It’s time to race through rolling green hills and giant pinball machines as we check out the strongest Sonic characters of all time!
Since 1991, the Sonic the Hedgehog games have featured an impressively sprawling and often recurring cast of memorable characters on both the heroic and villainous side (with the occasional anti-hero thrown in for good measure!).
With so many characters to encounter, embody and defeat, who are the strongest of them all?
Let’s find out as we count down the top 10 strongest Sonic characters!
Table of Contents
The double-tailed sidekick of Sonic himself – his real name being the speed-related pun Miles Prower, despite Tails not being able to run anywhere near as fast as his partner – kicks off our list of the strongest Sonic characters.
Though not especially known as a strong or powerful character, he can fly using his two tails as a sort of helicopter rotor and makes good use of his mechanical skills (and plane-flying abilities!) to get the job done.
He does at least have one thing over Sonic – unlike his blue hedgehog hero, Tails can swim!
Tails – who’s been in the series since Sonic 2 – is also able to transform into Super Tails using the Chaos or Super Emeralds.
9. Dr Robotnik/Dr Eggman
Despite inconsistent naming – veering between Dr Robotnik and his alias Dr Eggman – the evil Doctor is a persistent, recurring nemesis for Sonic and many other good guys in the series.
Robotnik’s strength doesn’t come from any physical ability but rather his powerful intellect, which allows him to create all kinds of crazy machinery, elaborate weaponry and even rivals for Sonic, such as Metal Sonic.
Though often repeatedly defeated by Sonic and friends, Robotnik’s self-proclaimed IQ level of 300, along with his skill at creating devastating devices of destruction and his sheer persistence puts him firmly in the top ten strongest Sonic characters list.
A mutated version of the cute Chao creatures – which first appeared in Dreamcast game Sonic Adventure (and which you could raise in basic virtual pet sims – you can find more details of those on our list of Dreamcast VMU games) – Chaos is a water-like monster that Dr Robotnik attempts to use to take over the world.
Being able to manipulate water – and its own form – to cause a great deal of destruction already marks it out as a pretty powerful character, but with the aid of the Chaos Emeralds it can transform into increasingly bigger, more terrifying monstrosities.
Collecting all of the Chaos Emeralds turns Chaos into Perfect Chaos – which causes the creature to become so big that it can flood an entire city square!
Chaos is a great villain and helped to make Sonic Adventure incredibly memorable – explaining its position in our list of the best Dreamcast games!
7. E-123 Omega
Having been imprisoned by Dr Robotnik in an abandoned base, the robot E-123 Omega sides with the good guys once he’s freed in Sonic Heroes.
Determined to seek revenge against the evil Doctor, E-123 Omega teams up with Shadow the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat, but makes appearances in many more Sonic games beyond his debut in Sonic Heroes.
He has an impressive array of weapons built in: guns, flamethrowers, laser beams, missiles and even rocket-powered drills.
One of his moves even involves using Shadow and Rouge as living weapons too!
6. Blaze the Cat
A purple cat from an alternate dimension, Blaze’s first appearance was in DS title Sonic Rush.
She also appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, travelling back in time with her companion Silver the Hedgehog.
Dimension jumping, time travelling and even pyrokinetic abilities mark Blaze as an underrated character in the Sonic games – well deserving of a place on the strongest Sonic characters list!
5. Silver the Hedgehog
The 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game played host to Silver the Hedgehog’s debut.
Though not exactly a beloved character in the series, Silver is nonetheless a powerful one: hailing from 200 years in the future, Silver can travel in time and make use of telekinetic abilities to levitate and throw objects.
Just like several other hedgehog characters in the Sonic games, Silver can transform into a Super form too, using the power of the Chaos Emeralds.
4. Metal Sonic
Sonic CD marked the first appearance for Sonic’s metallic doppelganger, Dr Robotnik’s – slightly unimaginatively monikered – creation, Metal Sonic.
Thanks to some time travel shenanigans, Dr Robotnik creates Metal Sonic in the future, sending him to the past to change the course of history, influencing events so that Robotnik can rule the world.
Metal Sonic was created to be a match for the real Sonic’s power and abilities.
