anniversary, here are my top 10 favorite Sonic games of all time.
#10 Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
Now here’s a fun game: Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. The second game in the Sonic Riders series takes an epic return to the Nintendo Wii and adds more playable characters, because obviously there weren’t enough in the last game. I think one of my favorite parts of the game, besides the epic remixed theme of the Babylon Rogues, is that you can actually see Sonic skating with special roller blade like extreme gear. I’m not sure why I’m fascinated by that, I guess it’s because we’re used to seeing Sonic run and Shadow skate all the time.
#9 Sonic Colors
After the mess SEGA put Sonic in with Sonic ‘06, SEGA knew it was time to go hard or go home. Sonic Colors was the first game to feature Sonic’s current voice actor Roger Craig Smith, and the Wisps. Sonic Colors was the second Sonic game of the boosting era, coming sometime after Sonic Unleashed and plenty of fans felt Colors was a much needed shot in the arm, taking out all of Sonic’s “annoying” friends and just kept the story plain and simple.
Sonic, Tails, Eggman, and then a meh story. Also, Super Sonic isn’t required to beat the game, but he’ unlockable. I actually wasn’t too big on Colors, mostly because I wasn’t, nor am I too fond of Roger’s Sonic voice.
#8 Sonic ‘06
All right, before you whip out the torches and pitchforks, let me explain. I’m actually not alone in not wanting to ban Sonic ‘06 from my memories. I enjoyed it – not the bugs, glitches, or the plot hole-filled storyline, but I think what I enjoy overall about Sonic ‘06 was the fact that it felt like the Adventure games. Everyone and their mothers have said Sonic ‘06 was “supposed” to be the long awaited sequel to Sonic Adventure 2: the obvious Sonic Adventure 3.
Officially named “SONIC THE HEDGEHOG”, fans have taken a liking to calling the game either Sonic ‘06, Sonic 2006, Next Gen Sonic, or just Hell Spawn for short. But trust me, there have been worse Sonic games than this. Have you even played Rise of Lyric?
#7 Sonic And The Secret Rings
Here’s a fun fact to start this paragraph off: Remember Sonic ‘06? Of course you do. Well, Sonic And The Secret Rings was originally the Wii port of Sonic ‘06. Isn’t that wild? Honestly though, I loved Sonic And The Secret Rings. I thought the story was really cool, but the gameplay was kinda meh. Of course, this was before using the nunchuk to move Sonic was even thought of, nice job SEGA.
This was also the first game to introduce a new super form that wasn’t Super or Hyper Sonic: Darkspine Sonic. That’s a spoiler, but if you haven’t found that out after eight years, then I’m not sure what to tell you.
#6 Sonic Unleashed
I have mixed feelings about Sonic Unleashed. It’s one of the best and worst modern Sonic games at the same time. The story’s possibly the best in Sonic’s history. We’re introduced to the much loved boosting ability here, the levels are fun and challenging, but then you have the bomb that is the Sun & Moon medal hunting.
I give you my honest word: If it weren’t for the fact that collecting the medals slow you down so much, Sonic Unleashed would probably be my favorite Sonic game of all time. The Werehog’s easy once you get used to it, it’s just the fact that progressing through the game is such a chore.
#5 Sonic And The Black Knight
I find it a little odd myself that Sonic And The Black Knight is fifth on my list, but I absolutely loved the story in this game. I honestly couldn’t care less that Sonic wielded the sacred sword Caliburn. The gameplay was ten times easier than the previous storybook entry, Sonic And The Secret Rings. Instead of this game feeling like a Sonic game, it felt more like a game that just featured Sonic characters, and I feel that others could vouch for me.
The game was incredibly short though, my last play through of the game around a week ago clocked in at an hour and a half; This is including watching the cutscenes and somewhat taking my time. Overall, the music was cool, the bosses were fairly challenging (especially Lancelot Returns), and Jason Griffith’s last time here voicing Sonic was likely his best, competing with his work in Sonic Unleashed. If you can get past the criticism that revolves around Sonic wielding a sword, I truly think you’ll enjoy this game.
#4 Sonic Adventure 2
I used to have a hard time picking between Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, but now I have to give the gold to the first. Also for the SEGA Dreamcast, Sonic Adventure 2 wasn’t an exact copy of the original, but it brought over admirable elements and gameplay styles from the first game. This is also the game that introduced Shadow the Hedgehog, and has since then became a fan favorite.
I loved this game mostly for Sonic’s stages and then the final story, because a few things like Tails’ unnecessary mech gameplay and the ungodly size of Knuckles’ stages were quite the turn off (looking at you, Meteor Herd!). However, I truly adored how the story was played out. Plenty of people enjoy the much more serious tone of the game, and that’s what I favor as well. The final boss was pretty kick ass too, just thought I’d throw that out.
#3 Sonic Generations
Being SEGA’s pat on the back to the blue blur after 20 years of rolling around at the speed of sound, Sonic Generations quickly became the favorite of many Sonic fans, taking the beloved boosting ability and combining it with some fan favorite levels. With time traveling being a “get away with whatever” card, Sonic Team was able to bring in Classic Sonic from the past, making this game double the fun for fans from both eras of Sonic. I absolutely loved Modern Sonic’s levels, but wasn’t too crazy for Classic Sonic’s levels.
I’m not the biggest fan of Sonic when it comes to anything before ‘99 when Adventure was released. Overall, the final boss was a joke, the story could have been better, but the thing everyone loved about this game was how it played: Sonic was fast, and the levels were kick ass. That’s enough to please even gamers who aren’t even fans of Sonic.
#2 Sonic Heroes
Sonic Heroes was actually my first Sonic game, which, I know, is kind of hard to believe. I know most people who are into Sonic now began their lives as fans playing the classic Sonic games on the SEGA Genesis. Sonic Heroes has the best soundtrack out of any of the Sonic games. Stage tunes like Casino Park, Grand Metropolis, and Rail Canyon are downloaded on my iPhone because I just can’t get them out of my head, despite how long it’s been since I last played.
One of its only downfalls is that, besides the occasional glitch here and there, you have to play every mission 4 times, occasionally longer or shorter than other times.
#1 Sonic Adventure
Sonic Adventure’s quite literally the closest definition of what I feel a Sonic game should be like. Sure sure, we had little hiccups in the game like Big the Cat’s fishing stages, and the overall awkward feeling of Amy’s stages, but I’ve honestly, never had more fun with a Sonic game. Sonic runs fast, Tails flies high, and Knuckles hunts for Master Emerald shards, their gameplay’s great and very addicting. My favorite part’s going back after completing all three missions of a stage, and just playing it free-spirited with no goal, just playing the stage for fun and kicks, especially with the beauty that is Emerald Coast.
Sadly, one thing that kept Sonic Adventure from perfection was a distinct lack of Super Sonic. He was supposed to be playable after collecting 50 rings and jumping while pressing the action button in a stage, but for some odd reason, this idea was scrapped. There’s also Gamma’s stages, but besides his noble beginnings and interesting story, I don’t have that much of an opinion on it.
And that’s the end of the list. Here’s to Sonic the Hedgehog; 24 years of being the hero for many, and plenty more to come. What were some of your favorite Sonic games in the past 24 years? Let us know in the comments below!