Top 10 Best Sonic the Hedgehog Games

The best from everyone's favorite anthropomorphic speedy blue rodent!
The Top Ten
1 Sonic Adventure 2

This is the game that got me into Sonic. I remember my grandma got a GameCube and a few games for her house for my cousins and I to play when she picked us up from school, including this one. I started playing it one day and begged my parents for my own copy. When I finally got it for my birthday, I couldn't put the game down. I know some say it hasn't aged well, but maybe it's just my nostalgia talking because I still enjoy this game in my mid-20s just as much as I did when I was 8.

My favorite Sonic game of all time. The story is great, the characters are cool, and I like each of their individual personalities in this one. The voices are the least annoying of any of the games. Good music, Chao Garden was super fun, good stage select, and lots of things to accomplish. It has the best two-player mode of any of the Sonic games. I liked being able to play as different characters in different kinds of levels. The speed, treasure hunt, and shooting combination was super fun. Also, Eggman was actually fun as a main character and didn't look like a total clown, same with Knuckles. And of course, Shadow is just amazing.

2 Sonic the Hedgehog 2

This was one of the first games I ever played, and to this day, it's still my absolute favorite. The levels have great variety. The graphics are vibrant, colorful, and make the most of the now-ancient Genesis hardware. The soundtrack is legendary. And it's one of the earliest instances of a modern physics engine being put to use. We may be in an age of network infrastructures, retail-quality downloads, epic orchestrations, and higher poly counts than ever before, but Sonic 2 truly is one of the all-time greats and should be played by everyone who considers themselves a gamer at least once.

The amount of replay value in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is astounding. It's definitely not a one-off. With a little practice, you can beat the whole game in one hour, making it a satisfying experience that doesn't get chopped off by multiple gameplay sessions.

Sure, the first time playing it, I had a hard time because I didn't know what was ahead of me and kept bumping into unfavorably placed enemies, spikes, and other obstacles. Especially the hazards to be smushed were unrelenting. If just 1 pixel of your ear gets pressed down...

But all these things become very minor, because the more you play it, the more you know what is coming ahead. It's not like Sonic Adventure 2, where it feels like exploring a minefield of glitches, questionable game physics, and horrible camera angles. It's just straightforward fun without much attenuation.

Another minor pet peeve of mine is the end-boss. In my opinion, it deserves the number 1 spot, maybe in a tie with Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the latter being very good, but also a very long game if you plan to beat it in one sitting.

3 Sonic Generations

Time travel games are almost always awesome, and Sonic doesn't end that tradition! With amazing detailed graphics and available on many different consoles, you can play as Classic or Modern Sonic, each having different gameplay. You can also revisit many locations, bosses, and levels, each not being a rip-off, just borrowing gameplay from other games but creating a whole new Sonic experience with more action, gameplay, or maybe more moves that the boss or Sonic can do. Sonic Generations is not just simply a Sonic game. It is ALL Sonic games incorporated into one big, epic, and outright AMAZING time travel story.

I remember wanting to play this game as a kid with my brother because the two Sonics suggested the game would be multiplayer. However, I was pretty disappointed to find out it was a single-player game. Over time, my interest in the game waned. Then, when I was 14 or 15 years old, I heard many good things about it and decided to give it a try, but I didn't have the consoles it was available on. Eventually, I was at a friend's house, and he had "Sonic Generations." I tried it out and spent a third of the night playing it. Reflecting on how much I enjoyed it, I'm pretty sure it's my favorite game of all time, and definitely my favorite Sonic game.

4 Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Easily the best Sonic game of all time. The level designs, the characters (just the hedgehog, the fox, the echidna, and the mad scientist - none of the crocodile, the chameleon, or the rabbit?), and the music are unparalleled. Everything was perfect in it, including the bonus level.

Blue Spheres was also excellent. Plus, the versus mode was so much better than in Sonic 2. Super Sonic was much improved as well and remains one of the best games to unlock him.

This game deserves a higher ranking. If you've never played it, I suggest downloading a ROM and giving it a try. I promise you'll like it.

