Mixed or average reviews - based on 49 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 49
  2. Negative: 1 out of 49
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  1. Play Magazine
    Sonic Heroes will fill you with a sense of pure fun seldom seen in the annals of modern game design. [Jan 2004, p.50]
  2. Sonic may never topple Mario from the throne of excellent adventure games, but this latest attempt goes a long way to prove that there’s plenty of room for two fantastic gaming franchises at the top.
  3. I absolutely love the music in this game.
  4. Combining the classic play mechanics that made the classic series so addictive and a new set of team-based skills, this is probably the most in-depth Sonic title yet.
  5. 85
    While the game suffers from some rather terrible camera problems and the adventure itself isn’t overly interesting from a storyline sense, the gameplay and action is fast, furious and fun.
  6. Nintendo Power
    As a loyal devotee of the series, I couldn't be more excited about Sonic Heroes's focus on high-speed action. I loved the "Sonic Adventure" games, but this is Sega's hedgehog at his finest. [Mar 2004, p.117]
  7. If it weren't for the sense of redundancy that comes from the too-large environments (and from playing through many of them multiple times as the different teams), this title would have been just about perfect. In the end, Sonic Heroes certainly isn't perfect. However, it's a great step in the right direction.
  8. Weekly Famitsu
    8 / 8 / 8 / 8 - 32 gold [Vol 786]
  9. 80
    Still not perfect, but it's fun and there are moments in the game -- admittedly more short-lived than I'd have liked -- where the action, speed and sheer intensity approach a state nothing short of mesmerizing.
  10. Even though Sonic Heroes has its shortcomings; it is really fun to play. At times this game offers the classic Sonic feeling as you zip through some of these levels as fast as a speeding bullet.
  11. Although the character switching adds gameplay possibilities to Sonic Heroes, most of them are negated by the too-obvious clues.
  12. The new team system hastens gameplay a little more than past installments and offers a blend of elements from action to platform at the press of a button.
  13. The first game in almost a decade that feels like a return to the series' roots in any fashion.
  14. You have to have some motivation to get you through the sticky patches (a love of Sonic, or the fact that you're being paid to play it, etc), but the high points are just the platforming tonic you need if your holiday on Isle Delfino is just a fading memory.
  15. 80
    The only things that make Sonic Heroes separate from other games are its really bad voice acting, camera issues, multiplayer frame rates and the amount of time it takes to complete the single-player mode.
  16. The first game in quite some time that captures the feeling the old Sonic games gave you. It’s very fast and has pretty big levels with multiple routes through them.
  17. 80
    A creative stab at reclaiming the essence of hog; if it only had a little more faith in its own clever idea, it probably would have broken the sound barrier.
  18. In all, this is a step in the right direction for Sonic, but one that ultimately fails to thrill. [Jan 2004, p.137]
  19. If you tried hard enough, you could probably finish the game in about 7 or 8 hours. Not a terrible time, for a platformer. But, if you're spending the whole $50 for the retail price, it might just not be enough to warrant the price.
  20. If you have other gamer friends that love Sonic, you'll play these games quite a bit, especially Race mode. Non Sonic fans, though, will fail to see the novelty.
  21. Though it still exhibits many of the camera and control issues that vexed Sonic's previous forays into 3D, it's truer to its 2D roots than any other 3D Sonic game before it.
  22. 75
    I was happy to find that the game is well-balanced, requiring even use of all three abilities, and multiple pathways can be accessed by exploring areas with different team leaders. [*See GameSpy for their new 5-star conversion scale]
  23. With varying challenges, an ongoing storyline with a few twists, and the classic Sonic feel, Sonic Heroes will appeal the most to long-time fans of the series.
  24. The Gamecube version is the most stable and playable.
  25. The game is nothing if not dynamic and is worthy of any gamer, provided they have good hand-eye coordination. You’ll die a lot, but in a way that’s just like being a kid again.
  26. A bit of polish wouldn’t have gone amiss here.
  27. The glorious 3D speed rush is still broken by moments where you will csream with rage inspired by whatever sadism or idiocy has kept Sonic Team from fixing its camera and control schemes after five years of 3D Sonic games.
    The two things that platform games rely on the most - the level design and your degree of interaction with them are both massively flawed, and to add insult to injury the usual Sonic technical misgivings are all correct and present: good looking graphics, but prone to tearing and glitching.
  29. The game's graphics aren't on par with today's console offerings -- sure the worlds are colorful and large, but perhaps the developers at Japan's Sonic Team studios had to sacrifice visuals for speed.
  30. Old-school Sonic speed plus a few new twists makes for a decent if not earth-shattering return to the realm of the blue hedgehog.
  31. Less is more in the case of Sonic Heroes, as convoluted exploration concepts are abandoned in favor of pure speed and exhilaration.
