Top 20 Worst Sonic Games



Top 20 Worst Sonic Games

VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Sonic has starred in just as many bad games as he has good ones. For this list, we're taking a look at the most rotten, foul, broken, and uninspiring games starring the Blue Blur, Sonic the Hedgehog. Our countdown includes "Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal" (2014), "Sonic the Hedgehog" (2006), "Sonic Forces" (2017), "Sonic R" (1997), and more!
Script written by Ty Richardson

Sonic has starred in just as many bad games as he has good ones. For this list, we’re taking a look at the most rotten, foul, broken, and uninspiring games starring the Blue Blur, Sonic the Hedgehog. Our countdown includes "Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal" (2014), "Sonic the Hedgehog" (2006), "Sonic Forces" (2017), "Sonic R" (1997), and more! Did any of these make you facepalm? Discuss with us in a civil manner in the comments below!

#20: “Team Sonic Racing” (2019)

Sonic isn’t really new to the kart-racing scene, having debuted with his own kart-racer in 1994 before the “SEGA All-Stars” games in 2010 and 2012. That said, the blueprints for an excellent Sonic kart-racer have been laid out for decades now. So, why try to reinvent the wheel with “Team Sonic Racing”? Sure, the team-based mechanics are an excellent idea and make for great multiplayer fun, but not so much for solo players. The campaign is a huge undertaking to complete solo on account of the demanding requirements for top score. As for the tracks, a handful of them were recycled from previous Sonic racing games. Honestly, we would have preferred to see a new “Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing”.

#19: “Sonic Adventure” HD version (2010)

Hold your horses, we aren’t talking about “Sonic Adventure” as in the entire game. We’re pointing our fingers at the 2010 HD port for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This version of the Dreamcast classic was more focused on printing money instead of improving and modernizing its flaws. The controls weren’t as responsive or tight as they could have been, and the HD resolution could not be fully enjoyed as it was restricted to a 4:3 screen ratio. On top of that, the DX version of the game was delegated to PAID DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT. These same problems would persist in the HD ports for “Sonic Adventure 2”, and yes, they sold the “Battle” expansion as separate PAID DLC.

#18: “Tails’ Skypatrol” (1995)

As we’ll see throughout the list, SEGA got a little carried away with the spin-offs in the mid-90’s. In addition to his own platformer and edutainment game, Tails was given a side-scrolling shooter, and it's arguably the worst of his spin-offs. The gameplay is mundane and offers no real interesting mechanics or ideas. Even when looking at it under the lens of “standard side-scroller shooter”, it’s way too short to recommend, lasting only about fifteen or twenty minutes. Had it been a little tougher, maybe we’d say give it a shot. Alas, it has faded into obscurity.

#17: “Sonic R” (1997)

After dipping Sonic’s feet into kart-racers in 1994 and 1995, this was such a confusing left turn. Sure, a racing game where Sonic and friends are on foot sounds fun (and makes sense), and the secrets give you reasons to explore the tracks and look for shortcuts. Problem is that Sonic is all about going fast! No time to slow down! “Sonic R’s” abysmal controls hinder you from wanting to go fast, punishing you with excessive drift, tight turns, and an occasionally confusing track layout. At least the soundtrack was a bop! “Everybody Super Sonic racin’, try to keep your feet right on the ground!!”

#16: “Shadow the Hedgehog” (2005)

We’d be the first to admit that we played “Shadow the Hedgehog” more times than we would like to admit. Come on, it’s basically a 3D Sonic game with angst, guns, and swearing. It’s too ridiculous to NOT want to play it! However, what gets the Ultimate Lifeform’s game on this list are the forgettable environments and sometimes arduous goals forced upon by characters. The controls make it especially grueling with lack of proper aiming and Shadow’s tendency to slide around like he’s skating on oil the entire time. For a guilty pleasure game, it can be enjoyable, but don’t expect anything better than other Sonic games.