In my opinion, Sonic 3 and Knuckles is the best Sonic game ever made. It embodies everything you could want from a 2D Sonic game and more (minus the super peel out). Not only does it feature a simple but awesome story, but it also outshines Sonic 2 (another great game). Its level design surpasses that of Sonic CD, offering challenging special stages and multiple playable characters. Moreover, it's well worth the effort to collect all the collectibles. Why? Because this game introduces Hyper forms, which are, needless to say, overpowered. Bottom line: PLAY THIS GAME. It is definitely worth your time and money, so never pass up the chance to play it.

5 Sonic Adventure

Although this game hasn't aged well, it still has a very high replayability value, as the gameplay is addicting and fun, despite various glitches. Sonic Adventure is the peak of the franchise, in my opinion, along with Adventure 2, Heroes, Unleashed, Colors, and Generations. Don't forget the Advance trilogy and the two Rush games. They're great too. The soundtrack for this game is very 90s-sounding. "Crazy Robo" sounds like late 90s European trance mixed with Jamiroquai, "Speed Highway" sounds like a rave, and the music for the cavern section of Red Mountain sounds like the music used in the hallucination scene in "Beavis & Butt-Head Do America." The theme, "Open Your Heart," is also great. I just wish this game would be talked about more. The DX version is not that great.

I think for now I like this more than SA2. I probably wouldn't have said that before. I don't like Amy and Big's gameplay. Gamma controls better than the mechs, but there isn't much platforming suited for him, so he's okay. Knuckles is so much better with the radar and hint system, although I prefer something like what he did in Sonic 3. Regardless, I like him. Same with Tails. I like him and the twist of racing to the finish, although I wish his flying lasted longer. Sonic is, of course, my favorite gameplay. I think this game mixes speed with platforming well due to level design (I don't like his last three levels, though), but it can be hard to turn when he's going fast. The camera isn't the best, but overall it isn't that bad, despite what people say.

6 Sonic Heroes

This game was... fun for the most part. I mean, Sonic Heroes was meant for little kids, but I know adults who enjoy the game immensely. However, aspects of the game are boring or slow, such as with Team Chaotix in the Haunted Mansion, where they have to locate the same object in the second part of the stage, which could take over 9 minutes if you aren't keen on exploration. The tutorial level with Team Rose felt like a waste of time.

But, I'm not one of those people who just find faults with the game. The graphics weren't bad for a 2005 GameCube game, as well as PS2. The gameplay was a bit spotty at times but for the most part, it was done well. The music... THE MUSIC... was just amazing! The one song I constantly listen to in the game is "What I'm Made Of". Overall, I think Sega did an amazing job with this game. Let's just hope we don't see another Shadow the Hedgehog game see the light of day... unless the play testers or Sega make it much better. Sega, you all have done well making this game.

7 Sonic the Hedgehog

The graphics are actually pretty good for a Sonic game, you get to play as more than one character, and the soundtrack is just amazing. (That's something many of us can agree on.) This is also the first game where Silver is introduced. The only things I don't like about this game are how sensitive the controls are and the whole Sonic x human romance. (Seriously, what were they thinking?) As for the glitches, I found them quite funny, to be honest. Yes, this game is bad, but it isn't as bad as many people say. It's just unfinished. I think people pay too much attention to small things like loading times and glitches, and they don't see the good things about this game or the potential it had. Of course, what I'm saying is based off of opinions, as is the hate this game gets.

Love this game! It contains the introduction of my favorite Sonic character, Silver, and my favorite song, "His World." The gameplay might be a little "old school," but it is a nice transition into the modern games. It also demonstrates the power of all three male hedgehogs working together to defeat Solaris.

8 Sonic the Hedgehog CD

Did you know? This game is more unique than you'd expect, because of its time travel mechanics. If you want to get the good ending, you have to stop Robotnik from taking over Little Planet even after he's taken over. To do this, you have to destroy his robot-making machines that he put in the past, so that he does not have any robots in the future to conquer Little Planet with. If you do this correctly, the future versions of the levels will be mechanical... in a good way! There will be (almost) no robots to attack you, and the machinery will be doing good things, instead of being destroyed (from being neglected by Robotnik after he took over) and pollutive. Even Robotnik's main base will be a paradise!

I have played a lot of great Sonic games, but Sonic CD is obviously my favorite out of the classic series. For instance, the Japanese soundtrack is god-tier, with a lot of songs sounding quintessentially '90s. The plot, revolving around time travel, is unique. Granted, one of the only criticisms I have of the game is that it can be over-experimental at times, making it hard to get into the story, and the level designs are somewhat confusing.

