The 10 best Sonic the Hedgehog spinoff games, ranked
There is plenty of quality outside of the usual Sonic Adventure.
Everyone knows that Sonic the Hedgehog has had some pretty turbulent years when it comes to the quality of his games. While everyone likes to point to his mainline titles, there are a whole bunch of spinoffs that have been supplanted in your mind. Sure, there are a lot of negatives in this group, and none of these have gained the long-running traction as Mario’s many side games, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a bit of quality here. Here are the ten best Sonic the Hedgehog spinoff games, ranked.
Related: The 10 best Sonic the Hedgehog games
The ten best Sonic the Hedgehog spinoff games ranked from worst to best
10. Sonic Pinball Party
Starting off our list is a simple pinball game for the Game Boy Advance. In all honesty, Sonic Pinball Party doesn’t do anything special, but it plays well enough for what it is. It throws in a story about Eggman turning the animals in Casinopolis into robots, and Sonic can only defeat him by winning a pinball tournament. How much better could a story about pinball be? If you are looking for a fun little pinball game on your GBA with boards dedicated to Nights into Dreams and Samba De Amigo, this is not a bad game by any means.
9. Knuckles’ Chaotix
Knuckles’ Chaotix is more interesting for how it tried to do something new. It features a tether system where you control two characters who rebound back to each other when they get too far. With this, you could actually have a simultaneous cooperative play session here, which was very rare for the 90s. Sometimes, this can be not very pleasant, but we can appreciate the creativity for a Sega 32X game. We also get to see Knuckles team up with the Chaotix, Mighty, Espio, Vector, and Charmy, which we never see in Sonic games anymore.
8. SegaSonic the Hedgehog
SegaSonic the Hedgehog is kind of an oddball entry here because we have never played it, and you might not ever get a chance to. This Japan-only arcade game has three people playing as Sonic, Mighty the Armadillo, and Ray the Flying Squirrel as they try to escape an island filled with traps after being captured by Eggman. The game is played with a trackball and jump button, which is why it has never been re-released on consoles all this time later, but we still hold out hope for it to happen one day.
7. Team Sonic Racing
Team Sonic Racing takes the racing spinoff series and removes the rest of the Sega representation. While this is unfortunate, we like the idea of making a racing game where team play is actually incentivized. You can send items to teammates, work with each other by setting up draft zones, and your individual placement is combined with your team to decide where you all rank. It makes a lot more sense for this to have this name than Crash Team Racing.
6. Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
Everyone knows how much of a disaster Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric was on the Wii U, but the 3DS games of Shattered Crystal and Fire & Ice are not terrible. You play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Sticks as you go through 2D side-scrolling levels to rescue Amy from Lyric. The speed has been toned down a bit here, but you can swap between characters in the middle of gameplay to get past obstacles, an interesting mechanic at play here.
5. Sonic the Fighters
Sonic the Fighters is about as simple of a fighting game that you can get, but this arcade game is quite the novelty for Sonic fans. Eggman and Metal Sonic are in space doing bad things, while Sonic and friends are on earth fighting over who will take the Chaos Emeralds up in their single-seat rocket to defeat them. It’s a wild concept, and the game has been re-released on Xbox 360 and is backward compatible on current Xbox consoles.
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4. Shadow the Hedgehog
In the 90s, Sega constantly received mail from Sonic fans asking them to give Sonic a gun. Obviously, that never would fit with the blue hedgehog, but after the more gruff Shadow was introduced and took off in popularity, they decided to give him some firearms and his own adventure. In this game, you speed through areas and shoot enemies when you get your hands on various guns. There are also three varying storylines you can follow depending on the sides you decide to help in each level, altering the boss fights you see later in the game.
3. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine is just a simple reskin of Puyo Puyo for the west. There is no Sonic in this game, and all you do is play traditional games of Puyo Puyo, which is great for fans of those games because it’s a lot of fun. We all like how the art style and characters are taken directly from the cartoon Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
2. Sonic Riders
Sonic Riders is a racing game that has you choose your favorite Sonic character or one of the new bird characters, Jet the Hawk, Wave the Swallow, or Storm the Albatross. The sense of speed, along with the extreme sports art style and theme here, makes Sonic Riders stand out. The controls can be a bit complicated, but this game had a lot of promise for future innovation, which was killed off by the Kinect game, Free Riders.
1. Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed
While pretty much every game on this list has an example of “this game can be good, but…” Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed is legitimately a ton of fun to go back to even today and doesn’t have many shortcomings. The original All-Stars Racing game was straight-up a Mario Kart clone, but the series made its own identity here. Your chosen character had a special ability that could get them back in the race, and as you got to certain parts on a track, your vehicle would swap between a car, speedboat, and plane.