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Sonic the Hedgehog (SEGA Genesis) Review

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Game Name: Sonic the Hedgehog

Publisher: SEGA

Developer: Sonic Team

Release Date: June 23rd, 1991

Platforms: Sega Genesis (Original), Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Nintendo Switch


When I was a kid, I was one of the few in my surroundings that had a Genesis. Most people that I knew had a Super Nintendo. However, unlike today, where people have a passionate allegiance j, I did not care. I was not disappointed in having a Sega Genesis. There were some pretty awesome games that went on to be classics.

The first game that I ever remember playing on the system was Sonic the Hedgehog. I remember as a kid that this game was similar enough from Super Mario Brothers without seeming like a copy cat.

Has this game aged well with the years? Let us see.


If you are a fan of platformers, you will feel right at home here. This is considered a side scroller. You have 7 zones that you need to complete with a boss at the end of each Act.

1. Green Hill Zone

2. Marble Zone

3. Spring Yard Zone

4. Labyrinth Zone

5. Star Light Zone

6. Scrap Brain Zone

7. Final Zone

As you would expect, as you progress in the game, the acts become more and more difficult. Each Zone has 3 acts with the exception of the Final Zone which is essentially a boss fight.

In the game you collect rings. This is similar to the concept of coins in the Super Mario Brothers games. If you collect 100 coins you get an extra life. When you collect 50 rings in a stage, you will have a big ring at the end of the act. If you happen to capture that big ring, you are transported to a special stage. Here on these special stages you can gather more rings. However, the main goal is to obtain Chaos Emeralds.

The idea is that depending if you get all of the Chaos Emeralds you will have a different ending than if you do not. This is the only ending that I ever received as I have never been good enough to get all the emeralds.

Here is an example of how one of these stages is played. This is courtesy of Razor & Zenon.

One of the big reasons that many players enjoyed this game is because of the music. The soundtrack to this game is phenomenal. I still say that my number 1 is Streets of Rage 2 but this one is pretty close to the top.

There have also been many different remixes of the music. Below is a sample remix from OCRemixes.

Sonic the Hedgehog - Sample Gameplay


Everyone that reviews this game seem to always feel as if they need to pick a side. Are you Team Mario or Team Sonic. For me, it just happens to the system that I had at the time.

I played a lot of Super Mario Brothers on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and I found that Sonic was more challenging for 11 year old me. The main reasons is probably due to the fact that there were no warps. If I wanted to play until the end, I needed to keep my Genesis on while it was paused.

I also did appreciate the boss battles. They were more varied than what I was exposed to with the NES games of the time. This game for me seemed like a cross of Ninja Gaiden and Super Mario Brothers. It was like Ninja Gaiden due to the speed that you could play the game. It was more like Super Mario Brothers in terms of level design. The levels were well designed and were just difficult enough keep you engaged and not rage quit.

I think that the soundtrack for the first sonic is one of the best in the series. They went back to their roots in Sonic Mania but it was still not as good as the original. The levels that I particularly like are the classic Green Zone and the Labyrinth Zone. I could listen to those 2 levels for hours.

I have owned a version of this game on pretty much every console that I have had since the Genesis. I had it on the original XBOX with the Sonic collection. I also bought it again on the XBOX 360 and then bought it on the XBOX One. I know I am a sucker, but that is how much I love the game.

The series did have a long dark period where the games were mediocre at best but this one and the 2 sequels are in my opinion some of the best games ever to be released on any platform.

So to my original question, does this game hold up after all these years. The answer is an astounding yes. Now with emulators, it is easy to play these games with codes to jump to various levels. However, this is best played in its original form to get the most out of it. it is so satisfying when you beat a boss on the later levels.

I have beaten this game only twice in my life as some of the sections are not very easy to beat, especially on only 3 lives.

This is a classic game from a golden decade of gaming. Sonic has a place in the best games of all time category and I think people want the series to succeed. I truly believe this is the reason why people played Sonic Mania.

Rating: 9.5 Sonic Super Spins out of 10

What do you think? Do you like the original Sonic? Let me know.

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