Metal Sonic is the best Sonic villain, in my opinion. It's a worthy rival of the blue blur, plus it has a banger of a main theme. This game just rocks, period. I love it so much.

9 Sonic Colors

I didn't know why I was so hyped for Sonic Colors Ultimate. Once again, Sega rushed another product. Even with the patches, it's still a buggy experience. I think the YTP from 11 years ago, "Sonic Colors Glitched Up My Wii," basically predicted the future, as the remastered Ultimate version is like playing Sonic Colors while on acid. Don't use the new Ghost wisp. You're going to regret it.

Anyway, I remember when so many people were hyped for the original game, and there was a massive party to commemorate its launch. I partied alone in my room, surrounded by Nintendo and Disney merchandise, playing Sonic Colors. Many days later, I got my hands on Donkey Kong Country Returns when it came out. I swear, October/November of 2010 was like a goldmine of good memories.

I believe this was the turning point in making Sonic great again. Generations and Lost World followed shortly after, but then things got confusing again. However, that's beside the point. This game is my favorite Sonic game. Yes, Unleashed seems to have helped Sonic, but Colors is what truly made it shine. The gameplay is obviously enjoyable, and the Wisps were a nice addition, though I feel more could have been done with the Laser Wisp.

I also appreciate the game's pace - fast in the 2D sections and even faster in the 3D sections. Personally, I favor the 3D sections slightly more, but both are well-executed. The game's areas are pretty neat too, with Asteroid Coaster being my favorite. The music is great as well, although Reach for the Stars is one of the weaker main lyrical themes, in my opinion. I also prefer the voice of Sonic in this game to the previous voice actors. It fits his personality better than in other games. Additionally, it's a small thing, but the game's cutscenes made me laugh here and there. Maybe I'm easily amused, I don't know.

I would vote for Sonic Heroes, but that feels biased since it was my first Sonic game. Colors was actually my third, with Sonic 4 being my second. Not to say that picking Sonic Heroes is bad - I love that game - but I don't feel right choosing it due to a few aspects I dislike, such as Hang Castle and its counterpart.

But who am I to judge your favorite Sonic game? I can understand your choices. However, I like Sonic Colors more than the others. It's just a fast, fun game, and I love it very much. If you think this game is bad, that's fine, just please respect my opinion, and I'll respect yours.

10 Sonic Unleashed

There's no doubt that this game made up for what happened with Sonic The Hedgehog 2006. I think it's safe to say that this game is my favorite in the Sonic series, with awesome gameplay, Pixar-looking graphics, a great soundtrack, good voice acting, and touches of the classic times that make you feel very familiar with it. It's a game that actually consists of DLC, which Sonic Generations should have taken advantage of! I also think it's safe to say that this game is not termed a "dark-age" title, even if it still has the Werehog, which I found fun. And the version I'm talking about is the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. But if you want something else Unleashed-related, then get the Wii or PlayStation 2 versions, if you will.

Sonic Unleashed is amazing. I don't get why people hate this game. Sega really put their heart and soul into this game after the massive bombs that were Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic '06. It is longer than most modern Sonic games, so that's saying something, and the Werehog form was a cool addition, in my opinion. I've played both the Wii and PS3 versions, and they're both good. The story is great, which is rare for Sonic games to have. It is simple, yet effective, as Eggman split apart the planet and it's Sonic and Chip's job to restore the planet by placing the Chaos Emeralds into the Gaia Temples to stop Dark Gaia. Way better than the convoluted, messy story that '06 had. Overall, an incredible Sonic game.

The Contenders
11 Sonic Mania

I recently bought Sonic Superstars along with Super Mario Bros. Wonder a few days ago, and let me say, while it is weaker than Sonic Mania in many aspects (such as the soundtrack, which is a mixed bag of Tee Lopes's jams and Sonic 4-sounding MIDI tunes, and the boss fights), it's probably the most fun I've had with 2D Sonic for years. The new zones (such as Speed Jungle, Golden Capital, Pinball Carnival, Cyber Station, etc.), were all fresh-looking, even though a lot of them put more emphasis on platforming rather than speed. The new character, Trip, is just adorable. Superstars does feel like a worthy companion game to Mania, even though it's not without its flaws.

