Sonic fans have an ongoing existential drama when it comes to the iconic character and his video game franchise. Back in the early days, from his 1991 debut to Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, the games were fantastic. They’ve become an integral piece of nostalgia. But from then on out, it seemed very difficult for Sega to compete with Nintendo and actually push out a well-made Sonic game. While there are a handful of exceptions, these days, there’s a lot of gamer out there who have taken matters into their own hands, and crafted their own version of the game.
Sometimes, those developers go on and make official Sonic games; case in point, Sonic Mania. So it should come as no surprise that, it turns out, a lot of them are better. So today, we’re taking a look at some of these creations with our list of the top 10 fan made Sonic Games.
10. Sonic Souls
Sonic Souls Made with the Unreal Development Kit, this Sonic 3D game is ALMOST embarrassing for Sega. It’s beautifully designed and gives players the option of playing almost any Sonic character. The downside? It’s a little unpolished when it comes to responsive controls, making your character a little hard to man oeuvre than expected. But fear not, it’s not the only Sonic 3D game on this list, but Souls is a prime example of how fans can really open up a Sonic game and turn it into something more, even if it’s just by diversifying the playable cast.
9. Sonic Boom
Sonic Boom and the Smash Crew While there may be some solid editions to the Sonic fan game community that surpass some of the games created by Sega themselves, there’s also a lot of Sonic fan games that are just straight up parodies. Including Sonic Boom and the Smash Crew – a game that was the response to the ‘revamped’ character aesthetics that appear in the Sonic Boom television show and subsequent game. Aside from being laughably good with it’s MS Paint inspired graphics to it’s sound design, the game does have some substance too, and provides a pretty fun gaming experience similar to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros, which it’s also parodying.
8. Sonic Sequel
Before The Sequel Created by Felipe LakeFeperd Danelaw and the first of his trilogy of unofficial Sonic games, Before the Sequel is set after the original 1991 game but before Sonic 2. It’s likely one of the more well-known Sonic fan games out there to date. It’s follow up Sonic: After the Sequel captures the same magic that Before does, too – perfect physics matching the original Mega Drive versions of the games, all to a brand new soundtrack by Jun Senoue, who was actually the composer on Sonic 3.
7. Sonic Mega
Sonic Mega mix Sonic Mega mix is a pastiche Sonic game that combines the source code of the 1991 original with a new engine. Essentially, it’s a giant mod that lets you play as 4 characters aside from the Blue Blur – Tails, Knuckles, Shadow and Mighty the Armadillo. All of them play differently, and they all open up different paths, meaning that’s a whole lot of game you can play. And the best part? You can still play it on the Mega Drive. The team behind it never quite finished it though, and split up, with only one of the members still working to finish it. But fear not! It’s actually the designer who runs Head cannon Games, which played a crucial role in design for Sonic Mania. Safe to say he knows his way around a Sonic game.
6. Sonic Dreams
Sonic Dreams Collection One of the more popular and well known Sonic parody games, Sonic Dreams Collection consists of four prototype games that, according to the lore of the game, were abandoned by Sega and deemed not appropriate to release. Once you’ve given the Movie Maker a try, you’ll know why. The other standout from the collection is My Roommate Sonic, which gets intimate and surreal real damn quick. You’ve been warned.
5. Emerald Ties
Emerald Ties goes beyond just being a modern revamped version of Sonic. While the game emulates the classic 2D Sonic of the past, it doesn’t borrow anything from those games. Instead, it consists of entirely new and original visuals. Aside from being aesthetic pleasing, it introduces new enemies and level designs that still fit into the tone of Sonic games we all know and love.
4. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
HD Essentially just a revamped version of Sonic 2, HD is a Sonic game that’s aesthetic overhaul is not dissimilar to Sonic Mania, with more of an animated style. Re imagined in high definition! With a brand new all original soundtrack that really impressed players.
3. Sonic Utopia
Utopia is a demo of an open world Sonic game. It’s a stunner, and despite Sonic’s proportions feeling small in comparison to the rest of the worlds, it moves with ease and makes for a load of fun. According to it’s creator Yooka Lay lee, the game is, I quote, “an experiment that not only tries to expand on Sonic game play in an intuitive way in 3D, but also aims to capture the best of Sonic’s style and tie it together in a cohesive experience.”
2. Sonic Chronic Adventure
Best described as a Metroidvania Sonic game, Chrono Adventure is the third game in LakeFeperd’s trilogy, and arguably the best. Made with high ambitions, Chrono Adventure uses a side scrolling form that lets you go beyond just going fast – you have an inventory, you can talk to Np Cs, you can travel between the present and the past, and Sonic gets different upgrades, from Boost Shoes to Bumper Gloves to Jet Boots and even a sword, inspired by Sonic and the Black Knight. Oh, and the story is super cool.
1. Green Hill Paradise 2
This game is known as the fan made 3D Sonic game that put Sega to shame. Incredibly dynamic level design that is anything but rigid. Critics have said that this game is the closest iteration of a 3D Sonic game to capture the feel, speeds and spirit of the original platforms. The reason why this game takes the cake for our number one spot isn’t just because it’s a major improvement on Sonic 3D games, but also because it was made with the Sonic Games Development Kit; a collection of source code that lets fans make their own games based off of Sonic the Hedgehog. Proof that Sega has the materials to actually make a really solid 3D game if they just tried a little damn harder.
Green Hill Paradise 2 is more of an open world playground than level based, but the speed in which you can move – and the ease in which you do with the controls – just goes to show what Sonic is capable of. There we have it friends! Which of these Sonic fan games have you played? Are there ones you can’t wait to try? The benefit of these being fan games means that they’re primarily free to download, so there’s nothing stopping you from diving in.