Jeremy enjoys gaming when not helping manage the college he graduated from.
The Best Characters in Sonic
Ever since his 1991 debut, the anthropomorphic abilities of Sega's most popular character has sped us through several action-packed platforming games. Although Sonic's 3D titles have been hit and miss, he maintains a devoted fanbase still hoping he'll one day reclaim his former glory.
Throughout Sonic's decades of growth and dozens of games, we've encountered several other characters with awesome powers rivaling that of our blue speedster himself. Sonic's clashed with hero and villain alike, and you might be surprised just how many impressive warriors we've encountered. But with hundreds of colorful combatants, which champions reign supreme? These are the 10 strongest characters throughout the Sonic video games! Spoilers ahead.
Introduced in: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast)
Sonic Adventure helped transition Sonic titles from 2D to 3D, and for its date, it was an impressive high-speed adventure that let you play as a whopping six characters. It also introduced the Chao Garden mini-game where you could raise and customize your own adorable Chao in-between levels.
Not only was this a fun distraction, the Chao actually played a significant story role, as their ancient guardian Chaos serves as the main antagonist (goaded along by Dr. Eggman). Chaos is an immortal, speechless figure with aquatic powers who changes forms based on the number of Chaos Emeralds he absorbs. In his final "Perfect Chaos" form, he's a giant dragon-like water beast who Super Sonic narrowly defeats, and his in-between forms are no laughing matter either.
Introduced in: Sonic Battle (Gameboy Advance)
Battle is an often-overlooked GBA Sonic game that focuses more on combat than platforming. Throughout your quest, Sonic and friends encounter Emerl, a mysterious robot with no memory. In both Battle and the later Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, it's revealed that Emerl is a superweapon created by the Nocturnus clan. He learns the techniques of fighters he observes, increasing the number of skills he can remember as he attains more Chaos Emeralds. Like Chaos, this means Emerl is incredibly powerful at his peak (called Ultimate Emerl) but relies on amassing the legendary gems.
In terms of gameplay, Emerl becomes by far Battle's strongest character, as you can mix and match the best qualities of other fighters, combining Cream's rapid recovery, Sonic's speed, Rouge's flying, Shadow's powerful finishers, and more into one potent package. Emerl also inspired Eggman's G-merl robot, a villain appearing in Sonic Advance 3.
8. E-123 Omega
Introduced in: Sonic Heroes (Gamecube)
E-123 Gamma left a big impression in Sonic Adventure 1, but his mechanical successor Omega is championed as the strongest and final member of the E-123 line. Omega joins Rouge and Shadow as a member of Team Dark in Sonic Heroes, and while they focus on speed and flight, he excels at combat, swiftly vanquishing foes with the wide blast radii of his various weapons.
Omega was designed to contain one of Shadow's clones, and when Shadow first awakens, the two entered a brief skirmish that Rouge interrupts. As powerful as Shadow is, it's twice implied that Omega may have the power to beat him. After all, he's the warden tasked with keeping Shadow in his comatose prison, and his future self (in Sonic 2006) successfully hunts and defeats Shadow, no easy feat. But speaking of Sonic's 06 adventure...
7. Silver the Hedgehog
Introduced in: Sonic The Hedgehog 2006, (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Despite the infamously poor reception of Sonic 2006, Silver remains a prominent character, appearing in titles like Sonic Rivals and Sonic Generations. Tricked into believing that Sonic was the famed Iblis Trigger that destroys his world, Silver travels back in time to kill Sonic and thus save the future.
Unlike the speed of Sonic and Shadow, Silver mainly brandishes psychic abilities, telepathically assaulting foes with environmental projectiles. He's been shown to fight Shadow to a draw despite his youth, and (like many characters) can morph into a powerful Super form when infused with the energy of all seven Chaos Emeralds.
6. Blaze the Cat
Introduced in: Sonic Rush (Nintendo DS)
Starring alongside Sonic in the handheld Sonic Rush, Blaze offers a much-needed female protagonist, diversifying generally-sidelined girls like Amy and Cream. With conflicting origins, Blaze hails from either an alternate dimension or the future (alongside Silver) depending on which game you're playing, but this warrior princess wields a variety of well-rounded abilities and once fought Sonic to a draw. While not quite as fast as him, but she's still remarkably agile, a skilled melee brawler (preferring kick-based attacks), and gifted with pyrokinesis, letting her boost her attacks or create shields using flames.
Blaze can also transform into Burning Blaze using the power of the seven Sol Emeralds. Much like the Super states granted by the Chaos Emeralds, her Burning form grants her flight and invincibility, but she can only maintain it as long as she has golden rings to fuel her energy. Blaze's fire abilities are also boosted, letting her rapidly toss large fireballs, a useful ranged technique.
5. Mephiles the Dark
Introduced in: Sonic 2006 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Born after the Solaris Project split sun god Solaris into Iblis and Mephiles, this dark entity adopts Shadow's form with his shapeshifting skills. He's not a real Hedgehog and thus doesn't seem to possess their trademark speed, but Mephiles controls incredible forces like time travel, immortality, projecting shadow clones, and powerful energy blasts.
He can tank any number of hits since he seemingly never dies, can freely move back and forth in time, and wields the distinction of being the only character in any media that successfully kills Sonic (who is later resurrected). As if that weren't bad enough, he's intelligent and skilled at manipulation, successfully convincing Silver and Blaze to attack Sonic. Fortunately, Mephiles is weak to light-based strikes, giving our heroes a fighting chance against him. That said, it took the combined might of three Super Hedgehogs to combat his reunited Solaris self, showing just how threatening his pure state is.
