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

6 – Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (2002)


First released during the Dreamcast’s death throes, this found its way to GameCube in 2002 with a few new modes and lightly enhanced visuals. I honestly couldn’t decide whether to put this or Sonic Heroes at number six, mainly because both are reasonably competent games made mediocre by a frustrating camera, so I asked readers on Twitter to weigh in. Turns out the nearly unanimous response was for Battle, with most everyone citing Heroes’ far worse camera and dumbass character roster.


Above: Hooray, you won the “less shitty” award!

In a roundabout way, I suppose this makes Battle 2 the “best” 3D entry as well as the last game released before the downward spiral that has typified the 2000s. Thankfully it’s more streamlined than the first Adventure and has some genuinely cool “whoa” moments, plus I hear its Chao garden is really sweet. Gonna have to take your word on that.


Above: Apparently this went over really well

But, even at #6, Battle 2 is no Mario 64. It’s not even close, and thus even the best 3D Sonic is still a far cry from a genre-expanding experience. Neither this one nor the much-beloved Sonic Adventure are especially strong titles, a point I feel is best illustrated by this old image I cooked up in 2008:

Basically, when it was first released in 1999, Sonic Adventure scores were immensely positive. When it was rereleased on GameCube just four years later, scores took a huge dive. With launch goggles gone and the wisdom of time now in hand, most of us agreed that Sonic Adventure and all its 3D cousins were and are so-so at best. Not hatin’, just sayin’.

Stupidness that still managed to find its way in:

This guy. It was only a matter of time before we got a black “anti-Sonic” hedgehog, but who would’ve thought they’d angst him up with in-line skates and an arsenal of ridiculous handguns. He’s become inexplicably popular despite starring in one of the worst Sonic games of all time. Maybe there was a reasonably interesting idea in here – turning it into an “ultimate life form” with an elaborate backstory and jet-black motorcycle sure isn’t it.


5 – Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (2010)


Right. So, to even fill this with seven entries we have to make some compromises. This one makes the cut because, unlike Sega Superstars Tennis, Sega billed this as Sonic AND Sega All-Stars Racing, giving Sonic top billing and inadvertently making this a Sonic title in the process. The good news is it’s defensibly fun, and the first joyful spark the franchise had seen in quite a few years.


Above: Why does a supersonic creature need a car? Answer: $$$

Yes, it’s a racing game that shamelessly apes Mario Kart, from its power-ups to its racer types to its loopy course design. Doesn’t mean it isn’t a ton of fun to play. And as an added bonus to Sega fans it’s a celebration of everything they love about a company that rarely catches a critically acclaimed break. Hell, look at this Achievements list!


Above: A bounty of Sega references for those who care

Admit it – you groaned in disbelief when it was first announced. We sure did. But now that it’s out, we have to say it’s delightfully playful and a welcome burst of energy for not just Sonic, but a whole mess of Sega properties that’ve done nothing but tread water for years.

Stupidness that still managed to find its way in:

 

It’s not the game’s fault Sega recorded this achingly vapid promotional video filled with hip-ass teens jus’ hangin’ wit’ the crew and talkin’ ‘bout whatevs. Anyone who cares enough to navigate gaming websites and discover this video is too old or too savvy to be sucked in by a bunch of idiots engaging in marketing speak. Waaaaah, super horn!

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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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