  32. 70
    Gamers who haven't exactly stuck by Sonic's blurry blue side over the years will have to work a little harder to get to the fun, spastic heart of Sonic Heroes, but those who know what to expect in terms of mechanics and sheer kinetic insanity will feel right at home.
  33. As with the previous two 3D Sonic outings, Sonic Heroes is a solid platformer that could've been a lot better if the developers had spent more time balancing the levels and tweaking the unbelievably frustrating camera.
  34. Awesome audio-visuals and spot-on gameplay (most of the time) make Sonic Heroes the best next-gen Sonic game available. Get rid of the camera problem, put in some truly innovative puzzles and the next Sonic game will really shine.
  35. Computer Games Magazine
    The techincal aspects of Sonic Heroes are handled well, with the exception of the camera and voice work. In fact, the camera is worse than "Mario 64's" (and that's saying a lot) and the voice acting is downright repulsive. [Apr 2004, p.9]
  36. The concept is well and good, and works well – except for the fact that you still must slow down to use Knuckles and Tails (or the equivalent member in one of the three other teams in the game). These are the moments that the game truly lags, and once again the shoddy camera has come back to once again make the game a pain.
  37. Sonic Heroes’ biggest weaknesses are its combat system and related controls. While the three-formation system provides a refreshing choice in combat styles when facing a handful of opponents, the system quickly becomes disorienting in larger battles.
  38. The camera is crap, the scale is awkward, the story and characters are basic and cringe-worthy, the combat is tedious, the platforming and puzzling is too basic, and I was well bored of it by the time I conquered the final level with the first of the four Teams, which wasn't even that long after I first grabbed it out of the shrink-wrap.
  39. But with this much constant repetition, sloppy enemy and level designs, artificially-prescribed deaths, lack of bonus GBA-connectivity and even some glitchy overlapping voice samples, it's really a matter of how much the player is prepared to tolerate.
  40. AceGamez
    Control issues, far too many pointless fall-to-your-death moments and a general lack of purpose or incentive to explore make the fun fleeting and the frustration lasting.
  41. I think Sonic Team needs to focus on its core values and technical competencies, to deliver the sublime experience I believe it is capable of, especially when working with the prestigious Sonic IP.
  42. 60
    The lack of guardrails leaves little room for error, and the camera often fails to let you know what's coming until you're already diving head first into a bottomless pit. That's the most common way to go.
  43. It can be fun, quick, breathtaking, and all sorts of great things. However, the bad control problems pop up too often, and just ruin the entire experience. It comes down to five or ten minutes of great gameplay ruined by the game not working where and when it should.
  44. 55
    Long stretches of each stage can be severely frustrating and annoying, but when they're not, it's still pretty fun -- and getting "in the zone" to complete an especially hard part in one try is always satisfying.
  45. Edge Magazine
    Rarely does dying feel like the player's fault and, in typical "Sonic Adventure" fashion, the best bits are when you find that the majority of control has been taken away from you, and you're flung around the world at escape velocity. [Mar 2004, p.105]
  46. Cheat Code Central
    The 3D world has too many technical flaws, most notably with the camera angles.
  47. The stop and stutter gameplay makes completing Sonic Heroes and exercise in frustration, and when you couple that with some ridiculous boss battles, horrible voice acting and a nasty camera, it wouldn't surprise me if gamers snub Sega's effort and reject Sonic for the industry's better crafted platformers.
  48. There are times when Sonic Heroes borders on unplayable simply on the merits of its own camera.
  49. netjak
    Sonic Heroes takes a simple concept and makes it complex seemingly for the sake of complexity, and the result is an overly frustrating game that feels more like work than fun.

Awards & Rankings

#4 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2004
#2 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 295 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 295
  1. Aug 25, 2013
    This is one of the first games I ever played. Even though there are flaws, my nostalgia is to strong to hate it. The game is looks amazing.This is one of the first games I ever played. Even though there are flaws, my nostalgia is to strong to hate it. The game is looks amazing. the voice acting is meh. Fantastic gameplay. Full Review »
  2. Jul 7, 2018
    Why SEGA?Why? SADX and SA2 had one of the best level design in the series, and what did you to Heroes ?The level design is crap and its justWhy SEGA?Why? SADX and SA2 had one of the best level design in the series, and what did you to Heroes ?The level design is crap and its just Generations without Boost. Why do we have Team Dark and Chaotix.Why didnt Shadow can be dead? He is comepletely unuseful in the games since SA2 Full Review »
  3. Jul 3, 2016
    This game never makes me mad at all. Probably cause I'm good at the game. Well anyways, the game's controls feel good and fresh and theThis game never makes me mad at all. Probably cause I'm good at the game. Well anyways, the game's controls feel good and fresh and the graphics look smooth and amazing. The story is cliche but it's alright. Gameplay is awesome and there is a lot of variety. I do recommend this game. One of the best gamecube and sega's best game of the blue blur. Full Review »