#15: “Sonic and the Black Knight” (2009)

The Sonic Storybook Series had some potential with its concept of spin-offs with different themes. “Sonic and the Black Knight '' had a neat idea with its medieval fantasy themes, turning Sonic’s friends into various characters from the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable. Unfortunately, the gameplay brings it all down. Once again, going too fast will punish you by throwing hordes of enemies in front of you when you least expect it. As for the side missions, none of them are compelling enough to make them feel remotely satisfying. We can recognize why some fans might like it, but as a Sonic game, we’d rather go replay “Sonic and the Secret Rings”.

#14: “Sonic Rivals 2” (2007)

Sonic’s life on the PSP was kind of a quiet one. Another on-foot racing game, “Sonic Rivals” blended classic “Sonic” gameplay with ideas from “Sonic Heroes” multiplayer and the Blue Blur’s kart racers, with players using power-ups to speed ahead or slow their opponents down. Sadly, the sequel floundered in expanding upon the original’s ideas. Instead, the AI was made more difficult than it needed to be, the story mode was padded out with fluff, and the balance was questionable at times. It absolutely felt like it was rushed out the door, and the miniscule roster was the first sign.

#13: “Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom” (2015)

It’s almost hard to believe that “Sonic Dash” has remained popular for roughly a decade now, having launched in 2013. So, why else would they try to launch a sequel other than for the potential cash grab? Why, yes! And it was no different than any other endless runner game on the market. It also didn’t help that we were all still reeling from the awful taste of the “Sonic Boom” line, but we’ll get to those soon. While the game is still downloadable today, why would you play this when the original “Sonic Dash” is continuously getting more characters and tracks added?

#12: “Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal” (2014)

Don’t worry, we’ll get to THAT one soon, but for now, let’s talk about “Shattered Crystal”. Surely, this new era of Sonic could find a future on the Nintendo 3DS, even if the home console life wasn’t shaping up too great? Well, it may not have been worse, but it certainly wasn’t any prettier. “Shattered Crystal” had its own set of problems, particularly with the writing, slow-paced gameplay, and labyrinthian level design. Tolerable? Not really, and the low, low sales show that fans weren’t standing for its poor quality. At least “Fire & Ice” was better.

#11: “Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I & II” (2010-12)

At the time, a Sonic game with 3D graphics and classic 2D gameplay felt like a rarity, something that always seemed just out of reach as we kept getting more and more 3D Sonic games. Then, the announcement of “Sonic 4” came, and it was…rough. The music was forgettable, the levels were bland, and the animations lacked any of the hedgehog’s personality. And do we dare mention how horrendously flat the game looked? Sure, “Episode II” improved in a couple of ways, but it wasn’t enough to save the episodic series.

#10: “Sonic’s Schoolhouse” (1995)

The mid-90’s saw a lot of games trying to copy “DOOM” and very few saw enough success to launch their own franchises. As for “Sonic’s Schoolhouse”, well, we gotta wonder what the goal was here. Our favorite hedgehog becomes a chatterbox and sends us into a series of classrooms to find numbers and letters. Compared to other edutainment games, “Sonic’s Schoolhouse” was tedious and made school seem more boring than most kids perceive it to be. Couple that with the annoying voice, and it’s hard to get any kid to want to play this.

#9: “Sonic the Fighters” (1996)

In theory, a fighting game starring Sonic and friends could totally work! Heck, it worked for “Sonic Battle” on the Game Boy Advance! Prior to that, though, we had “Sonic the Fighters”, and it was…it was a fighting game, sure. A fighting game that was questionable in its balancing and oversimplified mechanics. The AI had a habit of employing the same moves over and over again while spamming abilities like Fang’s cork gun and Bean’s explosive arsenal. Final bosses Eggman and Metal Sonic didn’t make the experience anymore enjoyable. Regardless if you liked Sonic or fighting games in general, this was one you could skip out on.

#8: “Sonic Labyrinth” (1995)

We cannot stress this enough - Sonic is all about SPEED. Gameplay and levels need to be designed with this in mind, created in a way that encourages speedruns, beating times, and the like. “Sonic Labyrinth” goes against this notion ENTIRELY! Players must navigate across different mazes while moving at a painfully slow pace. How did Sonic find himself in such a situation? Oh, Robotnik tricks him into wearing different shoes. …Yep, that’s the plot, that’s the story of this snail of an adventure. Simply put, there is no real fun in “Sonic Labyrinth” - just dread.

