Top 10 Sonic Zone Themes/SettingsBreakerOfStone This is for the creative themes that classic sonic games had that stood them apart from generic worlds like Mario. This isn't necessarily about how good a level is but how interesting and iconic the theme of said level is.
The Top Ten
Even though green hill zone is the first place to come to mind, I'd say spring yards jazzy city look just makes it stand out more and look so iconic. From the bumpers to the flashing lights, this is why so many sonic games have a casino level. - BreakerOfStone
The iconic level one with so much character. From its mechanical looking plants to its loops and checkerboard soil, this is the level everyone remembers. Every classic sonic game after this tried to make a copy of this as it's first level. There's a reason they keep bringing this zone back game after game. - BreakerOfStone
Chemical Plant is unique. I can't think of another game that has a theme like this. From the toxic pink water to the blue bubble monsters that jump out of pipes, this level contains so many things I haven't seen any other game attempt. It also got remade in both Sonic Generations and Sonic Mania making it the second most used level in a sonic game. - BreakerOfStone
The jazziest and coolest level to just zip around in. It had literal pinball machines that sonic could be part of to earn rings, little elevators, giant neon signs and everything that screams Vegas. - BreakerOfStone
Ice Cap Zone is one of the most unique ice levels I've seen in a video game. Where most ice levels just have a gimmick of snow on the ground and ice all around, this level has you snowboarding down the side of a mountain. It looks awesome and makes you feel cool. This was such a fun level that they remade it in sonic adventure. - BreakerOfStone
Scrap Brain Zone screams evil lair from the second you lay eyes on it. The giant smoke stacks, pulsating lights and foggy sky in the background create an environment of hopelessness in a mechanical jungle filled with flamethrowers, buzz saws and crushing blocks. Never has a level looked more intimidating. - BreakerOfStone
Marble Zone isn't a fun level, I'll be completely honest. However, the level looks awesome. The rusty ruins in the background with jutting pillars, the pine trees and purple mountains, and the inner ruins with lava, falling spike blocks and crushing pistons. The look is dark, mysterious and totally unique. - BreakerOfStone
Lava Reef is an underground base with the Death Egg looming in the background waiting to return to the sky. The mine shafts, rushing magma, and spike balls are all cool, but this level reminds you that Sonic 3&K was able to portray amazing story telling through level visuals. - BreakerOfStone
A beautiful floating ruins in the clouds. This level looks like something made by Studio Ghibli. The moss growing on floating towers and red beams that send you further into the heavens are so beautiful to look at. It really feels like the final climb to finish Eggman. - BreakerOfStone
This level has that classic cool and spooky look. The vines that pull you up, the crushing cave stalagmites, and the rail tracks Sonic and Tails run across give this level a feel unlike anything else in the series. - BreakerOfStone
Really liked the new Zones in Sonic Mania, but this takes the cake of being my fave of the bunch. The music is no exception.
Despite having to deal with 'oil', this is a very interesting and unique stage and I'm pleased to find out it made it's way to Sonic Mania, seeing that it is one of my favorite Zones of the Genesis trilogy.
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2. Green Hill Zone
3. Chemical Plant Zone