Best Sonic Games: Ranked Tier List

Looking for the best sonic games?

by Gordon Bicker

Sonic has become a household name for many and when people hear of the speeding blue hedgehog their minds are often brought back to their childhood, every so often people want to rank their favorite sonic games. From racing through the length of Sonic Frontiers to teleporting back to the early 90s with the first Sonic the Hedgehog. The games from the Sonic series have a lot of alternating thoughts about what ones are great and what ones could have done with some more time in the cooker, this is a great aspect of the sonic community which keeps thoughts and opinions fresh. This article will take you through our picks for the best Sonic games of all time ranked.

Best Sonic Games of All Time Ranked

S Tier

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic Generations
  • Sonic Frontiers
  • Sonic & Knuckles
  • Sonic the Hedgehog CD

Starting off with the S tier of Sonic games on this list we have some of the old-time favorites such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Not just that but we have also added Sonic Generations to this tier thanks to its blend of the modern and the old. Playing this game again even some years after its release is always a great joy. No great Sonic game list would ever be complete without a mention of Sonic & Knuckles too.

A Tier

  • Sonic Mania
  • Sonic Rush
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 3
  • Sonic Adventure
  • Sonic Adventure 2

As for the next tier we have placed both Sonic Adventure games in this category. They had almost felt like Super Mario 64 impersonators at times trying to utilize all of the new 3D technology everyone was creating on a rapidly accelerating basis. At times this made games such as Sonic Adventure feel a little clunky but the Adventure games are still gems of entertainment that even for their little faults, give an excellent Sonic experience. No one is ever going to forget the city skateboarding section anytime soon, that’s for sure. Along with all of the other games in the tier, Sonic Mania has also been included in this section thanks to its timeless gameplay.

B Tier

  • Sonic Unleashed
  • Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice
  • Sonic Heroes
  • Sonic Colors
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Sonic Unleashed was one of those games where you either loved it or you didn’t like it that much, we felt it was to be loved for its trial at incorporating a range of new and interesting features into the formula of Sonic games. It doesn’t quite reach the peak of getting into the A or S tier but it is very successful at creating a range of conversations about the game. Furthermore, classic games like Sonic Heroes have been placed in the B Tier, a great game for anyone wanting a share of Sonic action at quick paces.

C Tier

  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
  • Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Sonic has had its fair share of spin-off games, some of which are loved just as much as the mainstream titles. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, for example, has had a dedicated fanbase and with the range of unique racing maps found within the game, it is no surprise that many to this very day still venture back to the title to race as their favorite characters. Sonic 3D Blast on the other hand is a diamond in the rough that we think deserves a lot of attention from more fans. The Sonic Boom titles are also some games that should receive some extra love at times. Again, more modern titles like Sonic the Hedgehog from 2006 broke the barrier between the old and the new for many fans. It was still at a time when the 3D mechanics needed some extra work and smoothness but it was appreciated by fans in the community sometimes and still should get a spot on this list.

D Tier

  • Sonic and the Black Knight
  • Sonic Battle
  • Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
  • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
  • Sonic Forces

Getting into the D tier, one of the tougher decisions was where to place Sonic Forces. It opened up a lot of possibilities with the fact of having other newly created player characters as the main protagonist but at times we felt it was a little removed from its main subject material. It is a brilliant game in its own right but for this list, we felt a placement of the D tier was the suitable place. Moreover, Sonic Battle was a fighting Sonic game on the Game Boy Advance that got a small cult following of fans and deserves its place amongst the best Sonic games.

E Tier

  • Sonic Advance 3
  • Sonic Labyrinth
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

As for the final E tier, Sonic and the Secret Rings has found its entrance into the category. The game tried to become a platform runner at times with a lot of variation in some gameplay but ultimately it didn’t quite hit the mark for many fans. However, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 was a game that did try to stick to the old roots of Sonic games but ended up being plagued in some ways by a lot of janky gameplay at times. Especially so on the animation front which felt like it was on an alternating conveyor belt of functionality and fun animation runs as many have mentioned over the years. Nonetheless, the game was still a fun time but unfortunately in our view, it didn’t quite reach the pinnacles of other titles in the series.

No matter what game you decide to play through from the Sonic series, vibrancy and color will always tend to be there and greet you with a smile before you start racing off into the sunset with Sonic once again. Whether you are trying to find out who characters such as Rogue the Bat is or otherwise, the legacy of Sonic games continues onwards.

- This article was updated on January 26th, 2023