Ultimate Collector's Guide To Sonic The Hedgehog Video Games

Sonic-The-Hedgehog-Collecting-GuideIn the start of this series of articles, I hope to raise awareness of the many different places you can find one game in a popular series. My intent is to make it as easy as possible to figure out if you have the right platform for the game you’re looking for. As for how much you’d have to spend for each release of one game, it’s tough for me to say, as it really depends on where you’re looking.

So I’ve listed Sonic games from the original, Sonic the Hedgehog to Sonic Adventure 2. I tried to include as many Sonic games as I could that were released between the aforementioned games. I have also tried to include as many releases of each respective game as I could, with as much information about the subtle differences as I could.


Sonic the Hedgehog


PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Mega Drive/Genesis
  • Game Boy Advance

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Wii Virtual Console
  • Xbox Live Arcade
  • Playstation Network
  • 3DS 3D Classics
  • Steam
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SETS

  • Sonic Compilation/Sonic Classics 3 in 1
  • Sonic Jam
  • Sonic Mega Collection
  • Sonic Mega Collection Plus
  • Sega Genesis Collection
  • Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection
  • Sonic Classic Collection
  • Sega 3D Classics Collection

UNLOCKABLE

  • Sonic Generations

Basically you can play the original Sonic the Hedgehog on almost any retro or modern system through individual physical copies, download, or through multiple compilation sets. The iOS and Android versions are remastered in the same way Sonic CD was remastered on digital formats back in 2011, and includes new additions to the game like the spin dash, time attack mode, and the option to play as Tails or Knuckles the Echidna. And if you own, or are interested in owning Sonic Generations, you can unlock the original Sonic the Hedgehog game through the in-game Skill Shop.

Link: Find Sonic The Hedgehog on eBay


Sonic the Hedgehog 8-Bit

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Master System
  • Game Gear

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Wii Virtual Console
  • 3DS Virtual Console

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SET

  • Sonic Mega Collection Plus

The 8-bit version of the original is arguably famous for one thing; the fact that Yuzo Koshiro served as this games composer. The easiest way to at least get the Game Gear version outside of actually owning a Game Gear is through the 3DS Virtual Console.

Link: Find Sonic The Hedgehog (8-Bit) on eBay


Sonic the Hedgehog 2

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Mega Drive/Genesis

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Wii Virtual Console
  • Xbox Live Arcade
  • Playstation Network
  • 3DS 3D Classics
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Steam

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SETS

  • Sonic Compilation/Sonic Classics 3 in 1
  • Sonic Jam
  • Sonic Mega Collection
  • Sonic Mega Collection Plus
  • Sega Genesis Collection
  • Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection
  • Sonic Classic Collection

Like Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic CD, the iOS/Android release of this game contains new additions to the game. These additions include boss rush mode, time attack mode, and the Hidden Palace Zone, which previously could not be accessible through normal in-game means.

Link: Find Sonic The Hedgehog 2 on eBay


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 8-Bit

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Master System
  • Game Gear

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Wii Virtual Console
  • 3DS Virtual Console

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SET

  • Sonic Gems Collection

This game did a fine job differentiating itself from its 16-bit counterpart. It’s comparable to Sonic CD and would later be compared to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Knuckles where you have to really explore the stage just to find the necessary items (chaos emeralds) to earn the true ending, which could only be achieved by beating the truly true final stage.

Link: Find Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (8-Bit) on eBay


Sonic CD

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Mega CD/Sega CD
  • PC

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Xbox Live Arcade
  • Playstation Network
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Ouya
  • Apple TV

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SET

  • Sonic Gems Collection

Before 2011, Sonic CD was a tough game to acquire. Either you had to own a Mega CD/Sega CD, or you had to have access to the somewhat hard to find Sonic Gems Collection released on the Playstation 2 and GameCube (in North America’s case, GameCube ONLY). And before 2011, you could only hear one composed soundtrack. In North America, you got the Spencer Nilsen soundtrack, in Japan and the PAL territories, you got the Naofumi Hataya soundtrack. But all releases of Sonic CD since 2011 give you the option to play the game using whichever soundtrack you prefer the most (plus Time Attack, and the option to play as Tails….but really, accessing both soundtracks was the big draw for me).

