December 2023 is the perfect month to scope out the best Sonic games on PlayStation, whether that be on PS5, PS4, or PS3. This month, we're updating the rankings to include both Sonic Frontiers' final story update. We've also ranked the latest Sonic game on PS5 and PS4, Sonic Superstars. For recommendations on the best Sonic PS5 games, check out the full list below. The best Sonic games available on PS5 and PS4 — ranked In case you didn't know, there are actually a lot of Sonic games on PlayStation consoles. So, to narrow things down, we're only including Sonic games with trophies available to unlock. That means games as far back as Sonic the Hedgehog 4 are in the rankings, but you won't find older titles like Sonic the Hedgehog ('06) or Sonic Heroes in here. As a big fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the below ranking isn't meant to reflect the public opinion on Sonic games, but my own exacting take on which games are actually the most fun to play on PS5 and PS4 (and PS3). We'll be traipsing all over Sonic's history on this journey, so expect a few upsets, but keep an open mind as I try to step away from some of the nostalgia and tell you straight up which games you'll actually enjoy hunting trophies in. Read the full ranking of the best Sonic games down below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZQVGC-esiU 34. Sonic Spinball Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No I considered leaving Sonic's Game Gear games off this list, as they were already covered pretty thoroughly in our Sonic Origins Plus ranked article. Then a thought occurred to me: "Why not dunk on Sonic Spinball for the Game Gear some more?" So we've brought all the Game Gear games in — including this disaster. The worst version of the worst Sega Genesis Sonic game, and now officially the worst Sonic game on PlayStation — play at your own peril. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068902.jpg 33. Sonic Drift Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No Your first instinct might be to compare Sonic Drift to Super Mario Kart, though if this comparison ever legitimately crosses your mind, then you must not have actually played either of these games. If Super Mario Kart is the forefather of every great game in the kart racer genre, Sonic Drift is the forefather of every bargain bin cash-grab feeding off its influence. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068904.jpg 32. Sonic Blast Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No I think I already hit the nail on the head by calling Sonic Blast "as impressive as it is eyeball-achingly hideous," so I'm just going to throw that out there again. How they got these 3D models running on a Game Gear is something I will never understand. Why they wanted to get them running on the Game Gear in the first place is also something beyond human comprehension. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068900.jpg 31. Sonic Drift 2 Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No We tend to be a lot more tolerant of revisionism and iteration in video games than we are with, say, movies or music, because new technology can us unlock a better performance or new creative tools that we could not have accessed in the past. However, these iterations can only go so far when they're applied to bad games, which is why Sonic Drift 2 — a game that is genuinely better than its predecessor — still suffers from being generally awful to play. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068908.jpg 30. Tails' Skypatrol Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No Once again, I must iterate that Tails' Skypatrol still must absolutely be played, if only for the madness of its pseudo-canon side plot. Tails takes to the skies to fight "Witchcart," a witch stuck in a cart — why are Sonic Team wasting their time bringing back Fang the Sniper in Sonic Superstars when we have such A-Grade character material right here? To beat her, you'll need to pilot Tails through several agonizingly difficult levels, all of which never quite manage to be fun to play. That's a legitimate shame because the game is both very pretty and very weird. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068901.jpg 29. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Game Gear) Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — the 8-bit Game Gear version — gives us a faster, stripped-back take on the first Sonic Game Gear game. However, the result is a game that very quickly has you running into roadblocks and obstacles, all of which quickly kill the flow of the platforming. A solid attempt, but hard to recommend to anyone but die-hard completionists. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068899.jpg 28. Sonic Chaos Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No Sonic Chaos is basically just Sonic 2 on the Game Gear all over again, with the added benefit of getting to play as Tails. That's honestly about the only thing different that's worth mentioning, as the weird new power-ups and awkward stages fail to really alter the core experience in any other significant way. Sonic Chaos is absolutely one of those games that you could beat in one sitting and forget having even done so by the end of the day. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068905.jpg 27. Tails Adventure Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No A game that should be celebrated for its weirdness, Tails Adventure is a spinoff that sees Sonic's sidekick taking on an autocratic military power armed with only his smarts, his courage, and a limited supply of lethal explosives. Closer to a Metroid game than Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails Adventure actually isn't all that bad — I'm just ranking it lower because it's not really a Sonic game in the truest sense. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_PlVWKFHjs 26. Sonic the Fighters Release Date: November 27, 2012 Platform: PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No Look, let’s not linger here — while some games do have the word Sonic in their title, and maybe even the character Sonic the Hedgehog in their roster, that does not make them "Sonic games." Sonic the Fighters is a pretty solid, if shallow, brawler — it's just simply not a Sonic game. A fun little novelty to check out if you're a fan, but even then, don't expect to spend much time with this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkkvQ0tb5TE 25. Sonic Spinball Release Date: May 29, 2018 (included in Sega Genesis Classics) Platform: PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No Personally, I love pinball — or, at least, I eventually learned to love pinball. I hit an initial stumbling block when Sonic Spinball convinced me that I, in fact, must hate pinball. With its floaty controls, frequent hidden threats, and perpetual love of kill lanes, what child could love pinball after playing this? Seriously, bopping soundtrack or no, this one's crimes are far too severe to forgive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU3FawgeiAk 24. Sonic Forces Release Date: November 7, 2017 Platform: PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No Had the famously awful Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) been eligible for this list (we're only ranking games with trophy lists), I can promise you one thing — it would have outranked Sonic Forces. Say what you want about Sonic '06 and its failure to deliver on even one of its riskier game design aspirations; at least it had aspirations. By comparison, Sonic Forces plays things very safe, right down to borrowing assets from past games, and yet it still plays like an utter mess. The best thing you can say about Sonic Forces is that its story, peppered generously with moments of Sonic characters bathing your mute freak of a custom character in undeserved praise, is that it’s constantly hilarious. The worst thing you can say about Sonic Forces is that it shows a fundamental lack of understanding on every conceivable level regarding what Sonic games are or why people play them. Where once Sonic games offered the player alternate paths, skill-based platforming challenges, or even just some genuine moments of player agency, Sonic Forces takes it all away. Instead we get hyper-short linear levels, a generic mish-mash of visual elements, and three playable characters who all feel tangible worse to control than any previous Sonic game ever did. If you played and enjoyed this one, I really recommend checking out every single game above this on the list. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068903.jpg 23. Sonic Labyrinth Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No I've said it once and I'll say it a thousand times — Sonic Labyrinth is a deeply underrated game. To be fair, it's also well-deserved; it is the Sonic game with the premise of giving Sonic the Hedgehog "Slow Down Boots." However, if you get past some of the worst branding decisions you've ever heard in your life, there's a surprisingly fast-paced puzzle-adventure game here that can be blasted through with some skillful spin dashes. Heartily recommend giving it a solid hour of play if you do consider checking it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7KIeD1tNGo 22. Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Release Date: February 23, 2010 Platform: PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing was an absolutely fine HD stab at Mario Kart in the days before Mario Kart inevitably went HD and stabbed all the way back, killing All-Stars Racing dead in an instant. Luckily, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing’s excellent successor avenged its fallen forefather by beating Mario Kart to the punch with its transforming cars, killing the much bigger series by way of inferiority complex. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUS8xob1RR0 21. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II Release Date: May 15, 2012 Platform: PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No Whichever flavor of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 you prefer, it really doesn’t matter — they both taste like failure. Though it sure was more interesting when Sonic 4 was simply a bad iteration of Sonic 2 than when it tried to be a bad iteration of itself. By adding Tails and a bunch of dull combo powers to Sonic's moveset, the level design is forced to put up a bunch more blocks and stopping points, which robs the original of its occasionally zippy flow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVmSIiYJMaQ 20. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I Release Date: October 12, 2010 Platform: PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No In 2008, Mega Man 9 was released on Nintendo’s WiiWare channel and was a bitesize return to glory for Capcom’s long-stagnant mascot — one that thrived purely for having brought Mega Man back to its basics. For many, it seemed a harbinger of positive change for the future of classic mascot heroes after years of trendy reboots and reimaginings that saw Sonic get tall and Bomberman turned into a gritty, edgy post-apocalyptic version of itself in Act Zero. Then Sega of America slapped the name Sonic the Hedgehog 4 on a third-party mobile phone title with gimmick-riddled gyroscopic controls, and that bright future was quickly snuffed out. Leaving aside the nonchalant sacrilege of Sega’s title choice, it does bear mentioning that Sonic 4 isn’t a downright terrible game — it’s slight, ugly, and jank as all hell, but not terrible. If you can put up with its rubbish physics, do yourself a favor — make the best of those Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 trophies and try and unlock 'Untouchable.' The boss rush mode at the end is easily the best part of the game, and you'll actually feel something when you manage to grab this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpqs4Fta3Ho 19. Sonic 3D Blast Release Date: May 29, 2018 (included in Sega Genesis Classics) Platform: PS4, PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No Missing the upscaled graphics and texturally moodier music of its Sega Saturn counterpart, the Genesis/Mega Drive version of Sonic 3D Blast is the only version on PlayStation consoles — the second-best version of an already not-excellent Sonic game. It is, however, uniquely bad enough to warrant playing, and it was co-developed by Traveller’s Tales, whose later Lego series would become synonymous with "impressive in concept, roughshod in execution" 3D action platformers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZMkv8_w1yI 18. Team Sonic Racing Release Date: May 21, 2019 Platform: PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No It seems even the Sonic racing games, with a critical track record far above the average of the Sonic series as a whole, can’t help but innovate themselves into comparative mundanity. Team Sonic Racing is a conceptually fascinating failure — a racing game with a genuinely novel teamwork mechanic that just so happens to not work very well. The result makes Team Sonic Racing feel a little too much like Mario Party, though it’s still worth playing for that soundtrack. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgLd8ji7bvI 17. Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine Release Date: May 29, 2018 (included in Sega Genesis Classics) Platform: PS5, PS4, PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No Look, I know I said it hurts your ranking if you're not a real Sonic game, but I just really like Puyo Puyo — plus, this one got a callback in Sonic Mania, so it's kind of important now. Whether you're playing the original Genesis version, or the Game Gear port via Sonic Origins Plus, you're set to have a good time puzzling around with this one. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068897.jpg 16. Sonic the Hedgehog (Game Gear) Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No The original Sonic on the Master System and Game Gear definitely has its heart in the right place. It's a little overly enamored with the platforming standards of the past — auto-scrolling and vertically climbing levels are absolutely not how Sonic the Hedgehog levels should be designed. Still, it has plenty of its own neat twists, a beautiful bloopy soundtrack, and for an early 90s handheld release, it does hold up shockingly well today. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/068898.jpg 15. Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble Release Date: June 22, 2023 (included in Sonic Origins Plus) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No After a couple of decent attempts to make Sonic work on the Game Gear, developer Aspect finally found its footing with Triple Trouble — easily the best of the Sonic library on that handheld. Levels feel stream-lined in a way that would make the Genesis Sonic 2 beam with pride, and it has plenty of its own twists and turns that make it stand out as a unique title in the classic Sonic canon. Plus, it has the biggest connection with the upcoming Sonic Superstars, so definitely worth a revisit! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stqo8KmTz2A 14. Sonic the Hedgehog Release Date: June 23, 2022 (included in Sonic Origins) Platform: PS5, PS4, PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No Consider this the point where the list properly begins, and please know that when all is said and done, I’ll never get tired of playing the original Sonic the Hedgehog. The core of the entire Sonic franchise — both its best features and worst tendencies — lie crystalized somewhere within this original outing. Fast action across stunning locales met hand-in-hand with pace-killing platform labyrinths and frustrating difficulty spikes; that's Sonic, baby. Either way, the soundtrack always kills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CU3CDOK2Ag 13. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Release Date: November 20, 2012 Platform: PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No The best racing game in the series, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed felt genuinely revelatory when it first launched in 2012. The novelty of its vehicle transformation gimmick never detracts from the racing, and combined with the level of fan service on display, this one becomes a must-play even if you aren't a racing game fan. We've limited its ranking here a little because it's not strictly what Sonic's all about, but it is very, very good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHk6jOQLFBA 12. Sonic CD Release Date: June 23, 2022 (included in Sonic Origins) Platform: PS5, PS4, PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No The biggest problem you'll notice when you start collecting Sonic CD trophies is that this game doesn't want you to play it like any other classic Sonic the Hedgehog game. To get the best ending, you'll need to understand that the stages aren't meant to be played linearly, but left-and-right across three time periods, as you attempt to find all the hidden objects in the stage. Sonic CD is a game that weirdly doubles down on all the tricky, pace-killing platforming of Sonic 1, turning that game into a uniquely-awkward momentum-based puzzle platformer. In fact, today you can visualize how the game works better if you think about how Sonic Frontiers features a bunch of platforming challenges scattered across a non-linear area. It makes for a fascinating take on Sonic's gameplay, though you'll need a little patience to get the most out of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgXxz4C-Kuo 11. Sonic Unleashed Release Date: December 9, 2008 Platform: PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No If you're hungry for some harder Sonic trophies, then those Sonic Unleashed trophies should absolutely keep you busy! You literally have to beat every stage countless times on an increasingly smaller allotment of time — it's great, but also fairly brutal. Within Sonic Unleashed is one of the best 3D Sonic games ever made. Everything anyone ever liked about Sonic Generations is done here a little better and with a little more focus. This makes it such a shame that Sonic Team couldn't leave well enough alone and tossed in a baby’s first God of War with the game’s "Werehog" stages. These segments are honestly fine, Sonic games have had worse, but when they detract from some of the best Sonic gameplay ever made, it just hurts that little bit more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsL9pKdJ1A8 10. Sonic Superstars Release Date: October 17, 2023 Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No As someone who has collected all of those Sonic Superstars trophies, let me tell you: this one is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. I mean this with all due affection for the game — it's just a little all over the place. At its core, this feels in many ways as honest and solid a follow-up to Sonic's 2D legacy as Sonic Mania, filled with tricky platforming and some occasionally great level design. Yet its half-baked powers, its philosophically challenged approach to a four-player Sonic experience, and a few moments where the platforming leans a little to close to the original Sonic 1's design make it an awkward one to recommend to even classic fans of the series. Personally, I had a great time with this, but put it this way: I'm also a big fan of Sonic CD's awkward pace-killing design, and Superstars is another game by the man who directed Sonic CD. If you love Sonic 1 and Sonic CD, you'll love this one. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/066538.jpg 9. Sonic Adventure 2 Release Date: October 2, 2012 Platform: PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No Sonic Adventure 2 suffers from the exact same problem as Sonic Unleashed, diverting the player's attention far too frequently to alternative gameplay styles that take up way more time and keep you from enjoying some truly great 3D Sonic (or Shadow) stages. How any team of creatives could look at the gameplay of E-102 Gamma from Sonic Adventure and think, “yeah, we should double down on that,” I will never understand. Yet that’s what Sonic Team did, and now every Sonic Adventure 2 playthrough comes with a bunch of shoddy Tails and Dr. Eggman stages that feel utterly antithetical to Sonic’s design. At its best, Sonic Adventure 2 packs in a dense action-platformer that still feels far punchier than many of Sonic’s later titles. The plot is campy gold, the soundtrack is quintessential video game listening, and any Sonic game with a Chao Garden is going to get a free bump up the list. You just have to push through some truly boring robot levels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS6Px5crkoM 8. Sonic Colors Ultimate Release Date: September 7, 2021 Platform: PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No When Sonic Colors came out, it quickly became my personal favorite 3D Sonic game. For once, there was no filler — no Werehog, no side characters, and no dramatically different playstyles. The gimmick this time around, the Wisp power-ups, fondly recall the shield power-ups from Sonic 3 and very rarely have a negative hit on the flow of gameplay. It culminates in what is easily the most consistent 3D Sonic experience, and while I later reconsidered it being my favorite, it's still really up there. Sadly, while those Sonic Colors Ultimate trophies on PS4 may look like they're related to the same