All Mainline Sonic Games In Order Of Release Date

Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog series includes 17 Sonic 2D side-scrollers and 15 3D platformers. The total is 32 main Sonic titles. 

Let’s run down the best-selling adventure franchise without considering its spin-offs. Otherwise, we would have to list beyond 100 Sonic games.

Every Sonic Game in Chronological Order

  • Sonic the Hedgehog – 1991
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – 1992
  • Sonic CD – 1992
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos – 1993
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – 1994
  • Sonic & Knuckles – 1994
  • Knuckles’ Chaotix – 1995
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble – 1994
  • Sonic Blast – 1996
  • Sonic Blast 3D – 1996
  • Sonic Adventure – 1998
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure – 1999
  • Sonic Advance – 2001
  • Sonic Adventure 2 – 2001
  • Sonic Advance 2 – 2002
  • Sonic Heroes (3D) – 2003
  • Sonic Advance 3 – 2004
  • Sonic Rush – 2005
  • Shadow the Hedgehog – 2005
  • Sonic the Hedgehog – 2006
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings – 2007
  • Sonic Rush Adventures – 2007
  • Sonic Unleashed – 2008
  • Sonic and the Black Knight – 2009
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 – 2010
  • Sonic Colors – 2010
  • Sonic Generations – 2011
  •  Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 – 2012 
  • Sonic Lost World – 2013
  • Sonic Mania – 2017
  • Sonic Forces – 2017
  • Sonic Frontiers – 2022

The saga is consistent with its formula. Sonic is a blue hedgehog who runs fast, learns abilities, and defeats Doctor Robotnik. Let’s check all of the times we’ve been speeding for rings.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2D) – 1991

The original Sonic the Hedgehog is available on most modern consoles.

The original title debuted for the Sega Genesis in 1991. It introduced the blue hero on a quest to defeat Dr. Robotnik. It’s currently available for Android, iOS, Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendo 3DS, Windows, Linux, SteamOS, and Linux. Rom sites would have it as well.

A simple control design allows Sonic to jump and attack with a single button. Alongside original J-pop music, Sonic became Sega’s mascot and sold over 24 million copies worldwide.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2D) – 1992

sonic-the-hedgehog-2
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is Sega’s second best-selling game.

The sequel debuted in 1992 for Sega Genesis. It’s available for iOS and Android. Additionally, you may download it from Steam for Windows, macOS, SteamOS, and Linux.

Dr. Robotnik returns as the antagonist as he tries to power a space station, the Death Egg. Defeating the evildoer requires completing ten levels. If Sonic collects ten rings, he warps to a special stage with pseudo-3D pipe maps. Also, a second player may join as Miles “Tails” Prower in co-op.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD (2D) – 1993

Sonic CD debuted in 1993 for the Sega CD console. Currently, you may play it on Windows as well. It’s also available for AndroidiOS, the PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live. 

The plot follows Sonic as he tries to save the Little Planet satellite from Doctor Robotnik. A time-traveling mechanic allows Sonic to visit a zone in different eras to complete the levels. Gameplay-wise, players had to collect a set number of rings across seven levels.

Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos (2D) – 1993

Chaos debuted in 1993 for the Game Gear and the Master System. 

Players can control Sonic and Miles Prower on a quest to stop Dr. Robotnik from creating nuclear weapons. It’s an 8-bit game with a simple control scheme and a level design.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (2D) – 1994

Sonic 3 debuted in 1994 for the Sega Genesis and the Mega Drive (8-bit version). Sonic and Tails were the main characters, and their goal was to stop Dr. Robotnik from relaunching his space station.

Sonic 3 has six levels plus private pseudo-3D areas. Players can use Sonic, Tails, or both. Another player can jump into co-op at any moment. Also, the title introduces Knuckles the Echidna, guardian of the mysterious Death Egg’s island.

Sonic & Knuckles (2D) – 1994

sonic-and-knuckles
Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3 are currently sold as the same game.

Sonic & Knuckles debuted in 1994 for the Sega Genesis and the Mega Drive console. Currently, you may find both Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles as “Sonic 3 & Knuckles.” It’s available for Windows, macOS, SteamOS, and Linux.

It’s a direct sequel to Sonic 3, where Sonic and Knuckles must save Angel Island from Dr. Robotnic. It’s similar to the previous game, albeit Knuckles is the secondary playable character. Moreover, it has six levels, just as before. 

Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble (2D) – 1994

Triple Trouble debuted in 1994 for Game Gear. It’s a sequel to “Chaos” and features the same classic gameplay we’ve seen.

Also, players can choose either Sonic or Tails to find the Chaos Emeralds before Dr. Robotnik. Gameplay-wise, the characters can use items they find to complete the six levels.

