Sonic the Hedgehog is a game franchise produced by Sega. Its eponymous protagonist is Sonic, an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog who can run at supersonic speeds. Typically, Sonic must stop antagonist Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik's plans for world domination, often helped by his friends.
The first game, released in 1991, was conceived by Sega's Sonic Team division after Sega requested a new mascot character to replace Alex Kidd and compete with Nintendo's mascot Mario. Its success spawned many sequels and helped Sega become one of the leading video game companies during the 16-bit era of the early 1990s. The first major 3D Sonic game, Sonic Adventure, was released in 1998 for the Dreamcast. Spin-offs have explored other genres, including racing games such as Sonic R (1997) and sports games such as Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (2007).
- Sonic the Hedgehog: A 1991 platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It features Sonic in a quest to defeat Doctor Robotnik, a scientist who has imprisoned animals in robots and stolen the magical Chaos Emeralds. The gameplay involves collecting rings as a form of health and a simple control scheme, with jumping and attacking controlled by a single button. It was well-received and commercially successful, establishing the Genesis as a key player in the 16-bit era and allowing it to compete with Nintendo and their SNES.
- Sonic the Fighters: A 1996 fighting game developed by Sega AM2 and published by Sega. It pits players in one-on-one battles with a roster of characters from the series. Built on top of the 3D fighting engine for Fighting Vipers (1996), an earlier fighting game by Sega AM2, and it serves as the debut 3D game in the Sonic series. Across all of its releases, critics held mixed opinions of Sonic the Fighters and it was ultimately regarded as disappointing for fans of the fighting game genre but an obscure novelty for Sonic fans.
- Sonic Lost Word: A 2013 action-adventure platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It follows the efforts of Sonic the Hedgehog to stop an alien tribe called the Deadly Six, who seek to siphon energy from the Lost Hex, the game's setting. Sonic and Tails must team up with Doctor Eggman to stop the Deadly Six, leading to conflicts among the three parties.
- Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric: A 2014 action-adventure game developed by Big Red Button and published by Sega for the Wii U. Along with Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS, the game is a spin-off of the series and is a part of the Sonic Boom franchise, with the game serving as a sequel to the TV series Sonic Boom. The two games together formed the third and final part in Sega's exclusivity agreement with Nintendo, following Sonic Lost World and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in 2013. It was met with a very negative critical response and did not perform well commercially.
- Sonic Mania: A 2017 platform game developed by PagodaWest Games and Headcannon and published by Sega. Produced as part of the series' 25th anniversary, the game features speedy side-scrolling gameplay through twelve levels (including eight redesigned stages from past games). The story follows Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles as they venture to defeat Doctor Eggman and his robotic henchmen, the Hard-Boiled Heavies. Many saw it as a return to form following a string of poorly received games after the 1990s. Sonic Mania Plus, an enhanced version with additional content, was released in July 2018.
- Sonic Forces: A 2017 platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. Produced as part of the series's 25th anniversary, the story sees Sonic joining a resistance force to stop Doctor Eggman. It features three gameplay modes: "Classic" (side-scrolling gameplay similar to the original games), "Modern" (3D gameplay similar to Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors), and a mode featuring the "Avatar", the player's custom character.
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