Jeremy enjoys gaming when not helping manage the college he graduated from.
Although his entries have their highs and lows, Sonic the Hedgehog remains one of gaming's most prominent mascots. Best known for his incredible speed, Sonic blazes through dozens of platforming, fighting, racing, and RPG games.
But Sonic isn't alone in his speed—several contenders literally give him a run for his money. With dozens of characters spanning games, cartoons, and comics, which speedsters best rival Sonic? These are the 10 fastest Sonic the Hedgehog characters!
10. Espio the Chameleon
First appearance: Knuckles' Chaotix
A supporting member of Team Chaotix, Espio has ninja-like powers of speed and stealth. He is able to blend in with his environment and leave afterimages with his agility. Espio has fought Rouge the Bat to a standstill, which is quite an accomplishment considering she can go head-to-head with Knuckles.
With speed, strength, stealth, and ranged shuriken throwing stars, Espio's one of the franchise's most versatile cast. Still, he adopts his team's speed role, with Charmy being the flyer and Vector offering power.
9. Silver the Hedgehog
First appearance: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
While Sonic's 2006 entry was critically panned, it introduced Silver—the second rival hedgehog. Traveling from the future to prevent a disastrous "past," Silver relies more on telekinetic powers than athleticism, using psychokinesis to manipulate his environment.
With innate hedgehog abilities compounding his psychic powers, Silver proves nimble in both body and mind.
8. Miles "Tails" Prower
First appearance: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic's sidekick and best friend, Tails is remarkably fast in both the air and the ground, using his tails like rotors to remain aloft. He's quick enough to trail Sonic without trouble, and he once repeatedly blockaded Sonic (in Sonic Colors) with his agility.
But more than his speed, Tails deserves mention for his intelligence, rivaling Dr. Eggman himself in technological acclaim.
7. Blaze the Cat
First appearance: Sonic Rush
She's not just a supporting character! Blaze stars alongside Sonic in Sonic Rush, where her incredible agility (especially for a non-hedgehog) rivals Sonic himself. Blaze also has pyrokinetic abilities that lets her control fire, and she's arguably the strongest female character in the series, once battling Sonic to a standstill.
First appearance: Sonic Battle
A Gizoid bearing incredible combat potential, Emerl was classified by Gerald Robotnik as a superweapon for his immense power. Emerl's primary ability is to perfectly copy any abilities he sees—letting him replicate Sonic's speed, Knuckles' strength, and so on.
When morphed to his "Ultimate Emerl" persona, Emerl arguably surpasses even Sonic in battle prowess.
First appearance: Sonic Forces
Infinite's ranking depends on how much of his speed you attribute to him, and how much to the Phantom Ruby power-ups he received from Eggman. Before his upgrade, Infinite was easily beaten by Shadow, but afterward, he's one of the few to defeat Sonic, and twice at that!
Infinite definitely deserves a mention for his ridiculous speed, but it's sort of like comparing a Super character to a non-Super. After all, if our upcoming characters unleashed their Super forms with Chaos Emeralds or gained access to the Phantom Ruby, I have little doubt they'd outclass this jackal.
4. Scourge the Hedgehog
First appearance: Sonic the Hedgehog #11 (comic)
Differentiating himself from generic Sonic clones like Sonik and Extra Life, Scourge was originally a Sonic look-alike called "Anti-Sonic." But Scourge eventually absorbed Chaos energy into his body, tinting him green and increasing his powers.
Having briefly fought both Sonic and Shadow simultaneously, Scourge rivals them in speed and is even more ruthless than Shadow, killing and torturing foes when able. Like Shadow, he can also use Chaos Emerald energy to instantly warp anywhere.
3. Shadow the Hedgehog
First appearance: Sonic Adventure 2
Sonic's cold antithesis, Shadow serves as the franchise's anti-hero. Shadow's speed is nearly identical to Sonic's—arguably superior if you factor in his mastery of Chaos Control teleportation.
Sources differ on who is truly faster, but Sonic is generally given the edge, especially considering the small boost Shadow gets from his Air Shoes.
2. Metal Sonic
First appearance: Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Credited as Dr. Eggman's greatest success, Metal Sonic not only matches his inspiration's speed, but perhaps surpasses it thanks to his technological advancements.
But he's not just threatening for his speed; Metal Sonic can imitate enemy powers (similar to a Gizoid), fire energy beams, and even shape-shift. On paper, Metal's abilities sound superior, but something about Sonic (arguably plot armor) always lets him win in the end.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog
First appearance: Sonic the Hedgehog
While he's gained some impressive competition, Sonic remains the franchise's overall-fastest character. His top speed seemingly rises and falls between games, but this is likely because Sonic rarely utilizes his full power. Even without his Super Sonic transformation, we've seen Sonic defeat foes like Ultimate Emerl (in less than 30 seconds!) and Perfect Chaos.
So how fast is Sonic? His base speed exceeds Mach 1, which is 768 miles per hour (mph). When pushed to his limit, he can go hypersonic (several thousand mph) or even exceed the speed of light (186,282 miles per second)!
Transformations in Sonic the Hedgehog
Today we reviewed Sonic's fastest characters in their base stats, but most can unlock Super forms by harnessing the power of seven Chaos Emeralds, temporarily becoming faster and stronger. We've also other impressive transformations, like Darkspine Sonic and Chaos Knuckles, but again, these modes are only unlocked with special relics.
Since official sources often conflict, try looking at Sonic characters as a whole rather than by individual games to determine their overall tiers. But for now, as we await Sega's next Sonic adventure, vote for your favorite speedster, and I'll see you at our next gaming countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill