Happy 26th Birthday, Sonic the Hedgehog!

Can you believe it’s been 26 years to the day that the original Sonic the Hedgehog video game was released on Sega Mega Drive? The blue blur is now way too far gone for any ‘old enough to drink/drive (though not at the same time)’ jokes. In fact, he’s well on his way to being old enough to starting a mortgage and a family.

Sonic the Hedgehog was released on 23 June 1991 in the US and Europe, as SEGA’s answer to Super Mario (in Japan, the game didn’t hit store shelves until July), and stunned kids and adults alike with its fast-paced, pinball-platforming action that has since been often mimicked but never truly replicated.

Seriously, the amount of anthropomorphic mascot characters that spawned during the 1990s in the wake of Sonic the Hedgehog’s hyper-popularity was insane – from Aero the Acrobat to Bubsy the Bobcat (who bizarrely appears to have come back from the dead), Jazz Jackrabbit, Crash Bandicoot and everyone else in-between. Sonic was such a hot ticket that everyone wanted to be like him – even other video game characters.

In the years since the 1991 platformer graced our screens, we’ve seen the blue blur on cereal boxes, cartoon shows, comics, pencil cases, hot air balloons, actual pinball games, arcade cabinets, kid’s spaghetti tins, PC education software, mobile phones, race cars and hotel rooms. And that’s if you don’t count where he’s been in the game series – on hoverboards, in RPGs, with motion control cameras, on tennis courts, using trackballs, in virtual board games and even Olympic sports. He’s even buried the hatchet with old Nintendo rival Mario for that last one.

Looking forward, it seems like the future of Sonic is bright – we have an epic retro adventure coming with Sonic Mania (click here to see all news on that title), as well as a new 3D action platformer in Sonic Forces (click here to see all news on that one). With SEGA also leaning on its newly refreshed licensing team, we’ll no doubt see a whole heap of cool and interesting merchandise soon too.

What are your favourite memories of Sonic the Hedgehog? Will you be playing any Sonic games today in celebration? I know we will be! Let us know in the comments below.

Published by

Dreadknux

Sexy founder of The Sonic Stadium, and creator and co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic fan convention. By day, I'm a super-fantastic games journalist, el professionale. By night, I'm the mother-loving Sonical Batman. I keep the site ticking, look after the TSS Network, and get all excited about Sonic games so that you can too. May contain nuts.

11 Comments

  1. I’ll be playing the Classic Trilogy, Generations and watching episodes of Sonic Boom today.

    I’ll always continue to follow this high speed Hedgehog in whatever comes next. As well as introduce the series to my newest members of the family.

    Happy 26th Sonic! Here’s to the rest of 2017 for the new games and for another 26 years 🙂

  2. Wanted the day of for this but ha dot go to school
    So far I have played:
    Sonic 1
    Sonic 2
    Sonic 3
    Sonic and knuckles

    Later I’m going to read some comics, listen to ost and watch the sonic ova and sonic x shadow saga
    After school in going to play every sonic game I own exsept secret rings
    Now all I have to do it hunt down a good chillie dog stand

  3. Happy Birthday, Sonic! I haven’t made a new Sonic mashup for this day unfortunately, but I’m currently working on something for the 25th of June (or early next week), hopefully on that day specially!

  4. Listening to various Sonic music while cleaning and updating my iPod. I’ll be playing through an as of yet undecided Sonic game in a couple hours and then tonight I’ll eat chili dogs and catch up on the Sonic Boom show 😀

  5. I was working on an digital art piece for Sonic Forces a while ago but couldn’t make much of a start since I got overloaded with work, I’ll try and get it done now though. Happy Birthday Sonic, you’ve made me a happy dude in the 13 years I’ve known you and I’m thankful that you and your developers are still pushing on.

    Keep on running Hedgehog

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