Top 7 3D Sonic Games Sonic the Hedgehog

Top 7 3D Sonic Games

July 2, 2022

By: Chris Penwell

 
 

Sonic the Hedgehog has a deep 30-year history in the video game industry, and as that has passed, many great 3D Sonic games have been released. The classic 2D titles are more appreciated by the community, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can't find quality within these 3D platformers. From the exciting Sonic Generations to all of Team Sonic joining forces in Sonic Heroes, here are the Top 7 3D Sonic Games.

7 - Sonic Forces

Sonic Forces Best 3D Sonic games
Image via Sega

The most recent of this list is also the most contested. Sonic Forces is a 2017 title in the franchise that disappointed many with its basic platforming and excessive quick-time events. However, it does present some exciting environments to speed through, and you can play as your own custom character for the first time in the series. The marketing for the game teased a darker storyline, but Sega, unfortunately, didn't match expectations.

 

Infinite, the antagonist of the game, does have a cool style that add a menacing presence on Mobius, however. If you're looking for a straightforward Sonic game that doesn't stretch your platforming muscle, you might actually have a bit of fun with Sonic Forces for a night. Just don't buy it for an expensive price as it only lasts around three hours to complete. 

Read more about Sonic Forces: 

 
 

6 - Sonic and the Black Knight

Sonic and the Black Knight Wii 3D Sonic Games
Image via Sega

Did you know Sonic the Hedgehog wielded a sword in the past? Well, on the Wii's Sonic and the Black Knight, he was the knight of the wind. In these medieval-themed levels, you're speeding through castles and England-inspired fields. With Sonic's new sword, you can spin in the air and slash foes beneath him. There are also some cool boss battles against characters you may know from the series, such as Knuckles and Shadow.

For better or worse, Sonic Team fully embraces the theme and succeeds in many ways with it through the storytelling and the art design. The popular band Crush 40 also has a sick theme song called "Knight of the Wind" for the game that is remembered more fondly than the game itself. Maybe a remake of the game on the Nintendo Switch with proper controls rather than motion would be accepted more by the fanbase.

 
 

5 - Sonic Heroes

Sonic Heroes Best 3D Sonic Games

Sonic Heroes is a historic entry in the platforming series as this was Sega's first foray on all three systems, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and the Nintendo GameCube. It also resulted in a great game that was hampered by a few issues. In Sonic Heroes, you can play with four different groups: Team Sonic (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles), Team Dark (Shadow, Rouge, E-123 Omega), Team Chaotix (Vector, Espio, Charmy), and Team Rose (Rose, Cream, and Big the Cat).

Each has its own stories that all conclude towards one final stage once all of them have been completed. There are camera issues, but the overall game design was solid as each character has a role in the level. For example, in Team Sonic, Knuckles breaks obstacles with his fists, while Tails flies in the air while grabbing both Sonic and Knuckles in the air. It would be cool if Sega returns to this concept with a more modern game engine and a better camera.

4 - Sonic Adventure series

Sonic Adventure 2 Best Sonic Games
Image via Sega

The Sonic Adventure series succeeded in delivering a compelling 3D platforming experience while its competition Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine thrived on the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube. It has an engrossing story with many playable characters, levels with spectacle, and decent controls that could certainly be improved by a remake if Sega ever decides to.

 
 

Sonic is so rad during this game as well as he leaps off a helicopter, lands on the streets of City Escape, and then snowboards on the road. Like the Sonic Advance series on the Top 7 Best 2D Sonic Games list, many swear by these games. There's obvious age within the platforming segments, making this lower on the list, but it's still worth checking out on PC through Steam.

3 - Sonic Colors: Ultimate

Sonic Colors Ultimate Best 3D Sonic Games 2022
Image via Sega

With strong theming, a Sonic the Hedgehog game can go a long way, and this is the case with Sonic Colors: Ultimate. There are distinct environments like a theme park and forests that truly look stunning. Originally released on the Wii, it's recently been remastered for 4K screens in 60 frames per second in the Ultimate version on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

It's one of the most polished 3D games in the series with stellar levels and grand boss fights. It also adds the powers of the wisps, creatures that Sonic meets in the game. You can zip through a section of a stage with one wisp's power while another drills into the ground for you. They help heighten each level and makes this game unique in the series. 

2 - Sonic Unleashed

Sonic Unleashed Best 3D Sonic Games
Image via Sega

In 2008, Sonic Unleashed debuted the exciting boost formula to the Sonic the Hedgehog series. We were treated to a bunch of 3D levels that showcase the speed of the blue blur on the screen. Pressing the shoulder buttons while running forward would move to the left or the right for you, and it's a rush to avoid obstacles in this manner. In 2022, the game still looks great with a gorgeous art style and top-of-the-line graphics for the time. It's recently been upgraded on the Xbox Series X/S, adding higher-resolution visuals and 60 frames-per-second gameplay.

 
 

The only issue with Sonic Unleashed is the werehog sections. Sonic during the night levels turns into a werewolf-like form and takes out enemies in a beat-em-up section. They're dull to go through, but the 3D Sonic levels are so good that fans of the series go through the tormenting werehog sections to play them. 

1 - Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations Top 7 Best Sonic Games Sonic the Hedgehog
Image via Sega

Celebrating 20 years of the blue hedgehog, Sega created a new game called Sonic Generations that combines fan-favorite levels of the 2D and 3D eras of the series. Sonic Team cleverly remade classic stages like Green Hill Zone into 3D and turned Sonic Adventure 2's City Escape into a 2D level as Sonic Generations crosses over both iterations of the character into one journey. It's a clear love letter to fans with exceptional levels inspired by the character's historic adventures.

Both the modern and classic levels feel great to control, and thankfully, there aren't any gimmicks like the aforementioned werehog to distract from the main gameplay. It's also neat how the music of the franchise was remade for the game with Chemical Plant Zone's theme getting a rocky version in the modern section and Seaside Hill receiving a retro throwback to the Genesis days in a classic 2D level.

We think Sega should return to this formula with a Sonic Generations sequel. Perhaps this time, they could include the movie version from Ben Schwartz and the Sonic Boom iteration into the mix for the 35th anniversary.


That's it for our list of the Top 7 3D Sonic games. With the mixed reception of Sonic Frontiers in mind, we're expecting to play these treasured games sometime in the future to remind us why we love this series so much. Check out our list of the best 2D Sonic the Hedgehog games as well, which are arguably better in quality.

More Info About This Game

In This Article

Developer
Sonic Team
Publisher
Sega
Release Date
November 11,2010
Genre
Platformer