#7: “Sonic 3D Blast” (1996)

Unlike “Labyrinth”, “Sonic 3D Blast” at least managed to keep the hedgehog the way he should be. No, he’s not quite as fast, but we thank the stars he’s not a slog to control. Even so, “3D Blast” was painful in its own way. By keeping the isometric view introduced in “Labyrinth”, the game still hampers players from wanting to go fast with its tight turns and enemy placement. On top of that, the camera can really mess with your depth perception, causing you to run into an enemy or fall off a ledge.

#6: “Sonic Forces” (2017)

We understand why this game has its fans - it’s all about the character creation. However, we all have to admit - even those of us who like the game ironically - we all have to admit that “Sonic Forces” is an utter disappointment. The story tries to be way too edgy with Sonic “dying” (as his friends are led to believe) only to ditch the grim outlook halfway through. As for the player’s custom character, their different weapons and tools make the game a total breeze to get through. Mixing all of this in with boring boss fights and bland level design makes for an utterly boring “Sonic” game, even when “playing for the lols”.

#5: “Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis” (2006)

Look, you just don’t disrespect the original games. You just don’t. But in the case of the original “Sonic” being ported to the GBA…man, we all deserved better. Even with the addition of a save system and the Spin Dash move from previous games, this game was a total disaster. Because of the technical limitations of the Game Boy Advance, this port suffered from awful optimization and framerate issues, making the game unbearable to play. It was bad enough to hear butchered versions of the classic music; the terrible performance made this port unacceptable.

#4: “Sonic Free Riders” (2010)

Kinect games already had a bad reputation with horrendous controls and dumb gimmicks. “Sonic Riders”, on the other hand, had a rough life with its jet-boarding style and odd mechanics. So, combine the two together, and how do you think they’d turn out? Far from decent. “Sonic Free Riders” saw some praise for its wealth of content, but does that really matter when your controls single-handedly destroy the experience? Controls are a pretty significant portion to focus on when developing a racing game, and when they respond not even half the time, As many critics pointed out, “Sonic Free Riders” had potential, but flopped way harder than anyone would have expected.

#3: “Sonic Shuffle” (2000)

When you go to copy a successful franchise, make sure you’re actually copying the parts that made said franchise successful. For some reason, “Sonic Shuffle” forgot this important part of the plan when it tried to copy the “Mario Party” series in 2000. Rather than keep it simple with moving on a board and competing in minigames, it added the use of cards stealing cards from other players, having to randomly select cards in order to move and do things, and the ability to go in whichever direction you want. There’s no real strategy involved, just pure chaos, and not the fun kind.

#2: “Sonic the Hedgehog” (2006)

Oh ho! You all knew it was coming! Only question was when. Yes, “Sonic ‘06” USED to be the worst-ever game in the franchise, and rightfully so! How many of us remember the buffet of bugs and glitches uploaded to YouTube over the years? Or the ridiculous dialogue and voice acting that have created countless memes? And lest we forget about the weirdest kiss to ever happen in the history of video games! “Sonic ‘06” has been known to be one of the biggest disasters in gaming, but it somehow managed to get dethroned roughly eight years after launch.

#1: “Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric” (2014)

“Rise of Lyric” was just one confusing mess after another. Whether it was more broken than “Sonic ‘06” is debatable, but one cannot ignore the catastrophe on display. Cutscenes were unpolished, showing character models in T-poses and disappearing a few frames before the camera cuts away. Framerates drop at the most inopportune times. And several bugs were found that allowed players to skip large chunks of the game. The redesigns of the cast were one thing, but to launch a clearly unfinished game? Come on, man… The only success “Sonic Boom” seemed to generate was the Cartoon Network series, and even that didn’t live long.
sonic is creepy man!
this is nuts when sonic just racing (egghead) for a reason i think is full purcheple
yep sonic is dieathon because hes lame whe he looks that way (hes stupid when hes like that in sonic forces only in playstation 4!)