Knuckles’ Chaotix (2D) – 1995

Knuckles’ Chaotix debuted in 1995 for the Sega 32X. Most people consider it a spin-off, but it still presents the same gameplay as the classic Sonic games.

The title features Knuckles the Echidna plus four other characters (the Chaotix). They journey to stop Doctor Robotnik and Metal Sonic from conquering a mysterious island.

Sonic Blast (2D) – 1996

Sonic Blast debuted in 1996 for the Game Gear. It introduced pre-rendered visuals to the series. 

Sonic and Knuckles are playable characters. They go through 15 levels to stop Doctor Robotnik from using the Chaos Emerald shards. Gameplay-wise, the title introduced new abilities to both characters, like a spin for Sonic. 

Sonic Blast 3D (3D) – 1996

sonic 3d 1996

Sonic 3D Blast debuted in 1996 for the Sega Saturn and the Sega Genesis. It’s the first game in the saga featuring (quasi) 3D graphics. It’s also available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and SteamOS.

The game is about saving the Flickies, birds Doctor Robotnik enslaved. As Sonic, players complete seven levels to save the animals. The gameplay is similar to before, but you play in isometric graphics on pre-rendered 3D models.

Sonic Adventure (3D) – 1998

Sonic Adventure debuted in 1998 for the Sega Dreamcast. You may also find the DX version (Director’s Cut) for Windows.

The gameplay stays similar to previous games, with some additions. First, there’re minigames like racing and a virtual pet (Chao). Then, playable characters include Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Big the Cat, and E-102 Gamma.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure (2D) – 1999

Sonic Pocket Adventure debuted for the Neo Geo Pocket Color in 1999. It’s similar to Sonic 2 but also features unique levels and elements from the original game. 

Currently, it’s available in the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. 

Sonic Advance (2D) – 2001

Sonic Advance debuted in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance. It’s the first Sonic game for a Nintendo handheld console.

The story follows Sonic, Knuckles, Amy, and Tails traveling to stop Doctor Robotnik from controlling the world. Characters complete six levels while collecting seven Chaos Emeralds.

Sonic Adventure 2 (3D) – 2001

Sonic Adventure’s sequel debuted in 2001 for Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube. It’s available on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Windows.

The title has two campaigns: you can play as villains or heroes. The heroes are Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. The enemies are Shadow Hedgehog, Doctor Robotnik, and Rouge the Bat. Each character follows a questline and features a different gameplay.

Sonic Advance 2 (2D) – 2002

sonic-advance-2
Sonic Advance features a similar gameplay as the classic Sonic games.

Sonic Advance 2 debuted for Game Boy Advance in 2002. It’s a sequel to Sonic Advance. Sonic must save his friends from the series’ antagonist by finding seven Chaos Emeralds. 

The gameplay is similar to classic Sonic games. However, the player can unlock four playable characters as the game progresses. These characters are Cream the Rabbit, Cheese the Chao, Knuckles the Echidna, and Amy Rose. 

Sonic Heroes (3D) – 2003

Sonic Heroes debuted on the Nintendo GameCube, PS2, and Xbox in 2003. Similar to previous titles, playable characters are Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles.

The game has a team of heroes racing through various levels to collect rings, and Chaos Emeralds, defeat robots and stop Doctor Robotnik. 

Sonic Advance 3 (2D) – 2004

Sonic Advance 3 debuted for Game Boy Advance in 2004. It’s the sequel to Sonic Advance 2 and stars Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, Cream, and Amy. 

The characters must defeat Doctor Robotnik, alongside his robotic assistant, from building an evil empire. Gameplay-wise, it’s a high-speed 2D platformer across seven zones. Lastly, it allows a 2-player co-op. 

Sonic Rush (2D) – 2005

Sonic Rush debuted for Nintendo DS in 2005. The gameplay is similar to earlier games but takes elements from Sonic Advance. Players control Sonic and Blaze the Cat, both featuring different abilities. 

The game introduced a grading system that ranks the player’s performance on each level. Additionally, it introduced the “Tension Gauge,” a bar that fills when defeating enemies or doing tricks. Once it fills, it can boost the speed and open special 2.5D areas. 

Shadow the Hedgehog (3D) – 2005

shadow the hedgehog

Shadow the Hedgehog debuted in 2005 for Nintendo GameCube, PS2, and Xbox. It’s a sequel to Sonic Heroes, but it allows players to control Shadow the Hedgehog. Doctor Robotnik’s grandfather created the villain.

The title adds third-person shooter elements and a nonlinear design to the long-running platformer. Shadow can use several weapons and attacks, chaos abilities, and weapons. Lastly, the missions and the game have different endings.

