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The Top 7… modern Sonic games that don't suck

Welcome to one of the hardest Top 7 lists we’ve ever dreamed up. It’s an intentional challenge, to somehow argue there have been seven good-to-great Sonic the Hedgehog games in the past 10 years, which is the exact same timeframe that most agree was the darkest era for Sega’s premier franchise.


Above: Nearly 20 games released in 10 years, mostly all crap

It’s far easier to line these turds up and ridicule them for the billionth time, harping about the crap controls or the obnoxious sidekicks or the camera that never obeys. But c’mon – that’s been done to death. That’s why we figure it’s time someone stepped up and acknowledged that not all modern Sonic games are trash.


7 – Sonic Rivals (2006)


Bringing up the rear is Sonic Rivals, a game that barely qualifies as good in the first place. It’s a bit bare and doesn’t look particularly remarkable, but the core idea – run as fast as you can – is wholly intact and plays better than the other Sonic game from 2006. Y’know, the 360/PS3 one that’s irredeemably shit.


Above: Wheee, moving right is fun

Rivals squeaks into the list by focusing on speed and light platforming instead of a bloated cast of characters or problematic 3D environments. The goal is to race to the end of various serpentine levels and make it there before the other guy (usually Shadow, Silver or Knuckles), either by taking alternate paths or using Mario Kart-style power-ups to rob them of victory at the last second. There are still plenty of unavoidable deaths and poorly placed bottomless pits, of course.


Above: Losing at the last second is so fun!

All in all, it’s a platformer with racing DNA that’s not completely horrible. And in an age of Sonic Heroes, Sonic and the Black Knight, and Sonic Riders, that’s almost all you can ask for.

Stupidness that still managed to find its way into the game:

Even if the gameplay was passable and the overall experience somewhat reminiscent of what made Sonic cool in the first place, the alternate costumes made me wonder if the dev teams attentions could have been focused elsewhere. Like on the game, for instance.

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50 comments

  • Techno59 - August 27, 2013 5:27 p.m.

    Honestly I like every Sonic game.
  • schtotelheim-reinbach - July 6, 2013 5:58 a.m.

    I love all the modern sonic games except for 06. Shadow the hedgehog was probably my favorite. http://www.sonicxgames.org/
  • near01 - June 2, 2010 2:20 a.m.

    Err, and I kinda like Sonic Heroes. Don't judge me! o.o
  • near01 - June 2, 2010 2:19 a.m.

    Waaah, superhorn!!!:D
  • GameManiac - May 8, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    I've only played (and finished) Sonic Rush and Sonic Advance. I considered Sonic Chronicles, and now my mind is made up. I wonder why Sonic Battle wasn't in this list... Oh well.
  • zigs - May 7, 2010 1:32 a.m.

    EW EW EW EW EW This article contains an x360a screengrab EW!
  • LuckyBachi - May 6, 2010 11:47 a.m.

    Geez, everyone always says the newer games are crap. I completely disagree with them all. okay so some of them are very good storylines, but the majority of them are. I love Sonic heroes, shadow the hedgehog, sonic unleashed. they are all fantastic. And of course, they can't please bloody everyone. yer when i was a kid, i had it on megadrive, loved it. but i still love the newer ones too, i have grown up with sonic, and love him to bits! And no matter whet anyone says, i will always love most of sonic games, because they are not crap. i really hope they make some more 3D ones as well as the old style ones, so all i can say is, Sega, keep up the good work, and i Love Sonic!!! <3 (okay, but i do hate the fact they added that elise or whatever her name is, into sonic 06)
  • lymanzaar - May 6, 2010 2:37 a.m.

    I have very fond memories of Sonic Battle 2. Whenever i'd go to my friends house, we would always battle robots and race. I won a lot, and he complained because "Metal Sonic is faster then regular Sonic" I never got the Choa idea, but it was pretty interesting, alogn with the multitude of game modes. I perfectly agree with this article.
  • steven8932 - May 5, 2010 7:44 p.m.

    ill be honest, i loved sonic battle.
  • Druupwnz - May 5, 2010 2:34 a.m.

    I'm still trying to figure out what was so wrong with Adventure 2 Battle. I honestly thought that it was a fun game, despite a few crap-shot camera angles like you guys mentioned. Why the hate?
  • VideoGameKing - May 4, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    sonic and the black knight was epic,and as for those bad reviews for DX,those rateings suck,ignore them,but the no.1 worse game is sonic and the secret rings,if they remake it for PS3 or even 360,ill try it,i hate it because of the controls
  • Crabhand - May 4, 2010 10:10 p.m.

    I loved Sonic Adventure 2, even if it wasn't the best it could be it provided me with many hours of fun. Sonic Advance was just pure greatness. Of course, my favorite part of both games was the Chao garden, so >_>
  • Wolverine08 - May 4, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    Shadow rocks, though he's achingly generic
  • philipshaw - May 4, 2010 1:53 p.m.

    Great top 7 Brett. Also I forgot where the WAH! Super Horn! came from, thanks for reminding me
  • IIIIIACEIIIII - May 4, 2010 11:18 a.m.

    What's everyone's problem with Shadow? I hate what Sega does to him as a character, like having him use guns and ride vehicles and shit, but as a person he is really unique and not the 'dark Sonic' at all. Although the games sucked, I enjoyed watching him evolve from a confused and hateful villain intending to destroy Earth to becoming an agent for GUN, the same people who killed Maria, the person who directly influences his actions despite being dead; he acts depending on what he can currently remember her saying to him all those years ago, as he suffers from amnesia. Interesting story arc if you ask me, especially compared to Sonic whom, although I like him better, is nothing but a ridiculously perfect hero with no faults. Like a Paladin or something. I'm not saying a disagree with this Top 7, you nailed everything on the head, it's just that I've never understood what everyone's problem is with Shadow.
  • verydopey - May 4, 2010 9:12 a.m.

    I Completely disagree with this! firstly... not sure there is 7 that dont suck! But Sonic Adventure 1+2 are actually really good. And are far better than rush/advance with their impossible speed that kills you. they should have come above advance/rush, and Rivals was terrible... as much as i hate Heroes, it was far superior to that! Wheres the actual sonic compilation games? like sonic gems (maybe not) or sonic mega collection? and Sonic rush 2 was really enjoyable (just remove those water sections)
  • JDMDrifter - May 3, 2010 11:16 p.m.

    So this is the top seven that will be in talk radar 100 it seems. There could have been better top sevens but it isn't to bad.
  • Cyberninja - May 3, 2010 10:09 p.m.

    the best 3d one was the first sonic adventure for dreamcast and i dont care what any else has to say about it and rush was fun too bad my friend lost it =(
  • Nucleotyde - May 3, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    I think you should have kicked the compilation off and put Sonic Heroes in. I think that, overall, it holds up much better than Battle. The only levels I ever replay in Battle are the Sonic and Shadow ones and a few Tails and Eggman levels, but Sonic Heroes is much more solid. Plus it doesn't have a weird, over ambitious plot with military conspiracies. Sonic Advance is awesome. I loved the way that the characters were just different enough to add replay value without messing with the flow of the game. That's exactly what Sega should shoot for IMO. BTW, real men use Amy.
  • MediocreDinosaur - May 3, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    In that promotional video for Sonic All Stars Racing, I kept expecting the guy to pop out and say DOLCE & GABBANA, HELLO?! But he never did. And lo, I was dissapoint.

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