Sonic the Hedgehog is perhaps one of the most iconic games in video game history. I recently played a game with a friend of mine, I sang the theme to a Sonic Zone, he guessed what one it was...video games can bring people together, even if he's a Scrap Brain kinda guy and I'm more of a Green Hill kinda girl.
This type of everyday reference is not achievable for every game, the game must have wide fan base of people with a biblical knowledge of the game, you can do this with Sonic because it has become ingrained into popular culture and the mind of the pro gamer.
I recently downloaded Sonic the Hedgehog on my Wii, after all these years it is still a pleasure to play. It is unbelievably easy compared to modern platforms, and its charm is perhaps reliant on the nostalgia factor, but each zone is different enough to ensure you're never bored, and playing the game well can give you an immense feeling of satisfaction. For the more seasoned gamer, I suggest once through without dying, or setting a time limit to complete it all.
Sonic the Hedgehog should be in the arsenal of every gamer, it’s important to remember your roots and a bit of easy/non-violent game play will always be periodically required to calm you down after some particularly bloody grand theft or allied assault.