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Sonic 30th anniversary retrospective: From his highest highs to his lowest lows

BONUS: Sonic in other media

Sonic The Hedgehog Movie (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Sonic isn't just limited to the pixelated cartridges he started on. No, he's everywhere from books, television, and even on the silver screen. While his games are hit or miss, that hasn't stopped him from becoming a cross-media icon. When it comes to other media, his long-standing victory is definitely in his comic series, which holds a Guinness World Record for longest-running comic series based on a video game.

Sonic the Hedgehog by Archie comics ran from 1993 up until 2017. Then, of course, he's had other comic runs, like Sonic X and Sonic Universe, and he's even had a go in mangas, graphic novels, and Disney's Adventures Magazine.

Sonic's comic series holds a Guinness World Record for longest-running comic series based on a video game.

Sonic has also had a stint in television. Starting in 1993, he was featured in not one but two different shows at the peak of his popularity. The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was a comical series, and Sonic the Hedgehog was more serious. Both had a cult following but were canceled in 1994. Sonic did have a short revival in 1996 with a two-part OVA, and again in 1999 Sonic Underground, but the latter was canceled shortly after it aired.

Sonic hit the small screen again in 2003 with Sonic X and again with Sonic Boom in 2013. Both series were rated well by fans and saw general positive feedback. In fact, there have been rumblings about a 2021 series called Sonic Prime on Netflix following a now-deleted tweet. However, nothing has been confirmed.

Finally, we come to Sonic's big-time features on the silver screen. While he cameoed in Wreck-it Ralph and Ralph Breaks the Internet, in 2018, a trailer dropped showcasing Sonic's very own film. However, it saw immediate backlash because of Sonic's design.

It was horrifying to look at, really. But the fans spoke, and the creators of Sonic's live-action movie took the criticisms seriously. They came back with a complete redesign of the character for a February 2020 release, and the film received positive reviews. It is one of the best video game movies, which isn't a high bar, but still! Sonic earned enough to get a sequel releasing on April 8, 2022, that will include his best friend Tails.

- Sara Gitkos

The future of Sonic

Sonic (Image credit: Sega)

Despite Sonic and his friends' spotty history in the video game industry, he continues to push out game after game and we don't see that slowing down any time soon. He's incredibly iconic and has an appeal that many other franchises would kill for.

A new Sonic game is in development and set to release in 2022.

During the Sonic Central stream that took place on May 27, 2021, we learned about some upcoming Sonic projects. This included DLC for Lost Judgement and Two Point Hospital that would bring Sonic and friends into the games. We also learned that something is happening with Minecraft, only getting a quick flash of a pixelated Sonic running past the screen with a Minecraft chicken behind it.

Aside from several other small announcements, we also learned about the Sonic Colors Ultimate remake and a brand new Sonic game that will be releasing in 2022. The official name of the latter hasn't been revealed yet, but many are referring to it as Sonic Rangers. It's currently unclear what the gameplay and story are like since we only saw a quick teaser trailer.

After that, who knows where our speedy hedgehog will go. All we can say is we hope Sega and the Sonic Team have plenty of successes going forward.

- Rebecca Spear

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.