Sonic Generations: Ultimate should’ve been the 30th anniversary game

Sonic Generations: Ultimate instead of Sonic Colors at Sega for 30 years Sonic the Hedgehog 30th anniversary

It’s not long until Sonic Colors: Ultimate launches on Nintendo Switch and other major platforms. This port of the beloved 2010 Wii title is being done to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Although Sonic Colors is undoubtedly a fantastic game, featuring some creative levels and fun gameplay, there’s another game that already makes more sense to be an “anniversary” title: the genre-bending, franchise-encapsulating Sonic Generations.

10 years have passed since Sonic Generations

If I were to quickly describe Sonic Generations, I’d call it “Sonic fan service: the game.” Stacked against many 3D Sonic games that have received a mixed reception, Generations felt the most consistent. First of all, it combined 2D and 3D gameplay to create one of the most unique and varied platforming experiences in the entire franchise. You have the beloved momentum-based gameplay from Sonic’s Sega Genesis-era titles and the fast-paced “boost” gameplay from more recent entries. As a result, the game is throwing new yet nostalgic content at you on a regular basis.

Generations features levels from each major Sonic game, from the original title all the way up to the then newly released Sonic Colors, and they are each available in Classic Sonic & Modern Sonic variations. Most of us are familiar with a single variant of these stages, so visiting the likes of Rooftop Run from Sonic Unleashed in a Classic setting is an exciting concept. Further distinguishing each version of a level is a Classic or Modern music remix. For example, hearing a different version of the iconic “Escape from the City” from Sonic Adventure 2 is a joy to behold.

Sonic Generations: Ultimate instead of Sonic Colors at Sega for 30 years Sonic the Hedgehog 30th anniversary - Escape from the City Classic Sonic

Not only is Sonic himself celebrating his 30th birthday, but Generations also turns 10 years old later this year. The game feels like a celebration of the character — because it was, for the 20th anniversary — so that’s why it would’ve been a perfect opportunity to release the game on modern platforms. Compared to most games from 2011, Sonic Generations still looks and plays brilliantly, and a Nintendo Switch version would be amazing. All things considered, I feel that this game deserves the “Ultimate” treatment as well.

Expanding the game

A lot has happened to the Blue Blur since Sonic Generations, including the likes of new main installments, spin-off games, cameo appearances, and even a blockbuster film and coming sequel. A hypothetical Sonic Generations: Ultimate could thus take the opportunity to implement new stages and bosses from more recent titles, while also potentially creating a “director’s cut” style of port, offering an opportunity to play some content that had been cut from past games.

A Sonic Generations: Ultimate would have many stage ideas to explore. No matter how you feel about games such as Sonic Forces and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, they have some interesting level design ideas. For instance, Sonic Forces has a stage called City Sunset Heights, which in my opinion has great music and environmental design despite its short length. An ultimate version of Generations would give Sega an opportunity to deliver the definitive version of these diamonds in the rough, like Crisis City from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the worst game in the series. You could even add the custom character from Forces into the game to spice up the base game further.

Then of course we have the masterpiece that is Sonic Mania, which recently celebrated its 4th anniversary. Most of the stages from Mania were taken from past Genesis-era Sonic titles, so it would be interesting to see the new levels in full 3D, for both Classic and Modern iterations of Sonic. Mirage Saloon in particular would be exciting to see, as it is easily one of the more visually striking levels from that game.

Sonic Mania Mirage Saloon

Of course, whether or not Sega ever decides to release Sonic Generations again is entirely its choice, Ultimate variation or not. For me personally, Generations is probably one of my favorite video games of all time. The constant shift in gameplay, the fantastic musical score, and fan service galore are all things to be admired. Sonic Colors is still a worthy entry into the franchise of course, but I feel like it doesn’t fit the anniversary celebrations as well. However, I still recommend it to those looking for a fantastic adventure in space!

Sonic Colors: Ultimate launches on September 7, and I’ll probably be playing it, yet I’d love to revisit Sonic Generations in the future. Have you played Sonic Generations, and if so, would you like to see it on modern platforms?

Jaimie Ditchfield
Freelance Writer. Work seen on GGRecon, Zelda Universe, and BackToTheGaming. Studied Games Journalism and PR for three years, and is relentless at spreading his love for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.