Sonic List: The Most Overrated Sonic Games

Ahhh nostalgia! You make things so much better than they actually were.
Ahhh nostalgia! You’re so good at lying to my brain.

Remember when I did those lists like “My guilty pleasures” or “Defending the lesser loved characters”? Lists that made you feel good about your Hedgehog hobby? Yeah, this is not one of those lists. Sorry. This time, I’m gonna tear apart some of the most beloved and critically acclaimed Sonic titles for the brilliant but flawed games that they really are. Games that got far more praise than they deserved. Even games I happen to love myself that have some bad design choices. Get ready! It’s time to take off the rose-tinted nostalgia goggles and find the lumps of coal inside these diamonds!

Sonic The Hedgehog 1991 (Sega Genesis)

"Riding blocks in lava. Some much more fun than oh, running super fast and rolling through loop-de-loops."
“Riding blocks in lava. Some much more fun than oh, running super fast and rolling through loop-de-loops.”

Now this is a hell of a way to start a list! The one that started it all. The classic game that first introduced us to the speedy hedgehog. Notice what almost every new remake of the game added? The spindash. Why? Because outside of the Green Hill Zone (and one or two other zones), this game is SLOOOOW!

It was a fantastic game for its time, but when you play other classic Sonic games with great pacing and flow like Sonic 2 or 3, you’re BEGGING for more speed. Especially when you go from a speedy fun-filled world like Green Hill and then get dropped into the dull, drab world of the Marble Zone. I go from loop-de-loops rolling super fast down hills to the point where you can’t even see me toooo…..pushing a block into lava and riding it very, very slowly. Oh look, the lava pushed the block up. Whee.

Let’s be honest here, if you were forced to lose a classic Sonic game out of the original trilogy, this would be the first one to go. It’s still a great game, but it’s not quite as fun or fast-paced as the other two.

Sonic Rush

"Whooo that was tricky! But now I got a nice, safe parachute anLAZER!!"
“Whooo that was tricky! But now I got a nice, safe parachute anLAZER!!”

Ohhhh this is painful as it’s one of my favorites. Sonic Rush has Blaze the Cat, incredible speed and a wonderful soundtrack by Hideki Naguma (Jet Set Radio). I absolutely love this game and have played through it several times. However…..

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. DIMPS is really good on a TECHNICAL level. They can do the graphics, physics and the engine of a game just fine but when it comes to actual level design, they tend to suck. Sadly Sonic Rush is no different. This is the first Sonic game to use the boost mechanic and it does so to the point where there’s barely any actual platforming to be had. “Boost to win” became a meme due to this game, but that’’s still not so bad as it gives the game a great sense of speed. What is bad is that when you finally get to a point where jumping from platform to platform is important, it does so when you’re highest in the air and any wrong step can kill you. I’m sure I’m not the only one who had Altitude Limit push them to their limits of patience.

All in all Sonic Rush is still a wonderful game IMO, But still, it’s far from flawless.

Sonic CD

 

"Oh Wacky Workbench! You're so wacky and...horrifically awful!"
“Oh Wacky Workbench! You’re so wacky and…horrifically awful!”

Now, if you wanna see an over-praised game with REALLY bad level design, here you go. Sonic CD has AWESOME music, great graphics, Metal Sonic, Amy and….some anime stuff at the beginning and end. That said the level design makes it one of the poorer 2-D Sonic games out there. Sorry, but it’s true. First off, the time traveling is a HUGE pain in the ass. “Oh, you wanna go to the past? Here, hit this sign and get enough speed and a good place to run at full speed for ten seconds. Whoops! You hit a ramp at a wrong angle. Too bad! Try again. Whoops you hit a future sign just as you got to full speed! Have fun in your ugly, bad future!”

Seriously, who though have to run for so long in these levels that are far more vertically inclined was a good idea? If you’re trying to make a good future it’s a horrible, hair-pulling chore that ends up being no fun at all. Even if you don’t care about that stuff and want to just play straight through can be either good, or awful thanks to really poor level design that either bounces you high into the air and gets you lost and stuck in parts. Wacky Workbench itself may go down as one of the worst 2-D Sonic levels ever not to mention those “Super FX” 3-D bonus levels where you can’t quite judge if you’re about to land on road or time sucking water.

If you go into Sonic CD for great music, cool boss fights and just play straight through, you’ll have a pretty good time. If you’re a completionist who wants to have the best ending, be prepared to scream in frustration.

Sonic Adventure 2

"I'll save you if you just stop staring at my ass!"
“I’ll save you if you just stop staring at my ass!”

Please note that I’m not including “Battle” because the multiplayer does make the game a fair amount better.

Oooohoho! This is by far number one on my overrated list. “Why don’t they make good 3-D Sonic game like Sonic Adventure 2?!” “Remember how good Sonic games USED to be like Adventure 2?” Time to take off your nostalgia glasses boys and girls because in my humble and always correct opinion SONIC ADVENTURE 2 SUCKS!! It is SO undeserving of it’s praise. It is so far from perfect and really shows where Sonic Team was starting to go downhill.

I know you’re gonna go into the comment section about how wrong I am and what a great game this is but let me ask you a question. If they re-tooled this game and took all the admittedly great Sonic and Shadow levels out, would there be ANYTHING good to say about what’s left? Not much, if any.

All those fond memories of the game are pretty much anchored to the Sonic and Shadow levels. They are fast, cool and very well done. The rest of the game however, goes from boring to frustrating garbage. The Tails/Eggman shooter levels are just bland and far too slow paced for a Sonic game while the Knuckles/Rouge levels take the “meh” Emerald Hunting from the first Sonic Adventure and somehow screwed it all up by forcing the radar to only react to one emerald shard at a time leading to a frustrating, controller-throwing mess. I’ve literally stood next to an emerald shard and the radar did NOTHING!

And it’s not like the first Sonic Adventure where you can choose any character at any time so you can skip the stuff you don’t like. No, no, no. You gotta wade through all this crap just to get to the good stuff. Let me play as only Sonic or Shadow and I’d be a lot happier. Then there’s the story. It’s admittedly fairly well written I don’t mind a Sonic story getting a little more mature, but gunning down a little girl? A Big-Breasted bat? A moody, violent anti-hero? This is like, Penders/Bollers late 90’s Archie Sonic stuff here and I don’t care for it personally.