It's better than the original trilogy of Sonic games. Just look at those clean animations, and the new zones are very creative, polishing and introducing cool mechanics to the old zones. They even remixed the music of old zones when you get to Act 2! The special stages strike that perfect balance between easy and hard and are also a very nice tribute to Sega Saturn's graphics.

What amazes me the most, though, is the fact that Sonic Mania was made by fans, for the fans. You've got people like Christian Whitehead (who remastered Sonic 1, 2, and even CD for mobile devices) and Headcannon Studios working on this game. It's such a shame that in the same year, this game got overshadowed because Sonic Forces was released, which made many people uninterested in Sonic again. It makes you wonder about Sonic Team and their incompetence in making a proper, fun, and cool Sonic game nowadays. Maybe Sonic Team should put a little more time, love, and effort into their projects, like what happened with Mania.

12 Shadow the Hedgehog

Even at #12, this game is underrated. No offense, but the dark stories in games are always the most engaging and addicting ones. This goes for all the dark Sonic games. And who cares if you don't need guns to play? That's not the point. The point was that the use of guns fit Shadow's style. Just getting a gun and shooting it at all was fun. I'm pretty sure everyone knows that if Sonic can go through 50 different games without using a gun, then chances are that Shadow can, too. I'm also pretty sure that people who say this are hypocritical and still use guns anyway because it's fun shooting stuff.

The real favorite is Adventure 2. (Well, duh. The Chao Garden by itself trumps every other Sonic game I've played.) This game, however, receives my vote for being both underrated and overhated, mostly overhated. The only thing holding it back is all the excessive swearing and the poorly executed plot. However, the gameplay is very solid. The addition of guns was fun, with the only drawback being limited weapon choices based on nearby enemies.

Buying this game years after its release, I was braced for many glitches, as well as choppy and slow gameplay, due to the bad reviews and complaints flooding the Internet. To my surprise, I found a smooth, fast-paced shoot 'em up. This game deserves to be ranked at least #10.

13 Sonic Rush

Sonic Rush was my very first introduction to Sonic, and it was worth it. It is personally my favorite Sonic game of all time, despite the rest. The game mechanics are smooth and reasonable, making it fun to play. The music isn't edgy like in the newer games, but upbeat and remixed, which perfectly matches the speed of the game. It's a 2D side scroller, perfect for fans of the original games. The only wish I have is for more levels, but otherwise, I highly recommend this game!

Bad news: I went on eBay to get a new copy of Sonic Rush, but unfortunately, they were all sold out. That's extremely unfortunate considering that it's an extremely fun and addictive Sonic game which certainly delivers. 2005 may have been the start of the Blue Blur's second dark age, but at least it left us with some great handheld Sonic titles, except Sonic Genesis. I vividly remember as a young teen that I received this game as a birthday present. All throughout 2006, I played through chunks of the game. Don't forget Blaze the Cat. She was great as well. And the soundtrack was seriously one of the best the franchise has to offer. "Jeh Jeh Rocket" sounds like a Chao dance rave. "Bomber Barbara" sounds like Michael Jackson mixed with OutKast. And of course, the bangers that are "Back 2 Back" and "What U Need". Overall, a great Sonic game! Too bad it's talked about way too much...

14 Sonic Advance

The whole Sonic Advance series is underrated. I would consider them to be just as good, if not better, than the original trilogy for the Genesis. Please, vote for this game.

This game is fun! ENOUGH SAID!...Well, if you need an explanation, it's fun because it is 2D gameplay at its best!

Tails had more abilities in the Advance games. What can I say? Tails is awesome.

15 Sonic & Knuckles

This has the right to be in the top ten as it was a continuation of Sonic 3. Originally, this game and Sonic 3 were supposed to be combined as one to form a massive game. However, they had to split them up due to the amount of time before launch. Some might consider this game downgraded from the last title, but I, however, think it was designed with the same quality. The music was great, the introduction of Knuckles as a playable character (obviously) was a highlight, and the levels were challenging. The lock-on technology that allowed people to choose Knuckles as a playable character was awesome!