Link: Find Sonic CD on eBay


Sonic Chaos

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Master System
  • Game Gear

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Wii Virtual Console

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SET

  • Sonic Mega Collection Plus

Sonic Chaos was the first 8-bit Sonic game to have gameplay on par with the 16-bit counterparts. It even allowed you to play as Tails before Sonic 3 gave you that option (although playing as Tails removes chaos emeralds from the game). No longer were chaos emeralds scattered in stages, you had to actually traverse the special stages to find them.

Link: Find Sonic Chaos on eBay


Sonic Spinball

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Mega Drive/Genesis

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Wii Virtual Console:
  • iOS
  • Steam

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SETS

  • Sonic Mega Collection
  • Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection
  • Sega Smash Pack Volume One

Am I alone in thinking this was the best console pinball game? I mean, it’s not a traditional pinball game, but this was one of the better Sonic spin-off titles you could get, for sure.

Link: Find Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball on eBay


Sonic Spinball 8-Bit

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Master System
  • Game Gear

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SET

  • Sonic Gems Collection

And if you want a downscaled version of Sonic Spinball, or were curious as to what a downscaled Sonic Spinball game looked like, or if you can’t get the original Sonic Spinball through all legal means, then try this version.

Link: Find Sonic Spinball (8-Bit) on eBay


Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (and Knuckles)

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Mega Drive/Genesis

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Wii Virtual Console
  • Xbox Live Arcade
  • Steam

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SETS

  • Sonic Jam
  • Sonic & Knuckles Collection
  • Sonic & Garfield Pack
  • Sonic Mega Collection
  • Sonic Mega Collection Plus
  • Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection
  • Sonic Classic Collection

Whether it’s Sonic the Hedgehog 3, or Sonic & Knuckles (AKA Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Part 2), or both together, you get an outstanding Sonic experience. You CANNOT play Sonic 3 & Knuckles on Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (which, for my money, was that compilations biggest disadvantage). But you can play Sonic 3 & Knuckles on the other compilation discs (you can also play the separate Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles games). And if you own both Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles on the Wii Virtual Console or Xbox Live Arcade, it is possible to play Sonic 3 & Knuckles on each respective format. The Steam version gives you the complete Sonic 3 & Knuckles experience (as originally intended) with just one single purchase.

Link: Find Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles on eBay


Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Game Gear

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • 3DS Virtual Console

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SET

  • Sonic Gems Collection

One of those “more of the same” types, that game reviewers considered too easy of a game. But what separates this from the other 8-bit Sonic games is the inclusion of Nack the Weasel. This is also only one of two Sonic games to be featured in the Coleco Sonic handheld, otherwise known as PlayPal, and Pocket Gear.

Link: Find Sonic The Hedgehog Triple Trouble on eBay


Sonic Drift Racing

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Game Gear

This is actually the second drift racing game to be released on the Game Gear. The first was only released in Japan. This is the second Sonic game to be featured on the Coleco Sonic/PlayPal/Pocket Gear.

Link: Find Sonic Drift Racing on eBay


Sonic Labyrinth

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Game Gear

DIGITAL RELEASE

3DS Virtual Console

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SET

  • Sonic Mega Collection Plus

If, for some reason, you thought Sonic Spinball looked too….two dimensional, then this is the game for you.

Link: Find Sonic Labyrinth on eBay


Sonic 3D Blast

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Mega Drive/Genesis
  • Saturn

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Wii Virtual Console
  • Steam

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SETS

  • Sonic Mega Collection
  • Sonic Mega Collection Plus
  • Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection

Mario can transition from 2D to 3D. Why not Sonic? Both the Mega Drive and Saturn only really had visual differences (audio and graphical). For the most part, the game remained the same. You could only get the Saturn version on the Saturn though. All other rereleases are of the Mega Drive version. Worth it for the final battle.