People crap all over Sonic Unleashed for the Werehog and they’re right in doing so because those levels are far too long. However, I’ll take a Werehog level any day of the week over any Rouge/Knuckles levels in Sonic Adventure 2. To me, it’s very undeserving of its praise.

Feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments section below. Just please, keep it civil.

Jason says to please give all your hate mail to Hogfather @ sonicstadium.com 😉

(Don’t, please. I’m just kidding.)

 

91 Comments

  1. All valid points, particularly the bit about Sonic Rush. I can’t wait to see these comments explode though…

  2. I would definitely take a werehog level over a Knuckles/Rouge mission from SA2, good God, they sucked. I actually didn’t mind the werehog levels from Unleashed though, they were long I guess but, everything else was fun for me (I’ve only played the Wii version, mind you).
    I look forward to this comments section. *kicks back with popcorn*

  3. SA2B was my first Sonic game but i see your point. I dint like Tails and Eggmans stages at all but i liked the treasure hunting. 🙂 I have to admit that i have never finis Sonic 1, Sonic CD and Sonic Rush. XD

  4. I’d like to point out that this is one person’s opinion. Your own opinion is what should matter most to you. Don’t let others change you.

  5. SA2B is actually my favorite Sonic game, but I won’t deny that it’s heavily flawed. Then again, what game isn’t? My favorite modern game right now, Kid Icarus: Uprising has some parts that make me cringe. Like the dash system. God that was annoying.

  6. Hmm… yeah, that’s right.
    I think Security Hall from Sonic Adventure 2 and Marble from Sonic 1 are some of the worst things that have ever been on my television. And I’ve seen BBC3.
    I never played Sonic Rush, but I can imagine that, and in SA2, the Tails/Eggman levels are SO DULL! And that Knuckles Aquatic Mine level… I drowned six times trying to get the Air Necklace!

  7. I still don’t agree with you on SA2. Yes, most of it are the Sonic and Shadow levels, they are the best. But the game still has a great plot, music and the other levels and game modes are not that bad! (except Mad Space and Meteor Herd, I can’t even explain how much I hated those 2 levels). It is probably my favourite Sonic game anyway

  8. If anything I think Sonic Rush is underrated, I honestly don’t hear that much praise for it because everyone loves to hop on the Dimps hate train.

    1. Agreed, is far from a perfect game though is really good! Though for some reason some people in the fanbase tend to hate anything DIMPs related or just act indifferent towards this game.

      1. Definitely dude! Dimps aren’t as good as they used to be, and I find Sonic 4 eps 1&2 quite boring, but Sonic Advance 1 was incredible, and I thought, with the exception of Sonic Advance 2, everything else they made afterwards was pretty good.

    2. Sonic Rush was the prelude to the “so much better in every single way, besides the music” Sonic Rush Adventure, which truly was a great game. Sonic Rush’s flaws are so much more noticeable after playing SRA, which fixed most of them.

  9. FINALLY! Someone who says that the original game was overrated!

    I’ve been keeping my silence on this for far too long, but I am completely convinced that Sonic 1 is overrated for all the reasons that Jason has stated here. Give me Sonic 2 or 3&K any day.

  10. Ya know, I actually agree with you a lot! I love Sonic CD, but when I get to WW, I just stop playing for a bit. Not to mention the “final boss” of that game isn’t much of one, and they coulda done so much more of a bonus for getting all of the time stones, or whatever the hell they’re called, but, that’s something that the Sega CD may have been too weak for. As for Sonic Rush, I did like that game, but the way you put it is basically how I feel about it. And sometimes, it just feels a bit clunky. Sonic 1 is actually my least favorite Sonic game. It’s painful getting all of the emeralds, and an entire zone plus one other level was completely underwater, so it’s harsh to deal with. (Yeah, Sonic 2 and 3 both had theirs, but, you had the spindash, and had a lot more gimmicks that made it fun) Going into SA2, it’s my favorite, and I agree with all of what you’re saying. End of my statement. Great list! 😀

  11. Jason, I was about ready to throttle you if you didn’t have Sonic Adventure 2 in the top spot, so good on you. I don’t think I’m as ultimately down on it as you are, but it is a list of over-rated Sonic games, and if there’s one game that gets heaps and heaps of blind praise, it’s Adventure the Second.

    Honestly, I was about to say that it has a bit more of a pass, calling out that every game is a product of its place and time of release, but 2001 definitely seemed to have some strong platformers or platform-like games. The second Klonoa game, Smash Bros. Melee, the first Jak & Daxter, and heck, even Sonic Advance was that year. And man, is it trippy that it, Super Monkey Ball, AND its Gamecube remake were released in the same year. How far ahead was the writing on the wall that something like that happens?

    I like every game on this list, I could go back and play any of them in a heartbeat, but really, it’s hard to argue that each isn’t pretty flawed in a fairly noticeable way. Though I think, ultimately, it says less about the games themselves and more about the nature of games consumption at each of their respective releases. Sonic 1 became the ultimate anti-Nintendo marketing push. Sonic CD was that classic styled Sonic game that you maybe had a chance to play enough to remember it, but honestly, Sega CD owners are more exception than rule. Rush had distinction because it released before platformers really became an entity on the DS, and New Super Mario Bros. wouldn’t be released until the following year. And, I’m a bit under the impression that Sonic Adventure 2 hit me in the same way it hit a lot of people: I played it when I was a teenager, and the idea of the darker storyline was something that stuck out, though I didn’t yet have the sense of discretion to recognize how flawed the writing, vocal performances, movement system, boss battles, and camera actually were. It isn’t to say that these games are worthless, they still have many cool, redeeming qualities. Just not enough to justify undying, loving, blind devotion without recognizing where they fall short.

  12. I completely agree with everything. I definitely prefer Sonic 2 over Sonic 1. It was faster, more fun, and had Tails. For SA2, I felt that the lack of an ADVENTURE field made me feel that it wasn’t a such of an adventure game. Of course it had the chao garden, but that was very small, and although they were cute it was sort of pointless to the game. I’ve been replaying the game recently, and having trouble training the chao to beat the races. I can’t say much about Sonic Rush, because I’ve never played it. I’ve never been a big fan of most of the Gameboy games, though.

