Sonic games you have never played or maybe never heard of before, but are actually worth playing. This is something you want to hear about, right?
Now obviously this is completely based on my overall feelings toward the Sonic franchise, so a lesser-known title for me might be the most relevant and most played Sonic game for you. Some of these titles did get some time in the spotlight, but I feel like they were generally pushed to the side as “just another Sonic game” when they actually deserve more praise than they got. So without further ado, here are my top five Sonic games you’ve probably never played.
The first Sonic platformer on the dual-screen generation of Nintendo handhelds, Sonic Rush kept gameplay to its roots. Good speed, decent challenge and a winnable set of bonus stages make this one of the better Sonic titles by simply not trying to do too many radically new things. It was fun to be able to collect all the gems in order to become Super Sonic and newly introduced Burning Blaze. I just thought that was worth mentioning, because God knows I will never in my life collect the near-impossible Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Chaos Emeralds through its bonus levels. Give this game a try if you stumble across it. There was also a sequel that is even more obscure, Sonic Rush Adventure, but that was not as good.
Sonic Colors (Nintendo DS)
Sonic Colors for Nintendo DS and Wii launched at the same time, but could not be further apart in the kind of gameplay each offers. I remember Sonic Colors for Wii being a mediocre 3D Sonic title that didn’t break away too much from the other console Sonic fares – It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. Sonic Colors for DS on the other hand was a smooth, good-looking 2D platformer that had all the good elements of a solid Sonic game. There is a new feature added where Sonic gains the different “Color” powers which allow him to transform into a rocket or laser, but this is cleverly implemented and used in a smart way. Definitely check this one out if you get a chance.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
A Mario Kart clone that actually plays very well and isn’t a knockoff just for the sake of being one. Transformed plays really well and is actually challenging in a good sort of way – not the “damn, this game is so broken” sort of way. Driving is smooth and the addition of water and air racing in the middle of a track is pretty well done here and, dare I say, better than what Mario Kart 7 and 8 have been doing. Challenges such as mastering drifting or hitting all the boost pads on a track are some of the many challenges you face in this racer. This game is worth checking out, especially if you’ve already mastered all the Mario Kart games.
This is the first Sonic game to ever be put on a Nintendo system in North America and the first original Sonic game made for a Nintendo system period. This was a throwback to the Genesis days through and through and is as good as the rest of the 2D-style Sonic titles. My best memories with this game was bringing this game to school for some unheard of at the time 4-player multiplayer action with link cables during lunch period. This game was pretty popular and even spawned two sequels, but I think it doesn’t get enough credit where it should. When the conversation of best classic 2D sonic game is brought up, for me, Sonic Advance has to be mentioned.
Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure
This game released on Neo Geo Pocket Color and personally, I’ve only played it once in my life, but I loved every second of it. The fact that this game was so critically acclaimed and hasn’t been ported in some form is a big disservice. I would love to see this game released on 3DS Virtual Console or something, because not giving anyone the chance to play it outside of the small number of NGPC owners is a huge shame. I am tempted to find a Neo Geo Pocket Color for this game alone and I still kick myself today for not jumping on a brand new one when it was on its way out in the early 2000’s. The NGPC had this along with other gems worth playing.