Sonic the Hedgehog
Well I did Mario a few weeks back so guess I had to do Sonic didn't I? Back when Sonic was cool (sorry Sonic, these days you're just... Well you're just not. Sorry man, breaks my heart to tell you seeing as we used to hang out all the time), the games were fast, furious and above all fun. What Mario did in his first few outings was placed on a pair of rocket skates turned up to 11.
Sonic was the first proper console game I ever played (I don't consider the ZX Spectrum or C64 to be actual consoles seeing as they were essentially proto-PCs) and I still feel a little excitement when I hear those first few bars of music and the precluding drum beats. The bright colours as you speed through Green Hill Zone, the dark mystery of Star Light Zone and the infuriating madness of Labyrinth Zone all added to the awesomeness. It wasn't easy either, I played Sonic a few times lately and I couldn't even complete Labyrinth zone. Yes feel free to mock me for my failure.
Sonic rocked so much awesomeness as a kid, which is probably why the Sonic games are so popular in collections and on downloads from xbox arcade or the playstation store. Heck you can even get Sonic 1 for ios and on android. It's just a shame that they managed to screw up the franchise with the 3D games. I quite enjoyed Sonic Adventure but it just didn't match the spirit of the original. As more and more were developed though it seemed like they got farther and farther away from the essence of what made Sonic a great game. Thankfully Sega seems to have realised their mistake with Sonic 4 but it is one of the few post-megadrive Sonic games that manages it.
I really enjoyed Resident Evil and Metal Gear but do the sequels match up to the enjoyment of the original game? The answer regrettably is no. But I don't think this is necessarily the fault of the creators. I think as gamers, nostalgia and first impressions have a great impact on the games we enjoy. How can a new game really be as good as the very first time you ever played a game or game series? No matter how great it is to play a game a sequel is just not as wonderful as your favourite and why it was popular.
But that doesn't mean it never happens. I love Halo but I have to admit I love Halo: Reach more. There's always ways to improve the experience and generate new favourites. Don't be afraid to take risks on a game that gets some decent reviews. Spend some time playing on some of the demos available. It's worth it!
From the desk of your benevolent God-King