  13. I totally agree with all these points, and as much as I love Rush and CD, I will admit they’ve got some crappy level design. And FINALLY someone who agrees that S1 and SA2 are wayyyyy overrated. I will say that with Sonic 1, Marble Zone and Labyrinth Zone aren’t fun, but the other zones are a lot of fun. Sonic Adventure 2…not so much. Give me SA1 anyday. THAT game may have a lot of glitch problems and Big the Cat, but I can stand those much better than crappy Emerald levels and boring shooting levels, which were frankly more interesting with Gamma because of the emotional subplot with him.

    I wonder if we’ll ever get a Sonic game on the same quality as Sonic 3 & Knuckles again. That was the pinnacle of the series IMO, and I’m sure it’s not impossible for SEGA to create a game with great level design, control, graphical style, music, simple but effective story, and a good amount of replay value. Maybe that seems like a tall order, but I’d argue Colors was close if it had more interesting level design and Generations if it had a better story. (In this case, Generations > Colors for me)

    1. damn, completely forgot colours existed… never got too far in that game, cringed at the first scene…

      i think the pinnacle of the series was Sonic R. obviously.

  14. Sonic Rush is far from flawless, and FAR from overrated. I love how you gave no valid points as to why it’s “overrated” You just explained why you don’t like what DIMPS did with the game.

  15. Sonic Rush is far from flawless, and FAR from overrated. I love how you gave no valid points as to why it’s “overrated” You just explained why you don’t like what DIMPS did with the game.

  16. Ouch!! My feelinngs man 🙁

    Even though I absolutely love Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Rush I can’t deny the flaws you mention, also I liked that you also mentioned their strong points, good article!

  17. I definitely agree on all of these, even though I haven’t played Sonic Rush in years. Honestly though, the Sonic game I find most overrated is Sonic 3. Not Sonic 3 and Knuckles, just Sonic 3, it’s one of my least favorite Sonic games. It’s mainly because the speed is all over the place, and it kinda combines the flaws in this article. Angel Island was fine like Green Hill. Hydrocity was like Sonic Rush, fun but not much actual platforming. Marble Garden and Carnival Night are the worst, with some AWFUL gimmicks that just don’t work, like the blue discs in Marble Garden, and the pointless wheels that you have to stop next to to make platforms. Carnival Night wasn’t as bad but areas like the drums just wasted time. Ice Cap was okay but not that impressive. Launch Base wasn’t that bad but you could end up moving in circles a lot but it was at least somewhat fun. One of the other biggest problems, is that it’s extremely short.

  18. You forgot Sonic 3 & Knuckles. But oh well. lol

    However, I’d like to recognize that being overrated doesn’t necessarily mean they AREN’T awesome games. Some of them really are that awesome. Just people over exaggerate and act like they’re perfect. lol

    Like Sonic Adventure 2. I liked it because…

    1. I liked the style (music, voices, graphics, colors, levels, story, etc)
    2. I liked the models (they’re the currently still my favorite even tho they aren’t the highest poly. That pic of Sonic and Shadow up there has more artistic balance and structure than they currently do. idk what it is. The way the spikes curve and such… idk. The eyes are a cooler shape. xD)
    3. I actually liked all of the levels. It made me feel a sense of purpose too. Like City Escape, Green Forest, Crazy Gadget, Pumpkin Hill, Meteor Herd, Radical Highway, Iron Gate, etc.
    4. I liked all the gameplay. I already liked SA1 and the treasure hunting and shooting was still fun in SA2… for me. (being a preference, I don’t consider this as making a game good or bad. Just whether or not a person decides it’s for them) The treasure hunting differences I hadn’t even noticed until recent years when ppl pointed it out. Pretty odd. I guess whether I was in SA1 or 2, I just got INTO it so I didn’t focus on the differences.
    5. I liked the art direction. It was like the neighbor of the art direction to SA1 which felt like an updated neighbor to the art direction of Sonic 3 & Knuckles. While I like Sonic 2’s style best for being sharp and cool, I like the locations of Sonic 3 & Knuckles a bit more and can picture many of the levels existing alongside SA1, and SA2’s areas alongside SA1. I liked even more that it WASN’T exactly the same because I could picture them co-existing but also being different areas, giving the Sonic world so diversity.

    As for Sonic 1… idk. It’s an okay game but it’s nothing special… anymore that is.

    Sonic CD is the same. It’s Sonic 1 – 2 basically. I mean the first 3 levels are carbon copies of the first 4 levels (minus Marble Zone) in Sonic 1.

    Sonic Rush.. never got to play it. But it looks pretty cool. But I’m sure it’s because of Blaze that it gets more credit than you’d expect. At the same time I occasionally hear ppl bash Rush and onward which is weird. o.o

    1. How exactly is S3&K overrated? It’s the game that gets everything right! It’s the definitive Sonic game, the one that every fan has to play at some point!

    2. I highly recomend you play Sonic Rush whenever you have the chance, it’s really good and yes, Blaze steals half of the spotlight but she’s a really interesting character and also her personality has more depth than most of the other characters have in their entire history.

      Also I liked SA2 for the exact same reasons as you, most of them aren’t gameplay related but still awesome, hope more Sonic games tried to be like SA2 story and style wise.

  19. I definitely agree on a lot of these points. While I’ve never played SA2 or CD, the former is discussed far too much, and while the same goes for the latter, I get a bit dizzy just watching Let’s Plays of it.

    Also I’m happy to see someone agrees with me about the first game.

    Now, as for Sonic Rush, I will agree that the level design wasn’t the best. I mean, I ragequit on Altitude Limit and never got back to the game until about a year later. But I don’t really see how Rush is overrated. In fact, I rarely see discussion about it.

  20. I respect everyone’s opinion and I can see the complains that people have, mostly on Adventure 2. However, these opinions will not change my very positive feelings towards the game. I really like both the shooter and treasure hunting stages and don’t really mind the slower pace. I played adventure 2 before adventure 1 so the radar never bothered me. It’s impossible for everyone to like or hate a game, and for me Sonic Adventure 2 will always be my favorite game of all time.

  21. I agree with what you said about Sonic 1. The levels that I’m always fond of are: Green Hill, Spring Yard and Star Light.

