Happy 20th Birthday Sonic the Hedgehog 3!

Sonic3_titleIt still feels like only yesterday! Sonic the Hedgehog 3 turns the grand old age of 20 today, marking two decades since the title hit the shelves way back in 1994 for the SEGA Megadrive / Genesis; this date also marks the anniversary of the introduction of Knuckles the Echidna to the franchise. While not one of the best selling Sonic the Hedgehog titles to date, Sonic 3 is heralded by many as one of the definitive titles released, along with it’s sister title Sonic & Knuckles, which will also be celebrating it’s birthday later this year.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 still causes debate to this day with regards to the level of involvement Michael Jackson may have had in the creation of the soundtrack.

How will you be celebrating today? Maybe you’re having a speed-run party, rocking out to some remixes of your favorite levels, or perhaps you’re digging a hole in the back garden to hide your emeralds in? Share your thoughts, ideas and reflections in the comments!

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Published by

Adam Tuff

With a decade under his belt, Adam is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Adam is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.


  1. Happy birthday Sonic 3! And screw you for forcing Sonic Team to release the game when it was only half finished, SoA! Good thing ST came up with the Lock-on concept and managed to use it to eventually complete the game, too bad we cannot say the same about Sonic 2 (which was ALSO an unfortunate victim of SoA’s unreasonable demands and stupidity).

    1. To be fair though, cartridge space was also a part of the separation reason since they wouldn’t be able to cram this one giant game into one Genesis cartridge.

      1. If I remember correctly, Sonic 3 was released on a 32Mbit cartridge, and Sonic & Kunckles was released on another 32Mbit one, but the last one also housing S2&K and many blue sphere special stages. There have been larger capacity cartridges for sure, Phantasy Star IV being one at 48Mbit.

        1. Actually, delete my earlier message. I had all the numbers wrong. Sonic 3 was released on a 16Mbit cartridge, and PSIV on a 24Mbit. Sonic 3D Blast was released on a 32Mbit one.

  2. Maybe they will do something to celebrate the release of Sonic 3 and Knuckles, like Knuckles being playable in a new Sonic game, or maybe Sonic 4 Episode III.

      1. The launch trailer for Episode II ended with To be concluded. And out of all the characters introduced in the Classic Era who are still around, we still have yet to see Knuckles, Amy and the Chaotix. Maybe there can be a sub-episode which explains how the Chaotix became a detective agency.

        1. Amy and the Chaotix were ruled out of Sonic 4 a long time ago. And that’s assuming that Sonic 4: Episode 3 ever comes to fruition, which I have my doubts over.

  3. One of my favorite games of all times and my favorite Sonic game ever. It sure feels like yesterday.

  4. This game came out when I was 5. The first appearance of “Knuckles The Echinda”. He is the rival of Sonic The Hedgehog. Later in the series he wants to team up with Sonic and Tails. Knuckles is now good friends with Sonic. They are the BFARF!!! Best Friends And Rivals Forever!!! Knuckles is a great character in the series.

  5. Prediction – SEGA to release on ios an updated version of Sonic 3&K in collaboration with the Taxman on the day Sonic and Knuckles turns 20, simultaneously releasing the ios versions of Sonic 1,2 and 3&K on Xbox live, Playstation store Wii shop. Anyone agree?

    1. They more than likely wouldn’t release it on PSN, Wii shop, or the XBLA, because 1: They already released those crappy backbone ports so people not aware of what the Taxman ports add wouldn’t waste more money on what they’d see as a second copy and 2: In order to release games on console marketplaces you have to pay a fee and like I said with my first point, they’ve already released them before. Still can’t wait for an Android/IOS port though.

  6. Sonic 3 & Knuckles is my favourite game of all time, but Sonic 3 by itself was my first ever Sonic game and what got me into the franchise. Funny thing Is I recently re-played it by itself on Tuesday lol

  7. I really, really, really, hope sega will give Knuckles a dedicated year of love. The year of Luigi helped Nintendo alot with merchandising. Imagine a year of Knuckles, I would cry.

  8. :*) I remember going to my local Toys R’ Us and saw a game preview of it in action, this and Sonic 2 are the games that truly got me into the Sonic franchise!

  9. ARRGGHHH, the wait is killing me!! Aren’t they supposed to tease the next game today!? I need to know what the final Nintendo exclusive title is so we can get back to multiplatform games! Don’t get me wrong, Sonic was good when he belonged to SEGA systems, but he’s found his way back on other platforms too. So far I feel like Nintendo is trying to mold Sonic into another Mario character, which while that isn’t inherently a bad thing, it feels very off par with what we’ve been getting and evolving towards so far, and I feel that it’s time for some change. Some POSITIVE change. I AM curious about what the third Nintendo game is, but in the grand scheme of things, I can’t wait for Sonic to get back to the way he is supposed to be (in my opinion anyway), on multiple platforms…or at least Sony, they tend to hit it more often then not.

    P.S. HAPPY 20th ANNIVERSARY SONIC 3&K!!! It’s nice how the whole 20th Anniversary thing still holds weight after the official 20th Anniversary of the franchise. I’ve been enjoying celebrating 2, CD, and now 3&K’s 20th over the past three years…even though only Sonic 2 got a little more of an homage in Sonic 4, but I could sense trace CD and 3 elements in Episode II. Hope things get even more exciting when we get to the 20th Anniversaries for games like Adventure and Adventure 2!

    1. But Nintendo has nothing to do with Lost Worlds development. The only reason it was Nintendo exclusive is because 1: Sonic games have always sold better on Nintendo consoles and 2: In order to release a game for a console you have to pay the company (Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony) a fee while also creating new interfaces to run on that consoles specs which is an extremely unnecessary waste of money when, like I said, Sonic games sell better on Nintendo consoles.

  10. I rememberd the first moment when Knuckles the echidna showed up and kicked Super Sonic causing him to lose his emeralds, i was shocked and i was like: WHAT??!! REALLY!! And again i got shocked when angel island burned, it was really the best moment i have ever seen in a Sonic game ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for thatdude prediction, i don’t think SEGA will consider to re-make this masterpiece, but i really hope they do it, even if it isn’t the most selled game in the franchise but heck, it’s popularity is more than any body think !

    I like the elemental shields and i like to use them again, i like the levels design i like every boss fight and mini bosses too! I like the concept of the special stages i even like the zones names too, heck i LOVE THIS GAME I EVEN WILL BUY IT IF SEGA RELEASE IT EVERY YEAR XD .

    I’m sorry i’m full with emotions to this game and happy 20th anniversary Sonic the Hedgehog 3. I will post the title screen on my Instagram now ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Well I played Sonic & Knuckles on Xbox Live Arcade demo one time was good game and popular to is not broken game after all like Sonic O6 is a bad game!

    1. ..Why does ’06 have to be compared to everything ever? Let alone this masterpiece of a game?
      Also, you only played the demo? Come on, you’re missing out on alot!

  12. I to wanna say hoppie b-day to sonic 3 and Knux ๐Ÿ˜€ hailed as my all time fav game to this date! ive played it silly since my megadrive 2 days all the way up to my hacked ipad, because u cannot download it offically grrr. do u think its about time s3&k should be an official game app?! for both android and ios? it seems silly having sonic 1, 2, 4 etc. avaliable. do u agree everyone? otherwise i might as well hack my new ipad air (sigh)

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