Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

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This article is about the 1991 Sega Genesis game. You may be looking for the 2006 reboot with the same name.
Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic 1 Cover.jpg



Protagonist: Sonic the Hedgehog
Genre: Platforming
Platforms: Sega Genesis
Wii (Virtual Console)

Nintendo 3DS (Virtual Console)

Release Date: June 23, 1991 (original release)
Developer: Sonic Team

Christian Whitehead (remake)

Publisher: Sega
Franchise: Sonic The Hedgehog
Next Game: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic the Hedgehog is a 2D platforming game released for the Sega Genesis in 1991 and developed by Sonic Team which has been re-released and ported in many different platforms over the years.

Why It Rocks

  1. Colorful and detailed graphics.
  2. Great soundtrack composed by Masato Nakamura, best known as a former member of the J-pop band Dreams Come True.
  3. Sonic continuously builds up momentum and speed as he keeps running uninterrupted, meaning if the player is good they can keep Sonic running at very fast speeds without stopping.
  4. The game is specifically designed around speedruns.
  5. Simple controls. All you need is to move and jump.
  6. Good level design with many branching paths. The higher paths reward players for keeping up the high speed while the lower, more obstacle-filled paths punish players for not speeding up.
  7. Getting at least 50 rings at the end of a level lets you play a bonus round to try and get a Chaos Emerald. If you get all of them you get the good ending after beating the game.
  8. The iOS and Android port from 2013 adds additional content such as being able to play as Tails and Knuckles, a new sound test, and the ability to play as Super Sonic.

Bad Qualities

  1. No save files. You basically have to speed run the game if you want to beat the final boss. This can be a problem if you are playing this game on the Sega Nomad whose battery life only lasts about three-four hours. This was corrected in later ports.
  2. Because Sonic's control and physics are built around constant flowing movement, sections that require slower, precise platforming becomes sluggish and slippery (a perfect example being Marble Zone).
    • Labyrinth Zone is the biggest offender, as it is full of underwater sections and crammed obstacles that prevent speeding up.
  3. Three stages (or acts) per zone, which quickly starts to feel repetitive.
    • According to the developers, the game was intended to have more zones with two acts each but they didn't have the time to create the graphics necessary for any new zones.
  4. Many of the game's ports have been terrible, with the GBA version being considered the worst.
    • The iOS and Android remastered ports are free but you will always get an ad every time you pause and unpause, so in order to remove the ads, you will have to pay money.
  5. The special stages control very poorly and all you get for clearing all of them is a slightly different ending cutscene.
  6. For the Final Zone, you get no rings unless you had beaten the previous stage with rings. You have to play perfectly to defeat Robotnik, and this could be hard for newer players.


  1. Sonic first appeared in Rad Mobile as an air freshener, five months before this game was released.




Gucci Rsbbit

16 months ago
Score 3
I agree.

Lake's Wild World

8 months ago
Score 1
I'm thinking about giving the 8-bit version of this game its own page.


6 months ago
Score 1
Should I add SegaSonic the Hedgehog?


6 months ago
Score 0
since the IOS of both Sonic 1 and 2 is filled with ads, imagine those ads in the original Genesis version!

Master Chief

4 months ago
Score 0
They didn't used to be, it used to be you pay 4 dollars, you get the complete game, no ads, no BS. But I guess too many people pirated it so Sega made it free to play with ads.


5 months ago
Score 1
It was released exactly 16 years before my birth!


one hour 9 minutes ago
Score 0
woah, guess i am younger than you, but also born as a bright spark

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