Top 10 Favourite Sonic Levels

Posted: September 18, 2014 in Game reviews, Top 10s
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If you know me by now then you’ll know that the Sonic the Hedgehog series is my all-time favourite video game series. I’m a huge fan of both the 2D and 3D games (some I probably like a bit more than I should). So what makes these games great? Well one strong aspect would be in the level design. So this list shows my ten favourite levels throughout the series. I will only include one level per game and I won’t count Sonic Generations levels as they’re based off levels that already exist, and that would be kinda cheap to include more than one level based off the same game. So without further ado Here We Go!
Sonic 1

10. Chaos Angel (Sonic Advance 3)

Chaos Angel

To my knowledge Chaos Angel is the first ever final zone in a Sonic game not to be set in either Space or Eggman’s base. This refreshing change of pace has the final level taking place in a sort of corrupted Sky Sanctuary. This level offers numerous traps such as falling rocks, crushers, crumbling platforms and platform rides. As you race through the ruins at dusk the music gives that increasing sense of urgency and a race against time and it leads to a pretty fun final boss. It loses points for having some often cheap enemies and a fairly cheap zone boss but other than that Chaos Angel still provides a lot of challenge and replayability to it.

9. Cool Edge (Sonic Unleashed)

Cool Edge

I generally tend to love Snow/Ice themed levels in video games, and for Sonic Unleashed the show level is indeed fun. Blasting through the icecaps and running across water is always a good time, but so is going for a bobsled ride down a slippery slope and across a giant whale. Obstacles include falling glaciers, spike balls and robots that freeze you in an ice cube. Even the werehog level has some fun platforming across crumbling glaciers and sliding down ice chutes. But ultimately it’s the daytime stages that keep you coming back, and come back I did, many times.

8. Casino Night (Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
Casino Night

Sonic games occasionally have the carnival/casino based level and they’re usually fun, but for me the original Casino Night is still one of the best. The stage introduces new gimmicks to the table in the pinball sections and slot machines (for some underage gambling). Also the lack of enemies or hugely threatening areas make this level more of a breather and a fun one to spend a lot of time in to get rings. It’s also fun to play as Sonic in a pinball, whilst future entries tried to emulate the same pinball mechanics still no-one does it better than Sonic 2 did over 20 years ago.

7. Egg Fleet (Sonic Heroes)

Egg Fleet

The penultimate level in Sonic Heroes sees the teams boarding Eggman’s armada of ships. Team Sonic and Team Dark’s levels are centred around running from ship to ship and taking down a couple in the process, all whilst avoiding cannon fire, laser robots and flying with a mobile propeller. Team Rose’s is a shorter version but I really don’t like Team Chaotix’s Egg Fleet, get through without being detected by the enemies, simply because I’m rubbish at stealth games. But Sonic and Dark’s levels provide the usual fast paced, thrilling fun and the stage theme is great.

6. Windy Valley (Sonic Adventure DX)

Windy Valley

For a Sonic Adventure level to make the list the level would have to be good with Sonic, and Windy Valley is fun for Sonic, Tails and Gamma. The level starts out running through the valley followed by a tornado sucking you up. You then have to escape the tornado and after that you’re flown up high in the sky. There’s plenty of loops and sections of free running to satisfy speed junkies as well as running on the air with paths of wind. This level also works well in the favour of Tails flying and short-cutting, also Gamma’s stage gives you lots to shoot at. If you recognise the music it’s a remix of the first level theme in Sonic 3D blast, except now it’s in a good game, also a good level.

5. Radical Highway (Sonic Adventure 2 Battle)

Radical Highway

The first level in Sonic history where you get to play as Shadow the Hedgehog. Evading a pursuit from the military Shadow has to race down the world’s craziest highway (seriously, what other highway would ever have loops, rollers and corkscrews?) at nightfall. As a lot of the levels in Sonic Adventure 2 are designed around San Francisco part of this stage sees Shadow grinding down the sides of the Golden Gate Bridge. This stage has plenty of high speed thrills, a really challenging time mission and is accompanied by a wicked pulse pounding techno-rock tune. Also look out for the Nights appearance in this level.

4. Sky Troops (Shadow the Hedgehog)

Sky Troops

I always liked the levels in Shadow the Hedgehog and how they give you a choice of three missions. My favourite of the bunch though is the middle stage Sky Troops. The missions here consist of get to the goal, the dark mission where you have to help Black Doom take down Eggman’s battleships, and in an ironic twist of fate Eggman assists the hero mission to take out the temple’s power sources. Similar to Egg Fleet but containing more of the conventions you’d expect from a Sonic game such as loops and fast running and platforming. This stage also includes an awesome platforming section with the GUN mech and a black hawk ride through a storm. Sky Troops is a level where each mission I enjoy just as much, and for that it’s my favourite level in the game.

3. White Park (Sonic 4, Episode 2)

White Park

A snow level AND a theme park level? Now how’s THAT for a winning combo? Well this Sonic 4 Episode 2 level creates a winter themed amusement park that has three acts all very different from one another. Act 1 is the snowy mountain which has all the makings of a great snow/ice level, with avalanches, thick snow and snowboarding sections, I think this is also the first 2D Sonic level to include an enemy that takes more than one hit. Act 2 is based off an old fashioned wooden roller-coaster and has you racing down the high speed tracks. Act 3 is the icy cold underwater level which thanks to Tails isn’t as annoying as it could be. To top off this zone you get to fight Metal Sonic on a roller-coaster. Really for lack of a better word this level is pretty cool.

2. Aquarium Park (Sonic Colours)

Aquarium Park

It wasn’t easy picking my favourite Sonic Colours level as this game has some real winners. Whilst I enjoyed Starlight Carnival and Asteroid Coaster I decided to go for not only the best water level in Sonic games but also one of the best full stop. What makes this level so great is how open for choice it is. If you go underwater Sonic can do an unlimited jump and use the yellow drill to coast through the water, which is really fun, or in some cases you can just run over the water if you don’t fancy going under. The varying routes make replaying this level a lot of fun. Visually the level is gorgeous with its aquatic look and oriental décor, and the music is also very soothing. With multiple routes, well implemented gimmicks and fun to use wisps Aquarium Park truly shines. I wouldn’t get any sushi here though, just ask Tails.

Before number 1 here are some honourable mentions: Ice Mountain (Sonic Advance), Lost Labyrinth (Sonic 4: Episode 1), Star Light (Sonic the Hedgheog), Wave Ocean (Sonic the Hedgehog 2006)

1. Death Egg (Sonic 3 and Knuckles)

Death Egg

Originally going to be a full level in Sonic 2 before it got scrapped Sonic and Knuckles finally gave the Death Egg station a full level. And is it any good? Hell yeah! Being set in a space station allows for some more out of the box ideas (some I don’t believe I’ve seen in any other video game). These include altering gravity, ring tunnels, corridors that flip you around and conveyer belt rides that change direction from jumping. To add to that is music that is ideal for a final level, well designed platforming and one of my personal favourite final bosses in any Sonic game. So Death Egg is not only the best that Sonic and Knuckles has to offer but is also my pick for my favourite level in the Sonic series.

So these levels were my favourites, and at some point I’ll look at the flipside and do a Top 10 Worst Sonic levels.

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Comments
  1. Luna says:

    I totally agree!!
    I’d also include the green hill zone, because its the classic of the classics =D

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