Sonic the Hedgehog (3D) – 2006

sonic the hedgehog 3d 2006

Sonic the Hedgehog, the 3D version, debuted in 2006 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Sonic, Shadow, and the new character Silver are the playable protagonists. The team must defeat ancient evil Solaris. Each character has its levels and abilities. There’s also a hub world, multiple boss fights, and a multiplayer mode.

Sonic and the Secret Rings (2D) – 2007

Sonic and the Secret Rings debuted in 2007 for Nintendo Wii. The title follows the titular hero on a journey to stop evil genie Erazor Djinn.

Aside from the core platforming gameplay, Secret Rings uses a character progression system. As Sonic levels, he can unlock special moves.

Sonic Rush Adventures (2D) – 2007

Sonic Rush Adventures debuted in 2007 for Nintendo DS as a Sonic Rush sequel. Likewise, it has a similar gameplay as the original Rush title.

The game follows Sonic, Tails, and Blaze the Cat’s battle against a band of pirate robots in an alternate dimension. However, only Sonic and Blaze are playable characters. 

Sonic Unleashed (3D) – 2008

Sonic Unleashed debuted in 2008 for PS2, PS3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360. It follows Sonic as he restores the world from Doctor Robotnik’s destruction.

The game has two core experiences. It plays like the traditional platformer in the daytime with smooth transitions between 2D and 3D sections. At night, Sonic transforms into a Werehog for brutal combat.

Sonic and the Black Knight (3D) – 2009

Sonic and the Black Knight debuted in 2009 for the Nintendo Wii. It follows Sonic aon a medieval fantasy setting.

The gameplay mixes swordplay and fast-paced platforming. It also uses the Wii Remote motion sensors to handle the character. Lastly, it keeps a similar leveling system as The Secret Rings title.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (2D) – 2010

Sonic 4: Episode I debuted in 2010 for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, iOS, Android, and Windows. It represents a return to the original 2D side-scrolling gameplay, although it has a 2.5D perspective.

The plot follows Sonic as he stops the series’ antagonist after Robotnik’s defeat in Sonic & Knuckles. New additions include new abilities and the ability to replay levels via the world map interface.

Sonic Colors (3D) – 2010

Sonic Colors debuted in 2010 for Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS. A 2020 remastered version ( Sonic Colors: Ultimate ) is available for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Windows. 

The game follows Sonic as he stops Doctor Robotnik’s interstellar amusement park. You go through 2D side-scrolling segments and 3D sections to save “Wisps.” Freeing these creatures grants abilities to use in combat and explorations.

Sonic Generations (3D) – 2011

sonic generations

Sonic Generations debuted in 2011 for PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo 3DS. It’s currently available for Windows as well.

The title follows Sonic and Tails as the ally with past versions of themselves. As such, there’re two core experiences: “Classic,” a side-scrolling 2D platformer in the “past,” and “Modern,” 3D levels similar to Sonic Colors and Sonic Unleashed. 

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 (2D) – 2012

The game debuted in 2012 for Windows, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, iOS, and Android. This time around, Sonic and Tails are playable characters. You can play with the AI or a friend via local or online co-op.

Episode II, the sequel to the first Sonic 4 title, continues with a similar plot, gameplay, and graphic style. As before, it intends to emulate the Sega Genesis Sonic titles.

Sonic Lost World (3D) – 2013

Sonic Lost World debuted in 2013 for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. It’s also available for Windows PCs. 

The title follows Sonic and Tails as they stop the Deadly Six alien tribe. The gameplay features the typical elements of the saga plus parkour features, alternate pathways, Wisp creatures, and Wisp skills.

Sonic Mania (2D) – 2017

sonic mania

Sonic Mania is the latest 2D game in the series. The title debuted for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows in 2017.

Mania celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Sega franchise. It features fast side-scrolling gameplay over 12 levels, several bosses, and Doctor Robotnik as the villain. 

Sonic Forces (3D) – 2017

Sonic Forces debuted in 2017 for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, and Xbox One. Four playable characters team up to defeat Dr. Robotnik. These characters are Classic Sonic, Modern Sonic, Shadow the Hedgehog, and the avatar. 

The gameplay features a similar 3D platforming as Unleashed, with Sonic using both new and old abilities and Wisp power-ups. It also features “Classic” sections, which are 2D side-scrolling levels. Lastly, each character has unique skills and areas.

Sonic Frontiers (3D) – 2022

sonic frontiers

Sonic Frontiers is the latest Sonic game. It debuted in November 2022 for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and Windows.

Frontiers evolved the formula to deliver an open-world platformer adventure game. You collect rings, unlock skills, solve puzzles, beat enemies, defeat colossal titans, and defeat the classic saga villain.

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