Though he doesn’t quite measure up to Sonic’s capabilities, he also comes loaded and armed with a laser cannon, jet engine and even a force field.
He’s even appeared in stronger form as Neo Metal Sonic – and been able to transform into a big boss, the Metal Overlord!
3. Knuckles the Echidna
First appearing as an antagonist – albeit one tricked into opposing the main characters by the evil Dr Robotnik – Knuckles the Echidna made a big impression in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
He soon returned as a playable character in Sonic & Knuckles – and his powerful abilities were clear to see.
Though of course he can’t match Sonic for speed, Knuckles is incredibly strong – he’s able to smash through boulders using just his fists, can lift objects that are much larger than he is and he can even climb walls using the spiked… um, knuckles on his gloves.
Additionally, Knuckles can swim, utilise a rolling ball attack and even has the ability to change into Super and Hyper Knuckles using the Chaos and Super Emeralds respectively.
No surprise to find Knuckles near the top of the strongest Sonic characters list then!
2. Shadow the Hedgehog
I mean he’s basically an edgier, more tooled up palette swap of Sonic himself right?
Sure, to the outsider that’s just what Shadow the Hedgehog may look like, but he’s so much more than that.
And how many side characters from the Sonic series have gone on to star in their own video game? Knuckles and Tails are the only others – though there’s arguably Dr Robotnik, with the reskin of Super Puyo Puyo that was Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.
Shadow very nearly made it to our top spot on the strongest Sonic characters list – because he was created in a lab specifically to be as strong as possible. He’s pretty much immortal!
Yet still, there’s one character in the Sonic series who we think just about outranks Shadow as the strongest of them all.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog
Is it really a surprise to see the blue blur in the number one spot on the list of the strongest Sonic characters?
It shouldn’t be. Since his very first appearance in 1991’s Sonic the Hedgehog on Genesis/Mega Drive, Sonic has proven himself to be an absolute powerhouse in pretty much the entirety of the series (check out our list of the best Sonic games for more on those!).
Consider that, as long as he’s able to hold onto at least one golden ring, he can get hurt, but he can’t die – making Sonic an exceptionally strong character (holding onto that final ring is easier said than done of course!).
Sonic’s reflexes and abilities are genuinely impressive and in the hands of a skilled player he’s extremely tough to beat, even for a seasoned master villain like Doctor Robotnik.
Not only that, but he can get even stronger with the aid of the Chaos Emeralds and he has a huge number of different forms he can morph into, in order to become even more powerful (Super Sonic, for just one example!).
With everything he’s endured and overcome over the course of his 30 year-plus gaming history, Sonic is an obvious choice for the top of the strongest Sonic characters list!
Wait! Isn’t there a character who’s actually killed Sonic?
Of course, even the lowliest of creatures, spikes or a fall off-screen can kill Sonic – but there is a character who has killed Sonic canonically in a game’s story: Mephiles the Dark.
Who is Mephiles the Dark?
Appearing in Sonic 2006, Mephiles is a being who can take the form of other living things or even just matter; he takes the form of Shadow the Hedgehog, for example, but can also transform into liquid or gas.
What abilities does Mephiles have?
Mephiles can also manipulate time itself; as for offensive capabilities, he can also generate and launch spheres of energy that home in on his enemies!
How did Mephiles kill Sonic?
Here’s the thing: though it could be argued that Mephiles the Dark is one of the strongest characters in Sonic lore, he only killed Sonic from behind, by impaling him. This cowardly attack – along with the fact that he also created a distraction, to ensure he could kill Sonic without confronting him – marks Mephiles out as devious, but strong is debatable!
Was Mephiles defeated?
Yes; not only is Mephiles defeated, but a sneaky bit of time travel also ensures that he’s destroyed before he can grow powerful again.
Why doesn’t he have his own entry on the strongest Sonic characters list?
It could be argued that Mephiles should be in the list, as the only character in any Sonic fiction to successfully kill the blue blur. However, the underhand, cowardly way in which he achieves this – and the fact that he is destroyed, in effect erased from time, space and existence entirely – meant that we didn’t think he was deserving of a place in the top ten.
So there you have it – now you know about the only character who’s ever killed Sonic, along with our opinion on the strongest Sonic characters!
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Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.