Sonic Games Tier List – Best Sonic Games, Ranked

Sonic the Hedgehog is a beloved video game franchise that has captured the hearts of players for decades. Since the release of the first Sonic game, the blue blur has become an iconic symbol of speed, fun, and adventure. With a diverse cast of characters, memorable music, and high-speed platforming, Sonic has remained a known figure in the gaming world. As fans continue to enjoy the thrill of playing as Sonic and his friends, we have compiled a ranked list of the best Sonic games to celebrate this iconic franchise.

Best Sonic Games Ranked List

10. Sonic Adventure 2

Screenshot via FCPlaythroughs YouTube channel

Sonic Adventure 2 is widely regarded as one of the best Sonic games ever made, thanks to its fast-paced platforming, racing, and shooting gameplay, as well as its engaging storyline told from both the hero and villain perspectives. Released in 2001 for the Dreamcast, the game introduces Shadow the Hedgehog, a fan-favorite character with a complex backstory and awesome abilities. The story follows Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles as they try to stop Dr. Eggman from taking over the world using the power of the Chaos Emeralds, while Shadow’s parallel storyline adds another layer of depth to the game.

9. Sonic Mania

Screenshot via Sonic The Hedgehog YouTube channel

Sonic Mania is a true homage to the classic Sonic games, featuring stunningly remastered levels from the first four games in the series as well as brand new zones to explore. The game includes multiple playable characters, each with their own abilities and playstyles, and seamlessly blends 2D and 3D elements to create a nostalgic yet fresh experience. The soundtrack is also a standout feature, with toe-tapping remixes of classic Sonic tunes and all-new tracks that perfectly capture the spirit of the series.

8. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Screenshot via HFPlaythroughs YouTube channel

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a game that truly cemented Sonic’s place in gaming history, and it is widely regarded as one of the best games in the franchise. The addition of Tails as a playable character added a new layer of depth to the gameplay, allowing players to experience the game in a different way. The game’s levels are incredibly well-designed, with mechanics and hazards that keep the player engaged and on their toes. The game’s bosses were also a highlight, each one posing a new challenge that required quick reflexes and strategy to overcome. And let’s not forget about the game’s iconic Super Sonic transformation, which remains a fan favorite to this day.

7. Sonic CD

Screenshot via LongplayArchive YouTube channel

Sonic CD is a standout entry in the series due to its time travel mechanics that allow players to change the past, present, and future of each level. It also introduced Amy Rose as a new character and gave players multiple endings to discover. Sonic CD’s graphics were a step up from the previous Genesis titles, and its innovative level design allowed for non-linear exploration, which made the game more challenging and rewarding for players. The game’s Japanese/European soundtrack, composed by Naofumi Hataya and Masafumi Ogata, also received high praise and was later included in some re-releases of the game.

6. Sonic Colors

Screenshot via SEGA YouTube channel

Sonic Colors, released in 2010 for the Wii, is a colorful and fun platformer that is often considered one of the best Sonic games of the modern era. The game features both 2D and 3D gameplay styles, with Sonic racing through vibrant levels filled with obstacles and enemies. The game’s story revolves around Sonic and Tails trying to stop Dr. Eggman from enslaving an alien race and features a lighthearted and humorous tone. Sonic Colors is praised for its tight controls, great graphics, and catchy soundtrack.

Related: How to parry in Sonic Frontiers

5. Sonic Generations

Screenshot via SEGA YouTube channel

Sonic Generations celebrates the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog and brings together classic and modern Sonic in a time-bending adventure. Players must race through various levels from Sonic’s past while encountering familiar faces and bosses from previous games. The game features both 2D and 3D gameplay styles, with the modern Sonic levels in full 3D and the classic Sonic levels in 2D side-scrolling. The graphics and music are stunning, with nostalgic nods to the classic games while still feeling fresh and modern. Sonic Generations received critical acclaim and is considered one of the best Sonic games of the modern era.

4. Sonic Adventure

Screenshot via octaneblue YouTube channel

Sonic Adventure was the first Sonic game to feature full 3D environments and gameplay, released for the Sega Dreamcast in 1998. The game follows Sonic and his friends as they try to stop Dr. Eggman from taking over the world using ancient creatures called Chaos. The game features six playable characters, each with its own distinctive gameplay style and storyline, including Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Big the Cat, and E-102 Gamma. Sonic Adventure received critical acclaim for its graphics, music, and innovative gameplay, and is considered a classic in the Sonic franchise.

3. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

Screenshot via Sonic Stadium YouTube channel

Released in 1994 for the Sega Genesis, Sonic 3 & Knuckles is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the classic Sonic games. This massive expansion to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles features new levels, power-ups, and a save system that allowed players to save their progress mid-level. The game also introduced new playable characters, such as Knuckles and Tails, and a thrilling finale that brought all of the previous levels and bosses together.

2. Sonic Forces

Screenshot via Sonic The Hedgehog YouTube channel

Released in 2017 for multiple platforms, Sonic Forces aims to bring a new level of player customization to the series. Players can create their own custom characters with unique abilities and playstyles, adding a new layer of depth to the gameplay. The game features a dark story and a mix of classic 2D and modern 3D gameplay. While it received mixed reviews, some fans enjoy the game for its fun customization options and engaging boss battles, as well as the opportunity to play as their own original character in a Sonic game.

1. Sonic Lost World

Screenshot via SEGA YouTube channel

Released in 2013 for the Wii U and 3DS, Sonic Lost World took a different approach to the Sonic formula with its parkour and combat mechanics. The game features colorful graphics, a whimsical story, and distinctive gameplay mechanics that challenged players to think outside the box. However, the game received mixed reviews due to its somewhat slow-paced gameplay and lack of innovation compared to other Sonic titles. Nevertheless, the game is still worth a try for fans of the series who want to experience a new take on the Sonic formula.

For more on Sonic, come check out Best Sonic Generations Mods on Pro Game Guides.

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