Some people will tell you that before Sonic Mania, Sonic had never been in a good game since the days of the Sega Mega Drive. Well, I am here to tell you that is actually false as Sonic has been in some awesome games and that is what I am looking at today. This is really hard to narrow down, but here are what I consider to be the 7 best Sonic the Hedgehog games.
Before we start I set myself the limitation of only being allowed to pick one Sonic game from the 16-bit era.
Sonic Mania Plus
Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Coming in at £25 I consider Sonic Mania Plus to be one of the best gaming deals I have gotten in a very long time and this is from someone who bought it digitally when it first came out. I loved Sonic Mania Plus. They added in more content, a new game mode and new characters. But even without all that, Sonic Mania is a fantastic game. It takes everything that is great about the old 2D Sonic games and makes it fresh and exciting once again.
I am one of the few people who is a bit done with the 8 and 16-bit style graphics in games these days. However, Sonic Mania Plus while having an old-school Sonic look. Is pure eye candy, also the music is fantastic. As much as I love the original four Sonic games on the Sega Mega Drive. I have to be honest and say Sonic Mania Plus does what they do, but much better.
I loved Sonic Colors and actually would go as far to say that this is one of the best games on the Nintendo Wii. One thing that I will admit happens to the Sonic series is that it gets overcrowded with support characters and ends up getting an over convoluted story to go along with it and fit in all these characters. You get none of that with Sonic Colors. Sega stripped everything back and the main focus of the game is Sonic, Tails, and Eggman.
The gameplay is great. It has 2D and 3D sections and I think they both work very well. Sonic has these Alien Wisps that he can use to give him special abilities. Sometimes you have to use these, but for the most part, you can just spin dash and homing attack enemies. Sonic Colors looks fantastic, has a great soundtrack and above all else, it is a blast to play. I would love for Sega to give this an HD remake for modern consoles.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Sega Mega Drive
I had to have one 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog game and my favorite has always been Sonic 2. I actually even prefer this to Sonic CD. Sonic 2 took what I loved about the first game and expanded upon it and most of the time that is all I want in a sequel. They may have reduced the number of acts in each zone, but to be honest with you that never bothered me at all.
The addition of the spin dash and Tails would become two things that go hand in hand with Sonic the Hedgehog. So much so that I could not imagine a Sonic game without either. The level design is great in this one and I like how there is the perfect mix of levels that require you to run fast, but also some that want you to explore a little bit more.
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
Of all the games on this list, I feel that this one will raise the most eyebrows. I really enjoyed Sonic Adventure 2 on the Dreamcast, but it is the upgraded version with the Battle subtitle that I have the fondest memories of. Look, I know that this is a game that some people hate and I am not going to tell you that Sonic Adventure 2 is a perfect game, it certainly has some issues. But man, this is a game I have had a ton of fun with and beaten on more than one occasion.
While the treasure hunting stages with Knuckles and Rouge are not the best. I love the action stages where you get to play as Sonic and Shadow. That is another thing, Sonic Adventure 2 is the game that introduced us to Shadow the Hedgehog! I also actually enjoy the mech stages where you play as Eggman and Tails. This version looks better, controls better and it has some fun multiplayer modes as well.
Nintendo Game Boy Advance
I had a tough time picking what one of the three Sonic Advance games to put on this list of the best Sonic the Hedgehog games. I actually like all three of them, but the one I have had the most fun with is the first game in the series. Sonic Advance was the perfect on the go Sonic game. It had a lot of content, great graphics, a fun soundtrack and it was a lot of fun to play.
I feel that Sonic Advance 2 and 3 were great games as well, but I just have a real soft spot for the more simple approach to a handheld Sonic game that the first game in the series took. In all honesty, all three are worth playing through, but the first will always be my favorite.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PC
The game that outdid Mario Kart. I think that Sega got it absolutely right with the first Sonic Racing game and I have high hopes for Team Sonic Racing later this year. What is there not to love about this game? It looks amazing and Sega went all out with the fanservice in this one. The tracks are just so much fun to race on and if you are a Sega fan like me you will get a huge kick out of all the Sega awesomeness that is hidden around.
It has a really fun single player mode, but it is in multiplayer where this game really shines. This was released fairly close to Mario Kart Wii and this game is a million times better. The controls are just right and the weapons while simple are also a lot of fun. I did enjoy the sequel and the idea of adding in water and air racing was cool. However, I had the game for the Wii U and it has a glitch that basically makes the game unplayable and forces you to delete your data and start again!
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
Here we have another game that I know is a bit of an acquired taste. This is an RPG set in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Now, this is not thrown together game. It is actually made by the folks at Bioware so that should peak your interest right away. I know that some people hate this game and will call it an overly simplistic RPG and, to be honest in comparison to other RPG’s it is. That does not matter to me though as I had a great time playing through Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
The game is very, very easy. Even if you are not skilled at RPG’s you will find your way through this and thanks to Cream the Rabbits healing ability it is harder to die in battle than it is to win. Still, this is a very fun and unusual Sonic game and I actually thought the story was a lot of fun.