The Lasting Popularity of the Sonic the Hedgehog Video Game


Any video gamer knows that video game culture is bigger now than ever before. There are some video games that have made an indelible mark in the industry. These include Super Mario 2, Tetris, The Legend of Zelda, Grand Theft Auto, Dark Souls, and many others.

Given Mario’s popularity, Naka decided that Sonic should dominate the American market. They produced Sonic the Hedgehog, a platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega.


This game became incredibly popular for various reasons. Read on to learn about the lasting popularity of the Sonic the Hedgehog video game.

The Lasting Popularity of the Sonic the Hedgehog Video Game
Image Source: Game Informer

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Sonic the Hedgehog is a platform video game developed and published by Sonic Team and Sega respectively. It was intended for the Sega Genesis home video game console. 

It was first released in 1991 in North America and in the following month, it was released in Japan and Pal regions. It features an anthropomorphic hedgehog called Sonic.


About the Game

Sonic is on a mission to defeat Dr. Robotnik, a scientist that has caged animals in robots and stolen the powerful Chaos Emeralds. The gameplay entails gathering rings as a form of health as well as a simple control scheme and jumping and attacking. 

It is available on different platforms including iOS, Nintendo 3DS, Android, Apple TV, Nintendo Switch, Game Boy Advance, Sega Genesis Arcade, Amazon Fire TV, and others. Probably one of the reasons its famous is because of its availability on multiple platforms.

Development and Influence

Sonic the Hedgehog development began in 1990 after Sega ordered its developers to produce a game that features a mascot for the company. After going through various suggestions, the developers agreed on a blue hedgehog and named themselves “Sonic Team” to match their character. 

The game was designed for fast gameplay and was influenced by Shigeru Miyamoto’s Super Mario series. The video game uses a novel technique that permits Sonic’s sprite to roll along curved scenery that originated in Yuji Naka’s tech demo.


Sonic the Hedgehog was received well by critics, and they praised its audio, visuals, and gameplay. Commercially, the video game was so successful that it established itself as a key player in the 16-bit era. 

It was rated 86% by review aggregator Gamerankings and was considered the answer to Nintendo’s popular Mario Series. Also, it was a big competitor with Nintendo and their Super Nintendo Entertainment System console.  

It has been ported multiple times, and it became a successful franchise, creating other adaptations into other media.  Sonic the Hedgehog is often mentioned as one of the greatest video games of all time. 

Why it Is Still Popular

The Lasting Popularity of the Sonic the Hedgehog Video Game
Image Source: PC Invasion

Sonic the Hedgehog was considered the answer to Nintendo’s Mario Series that was equally popular. Reviewers praised the game’s detailed and colorful graphics. 

The game’s color scheme was referred to as “lively but never garish” with detail in the backgrounds, sprites, and animations. Its graphics have also been described as the best available for the Genesis. 

It’s these game features that made sonic a possible contender for the 1991 game of the year. Also, it has the fastest and smoothest animation coupled with highly detailed backdrops. 

The music and sound effects are also great. Some critics have named them “catchy and absolutely brilliant”. The game has maintained its popularity to date. No wonder, it has been cited one of the greatest video games of all time. It has also been described as one of the best platformers of all time. 


Sonic the Hedgehog is a platformer video game that took the world by storm in 1991, and forever onwards. It features beautiful and colorful graphics, fast gameplay, detailed backdrops, and great sound effects.