  22. Eeeh…
    Most of the points raised are alright, but Sonic Rush is an AWFUL game. Sonic 1 kicks it in the teeth… but then I found Sonic 1 a far better paced game than Sonic 2, as well. Not as drawn out.
    Same goes for Sonic CD, though finding the transporters and places to time travel is a PAIN.

    Adventure 2, aye, good points. The Security Hall debate is daft though, in the Dreamcast version at least that level is piss easy.

  23. Truthfully, Sonic 1 is what got me into the series. Marble Zone was more of platforming. A reminder, the Sonic series was created as platforming (with speed, of course) and perhaps Marble Zone was one of those challenges to actually get used of a speedy hedgehog with slow access of the zone. I could still play this at anytime. Since this is certainly my childhood fondest of all.
    Sonic CD was okay. As the way you have explained it was well put. I didn’t like the music that much.
    Sonic Rush, though, I only played and ended it once. Don’t remember much but I recall having some trouble with some zones.
    Sonic Adventure 2… How do I put this in a delicately way…? I stopped playing it for years and, in truth, I have no intentions to play it again. Well, I do love the Chao Gardens. Honestly, I can’t handle the rock music. I can’t handle the lyrics in gameplay and in the cutscenes of the story. That kind of music I refuse to listen. The reason is I have tinnitus. I can’t play other Sonic games with the same type of music as long as I mute it. So, I never had a care for Crush 40 or any band SEGA hires for the credits or opening scenes.
    …That’s all I have to say.

  24. Personally, I like the Tails/Eggman levels in SA2, except the boss fights in which you fight Tails/Eggman :p and I don’t mind some of the Knuckles/Rouge levels but only the ones before the desert portion of the game!

    As far as I’m concerned, the most overrated Sonic games are Sonic Heroes and Sonic Colours. Heroes is, for me, the worst Sonic game by a long shot (more so than ’06 and 3D Blast), and the only mildly redeeming feature is that it’s a Ryan Drummond game, and Colours is just plain overrated. The levels aren’t as fun as people seem to think they are (I admit that’s subjective), the writing and acting is awful, and it introduced the 2 worst things in recent Sonic history; Wisps, and Orbot & Cubot (yeah, I know Orbot was in Unleashed, but he could just as easily have never been seen again). Even in Colours 2 OOPS IT’S CALLED LOST WORLD I ignore all the wisps unless they’re mandatory, and they’re far more ignorable in that than they are in Colours.

  25. I would agree with Sonic CD, I always got told it was the “Best Sonic Game Ever Made” so my hype to finally play it was high only to discover a very messy level design, awkward controls and dull boss battles that don’t require much skill.

  26. CD’s level design problems seem to stem from how much they clash with the time travel feature. The levels are fun by themselves, but any attempt to time travel in them can be quite frustrating.

  27. I totally agree with all these choices, especially SA2. SA2 is still a great game, but all the people who say it is the best Sonic game PERIOD or that it is better in every way than SA1 have their heads up their asses…

    1. That being said, I like SA1 a lot more than SA2, but I can admit SA2 did some things better than SA1.

  28. Gotta agree with the reasoning for all of your choices here. Sonic 1 has always been kind of boring to me – Sonic 2 just outdoes it in every way. And you’re right – Tails and Knuckles’ Crappy Adventure 2 is not what I want in a Sonic game.

  29. Maybe I’m the odd one out, but I do really like the shooting levels in SA2. I do admit the emerald hunting can be tedious… especially with the large levels and the gimped radar. That was an unnecessary design choice. The camera can be a pain too XD As for taking werehog levels over them, hmm. Considering I loved the werehog, I guess I would too XDDDD

    But I do see the flaws, yes, even if they didn’t bother me that much. It has a good formula, but it still would require tweaking, which – if SA3 were to ever be made – would help to fix the issue, I would hope. And yes, I’m well aware both Sonic 2006 and Unleashed were meant to be SA3, so no need to point that out. I’m also not the type of person to be like “zomg SA3 announced”. That can get annoying XD

    Never played Sonic Rush, but I admit after watching a LP on it… It did seem to be highly overrated. Sonic 1 I also feel is, but it does get credit for the sake it started the entire series. CD…I have no opinion on it, really. Never played it sadly, which I really should change, but good grief those special stages are trippy. Wonder what would happen if someone played them while overtired…

  30. This post rocks! I played Sonic The Hedgehog on Sega Genesis as a kid and it was the greatest time of my childhood. Ahh, so many childhood memories. The first few friends I made in school back then also played this game, and it actually is one of the reasons our friendship started. Oh what we wouldn’t do to get our hands on a Sega Genesis once again.

  31. Sonic 1 – aside from the marble and labyrinth zones (which, you know is underwater therefore speed is absent) all the other levels provide an environment to speed in.. but yes, it was always a bummer to finish green hill then start in marble
    Sonic Rush – it combined what fans were wanting, a return to 2D and speed and I think Dimps pulled it off flawlessly. If you didn’t enjoy it, hey there’s Sonic 4
    Sonic CD – I find it funny how there’s no mention of the taxman remake, let’s go back to the original and take it down a peg.. But guess what? The taxman version had FEWER places to make it possible to time travel, don’t believe me? Dust off your original, head to Quartz Quadrant and use a vertical conveyor pointing upwards to warp.. piece of cake! Now try it in the remake. Also tired of hearing Wacky Workbench complaints, the game has been out for 20 years, if you haven’t got the hang of it by now the least you could do is keep it to yourselves, same applies to the Special Stages which are as difficult as they are enjoyable.
    Sonic Adventure 2 – no issues here, finished it and never replayed it again 😛

  32. People complain about Sonic CD’s level design because they want it to feed their Sonic 2 nostalgia by giving them linear, left-to-right levels instead of exploratory spaces where it’s not supposed to be super easy to time travel. You’re supposed to be challenged and learn about the areas in the game to improve.
    It bests all but Sonic 3 & Knuckles for 2D Sonic games, but only the combined game. If only modern Sonic games would use it’s cyberpunk feel.

    1. But to get stopped every few seconds by and object/obstacle etc? No. They mess up the pace/flow of the gameplay. I’m sorry the level design in Sonic CD was horrible. Sonic 1 and 2 set the foundation of how the level design was suppose to be. It wasn’t suppose to be a chore to go to the future/past or just to go through the stage. There’s nothing wrong with platforming etc, but they over did it in Sonic CD.

