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...


  • Monkey - April 1, 2009 11:53 a.m.

    Sorry people I have to...First. Sonic 2 FTW
  • deathrebellion - April 1, 2009 2:02 p.m.

    i must say sonic wuz at his best in 2D and my 2D favs r - Sonic CD and Sonic Advance and his best 3D appearences has to be in Soinc Unleashed (Hedgehog not the Werehog) but the Werehog wuzn't the worst in appearence u guys just hate him cuz he became slow strechy and came out in the worst Sonic Game yet. U guys also 4got to add the Golden Sonic (the one where he absorbs all the chaos emralds. i can't quite recall his actual name now) and i just Knew u guys wud give Mario the same treatment when i read the 1st line of this Feature (^^)
  • ClusterShart - April 1, 2009 2:03 p.m.

    I loved the redraw for Sonic 1, on the iPod. Am I the only one that played it?
  • Camoxide - April 1, 2009 2:50 p.m.

    Sonic advanced. Somehow Sonic Heroes took a step back in graphics...
  • SuperBadnik - April 1, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    I thought he looked best in Sonic the Hedgehog(2006) despite game being a bit mediocure.
  • Necron - April 1, 2009 6:10 p.m.

    I like both Sonic 2 and 3 renditions. Sonic was just meant to be 2D it seems. Recaptcha: Privates could, LOL!!!
  • animeman - April 1, 2009 6:28 p.m.

    I like the Sonic from SSBB the best or any other 3D Sonic.
  • Evey - April 1, 2009 8:45 p.m.

    Is it just me, or does the Sonic for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, look like his pupils are way too big. He looks stoned.
  • ThunderMuffinsMcgee - April 1, 2009 9:40 p.m.

    sonic 2 is teh pwn! ^_^
  • Pocotron - April 1, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    I think reCAPTCHAs are the new thing. Apparently, I'm "in Louise"
  • stupididiot7 - April 2, 2009 1:47 a.m.

    Sonic Unleashed!
  • Superwes - April 2, 2009 10:39 a.m.

    I like the Super Smash Bros. the best, he seems the most defined.
  • Blash - April 2, 2009 8:26 p.m.

    Sonic CDs my favorite 2D one, nothing beats the pale blue Sonic IMO. I can't decide which 3D Sonic I like best though, it's between 2006 or Unleashed.
  • SuperStingray - April 2, 2009 8:32 p.m.

    In terms of character design, I prefer his appearance in Sonic Unleashed. (Not the Werehog form, mind you.) His personality was evident and he looks very sleek and aerodynamic.
  • thochaos - April 3, 2009 12:57 a.m.

    I also think the Sonic 2 sprite is the best.
  • supersupersuperguy - April 3, 2009 1:49 a.m.

    Haters. Anyways, yeah, those Sonics you chose to be in "The Best" section are good, BUT I noticed they're all 2D. I LIKE 3D Sonic.
  • kennym - April 3, 2009 11:34 a.m.

    sonic adventure 2 or sonic unleashed version are the best I think
  • SilverJazz - April 3, 2009 2:10 p.m.

    Though I think that sonic looks better in Brawl by far to date to be honest he was best in Sonic 2 on the Sega Genesis
  • SuperStingray - April 4, 2009 5:22 a.m.

    The Werehog WAS a dumb idea, but I don't think it fits here. It may be Sonic, but it's not Sonic's natural form. If your going to include the Werehog, you should include all Super Sonics, Hyper Sonic, Darkspine Sonic and Golden Knight Sonic as well. :P
  • Picnic1 - April 5, 2009 11:10 a.m.

    Sonic started to lose his looks after Sonic CD. NiGHTS was probably partially to blame- they accentuated his spikes, giving him a harlequin look. They also started to make him skinnier than the satisying sprite of old. The older version are balanced just right in proportions to convincingly look like a round ball when spinning. Compare the very first shot of Sonic finger waving on the first Sonic the hedgehog, a look of assured confidence on his face, to the gaunt gangster wannabe of later incarnations.

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