Worst to Best – Megadrive Sonic games

Posted: June 29, 2015 in Worst to Best
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As you may already know by now I’m a huge fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. While I’m mixed on a lot of his recent titles and even admit to having a fairly different taste on some of the Sonic games I think we can all agree that his glory days were those on the good old SEGA Megadrive. So I’m going to look at all of the Sonic titles to grace the Megadrive and rank them from Worst to Best.

Sonic

6. Sonic 3D, Flickies Island
Sonic 3DIt’s a shame that Sonic’s final game on the Megadrive had to be a stinker, but Sonic 3D Flickies  Island is just bad. It’s not really 3D as it has more of an isometric camera angle. Add to that slippery controls and mundane, repetitive tasks of rescuing Flickies you get a game that doesn’t show off the speed of Sonic in a good way and just doesn’t work. Granted the game had some nice music, but as that’s almost standard for a Sonic game that’s hardly enough saving grace. While the game may be difficult and frustrating but the special stages are way too easy, yeah try and work that one out.

5. Sonic Spinball

Sonic SpinballYou know when something seems like a good idea at the time, but when applied in practice it turns out not so good? Yeah, that’s basically how I feel about Sonic Spinball. The idea of putting Sonic in a pinball environment where you have to solve puzzles, collect chaos emeralds and defeat bosses was a neat idea, but one that is overly frustrating. And in this regard the main problem is the sheer amount of precision the game demands along with controls that simply are not accommodated for the level of precision required, you just feel ill-equipped to deal with the unfair challenges. While some pinball wizards may get a kick out of this I just can’t get into this one.

4. Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Sonic the Hedgehog 3Now for the most controversial entry. What many consider to be the best of the original quadrilogy is actually my least favourite. First off the good. This game was the first one (on the Megadrive) to allow Tails to fly, the first to include mini-bosses, it introduced the elemental shields, my personal favourite special stages Blue Spheres, it was the first game to have cutscene transitions in the levels and it was a strong rumour that Michael Jackson worked on the soundtrack. So what holds it back for me? Well the game is really easy and short, even more so than Sonic 4 Episode 1. The game is still fun to play but for me personally it just feels incomplete without Sonic & Knuckles.

3. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the HedgehogThe original game to start it all, and 24 years later it still holds up nicely to this day. Whilst speed was the main selling point of this game it has to be worth noting that it’s a platformer at heart. When playing through it you notice there really aren’t that many moments where you can run really fast, especially when compared to later entries in the series. What it does offer though is well designed stages, precise controls and a great challenge to boot. The majority of the levels are enjoyable though there are a couple I don’t really like such as Marble and Labyrinth Zone. Whilst it may not be the best the series has been it’s still a game I like to go back to every now and then.

2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic the Hedgehog 2Where Sonic 1 was big Sonic 2 was just that much bigger. The stages in this game have a much greater sense of speed than before, further helped by the inclusion of the spindash. This was also the first game to introduce Tails, however his potential wasn’t fully utilised until the later games. Also collecting the chaos emeralds now lets Sonic go Super Sonic. With a vast array of stages to play along with my personal favourite soundtrack of the Megadrive titles it’s a game you’ll have a hard time putting down. Really the only negatives I have to say about this game are that I hated the special stages and Tails came off as more of an afterthought. That aside though Sonic 2 is a great example of how to do a video game sequel.

1. Sonic & Knuckles

Sonic & Knuckles

Yep, Sonic and Knuckles is my favourite of the Megadrive Sonic titles. This was the first game where you got to play as Knuckles, the first game to introduce a secret boss that can only be accessed with all the chaos emeralds, and those awesome blue spheres special stages are back. I prefer this over Sonic 3 because it feels like more of a complete experience on it’s own, playing as Knuckles is different to playing as Sonic, plus with the lock on capabilities you can combine Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles to get possibly the greatest 2D Sonic experience ever, Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Not only that but the lock on capabilities also allow playing through Sonic 2 as Knuckles or just playing more blue spheres stages. So much out of one game, all this makes it the best Sonic game on the Megadrive, maybe even the whole series. A must for any Sonic fan and platformer gamer.

So those are my thoughts on the Sonic titles on the Megadrive. Will I do a similar list to the 3D titles? Well maybe, maybe not, it’s something to consider.

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