  33. Totally agree with Sonic 1, it always was my least favorite even as a child, now for the rest of the least well I do admit they have flaws but Sonic CD is my favorite of the classic games (I actually like Wacky workbench its refreshing in design and the music is one of the best in all the Sonic games) and SA2 of the Adventure series games. Hell I adore Chaotix and most ppl hate that game, again yes sometimes it takes more than perfection to make a good game.

  34. meh, I was okay with the tails/eggman and the knuckles/rouge levels, but I completely agree about cd, I played through it just enough to get a good ending, then I never bothered with it again

  35. Not a bad list, but…..

    Sonic 1: Besides Green Hill Zone? Did you forget about Star Light Zone? And you can’t say you didn’t have a blast on Spring Yard Zone. I actually like the fact that it’s a little slower than the games after it. I like the fact that I actually have to try to avoid death and obstacles in the game. Not just push right to win. Which leads me to…

    Sonic Rush: I actually agree with all the points.

    Sonic CD: I may be biased because this is my favorite Sonic game, but I love the level design. It’s the polar opposite of Sonic Rush. It isn’t linear at all, it can be fast paced if you’re GOOD enough to find your own path, and it was made that way for a reason. If the level design were like Sonic 2, it would be a piece of cake to time travel, which would be BORING. People whine too much about the level design. Get better at it and quit crying. If you’re looking for a Sonic game that you want to just go from left to right in a smooth cohesive 3 seconds, then Sonic CD is not for you. I like to explore in Sonic CD and find paths that I can go the fastest in.

    Sonic Adventure 2: I agree with most of the things you say, even though it is one of my favorites. I have to add that even though the Sonic and Shadow levels are the best in the game, it still is such a downgrade from Adventure 1. It’s all linear and extremely repetitive and boring. Call me nuts, but I actually like Knuckles and Rouge’s stages. Yes, the radar is BS, but I just love the way they handle and love exploring their levels, not to mention the corny music is such a guilty pleasure.

  36. You forgot to add Sonic 3 & Knuckles to the list. So many people say that THAT game is the best game in the series. Nobody I know, other than people in the YouTube comments, say that Sonic Adventure 2 is the best at all. Sonic 3 & Knuckles is kind of a good game, in my opinion, but I just can’t bring myself to play it! The perfect classic Sonic game, in my opinion, is Sonic 2. That game may be overrated, too, but Sonic 2 had the best level design, in my opinion.

    Better yet, why not add all of the classic Sonic games to the list? All of them are overrated.

  37. The criticism on Sonic Adventure 2 is valid. Outside of Sonic/Shadow stages, the soundtrack, the script and the ability to see the story from both the hero and the evil side (while also having plottwists in both stories), the rest of the game was at best a ‘meh’ experience. The different stages shouldn’t be forced to move on the story, or at least Tails and Knuckles should have had gameplay comparable to Sonic/Shadow, leaving shooting stages for Eggman only and hunting for Rouge. The vast amount of bugs as well was a big detriment.

    If anything, Sonic Adventure 2 was mostly the pinnacle of script for Sonic games for me, I’d say it’s better than any of the newer generation games, which seem to err a bit (or a lot?) to Disney movie themes. Though Lost World did have some interesting moments.

    Also, I dislike Sonic Rush exactly for the reasons mentioned.

  38. Sonic Colors and Sonic Lost World regained that lighthearted, short stories and fantasy environment. It’s quite uninteresting to play in our version of Earth. An alien inhabited world is what I prefer to Sonic. Yes, something as Mobius. I’m a 90s person…
    So, I don’t believe both games are overrated because it’s a sense of Sonic’s return.

  39. https://twitter.com/LongcrierCat/status/471407809532149760

    Yeah, Wacky Workbench is a long ass zone.

    But I think you’re sore over Sonic CD’s level design philosophy. It’s about mastery of great hurdles. Things will be placed in your way, and frequently. Like real world structures it’s random, sometimes planned and meticulously so, and sometimes really clunky. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s just not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

    Laughing at all the comments about the Genesis Games all being overrated, though.

  40. So we agree Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic Adventure are worthy of their praise.

    You want an overrated Sonic game? I point my finger of accusation to Sonic Generations. Best Sonic game since Adventure 2? Maybe. But it falls outside of any top 5 for me.

    I will agree with Sonic CD.

    1. Generations is pretty much the pinnacle of 3D Sonic for me. And yes, S3&K and SA1 are def worth their praise (especially the former, which deserves even more recognition and praise than what it already has.)

      1. Sonic Generations was good by the sum of its parts. If you break apart the game into its component pieces, you’ll find neither classic nor modern Sonic quite hit the mark. Classic Sonic handled iffy and modern Sonic was somewhat buggy (and I still dislike the boost button in general).

  41. Idk. I got the sonic steam bundle and replayed all the games. I still very much enjoyed sonic adventure 2 after both aging considerably and broadening my horizons since last played. I also prefer sonic 1 over 3. My replacement picks would definitely be Sonic Generations for nice looking, but extremely boring modern sonic maps AND Sonic colors for just being decent, yet getting so much praise from fans.

  42. Sonic 1 – Absolutely. I can’t grasp how people can fondly look back at this game. I feel Sonic and Mega Man follow the same formula when it comes to the classics. 1 is just… bad. Unbalanced. Play it once. Wouldn’t dare touch it again. And that special stage. Screw that special stage. 2 and 3 are commonly argued between as the peak of the series. The 3rd one introduces one of the coolest characters of the series. Etc.

    Sonic Rush – A game can’t be overrated when literally any word that comes from anyone’s mouth is negativity. I enjoy Rush but practically EVERYONE hates it.

    Sonic CD – To me CD is like Sonic 1 but more tolerable. Terrible special stage. It plays leagues better though. But I wouldn’t replay it again.

    Sonic Adventure 2 – I completely disagree here. It’s not the best Sonic game but it’s up there. It’s also one of the ONLY Sonic games I still play to this day. I just recently re-beat it on PC and 360 and as far as I’m concerned it still holds up. Unlike Sonic Adventure 1.