4. Knuckles the Echidna
Introduced in: Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Genesis)
In recent years, Knuckles has shifted from Sonic's reluctant rival to solid ally, but veterans may remember the pair's classic battles. Knuckles' strength is said to equal Sonic's speed, and if one actually performs the necessary math, we can estimate the red Echidna can lift more than 500 tons! Knuckles is also fast enough to keep pace with Sonic, and he can glide through the air as well as scale walls, making platforming much easier. Knuckles can be tricked (usually by Eggman) but he's certainly not dumb, and he harbors more Chaos Emerald knowledge than Sonic.
In the Adventure titles, Knuckles' gameplay involves searching for Master Emerald fragments rather than simply completing a stage, but honestly, he'd make Sonic's missions much easier with his aerial prowess. Knuckles has fought and defeated Rouge the Bat more than once (even in a dark arena where she could see and he couldn't), has fought Sonic to a draw (and arguably gained the upper-hand in their Sonic X battle), and doesn't share the blue Hedgehog's infamous inability to swim. Also check out Chaos Knuckles from the Archie Sonic Comics, an immensely powerful transformation that turns Knuckles green.
3. Shadow the Hedgehog
Introduced in: Sonic Adventure 2 (Dreamcast, re-released on Gamecube)
Introduced in my personal favorite Sonic game, Shadow comes remarkably close to matching Sonic in speed. Although his base agility is just below Sonic's, Shadow compensates with his mystical powers, often using the Chaos Control warp (assuming he has an Emerald handy) to augment his agility. He's also a got a nearly indestructible body that doesn't age, a result of his Black Arms connections.
With a dark past, Shadow once believed he was made to guide the earth towards destruction, but after learning Maria Robotnik's true peaceful wish, he gradually begins to morph towards an anti-hero and even outright hero. Still, with various identity crises (caused by Eggman's cloning) and his willingness to wield guns, Shadow's notably more violent that his peers, and he can further increase his powers by removing his bracelet restraints.
2. Metal Sonic
Introduced in: Sonic the Hedgehog CD (Sega CD, PC)
Debuting in the same game that also marked Amy Rose's first appearance, Metal Sonic serves as Dr. Eggman's deadliest creation. While he's generally loyal to his maker, Metal occasionally goes rogue and follows his own agenda. Regardless of his allegiance, he's a daunting foe capable of matching Sonic in speed. In fact, thanks to a high-tech jet propulsion system, he's even stated to exceed Sonic in acceleration, and some sources place him as faster than Sega's mascot.
Similar to Emerl's Gizoid abilities, Metal Sonic can copy the traits of characters he encounters, being able to craft his own Chaos powers, invisibility, super strength, and more. His Metal Overlord form, the final secret boss of Sonic Heroes, took a whopping twelve characters to beat him, three of which were in their Super state! It's also worth noting that Metal Sonic (and not, say, Shadow) was chosen as the main antagonist of the fan-made Super Mario Bros. Z Youtube videos, a non-canon project that pits characters from the Mario and Sonic worlds in Dragon Ball Z-esque battles.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog
Introduced in: Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive)
The infamous and snarky Sonic wields incredible powers, having defeated numerous rivals and godlike entities, albeit sometimes with the assistance of Chaos Emerald-enhanced forms. Sonic seems to hold back against most foes, only tapping into his true potential when the fate of the world is in danger, and it's been stated more than once that Sonic's overall power is steadily increasing.
His exact top speed is unknown, but it's often hinted he's capable of going much faster than his confirmed Mach 1-exceeding speeds. For instance, he once (without any transformations) defeated Ultimate Emerl in less than 30 seconds, having supposedly fought an entire ten rounds in that time, and both Sonic himself and Omega hint that Sonic may be able to exceed light speed (which is theoretically impossible). He's also physically durable, has a fast healing rate, and while he's not as skilled with them as Shadow, he's been seen using Chaos powers.
From Super Sonic to Hyper Sonic and Darkspine Sonic, the blue Hedgehog's also packing an impressive number of transformations to further boost his arsenal, and he's also mastered the sport of Extreme Gear riding, a form of racing that ironically causes Sonic to move slower than he simply would on foot.
Future Sonic Games
Although fans hope for Sonic to reclaim his former glory, he's still cranking out a stream of hit-and-miss titles like Sonic Lost World, and he'll need to be consistently engaging as well as innovative to discard his tarnished reputation.
But with the future comes change, and (whether it's ever fulfilled or not), the hope of new and better Sonic games. Fortunately, we've got plenty of classics featuring scores of mighty characters to keep us busy; narrowing the list to just ten champions wasn't an easy challenge. But for now, as we eagerly await Sega's next Sonic project, vote for your favorite character and I'll see you at our next gaming countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: Who is your favorite Sonic character?
Answer: We all know Big the Cat is the foundation of the entire series. Also Chris from the Sonic X anime.
In all seriousness, probably good ol' Sonic and Knuckles (the original, not his dumbed-down reimagining).
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
zayd on August 03, 2020:
i wonder what would happen if hyper silver combined with hyper shadic? we may have a new nazo film idea
Neel on July 27, 2020:
i looooove shadic he is so powerful with sonic and shadow combined!
mercy on July 27, 2020:
silver the hedgehog is my favorite character and is for lots of things omg i love this guy