Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Neptune - Top 10 Sonic Games

 Throughout gaming history, there have been conflicting game companies in something of an arms race to harvest this potential goldmine. Games came and gone with differing margins of acclaim and there were some that reached the rank of legend. Whether you think I’m overselling the blue hedgehog a bit much is up to the eyes of the beholders. However, no one can argue that there was a time when Sonic was literally everywhere in terms of merchandise and game sales. He has had a massive impact that took the world by storm. Since then things have changed. 

While Sonic the Hedgehog has had a severe lack of quality in a lot of his gaming timeline, we are here to speak of the gems in this collection (pun intended). Whatever your favorite game is, if it is not on this list, please list your favorites in the comments. While I may not have had a favorable experience with them, I am sincerely glad that you did. Sonic is a celebrated character worldwide and so now let’s celebrate with a look at what I think are the greatest games in the Sonic library. 

#10. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine

Alright, we all know that this is a Tetris clone, but who cares! It’s still fun. Sometimes it seems that the computer gets an unfair advantage sometimes as they get the exact right pieces right when they need them. However, the opposite is also true and it gets rather competitive. It has very little to do with Sonic other than the appearance of the characters, but it’s still enjoyable. You face against random robots until you get to the monkey robot who I forgot the name of. You face Robotnik at the end, but he gets ridiculously hard. Need a good time waster? Give it a glance.

#9. Sonic Adventure 2

While I can’t say I enjoy all of the game mechanics of this title, it’s still a whole lot of fun when it gets going. The speed sections are enjoyable and the world building through the story is fun to watch. This game still lives up to its Dreamcast days, though it’s certainly not perfect. When it gets tense, it still gets fun.

#8. Sonic the Hedgehog

The premier title for our hedgehog himself. A great game in its own right, but not reaching its peak quite yet. It still functioned very well as a platformer, as well as performing as a hit for the Genesis. Both critics and fans loved its Mario-like gameplay, saying it gave that franchise a run for its money. This title is not to be overlooked for any Genesis collection. Some of the levels are not especially great and sometimes they can go overboard with the water levels. It’s still great, though, in retrospect, it is very obviously missing one mechanic that the second game would revolutionize.

#7. Sonic Generations

A surprisingly good game, considering the time in which it was created. By the time 2011, the Wii games and a few other Sonic duds had already hit the market. Generations was a great addition to the collection, featuring not only some awesome 2D levels to go along with some of their better attempts at 3D Sonic since the Adventure games. With some awesome battles between Sonic and Metal Sonic and a class act in level design, this PS3/XBox 360 generation game boasts some unexpected success in this title. 

#6. Sonic R

No, this is not a troll and no, I am not trying to get attention with unusual opinions. This game not only has a nostalgia factor for me, but there is also a lot of fun to be had here. The controls were bad, but they just take some getting used to. This is Sonic on the Saturn and that just makes it all the better. The graphics are also not great, but they’re 32-bit goodness I’ve always loved. You don’t have to like it, but I will always love it.

#5. Sonic Adventure

A great return to form from the less than stellar performance on the Sega Saturn. Adventure truly brought Sonic to the open 3D world and it truly feels like the title suggests. Again, it is not a perfect game. It is loads of fun and can get very engrossing, but there are times when the segments can be slow and monotonous. Sometimes there is some drag, but I can honestly still call this title great!

#4. Sonic CD

Commonly considered the greatest title for the Sega CD, Sonic CD boasts some of the most beautiful 2D graphics in his early titles. CD has everything you loved about the first games with new and exciting mechanics and ways to take down the mustached menace, Robotnik! The real problem with this title is that sometimes its level designs can become very confusing. It also can have some game killing glitches on occasion. It is a game you can play for hours at a time and it is a great introduction to the franchise.

#3. Sonic Mania

The latest of the greatest Sonic titles on this list and it earns a staggering third place on this list for various reasons. Not only does it have some of the most beautiful 2D style graphics of any Sonic title but it also has some amazing callbacks to previous great titles while giving them a bit of an upgrade. Though the level design can be a little confusing at times, that does not detract from how much enjoyment can be expected from this fan-made classic that took Sonic fans by surprise. What didn’t surprise fans was that it out classed and ultimately overtook the official Sonic title of Mania’s release year, Sonic Forces in seemingly every way.  

#2. Sonic and Knuckles 3

Initially released earlier in the year, Sonic The Hedgehog’s 3rd title was soon joined by one of the first examples of paid DLC. Sonic and Knuckles was a separate cartridge that you could attach not only Sonic 3 but all three of Sonic’s original titles on the Genesis. Such an innovation did not escape the fans as it proved to be one of the single greatest titles of the original era. You could not only play as both Sonic and Tails, but also the newcomer, Knuckles. His gliding ability along with his climbing opened up older levels with a new way to explore them and it also changed the perspective of the ongoing story. Sonic 3 did not disappoint fans who got their start with Sonic 2 and it would become one of the hedgehog’s most widely beloved games.

#1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

While Sonic the Hedgehog was a brilliant starting point for the blue blur, Sonic 2 decimated expectations and wowed audiences and critics alike upon its release in 1992. Fans were delighted to find this sequel game included with their boxed up Sega Genesis just in time for the holidays. With the new added feature of the spindash and some of the most beautiful and practical level designs on the market, Sonic 2 left its mark as one of the greatest video game sequels. It was right up there with Mega Man 2 and Street Fighter 2 and it was a breaking point that made Sonic the Hedgehog a household name for decades to come. 

So those are my favorite Sonic games and there is always room for more in the future. Whether you love Sonic ‘06 or Sonic Colors, it doesn’t matter. By all means, make your own list! It’s always good to hear from a fellow Sonic fan. This icon of Sega has had the charm and the appeal to last for decades and it’s clear that he could easily last for decades more. Let’s just hope for some new releases soon and keep drinking water.