game, the Ultimate version of Sonic Colors is actually an inferior port of the original. It's still largely the same game, so don't panic if it's your only option and you don't want to shell out for a Nintendo Wii. It just happens to run worse, feature gameplay gimmicks that add nothing of value, and look worse thanks to a botched lighting engine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD3N7d6hnK0 7. Sonic Adventure Release Date: September 20, 2010 Platform: PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No Today, what’s perhaps most striking about Sonic Adventure is the confidence. It's an open-world 3D adventure game running at hardware-intensive speeds, and it still feels it today. The game sports no less than six fully-voiced and playable characters, an experimental nonlinear narrative, a baby alien raising Tamagotchi-like minigame, and the biggest console graphics money had yet to buy. All in the name of Sonic the Hedgehog — a character who, at the time, hadn't released a big budget game in four years. Of course, confidence doesn’t exactly equate to quality. Even die-hard fans have to zoom out and admit that, when it comes down to it, no one really wants to play as any of those other five characters — especially when they break the game’s flow as hard as Big the Cat. At the same time, even today you can feel the raw AAA-for-its-time energy radiating off Sonic Adventure, and it’s an energy we’ve never quite seen on the same scale since. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtLWtVKrcDY 6. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Release Date: June 23, 2022 (included in Sonic Origins) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No After Sonic 2’s streamlining of Sonic 1’s multi-layered platforming stages, Sonic 3 works to deliver the best of both and largely succeeds. Levels feel crammed full of explorable nooks with discoverable secrets, yet also give the player ample space for high-speed platforming — this way, the game very rarely slows you down or stops you utterly dead in your tracks like Sonic 1 often does. Of course, it does have one segment that literally stops the game dead if you can’t intuit entirely new controls to move a magic clown barrel out of your way in Carnival Night Zone. Then you think back on all of the zones in Sonic 3, and besides maybe the first two, you struggle to find much love for the four others between the weird spinning tops, the balloons, and the long drop ice pits. It’s top-tier Sonic when it hits its stride, but there are bumps along the road. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rftdA_pA8co 5. Sonic Frontiers Release Date: November 8, 2022 Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No When it first launched, I ranked my experience collecting Sonic Frontiers trophies a little lower down this list. The game makes a few awkward missteps with its strange voice acting, its fairly hideous aesthetic, and a bit of control fumbling when it comes to the game's Cyber Space stages. That said, overall I thought the experience was a pretty strong one — certainly one of Sonic's strongest in 3D and a solid step in a new direction for the series. Then, in 2023, fans were treated to a free Sonic Frontiers DLC update that delivered a whole alternate ending to the game — complete with new platforming challenges, stages, and the ability to play as Amy, Tails, and Knuckles, in the open world. Now, having played this new content, I can happily say that Sonic Frontiers truly contains some of the absolute best 3D Sonic platforming in the series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCaAos6FeV0 The final update pushes Sonic Frontiers' physics and design to their absolute limits, bringing out the best in the game's fractured platforming segments and occasionally loose design in the process. The DLC Trial Towers each present a unique gauntlet of obstacles where a single mistake could send the player plummeting to the start of the course. Yet, even with such a frustrating punishment, these challenges help prove that Sonic Frontiers can stand firm even under some real scrutiny of its platforming design. While some sections of the DLC are ridiculously tough (the final combat trial is just absurd), the new playable characters and much meatier Cyber Space levels really help make this new content feel utterly essential to the game. As a package, Sonic Frontiers now feels like a complete experience, offering some genuinely massive highs that you're just not going to get in any other platformer, or even in other Sonic games. That's why I feel it deserves a little more credit going forward. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/065882.jpg 4. Sonic Generations Release Date: November 1, 2011 Platform: PS3 Is it on PS Plus? No What gnaws at Sonic Generations, for me, is how it basically just removed the Werehog from Sonic Unleahsed and swept in to claim all the glory. If you go back to Sonic Unleashed, you'll find better 3D level designs than you get here in Generation, but that lack of consistency makes the earlier title a far tougher recommendation. My nitpicking aside, Sonic Generations still really works, and not just as a celebration of the Sonic franchise’s longevity and variety — it also works as a great 3D platformer in its own right. One thing Generations does better than Unleashed is it puts some freedom and player agency back into the speedy 3D design formula (seen best here in Planet Wisp and Sky Sanctuary Zone), and it deserves all the credit in the world for somehow making these work effortlessly. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/065881.jpg 3. Sonic and Knuckles Release Date: June 23, 2022 (included in Sonic Origins) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No As an adult, I can appreciate that Sonic and Knuckles is the considerably stronger half of the third Sonic game — every zone in its nearly healthy runtime is a banger and errs far closer to the linearity of Sonic 2 than the density of Sonic 1 and Sonic 3. This would not have swayed my much younger self, however, as the fact that this game didn’t have Tails, and thus wouldn’t let my little brother play too, was a dealbreaker. If taken as its own game, S&K showcases 2D Sonic design as its most thoughtful — its gimmicks are far less experimental and its design is driven more by specific wants from the player. We want tension from the player — the lights go out on a timer in the Sandopolis. We want to disorient the player and have them think both vertically and horizontally — magnets in Flying Battery. Only one Sonic game has ever taken this considered design further, and it’s up next. Would either game have ranked higher had this been a combined Sonic 3 and Knuckles entry? Well, if anything it would have dragged S&K’s spot down a little. While the full combined game feels more substantial, there’s no getting past the fact that Sonic 3’s stages are just broadly not very fun. Instead, celebrate that Sonic and Knuckles’ level design is distinctly genius enough to make even this half of a single game project good enough to rank third on its own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUhuOwwD4n8 2. Sonic Mania Release Date: August 15, 2017 Platform: PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No Where Sonic Generations borrowed much of its predecessors' best elements to functionally stand above them, to suggest the same of Sonic Mania would be to admit you’ve never actually played the game. The return of past zones hardly matters when Mania keeps throwing new twists on top of them, and to keep doing so while furthering Sonic & Knuckles' thoughtful, choice-driven level design is what makes Mania utterly astounding. It may not push the boat much further out than Sonic & Knuckles ultimately did, but at least we see the conclusion of a thought experiment left half-explored by the franchise for over 20 years. Mania's levels are sprawling and vertical, yet motion remains fast and loose, aided by Sonic’s greatest addition in years, the Drop Dash — a move that, like the Spin Dash before it, makes its best case whenever you try to play an older Sonic game without it. While those Sonic Mania trophies crucially lack a platinum trophy, you'll still get the absolute best experience out of Sonic Mania by following those trophies and trying to beat everything there is to beat here. This is a wonderful entry in the series, and in many ways it's the real number one here — except for the fact that Sonic 2 simply can't be beat. https://www.truetrophies.com/customimages/065860.jpg 1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Release Date: June 23, 2022 (included in Sonic Origins) Platform: PS5, PS4 Is it on PS Plus? No 30 years after its blockbusting debut, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is still as close as we’ve yet come to seeing exactly what makes Sonic as a video game legacy truly work. Later Sonic games, like Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, would try and find another way to balance the flow of Sonic 2’s pared-back level design and the challenge of Sonic 1’s tricky platform labyrinths, but it could never be found. Sonic 2 had already pulled it off — there was nowhere left to look.. Pare the level design further back from Sonic 2 and the series is left with linear levels that play themselves. Ramp the level design up in complexity and you rob Sonic 2 of its quintessential simplicity and flow, and it’s that exact simplicity that makes the game sing. Compare Sonic 2’s Emerald Hill Zone to Sonic 1’s Green Hill Zone and you can see just how the design makes it feel like Sonic 1’s developers were massively overthinking what constitutes a challenge in a game where momentum is a challenge all of its own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv_rOiO8Pkg When Sonic 2 gets more challenging near the end, it comes long after the player has perfected maneuvering Sonic through a level, coming to terms with exactly how he jumps, rolls, and Spin Dashes. The player masters momentum before the game even considers a Sonic 1-like labyrinth such as Metropolis Zone, and so it the difficulty spike remains tough but manageable — earned. No other entry on this list comes close to being a game design philosophical nightmare like Sonic 2, and that should be reason enough to put it at the top spot. Still, it’s also simply the most fun game on the list — it strikes the perfect balance between hard and fast, and here it shall remain until Sonic Team finally masters Sonic in 3D. Well, they might not all be quite worthy of the best PS5 games list, but there's certainly a lot of fun to be had playing Sonic games! What would you rank as your favorite Sonic game on PlayStation? Let us know in the comments below.