Link: Find Sonic 3D Blast on eBay


Sonic R

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Saturn
  • PC

INCLUDED IN COMPILATION SET

  • Sonic Gems Collection

I’ll be honest. This game is bad. Really bad. But Super Sonic Racing is still one of the greatest vocal jams to come from the Sonic series, and it was made for this very game.

Link: Find Sonic R on eBay


Sonic Adventure

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Dreamcast
  • GameCube
  • PC

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Xbox Live Arcade
  • Playstation Network
  • Steam

Arguably the first successful 3D Sonic game. The original, of course, can be played on the Dreamcast. The other releases are based off the directors cut “DX” version. What seperates the GameCube release of Sonic Adventure is that the GameCube version contains actual Game Gear games you can unlock within the game. All the Game Gear titles mentioned in this article can be found in the GameCube Sonic Adventure DX, and then some. So Sonic Adventure DX for the GameCube is both a rerelease of a Dreamcast classic, and a Game Gear compilation disc at the same time.

Link: Find Sonic Adventure on eBay


Sonic Pocket Adventure

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Neo Geo Pocket Color

This was 2D post-Sonic Adventure Sonic before Game Boy Advance made 2D post-Sonic Adventure games. It does a very good job combining elements from the 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic & Knuckles. The bad news is, it was only released on the Neo Geo Pocket Color. It cannot be legally obtained through any other means.

Link: Find Sonic Pocket Adventure on eBay


Sonic Shuffle

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Dreamcast

The Sonic series attempt at the party game genre, made famous at the time by Mario Party. Only available on the Dreamcast.

Link: Find Sonic Shuffle on eBay


Sonic Adventure 2

PHYSICAL RELEASE

  • Dreamcast
  • GameCube

DIGITAL RELEASE

  • Xbox Live Arcade
  • Playstation Network
  • Steam

I would like to consider this game the series finale of the Sonic series, as a game made originally for a Sega console. Another great 3D Sonic game with quite possibly the best soundtrack out of all the 3D Sonic games. And I’m not just talking about the Crush 40 tracks either. All re-releases of this game are based off the GameCube “Battle” edition of the game.

Link: Find Sonic Adventure 2 on eBay


Summary

And that does it for my collectors guide to the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games. Many of these aren’t too hard to find, and many of these games give you more than one way to play them. One last thing, I should also point out that the Sonic Gems Collection includes an extra that lets you play the final battles of various Sonic titles within a certain time limit. And for the Game Gear collectors, your best bet for retro collecting outside of owning a Game Gear is the Sonic Gems Collection, Sonic Mega Collection Plus, Sonic Adventure DX for the GameCube, and the Coleco Sonic/PlayPal/Pocket Gear. And thank you Amarthar for reminding me of the PC port of Sonic 3D Blast, and for informing me that there is a game.com version of the Sonic Jam compilation, and that version is NOT the same as the Saturn original. So if you want Sonic Jam for a true retro compilation disc containing classic Sonic games, you want the Saturn version.


Last Updated ( 06 June 2016 )  

Comments 

(Link to this comment) Amarthar 2016-06-02 06:52
You forgot that Sonic 3D had a physical PC release as well. And the Game.Com version of Sonic Jam is not a compilation like the Saturn version, so it should also be included in the list.
(Link to this comment) NitroMDP 2016-06-06 02:51
Thanks for the notes.
(Link to this comment) kitcher2020 2016-06-07 02:11
Was Sonic Arcade released outside the arcade? I'm not sure if that was the name. The machine had a rollerball to control Sonic or a yellow brown squirrel / non-Tails dude.
(Link to this comment) Amarthar 2016-06-10 19:34
I think you mean SegaSonic The Hedgehog, and it was arcade only. I was also the first appearance of Mighty the Armadillo and only appearance of Ray the Flying Squirrel.
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