Which version of Sonic is the best version of Sonic?

There are a few contenders for worst Sonic ever. We're not necessarily talking about his worst game, just the worst version of the hog himself. Take this one, for instance. This was a prototype version of Sonic Xtreme, designed with the 32X roughly in mind. He's slow, angular and a bit misshapen. In other words, a bit crap.

But we're actually very fond of him. There's a lot to be said for early, flat-shaded 3D and we still long for more games to be released using it. What was once cutting edge has gone right through 'dated' and come full-circle to look uber-stylised - just look at Rez or Geometry Wars. That said, however, this Sonic is laughable, so despite his charms, there's no way he can avoid the bottom of the pile. But he's still waaay better looking than the next one...

Sonic into Dreams
If we're talking about 'misshapen', then we can't ignore this fella. This was the first time we got to play as Sonic on the Saturn, as an unlockable 'bonus' in Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams. It was a nice idea, but odd considering this free-roaming Sonic shows up the worst aspects of the game engine and makes an otherwise beautiful game look like the proverbial dog's dinner.

His animation is basic, his jumps disorientating and his movement incredibly jittery compared to the serene gliding of his little jester friend. If it wasn't for the bouncy Dr Robotnik boss level, we'd probably never touch this mode again.

So we've had two 3D Sonic in the 'worst' list. But don't think all the 2D ones are sacred. Look at these abominations:

The Panasonic Sonic
Back in 2002 (we believe), Sonic made his mobile phone debut in a game for the Panasonic 503i. Not in a reworking of his original game like we can buy now for a few quid. No, this was a game designed to fit the technological 'capabilities' of the new generation of mobile phones in Japan.

We've searched and searched for a video of this monstrosity, but can't find one anywhere. But, judging by the look of it, perhaps that's for the best. Because it appears to have been drawn by a four-year-old. With his feet. And poo for a pen.

Sonic Blast
Then there's this Game Gear outing. See what we mean when we say it's a shame the original Sonic sprite never got a rerun? Instead, we got supposed improvements like this. While it's all well and good to use fancy computers to pre-render 3D models and convert them into images a caveman's console could run, what's the point? There's no escaping the fact that all the techno-wizardry makes the actual gameplay take a back seat. That and the fact that Sonic looks like he's he's been melted in a microwave and had his feet mauled by a tiger. How does he even stand up?

But all of the above pale in comparison to the last of our chosen few shockers. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to open a big can of hate worms for the worst Sonic of all time.

Above: Why?

It's the were-hog from Sonic Unleashed. This is technically still Sonic, only he's gone through a transformation that turns him from uber-cool, ultra-fast hero into a shambling, stretchy-limbed, furry abomination. 

The only reason he exists is to pad out the game because regular Sonic's amazing action stages now take far too much time, money and effort to produce because he's so fast you need miles of scenery to fill a single minute of action.

But that's no excuse for his existence. If he were called anything other than Sonic, and appearing in a game that didn't tantalise us with the best Sonic gameplay in a decade, we might feel differently. But he isn't, and he didn't, so we don't.

Rant over, let's soothe the pain with some pretty pictures of the best Sonics ever...

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  • killerhi5 - August 9, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    my fav sonic for some reason is the sonic battle one i think his image is a mix of the original and the newer graphics..... i know no one agrees but i sorta like the were-hog, not the gameplay but his look and the idea of him is pretty cool
  • jnewco81 - December 14, 2009 8:28 p.m.

    Sonic Jam! The newer 3D Sonics have long, curved spines, which doesn't look quite right. Sonic Jam got the angles spot on in my opinion
  • oufour - December 5, 2009 1:38 a.m.

    no game will take the place of sonic 2... but sonic CD looked way better.
  • jackthemenace - September 13, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    people need to make more 2D games. Pixelmation FTW. 'nuff said.
  • ParagonFury - September 9, 2009 11:17 p.m.

    I'd have to say that the Brawl, Unleashed (Normal) and Sonic 2006 look the best.
  • waffledragon33 - July 7, 2009 1:44 a.m.

  • SPIKEtheHEDGEHOG - May 6, 2009 10:04 p.m.

    Although the Werehog idea is quite stupid, i have to admit he looks kind of cool. sorry :\
  • AuthorityFigure - April 24, 2009 5:17 a.m.

    I like the idea of comparing the sprites of yesteryear.
  • Jokebox231 - April 13, 2009 8:39 p.m.

    I agree with animeman, the SSBB sonic looked the best to me, but yeah, werehog was messed up!
  • reyalejandro13 - April 10, 2009 4:40 p.m.

    From the 2D Sonics, yeah, Sonic 2 FTW. Though Sonic SSBB is also one of my favorites, especially for the 2.5D perspective. My favotire 3D Sonic has to be Sonic Adventure 2 Battle when you have all the items. I just think he looks so awesome when he's all blinged out like that. That's also the First sonic game i've ever played.
  • Robertnevis10 - April 7, 2009 7 p.m.

    i hav to say sonic heroes. childhood memories
  • tysr36 - April 3, 2009 10:25 p.m.

    Any Sonic not in 3D is fine.
  • Tidy-Trooper - April 3, 2009 8:21 p.m.

    wheres the Sonic from the Sonic and Knuckles game on Mega Drive?
  • Savannah1994 - April 3, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    You are going to hate me now , but i loooove the were-hog , but Unleashed does suck....
  • kennym - April 3, 2009 11:44 a.m.

    I think sonic unleashed or sonic adventure 2 version are the best.
  • Harmon20 - April 2, 2009 9:13 p.m.

    I agree that the Sonic 2 one is the best. Once again: here's my solution to "Sonic's speed taking up too much time to create levels" problem: You're capable of fancy visual effects with today's systems, right? Well, make it LOOK like he's going faster than he really is (no, don't blur everything.) What I mean is, use the speed Sonic ran at in the Genesis games but use some sort of other effect to show he's going fast. problem solved.
  • stopandstare - April 2, 2009 8:43 p.m.

    I have to say Sonic Racing. That raped.
  • dafreak2 - April 2, 2009 1:51 p.m.

    awww cmon wer is sonic from ssbb xD
  • DongheetheDonkey - April 2, 2009 1:19 p.m.

    Sonic CD is teh best.. me so h00rney
  • Finklemeyer - April 2, 2009 5:54 a.m.

    Am i the only one who likes the Sonic Adventure 2 version. And wtf is up with the feet on the Sonic Riders one.

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