Seriously, this stage has the best Sonic zones of all time! Hey, Loganruckmanman, Sonic & Knuckles is the best Sonic game ever & should be top 1.

This game is so underrated, even at top 17. I am a Sonic fanboy, and this game has done everything right.

16 Sonic and the Black Knight

After months of playing the game and listening to its killer soundtrack, I was instantly happy I did not get Sonic Generations (3DS, I do not have an Xbox). People hate this game because they did not give it a chance, but this one is WAY better than Sonic and the name that must not be mentioned. Just play it. It's Sonic with a sword. Nothing is cooler.

A game with an unexplored concept and also a game that literally makes the fanbase even more stupid in a way (which happens almost every time with a bad Sonic game).

I personally love this game. The soundtrack is the best in any Sonic game, the graphics are breathtaking, the storyline is amazing, and the CGI cutscenes when used are amazing. Even the non-CGI cutscenes are impressive. Griffith's performance was outstanding, definitely improved since games like Sonic 06. The level design, bosses, and voice acting are all amazing.

Everything about this game is outstanding.

To say this game is outstanding is the understatement of the century. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this is the best game anyone is ever going to come up with.

I hate whoever put this so low on the list. This should be number 1.

17 Sonic Advance 3

It also has a good soundtrack. Just listen to the Sunset Hill Act 3 theme, all three themes of Route 99, and the song for the penultimate final boss, the Hyper Eggrobo. Seriously. The compressed soundchip of the Game Boy Advance could not handle a breakbeat song. And Sonic Team, plus Sega, did it with flying colors. And it was 2004, a time when people were pushing the Game Boy Advance to the next level. Almost everyone I knew had an SP version of the console, while I just had the brick version with no backlit screen. Well, you get what you wish for. This is a pretty underrated Sonic game, with an underrated soundtrack. I kind of want the Advance trilogy to be remade for the Switch...

I remember when I got this game in 2005. It definitely fulfilled my expectations. Best game of the Advance trilogy, hands down. Is it weird that I actually liked Gemerl (or whatever his name is)? He may be the Metal Sonic of the Advance trilogy, but there's more to him as he gets reprogrammed at the end of the game. Then I got the DS and Rush came out in late 2005, and I liked that game as well. The Advance and Rush series hold a special place in my heart to this day.

18 Sonic Advance 2

The Sonic Advance and Rush series are actually my favorites, but Sonic Advance 2 was my favorite out of the pack. It expanded on the first Advance, but didn't go in a slightly weird direction like Advance 3 or Rush. For some reason, I wasn't into having another character with you as a partner (or else I would have chosen Sonic the Hedgehog 2), and I didn't care for the dual screens that Rush had, along with the boost function, not to mention the annoying touch screen special stages. Anyway, SEGA, real talk? Release a Sonic Advance & Rush Collection. You know you want to, or at least now you know I want you to.

This game's soundtrack may not be my favorite out of the Advance trilogy, but you gotta admit, it has some great tunes. Such as Techno Base Act 2, with its Southern hip-hop drum and bass beat, as well as the legendary amen break, the triumphant-sounding Egg Utopia, the ever-so-catchy Music Plant, the Sonic 1 title screen soundalike that is Sky Canyon, and many more. The Sonic Advance trilogy's soundtrack certainly did push the GBA's soundchip to its limits.

19 Sonic Riders

This game was a great game for the 25th anniversary of Sonic. Though I must admit, the second and third games pale in comparison to the fun in the original, all of them have a great storyline and incredibly addictive music! I like the addition of Wave, Jet, and Storm, adding a second story for them, the ability to buy different gear, plus all of the memorable characters from Sonic. Definitely check this out if you haven't played it. My experience was on Xbox, but I'm sure it can be found for PS2.

This is the best Sonic game ever made! Probably the only best to celebrate Sonic's 15th anniversary. The story is well made, Jet is one of the best characters, and I got used to the controls a lot. Jason Griffith is and will always be the best Sonic, Shadow, and Jet no matter what. It's super nostalgic to me. 10/10.

Sonic Riders is the most awesome Sonic game I've ever played.