    1. How exactly is SA2 better than SA1? And how exactly does SA1 not hold up today while SA2 does?

      1. I’ll just reply with what I said to the other guy.

        From a graphical standpoint SA1 had really awkward looking models. Sonic’s huge mouth for instance. It was bad aesthetically. Gameplay wise there were TONS of bugs. I can’t think of any in SA2. Unless you count wonky gravity controls in the space levels as a bug. Then there’s the boring on rails shooting portion with the Tornado. And then you had to do it multiple times. The chao garden wasn’t even half the quality of SA2’s chao garden. “Aw yeah! This is happenin’!” “Or else what, ya big loser?” Big. Literally. Just Big.

        And of course. Like I said. It’s all opinions. But I think the plot’s better. The end Super Sonic battle is better. The final chapter is better.

    2. No it doesn’t hold up. I can’t even bring myself to replay individual levels (those overrated Sonic / Shadow sections)
      For me, SA1 is far better in terms of structure and design. Even if it’s a bit outdated in a sense.

      1. Opinions. It clearly holds up to someone if they can still play it to this day no problems.

        As far as I’m concerned there’s just too much bad in SA1 to go back to it.

        From a graphical standpoint SA1 had really awkward looking models. Sonic’s huge mouth for instance. It was bad aesthetically. Gameplay wise there were TONS of bugs. I can’t think of any in SA2. Unless you count wonky gravity controls in the space levels as a bug. Then there’s the boring on rails shooting portion with the Tornado. And then you had to do it multiple times. The chao garden wasn’t even half the quality of SA2’s chao garden. “Aw yeah! This is happenin’!” “Or else what, ya big loser?” Big. Literally. Just Big. I can go on.

  43. I always thought SA2 sucked and thank god people seem to be finally understanding how flawed that game truly is. The only level I don’t care for in Sonic 1 is Marble Zone, even Labyrinth Zone is enjoyable to some extent for me at least. Didn’t care for CD’s time-traveling mechanics all that much and just used the special stage method if I ever wanted the good ending. Rush was a good music album that have shit-stains of shitt gameplay segments, I did kinda enjoy the game when it first came out but the novelty quickly faded off.

  44. YES, YES AND YES!!! I agree with EVERYTHING 100%!!! I’ve never played Sonic Rush so I can’t comment on that but everything else is spot on. FINALLY!!!

    Sonic 1 was just “meh” to me. Especially coming from Sonic 2. Don’t get me wrong it was good but it just didn’t stand against sonic 2 or 3 to me. I think why everyone loved it was because of the music and it being the first ever Sonic game. Honestly, I didn’t really think the game was overrated. I’ve ALWAYS heard/read people say that they preferred Sonic 2 or 3 over 1. *shrugs*

    Sonic CD was terrible. Don’t care what anyone says. That shit was terrible. Hated that shit. Never got the appeal and its congested/clusterfuck of level design. Sonic CD would be my #1 pick of the most overrated sonic games EASILY!

    Sonic Adventure 2 was good for its time. And I was one of the ones who said that was one of the better Sonic games (10 years ago). But as time went on the game became more and more stale. “SomeCallMeJohnny” has I believe a 30-40 minute video on Youtube that explains exactly how I feel/think about this game. The treasure hunting levels are horrible with its gimm’d radar and its too-big-for-its-own-good level size. Terrible. The mech levels, like the article, were bland, bland, bland. God those levels were so BORING! As much as I DESPISE the treasure hunting levels, I found more enjoyment in them than those mech levels. I am dead serious. Not to mention there were more Treasure and Mech levels than Sonic/Shadow levels in this game. THERE WERE MORE TREASURE AND MECH LEVELS IN THIS *SONIC* GAME. Let that marinate in your head.

    But yeah, I have nothing to disagree with in this article besides Sonic Rush because I never played that game so I can’t say anything about it. I’m glad there are people on this planet that feel the same way about those games as I do. LOL.

  45. Thank you for calling Sonic CD out on its crap! I admit I didn’t get to play it until the recent remastered editions came out, but the level design just feels so frustrating and clunky that I really don’t get why it’s so widely considered to be the best of the franchise. I’ll take Sonic 3 & Knuckles over CD any day.

  46. Well, I can agree on pretty much every point. In my opinion Sonic 3 and Knuckles (combined ONLY) is the Sonic game with the least problems (anyone remember having NO RINGS in Sonic 2’s Death Egg Zone? With Silver Sonic and one of the hardest bosses of all Sonicdom?)

    I love SA2, and still play a lot of levels. I love the idea of Eggman’s levels in SA2, as it fits him to do everything from a mobile machine. But I feel like it would’ve been better if it were an extension of the plane levels in SA1 with flying dogfights. That and it seemed like the devs got stuck on the concept of “duality” and while it worked for Sonic and Shadow, I would’ve liked to see Rouge and Tails’ levels be different from their counterparts. Like Rouge is all about the stealth and thievery, while Tails is about flying around and hacking computers or something.

    Sonic CD, I love it, but I agree that the level design is pretty bad, and those special stages can go f***k themselves. I think if the game were remade from the ground up, the signposts for timetravel should go “do you want to travel to the [TIME PERIOD]?” and then you say yes or no, and it just does it automatically. It would do a lot to cut down on frustration.

    I still love Sonic 1, but I see it for what it is and was, a stepping stone to improve upon, and improve they did with Sonic 2 and 3. It was lovely at the time, but nostalgia can’t hide the fact that 2 and 3 are just much better designed, both gameplay-wise and graphic-wise.

    Sonic Rush….What can I say about this game? I liked it, I really did, but I can’t say that I LOVED them. And even though it had Blaze and beautiful graphics for the early DS days, it’s not super-amazing. And that boost mechanic can suck it. Later in the game it just led to a lot of trial and error, and it stuck with the 3D games too.

    1. I think the time posts in CD should work like the star posts do in Sonic 2 and 3. When you run pass them, a bunch of stars circle above the posts for you to jump into. It’s less intrusive that way.

  47. Ugh, this again? I think SA2 deserves the number 1 spot for most appearances at the top of “Most Overrated Sonic Games” lists. People sure love to bash on popular games to be cool or something.

    Also, SA2 sucks as long as you ignore the Sonic/Shadow levels that make up like half the game? Especially since this was the last Sonic game to feature decent physics and level design? Seems legit.

  48. Oh lord, the comments… there are many.

    Just to note, I like most Sonic games and can see the best in just about every title.

