Whats worse: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) or Shadow the Hedgehog (2005)

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Aug 4, 2019
These two Sonic games had very bad reputations. both are infamous to the point of being seen as very bad games everyone ignores. If you were to choose one of these titles, which one did you think was better or are both of them just flatout unbearable.

How would you rate these Sonic games when looking back at those days.


All That Glitters Ain't Gold
Sep 30, 2005
The Grid
I'm going to look at this from the perspective on the damage to the brand and say Sonic 06.

Shadow the Hedgehog was a spin-off game and marketed as such, so expectations weren't as high as the mainline Sonic games. Especially since the idea was ridiculed right out the gate; I was part of the fandom back then, and I remember nearly everyone scoffed at the idea of an edgy game starring a character people were already getting sick of and gameplay riding on the coattails of the then-popular gaming trends (third person shooters and GTA clones). It was expected to be bad, and it came as no surprise when it was. It was basically just something to tide people over until Sonic 06.

Now, Sonic 06 on the other hand...Sonic Team really flushed a lot of good will down the toilet with that. It was supposed to be Sonic's big next-gen debut, a game that Sega themselves were hyping up as being the new direction for the franchise, a game that would be just as important as Sonic Adventure. So that was the standard fans and the general gaming public were holding it to, Sonic Adventure but bigger and better. The early promo footage was also very promising, and things seemed to be shaping up to be good. Then the game actually came out, and while it technically was "Sonic Adventure but bigger" (despite what many fans will say, Sonic 06 is basically Sonic Adventure 3 in all but name and lack of Chao Garden), it ended up being a buggy unfinished mess with awful gameplay, graphics that largely weren't that much better than a previous gen game, and a terrible story with a multitude of narrative problems (including a interspecies romance no one wanted to see). It burned a lot of people, especially after the polarizing Sonic Heroes and the awful Shadow the Hedgehog.

In Sonic Team's defense, there were a number of internal factors working against them, including an extremely strict holiday release date (preventing them from delaying it) and the production team splintering mid-production when a number of the developers were moved over to work on Sonic & the Secret Rings. But Sonic 06 was what really cemented the "Sonic games are bad" stigma that remains prevalent among gaming circles, which unfortunately they may never be able to fully shake (especially if they churn out subpar games like Forces, which was so poorly made that I'm convinced that modern Sonic Team is incapable of actually making a good Sonic game).
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