20 Sonic Lost World

Lost World was criticized because it wasn't what the fans wanted. As a result, many didn't even bother playing it with an open mind. The Sonic fanbase can be incredibly picky. Sonic Lost World is wacky, but in a good way. You can tell that the developers had a blast making this game. The levels are more slow-paced than most Sonic games, allowing players to appreciate them more fully instead of just speeding through. This slower pace encourages exploration. I do wish Tails was a playable character, but Sonic's controls and physics are really good.

I enjoy the boss fights, especially how they differ from one another. This is my favorite Sonic game, and I don't understand why the Sonic fanbase can't accept new ideas in the series.

After Sonic Generations, I wanted another boosting game...but...Sega is stupid! Still, this should belong as one of the greats in the Sonic series! It had a lacking story, but the game is fun and is gorgeous! It's a good start to future Sonic games! They just need to have a story that doesn't suck!

21 Sonic Battle

Sonic Battle was for the Game Boy, but it contains solid gameplay, and the fact that it was a 4-player game was impressive.

Sonic Battle should have been done to death and should have had so many sequels with modern graphics. You hear that, SEGA? You forgot that it could have been better than the DBZ games by now.

I don't get the hate for this game! I really like it.

The most fun Sonic game of all!

22 Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity

This game is so awesome! Why isn't it at least in the top 10? I enjoy playing multiplayer in this game. Also, the cutscenes are funny, and the graphics are cool! Even the places are cool, especially my favorites like Aquatic Capital, Gigan Rocks, Snowy Kingdom, Mobius Strip, Astral Babylon, The 80s, and 90s! Buy this game if you can, and you'll see! And Jet's theme song "Catch Me If You Can" is 100% awesome. Just listen to it and you'll see (again!) You gotta buy this totally awesome game!

The first Sonic game I ever played besides the Olympic games, and man! It is better than the other Sonic Riders games! The tilt controls actually go great with this game!

Dude, this definitely has to be first. The gameplay is amazing and has an awesome storyline. Why didn't you vote for this? It is the best and deserves to be number one.

23 Sonic Forces

It may be a controversial Sonic game, but here's why I like it:

- Music: The OST is really good! It fits the dark, glitchy tone of the game.
- Avatar: Don't tell me you never wanted your Sonic OC to go on actual adventures with Sonic.
- Infinite: Honestly, SEGA should give him another chance. He has a lot of potential as a great villain. We just need some more character development.
- Episode Shadow: As a huge Shadow fan, I was really excited to play as him! Even if it only had 3 levels, at least Shadow had a part here.
- Classic Sonic: I enjoyed playing as him, mostly for nostalgia.
- The story: Honestly, I adore the darker story tone and the focus on not only one main character, but three: Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Avatar.

Overall, this is definitely one of my favorite Sonic games. And even though it's not perfect, I had a blast playing it!

Why is this #35? I loved this game so much and I beat it yesterday. Here are some reasons why it's good:

Avatar: It allows you to experiment with characters. Plus, you can change their look, which is something I like.
Classic Sonic: Even though I struggled with him, it was cool playing as Classic Sonic, which hasn't been a thing since Sonic Generations.
The weapons: The variety of Wispons is great. Lightning is the best in terms of damage.
Infinite: Okay, go ahead and yell at me. But I was so excited when I battled him for the first time. Also, a masked jackal with the power to alter reality, come on. How can you say no to that?
The Music: The vocal songs for the Avatar stages, the 8-bit ones for the Classic Sonic stages, and the plain instrumental for Modern Sonic. It's a nice variety. My favorite is Moonlight Battlefield.
Tag Team Levels: Probably my favorite type of levels. These need to come back.
Episode Shadow: I had a blast playing as Shadow. Also, it was very cool to see Infinite's backstory. Even though it's only three levels, it was a good addition to the game.

Overall, this is an amazing game and it deserves more respect! Like this comment if you agree!

24 Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Amazing game. A lot less focus on items compared to Mario Kart. Drifting is fluid, and the stunt system is crazy good. Get it!

This was such an awesome game. The control is well balanced, the tracks are interesting, and also, with the PC version, you get to play as Team Fortress 2 characters. That absolutely BLEW my mind.

I have no idea why people think Team Sonic Racing is better than this masterpiece.

25 Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball

This should come in at top 1. Great graphics, perfect stages, awesome music, etc... This is the best Sonic game ever!

This game was cool.

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