The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has a wide array of Sonic games, TV shows, merchandise, and even movies (OVA included). It also contains a wide cast of characters, each with their own unique abilities and personalities that fans have come to love for generations. Well, three generations, to be precise: the Classic era, the Adventure era, and the Modern era.
In honor of Sonic Superstars coming out in the near future, we’ll be ranking the top 12 characters in the franchise below. Let us know your own opinion in the comment below!
12. Big the Cat
Big is a gentle giant who prefers to spend his days fishing in peace with his amphibian friend Froggy by his side. He only steps out of his comfort zone and jumps into action when his friends are in danger — or Froggy goes missing.
He may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but he makes up for his lack of intelligence with brute strength — raw power he doesn’t know he has. He also tends to show up in places you least expect, blissfully unaware of the background noise.
11. Espio the Chameleon
Espio is a ninja warrior with military-style discipline thanks to his extensive Ninjutsu training. His speed and stealth (he’s a chameleon, after all) gave him a penchant for being a daredevil, relishing danger in every enemy encounter to polish his ninja skills, which are valuable assets of the Chaotix Detective Agency.
Though calm and collected at first glance, Espio has a strong sense of justice and a burning desire to thwart all evil, even threatening Dr. Eggman’s life at times. He gets in touch with his soulful side during his off time, playing the shamisen and writing poetry. No wonder he played the poet in The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog.
10. Blaze the Cat
A princess hailing from the Sol Dimension and guardian of the Sol Emeralds, Blaze is gifted with the ability to control fire however she sees fit. She once saw her flames as a curse because kids teased her for her initial inability to control them and it made her shoulder all her royal duties alone. Still, after spending time with Sonic and the others, she saw them as a blessing and learned the true meaning of friendship.
Due to her position as a royal, Blaze tends to conduct herself elegantly and orderly, yet she hates being addressed as “Your Highness.” Don’t lie to her; she will see through you and burn you.
9. Dr. Eggman
As a mad scientist possessing an ultra-genius IQ of 300, Dr. Eggman uses his robotics expertise to build the machines and weapons necessary for him to crush Sonic and take over the world and build a utopia named after himself. Even when it seems like he accomplished his goals of world domination, going so far as to create Eggman’s Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park using Wisps, his plans are foiled by Sonic and his friends every time.
Eggman tends to cheat death by defeat by escaping or running away at the last possible moment. Despite Eggman’s animosity towards Sonic, he’s not above helping him out from time to time, working with him to beat Perfect Chaos, the Biolizard, Neo Metal Sonic, and The End.
8. Vector the Crocodile
As the leader of the Chaotix Detective Agency, which he founded with close friends Espio and Charmy Bee, Vector is willing to take any job that pays well. He’s also a great detective, leaving non stone unturned until the cases he works are deemed solved.
Despite appearing tough on the outside, having aggressive manners and being all about money, he has a very kind heart, willing to help those in need for free — even if it means losing the money needed to pay rent and other bills. He never goes anywhere without his trademark headphones, as he loves to listening to music.
7. E-123 Omega
Omega is considered last and most powerful model in the E-100 Series line of Eggman’s robots — at least, that’s what he tells himself. His goals are to exact vengeance against Eggman for wasting his potential by sealing him in an abandoned base guarding the cryogenically sleeping Shadow, who eventually becomes his teammate in Team Dark, and destroying all of Eggman’s robots to prove himself superior.
While he might come across as heartless because he’s a robot, Omega cares very deeply for Shadow and Rouge, and will not hesitate to turn away from his mission to eliminate any threat that comes to them. He has the free will to do so, just like E-102 Gamma.
6. Rouge the Bat
Rouge is the poster child for the term “girlboss,” as she uses her wits and feminine charms to get what she wants at any and all costs. Whether she’s after her precious jewels, like the Master Emerald or other treasures with monetary value, her motivations are always mercenary in nature.
Despite her careless personality, she really has a sense of morality, more than once helping Sonic and the gang save the world from various threats, even kicking some ass herself. She tends to flirt with some people, especially Knuckles.
5. Miles “Tails” Prower
Sonic’s best friend and adopted kid brother, Tails has a scientific genius and penchant for mechanics that rivals Eggman’s. However, his twin tails that earned him the nickname and enable him to fly were the source of his bullying when he was very young, making him very timid until he met Sonic, which caused him to become more confident, outgoing and willing to help him and others with his inventions, including the Tornado to get them places, a fake Chaos Emerald, and a Miles Electric tablet, which has helped translate the Wisps’ language into a binary code that only he can understand and translate for his friends.
Tails’ mechanical skills have impressed everyone, even Wave in Sonic Riders, to the point where they say there’s nothing he can’t build. All he needs is to take one look at a piece of tech, no matter how advanced, to understand it.
4. Knuckles the Echidna
As the last of his species and guardian of the Master Emerald on Angel Island, Knuckles is a brute force to be reckoned with thanks to his tough exterior and spiky knuckles for which he is named. Having lived alone for most of his life, he’s as stubborn as Sonic is flexible, preferring to do things his way and staying determined to see his goals through.
Knuckles’ strength is such that he can punch through walls without breaking a sweat, scale walls and dig into them like a gopher, make objects explode from the impact of his punches, and even run at breakneck speeds that almost match Sonic’s. His ability to sense energy makes him just as good a treasure hunter as Rouge.
3. Amy Rose
If Knuckles is the strongest character on Sonic’s team, Amy is twice as strong. She may be a cheerful and energetic pink hedgehog, but she can swing her mighty Piko Piko Hammer around without straining her muscles. If you cross her or hurt the people she cares about, her strength increases tenfold and she’ll knock you out of the sky.
Amy is Sonic’s self-proclaimed girlfriend, falling in love with the blue blur ever since he rescued her from Metal Sonic in Sonic CD. But since then, she’s grown from damsel-in-distress to an independent young woman who can go up against even the most powerful foes.
2. Shadow the Hedgehog
Shadow was created aboard the Space Colony ARK by Dr. Eggman’s grandfather, Professor Gerald Robotnik, to cure deadly diseases — specifically for Maria, who he formed a special bond with. Unfortunately, Maria was killed by GUN soldiers who raided the ARK to shut down Project Shadow by order of the government, who deemed him to be a threat to humanity. The grief caused by Maria’s death was so immense that when he woke up from cryogenic sleep 50 years later, Shadow vowed vengeance against humanity, only to be persuaded to save humanity and make everyone happy for Maria’s sake.
Despite being the polar opposite of Sonic personality-wise, Shadow’s speed matches his, even when skating around in his trademark metallic air shoes. His ability to use Chaos Control to teleport himself or manipulate time and space makes him even faster. He has a strong sense of purpose, willing to achieve his goals by any means necessary.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog
You knew this author was going to place Sonic at number one. Can you blame her? He’s the fastest hedgehog in the world. He runs at the speed of sound — that’s how he got his name — loves freedom above all else, and lives life by his own rules without caring what others think or say about him.
Sonic always has a positive attitude no matter what situation he finds himself in, won’t sit still for long periods, and always fights injustice and oppression. He’s also always willing help other people in times of trouble and put his own life on the line while doing so — because he’s too fast to die. Plus, he’s got that fantastic spiky hairstyle people would die to emulate. He’s just that cool!
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. She has contributed her work to various publications, including Digital Trends, TheGamer, Twinfinite, Mega Visions, and The Escapist. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal.