Five of the Best Sonic Video Games
Friday, 17th August 2018, 12:54pm (BST), 0 Comments
Few video game characters are as recognizable as Sonic the Hedgehog. With a giant mane of blue spikes and with lightning fast speed, the anthropomorphic character is one of the best-known video game icons, right up there with Nintendo's cheerful plumber Mario, the spheric yellow Pac-Man and even Donkey Kong.

Sonic has become a household name over the years thanks to the many games to his name. More than 10 developers have had a crack at the series over the last three decades or so and sometimes Sonic's antics and adventures have varied wildly. So with that in mind, let's take a look at five of the best Sonic games ever.

Sonic the Hedgehog

We had to start this list off with the game that started it all: Sonic the Hedgehog. Released all the way back in the summer of 1991, the game was specifically designed after publisher Sega tasked original developer Sonic Team with producing a mascot character for its new console, the Sega Genesis, which had been released a couple of years before. The game featured the titular character running around a series of intricately designed platforming levels, in an effort to beat Doctor Robotnik, the fiendish antagonist who has stolen the Chaos Emeralds and has imprisoned animals in robots. Throughout the game, Sonic whizzes around curved areas, collecting gold rings, avoiding hazards (such as spikes), and destroying robots to free animals. It's a simple concept but this is why Sonic the Hedgehog is now known as one of the greatest games of all time.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was released on the Sega Genesis in 1994, three years after the series had begun and it represents that evolution - and the newly designed innovations - that developer Sonic Team was able to come up with. With platforming gameplay at its core, players could control Sonic or his pal Tails to once again take on Doctor Robotnik after he crash-landed on Angel Island. The game was also the second in the series to feature a slot machine, which players unlock once they have collected 20 gold rings and have passed a Bonus Post. Players can connect icons of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, bar, the "jackpot" symbol and more in order to get additional rings. With the game being so iconic it's little wonder why we've seen its influence in the themed slot machines available in 2018. Gamers today are still looking for that classic slot experience, with three reels, for the nostalgic sense of gameplay. Much of that wave of nostalgia is down to Sonic 3.

Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed



With Sonic being renowned for his sense of speed, it made perfect sense when Sega released Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed. The racing game features Sonic alongside all of his iconic friends and foes (Tails, Knuckles, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Doctor Robotnik) and famous Sega characters such as the Bonanza Bros. and Jacky and Akira. The gameplay is similar to Mario Kart but allows players to "transform" their vehicles into powered-up versions such as a rocket that zooms down the track.

The game was relatively successful and was well-received by critics and fans alike. It was one of the best-selling Sega games of the year and it had sold just over one million copies by the end of the year. It was successful enough to spawn a sequel, with upcoming game Team Sonic Racing, set to release later this year.

Sonic Mania



Released in 2017, Sonic Mania was released following a poor run of form for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. After questionable design decisions and some shoddy spin-offs had diluted the brand, many fans had been left disappointed with how the series had shifted to the modern era. Sonic Mania hoped to change all that, however, by doubling down on the classic, Sega Genesis gameplay that fans had fallen in love with the franchise for. Even the ads for the game were a throwback to the 16-bit console era.

The game featured Sonic, Tails, Knuckles as they take on Doctor Robotnik and his robot army, with the game's 12 levels including eight redesigned stages from previous games in the series. Speeding, gliding, wall-climbing, swimming and flying gameplay are all featured.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD



We completed this list with Sonic the Hedgehog CD which sees Sonic try to save an entire planet from Doctor Robotnik. This game is also a side-scrolling platform but it stands out due to gameplay features like time travel feature which takes players back or forward time to different versions of that same level.

Players would be shown a "bad future" for a particular level that shows how Doctor Robotnik's efforts were destroying the stage or a "good future" with minimal obstacles and no enemies. While the series had only been around for two years at this point. Sonic CD showed how Sega and Sonic Team were able to shake things up.

The Sonic series has had plenty of iterations and spin-offs throughout the years, including an upcoming movie starring Ben Schwartz. We expect the franchise to continue too, but whether Sega and co. will be able to beat the quality of these five games is unclear.
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