    That being said, its hard to pick five overrated Sonic games when in all reality the only praise they ever receive is from the community. Personally, I dont agree with most of this list either.

    Sonic 1 certainly hasnt aged well, but noone talks about it anymore. The moment Sonic 2 came out, Sonic 1 was almost completely forgotten.

    Sonic CD’s level design is a little wonky but works very well with the more exploratory take on the 2D design for the perfect ending.

    I can agree with Sonic Rush but for a different reason. Blaze and Sonic weren’t noticeably different in gameplay. I mean, yea Sonic was faster and Blaze had much more useful tricks, but mixed with the same exact levels, the game had no variety and didn’t provide alot of replayability between the two of them

    And for Sonic Adventure 2, everyone has become blind ever since the re-release on 360/ps3/pc. Is it perfect? No. but it is 1000x better than the garbage game that came before it which, for whatever reason, has been getting praise for being more original and “Superior” than its successor. Sonic Adventure 2 has a fun story that isnt super serious while having some pretty epic moments. The only three fun parts of the original game are way more polished and provide much more replayability with its various challenges. The voiceacting isnt awful and completely mismatched or unbelievable, the chao garden is full of customization and every character has their own original levels that arent just sections in giant clusterfuck of junk that they call levels. In fact, I honestly cant think of a single thing that SA2 does that couldnt be seen as an upgrade.

    Personally, I think Sonic 2 and Sonic colors are the most overrated of the bunch. Sonic colors is a bit of a bias but I think I can still justify it. Sonic 2 constantly gets called out as the best because of its very high sales back in the day, but it isnt as polished as Sonic 3 and Knuckles in terms of level design and gameplay mechanics. That being said, I love this game alot, but its clearly not as good as its sequel on a technical level.

    Its hard to justify Sonic Colors since it almost single-handedly pulled Sonic out of public mediocrity, but I just dont think its hype stands out. The graphics are great for the console it was released on while the music and characters are great, but I always thought the level design was kinda meh. It didnt have a good balance of speed and platforming like Unleashed and Generations did. It was all too often that you came to a screeching halt because of the often inconsistent platforming. Plus tapping to side-step was frustrating and hard to get used to. Even after I played the levels tens of times I still fail more aften than not because of that poor balance.

    But thats my opinion i guess. Hopefully Im not alone in these claims.

    1. “I honestly cant think of a single thing that SA2 does that couldnt be seen as an upgrade.”

      Seriously? So that gimmicky-ass radar wasn’t a HUGE flaw in game play? The HUGE treasure hunting levels weren’t a flaw either? The linear level design? How about not having as much Sonic/Shadow levels as the treasure hunting/mech levels? I repeat…THERE WERE MORE TREASURE HUNTING/MECH LEVELS THAN THE SONIC/SHADOW LEVELS IN THIS **SONIC** GAME! Let’s not forget the clunky controls, horrible sound mixing between the music and dialog during cutscenes and the story having sooooo many plot holes. Seriously. If you break down the story it doesn’t make sense. Don’t get me wrong SA1 definitely had its flaws but compared to SA2, it’s more tolerable. and the Gameplay, Music and atmosphere is faaaaar better in it than in SA2.

      Both SA1 and 2 have not aged well. Both games have there pros and cons and both games do something better that the other didn’t. But the reason why people are all of a sudden praising SA1 thinking that it’s more “superior” is because in retrospect they see how tolerable it was compared to SA2. I was one of the ones who said that SA2 was one of the best Sonic games period. I got caught up in the Sonic 10th Anniversary hype. But as time went on/the more I played the game over the years, I began to see the problems with that game. A guy on youtube called “SomeCallMeJohnny” goes in depth with SA1 and 2. You should check them out and you will understand why most people think SA2 is overrated.

      It kind of sounds like SA2 was the first/one of the first Sonic games you played that got you into Sonic. That can probably be a reason why you prefer SA2 more and think that Sonic 2 is overrated. You gotta be part of the second wave/generation of Sonic fans for you to say some of the things in your comment lol. If you take those nostalgia goggles off like I did you’ll see how flawed SA2 really is.

      1. I know of SomeCallMeJohnny, and opinion wise we butt-heads all the time. Especially with the Ghosts and Goblins episode. But regardless.

        I played Sonic Adventure 2 the most out of the series’ lineup, but Adventure 1 is what got me into the series as a whole. But Seriously? I understand that people have lost their hype for Adventure 2, I did the same thing when it was re-released. But it still baffles me that anyone can look at SA1 to be superior at a technical level. The voice acting is garbage and the lip-syncing is nonexistent and is more enjoyable in its sequel (With the Exception of Tails, tails is god awful in every game up until Sonic Colors.)

        Not to mention that no matter what gamee type you play you have to fight just to run in a straight line, especially during the Sonic and Tails missions. Plus the Hub World in SA1 was distracting and more often than not just made it difficult for you to progress. The scenic view of the Mystic Ruins only goes so far for justification.

        The fact that every character just plays in a section in a pre-made world is also something that always bugged me. I understand its more traditional but I find it to be lazy and in most cases sloppy like in Red Canyon. Plus the music was by no means “Atmospheric” since every section just played the music from the level in most cases. A prime Example of Atmospheric would be Aquatic Mine from SA2. It was soft, dark and mellow which fit the occasion because of the location. Or how the first Level in the hero storyline is hyped and ecstatic since the adventure is beginning while the last is edgy and serious since it is a final race to save the world.

        And with Sonic 2, I stay with my opinion. Sonic 3 and Knuckles is WAAAY better on a technical level. I wouldnt have even brought it up if Sonic Team themselves didnt constantly look back to that game as an example of a great game (More specifically with Sonic 4 episode 2). Which it was, but every right-minded Sonic fan knows that sales alone dont justify the hype.

        Like I said, I tend to see the best in most Sonic games regardless but Im not “Nostalgia Blind” when it comes to open conversation. I know my points are at least valid by understanding but simply typing it out wont justify them. I guarantee you if we were talking this over in person you would at least get what Im sayin man.

  49. You got it wrong.

    The actual overrated Sonic games are Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Knuckles, and Sonic Adventure 1.

  50. Common, man. Sonic CD was not THAT hard. You are exaggerating allot on that part. Yes, it’s challenging but it’s challenging in a good way. It’s all about finding the right paths.

