3. Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
Before he starred in his own network TV cartoon show and became a horrifying live-action monstrosity, Sonic was a simple, cute, 16-bit hedgehog. Some may argue that 1991’s Sonic the Hedgehog – the first Sonic adventure – is the GOAT of the series. The speedy, creative gameplay holds up about 30 years later for many good reasons. Although Sega has spent a lot of time trying to improve upon the OG, Sonic the Hedgehog still has everything that you may want in a Sonic game, including gold rings, and all.
2. Sonic Mania (2017)
With fumbles such as Sonic Boom and all the human girlfriends, fans were asking for Sonic to return to his classic roots for years. Finally, Sega came to its senses, licensing the blue blur out to Headcannon, folks well-known for their work on Sonic world. Sonic Mania is a celebration of the retro Sonic, featuring new worlds and twists on old worlds, as well as a ton of playable characters, along with deep cuts such as Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. Sonic Mania was a throwback again and again, but with the added features like nostalgia, polish, and new gameplay. The game is one of the best Sonic game titles and undoubtedly the best in the last decade.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 did so much right that it’s still the most-played Sonic title. It is smooth, fast, and inventive and expanded on the first in all the ways a sequel should. Moreover, those blue ball bonus levels still get players all hot and bothered, encapsulating everything that made Sonic distinct, and adding so much that we still see in the series. This game introduced the spin dash and homing attack, two of the moves that Sonic is most famous for.