Image via SEGA

The 10 best songs from Sonic the Hedgehog games – Best Sonic music

Admit it, you've rocked out to at least a few of these tunes.

As hit or miss as the games may be at times, there is no denying that the Sonic the Hedgehog games have some of the best soundtracks you will find in gaming, both ironically and unironically. Whether you enjoy the classic chiptune offerings of the originals, the Crush 40 era of “Butt Rock” bangers, or the heavy metal-inspired tracks of the more recent entries, there is a wealth of music in the world of Sonic that fans have come to love and admire over the blue blurs long history. While it’s not an easy task and will likely be very divisive, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best songs and music from Sonics history that capture the franchises’ essence, heart, and are just really good songs to boot.

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10. “Fist Bump” – Sonic Forces

Sonic Forces not only let players create their own characters to fight alongside Sonic and his friends but also gave us a new high-octane track called “Fist Bump.” The track features an upbeat EDM sound with a fast-paced, high-energy feeling and the usual lyrical themes of friendship and teamwork that modern-era Sonic games have become synonymous with.

9. “Chemical Plant Zone” – Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The classic 2D Sonic games are full of banger tracks and music that its hard to pick favorites, but “Chemical Plant Zone” more than earns a spot as one of the series’ best. Its thick bassline drives the track forward and is coupled with equally groovy drums and synthesizer melodies that combine into a memorable, catchy tune that’s one of the groovier entries to this, but by no means a lesser one.

8. “I Am (All of Me)” – Shadow the Hedgehog

Much like the angsty teenage phase we all remember, Shadow the Hedgehog was SEGA’s attempt at a Sonic game with a little more edge and broody with Sonic’s dark counterpart, Shadow, and with it came an equally “edgy” song. Usually referred to as simply “All of Me,” this track features Crush 40 taking on a heavier sound than usual, with more distorted guitars and moody lyrics that fit into Shadow’s persona. That makes sense given the game has you shooting aliens and picking up assault rifles. It’s not the most popular Sonic track, but one that sets itself apart in a good way.

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7. “Live and Learn” – Sonic Adventure 2

Before SEGA said goodbye to their console endeavors, they managed to squeeze one last Sonic title out on their own system with Sonic Adventure 2, and with that came one of the series’ most beloved tunes, “Live and Learn.” The track has a pretty literal meaning, with its lyric centered around dealing with and learning from adversity and struggles to move forward in life. That, coupled with the band’s hard rock-inspired sound and soaring vocals, and you have a certified sonic classic.

6. “Green Hill Zone” – Sonic the Hedgehog

You can’t have a Sonic music list without including this quintessential piece. This piece of music is likely burned into the memories of many Sonic fans, and for a good reason, with its cheerful, upbeat sound that accompanies Sonics first foray into video games, which perfectly encapsulates the positive and welcoming mood of the games and character, and by extension, its community.

5. “Studiopolis” – Sonic Mania

Along with bringing back some classic 2D Sonic goodness, Sonic Mania also saw the fan-directed game include brand-new levels that, like their accompanying music, captured the originals’ spirit. “Studiopolis” is one of the most popular new levels introduced in the game, and its jazz-inspired soundtrack works perfectly alongside it, with an energetic horns section accompanied by some slick piano licks that sound like a tune right out of the 90s classic, showing that the fans truly understand what makes Sonic’s music great as well as its gameplay.

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4. “Friends” – Sonic Mania

Let’s not mince words; Sonic Mania is one of, if not the best, to happen to Sonic in years. It was made all the better by Hyper Potions, who provided several songs for the trailers and opening animation, with “Friends” being the standout. Its joyful, upbeat EDM sound felt fresh and nostalgic and fit perfectly with the return of Sonic’s classic 2D gameplay. It’s so good that the song was used in the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie released in 2020.

3. “Vandalize” – Sonic Frontiers

This track from Sonic Frontiers is another example of the series moving forward musically. Performed by the band One Ok Rock, it’s quite the departure from the usual sound we hear in Sonic tracks, but it oddly manages to work well within the world of Frontiers, and the pop-rock sound offers up something different yet fitting and welcome to the fold. Much like Frontiers evolved the Sonic game, with tracks like this and another song that’ll show up soon, SEGA is also looking to do the same with its musical offerings going forward.

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2. “Undefeatable” – Sonic Frontiers

Sonic Frontiers brought a long overdue upgrade to the Sonic formula, and that extends to the series’ music and soundtrack. Performed and co-written by Kellin Quinn of Sleeping with Sirens, this track easily features some of the heaviest riffs heard in the series, and Kellin’s huge vocal range is on full display. It also fitted perfectly with the importance and epic scale of the boss battle with Giganto. Coupled with a message of facing fears and overcoming hardships, this track honors what came before while building on it and gives a glimpse of the sounds and music we could see from Sonic in the future, and they sound pretty dang good.

1. “Escape from the City” – Sonic Adventure 2

Can you really call yourself a Sonic fan if you don’t know this track? Right from the first moment the bassline kicks off, this song cemented itself as the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to Sonic music. It’s got high energy and great musical flair and sets the tone for the game it was featured in and the series as a whole. So much so the song has gone on to become the unofficial theme for the Sonic fandom and has seen countless remixes, covers, and inclusions to other games like Super Smash Bros. It’s without a doubt a classic for both Sonic and gaming in general, and it rightly deserves its place at the top.


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Author
Matthew Fuller
Matt is a freelance writer based in the UK and has spent over three years covering and writing about video games. He discovered his love of games journalism while attending Canterbury Christchurch University, where he earned a bachelor's and master's degree in Game Design and has been writing ever since. He will find any excuse to play and write about games. When he isn't fighting dragons or exploring far-off galaxies, he spends his free time playing D&D, listening to music, or reading a good book. His primary game bests are Diablo IV, the Final Fantasy series, D&D, and anything new releasing that tickles his fancy.