    Sonic Generations is overrated imo. Colors was way more fun and is the actual game that made Sonic more relevant again. Not Generations, that most people refer to.

    “Big Breasted bat” LOL

  51. I’d take this list more seriously if it didn’t read like any other whiny tumbler/forum “I hate this ” list you can find anywhere online these days.

    Really, a whiny Sonic fan complaining about Sonic for not being fast enough/easy enough to beat, I’ve never heard that one before.

    Go back, redo this and present this in manner that keeps you from sounding like a seven year old getting denied his candy bar and I might just give a damn enough to take you somewhat seriously.

  52. Thank you so much for giving Sonic Adventure 2 a slap it deserved. If any game was glossed with “Nostalgia goggles” it was SA2 namely because the younger fans, probably played this game before anything else around the time they discovered Sonic X. At least in the first SA, you could just play through Sonic’s story and Colors and Generations were short but didn’t try to pad out the gameplay time with long, tedious emerald hunting or clunky mech driving.

  53. While I do like SA2 I gotta agree it’s nowhere near as good as people make it out to be

  54. Sonic 2 and SA2 are the most overrated Sonic games IMO. Most of Sonic 2’s Zones are slow and boring and feature mediocre level design. Really, the only speedy and fun Zones in it are EHZ, CPZ and CNZ. That’s three Zones out of eleven, which is pathetic.

    And SA2… where should I start. The treasure hunting and shooting stages sucked and they made up two third of the game, which is also pretty bad. And even the Sonic/Shadow stages weren’t that great. They were short, overly linear, were automatization-ridden, had bland level design, and were pretty uninspired. SA1’s stages were much more inspired and creative. Also, SA2 lacked level theme diversity. There were about only 5-6 themes. That’s pretty bad for a 33-level game. Compare with SA1, which had 10-11 themes (each level had its unique theme), and it’s even sadder.

    I said this before and will say it again: anyone who bashes Sonic Unleashed for its night stages (which only made up 50% of it, which isn’t a lot compared with Sonic 2 and SA2, in which the speed stages made up the minority of the game) but not Sonic 2 or SA2 needs to take off the rose-tinted nostalgia glasses.

    Other overrated Sonic games would be Sonic 1 (only half of its Zones were speed-oriented), SA1 (too glitchy and its levels were overly short, linear (though not SA2 linear) and automatization-ridden), Sonic Colors (not enough speed for a Sonic game, too much emphasis on the Wisps, and bland, boring levels with average level design that feels straight out of a standard Platformer, not a Sonic game), Generations (just like Colors, its Classic acts had boring, slow and mediocre level design; and it was a step back from Unleashed in some aspects, such as in that it didn’t allow you control the camera and its levels were shorter and had less diversity (too many city stages)),
    the Sonic Rush series (blindly running forward and bumping into everything until you memorize the level layouts just isn’t fun), and Sonic CD (crappy and glitchy physics and short, bizarre levels that don’t allow you to keep running for more than 3 seconds).

    The best Sonic games so far would be S3&K, Sonic CD, Unleashed and Generations (I know I said that Generations and CD are overrated, but that doesn’t make them bad games).

  55. I must agree with some of these points.
    But most of this is a real rage dump. Sonic CD bad level design really? Sonic CD’s levels where fantastic they where longer then the standard zones yes, and there was going in to the other times. But that was what made it hard. So sorry if your limited mind could not wrap itself around such “advanced concepts”.
    But what I am getting from most of this list is that you where not very good at most of these games so you called them OVER Overrated. (I was not very good at them so there must be something wrong with them)
    But I think you will find that most skilled sonic players had no trouble with em.
    SO next time you decide to do another one of these just think. Do you what to look like kid making a fuss cos he could not play his game very well, I think we both know you’re answer.
    Now grow up and go do something clever with your life.
    Oh and don’t get me started on sonic 1

  56. >SA2
    >Most Overrated
    >It’s the start of everything that went wrong with Sonic.

    I’d argue it was SA1, but SA2 really got the ball rolling. But I’m glad to see there are others that hold the same opinion and can back it up. Battle did nothing for me since multiplayer is still terribly unbalanced (pick Amy and watch the hurt rain down… seriously) and just not fun.

    I tell people who ask for SA2 style and chao gardens to come back for a SA3 that they do not know what they want and will be the first to tear the game apart. See how Sonic 4 went for the classic fans.

  57. I personally thought this was a great list! I totally agree on Sonic 1 and Sonic Rush. I like both of those games, but the points you brought up I 100% agree with.

    Sonic CD is my favorite Sonic game, but I totally agree that the level design is beyond frustrating sometimes. Especially in the later levels, where the pinball mechanics get REALLY out of hand. Stardust Speedway is particularly bad for that.

    As for Sonic Adventure 2, its so sad but true. I am one of those people that loved Sonic Adventure 2 so much back in the day, that I often said it was my favorite 3D Sonic game. But when I bought the HD version on the Xbox 360 along with NiGHTS into Dreams (which is still bloody fantastic btw), it hit me pretty hard when I realized the game is VERY flawed and it did not age well at all. At least Sonic and Shadow’s levels are still decent enough to play, and the Chao Garden is still awesome as always. I personally still think its an alright and decent game, but its no where near as good as it was when I played it as a kid.

  58. For the record, I AM going to tell you how wrong you are:

    1. This entire article is anything but humble.
    2. Compared to all the recent crappy Sonic games (especially Lost World), these games DO deserve the heavy amount of praise they still get to this day.
    3. If Wacky Workbench is such an awful stage or if Sonic Adventure is a “sucky” 3D game, what do YOU recommend as better examples? Because you’re leaving us fans with minimal options of what to actually enjoy.

    Also, the Sonic franchise has received enough baggage, without you ripping the few redeeming qualities (that remind us why we still (or ever did) play Sonic games in the first place) to shreds.

    So if those redeemers aren’t good enough for you, what are we left with? F**kin Call of Duty!? And lord help us all if Sega actually reads this article and agrees wholeheartedly.

  59. One of the most underrated games is Sonic Unleashed. People hate on it because the Werehog levels aren’t perfect, but the whole game has much better quality than any Sonic game released after it. Plus, the opening cinematic provides the perfect example of what Sonic should be.

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