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Everyone loves to go fast, especially when it is beside your favorite blue hedgehog pal, Sonic. The Sonic franchise has been running since the early 1990s. It has inspired so much media, from comics, toys and feature films. Therefore, it must have a well-acclaimed list of games to support such a passionate fandom. Well, not every video game mascot is a winner all the time. In no particular order, these are the worst Sonic games ever to grace gamers. One in particular is quite the fever dream, literally.
1. Sonic ’06
Let’s start with a bang. Sonic fans love to hate this game, and it’s for a good reason. The game is known for its practical problems, such as slow loading times and copious bugs and glitches. At least speedrunners took advantage of these exploits to create some very entertaining speedruns for fans who wanted to see the game at its “finest.”
The best part of Sonic, the running, wasn’t even good in this game.
It is not the most polished of the Sonic franchise, rendering it unplayable for many gamers, with unenthusiastic missions, strange new characters, gimmicky gameplay mechanics, and a muddy plot, Sonic ’06 was not the blue hedgehog’s finest hour.
2. Sonic 3D Blast
A native to the Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn, Sonic 3D Blast was a risk. It had a new point-of-view and devilishly complex levels. It came out when 3D games were starting to come into the woodwork. When compared to the likes of Super Mario 64, there was inevitably going to be tough competition. Unfortunately, Sonic 3D Blast suffered from the isometric POV with samey quests that were not enjoyable or easy to complete.
To be fair, the original Sonic Blast was not much better.
3. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
Here, we have another difficult-to-play Sonic installment with a twist. It didn’t come long after Sonic ’06, so fans wanted something quality — unfortunately, this is what they got instead. Gamers can feel the tension in this game, reflective of the Wii U porting concerns and changes in 2017 to the storyline and gameplay ordered by Sega of Japan to the developer, Sanzaru Games. Sonic games have banger soundtracks, and even though this one should have — given the name — it was lackluster.
4. Shadow the Hedgehog
This was supposed to be Sonic’s edgy phase, where Shadow walks in holding a gun. The dark aesthetic they were clamoring for in this game fell flat on its face into the realm of cringe. Too sensitive controls only made moving Shadow around more complicated than it already was with its clunky flow.
It doesn’t make for an ideal combo when you’re supposed to be precision-wielding a gun. For a game Sonic fans do not want to play, it has over 10 different endings, attempting to assert its replayability. It’s not one of the world’s worst games, but it isn’t worth paying for.
5. Tails’ Skypatrol
This was a 1995 release on the beloved Game Gear. It is one of the few games where Sonic’s dear friend, Tails, finally gets some screen time. It wouldn’t be on this list if it were good, so that is a sad disservice to such a friendly sidekick. The game is a side-scrolling shooter. The puzzles are too easy, making the game a bore. Thankfully, you can beat the game in under an hour because, alongside the puzzles and platforming, the game presents no challenge.
6. Sonic Labyrinth
We have yet another Game Gear loser. Sonic Labyrinth is what it says on the tin — the game focuses on guiding Sonic through mazes. It is not the best opportunity to go fast, is it? The game’s plot revolves around how slow Sonic is with the cursed Slow-Down Boots. It was a curious decision for the Sonic team to remove its quintessential gameplay mechanic, so you may as well ignore it as part of the franchise.
7. Sonic & The Black Knight
This game is often compared to another Sonic title, Secret Rings — which could have also been on this list — but this game is even worse. Nobody needed a Sonic-Arthurian crossover. The two worlds are great alone, providing fantastical fun for all involved. However, they are not so seamless together, and it shows in the strange melee combat-focused gameplay, uninspired graphics and boring tunes.
Honorable Mention — Sonic Dreams Collection
Much like the infamous Legend of Zelda CD-I games, not all Sonic the Hedgehog games are a brainchild of Sega. This was published and developed by Arcane Kids, and it turned out to be a massive parody of the Sonic fandom, calling out how absurd they can be. Like many terrible Sonic games, they became so popular they became memes.
Sonic Dreams Collection is known to be weird, trippy and discomforting. It was released in 2015 and it has four minigames instead of one full title, including:
- Make My Sonic: A character creator minigame to make your own Sonic of any color and size.
- Eggman Origin: An ineffective MMO exploring the backstory of Sonic’s antagonist, Doctor Eggman.
- Sonic Movie Maker: A game where you film scenes with models of Sonic characters. As the game progresses, the scenes get more ludicrous and adult-themed.
- My Roommate Sonic: A first-person simulation of Sonic attempting to get into a relationship with an unexpected character.
The game reveals itself to be a psychological horror. At the end of My Roommate Sonic, his eyes become a black hole that sinks him into a glitchy alternate reality of a traditional Sonic level. Some people give this game critical acclaim for being artistic satire. Others wish it never happened.
The Worst Sonic Games Ever
For a series that has been going on for over 30 years, a rotten egg — pun intended — was bound to happen. These games do not reflect the rest of the glorious franchise, chock full of fast-paced platforming adventures with hyped music that has developed such a strong fanbase over the decades. Focus on how good those are — not how bad and strange these installments made us feel.