February 2, 1994 - Sonic The Hedgehog 3
By the time the third Sonic game was due for release, Sega's mascot had firmly cemented himself as one of the most popular video game characters in the world.
The third game, released on Groundhog Day in North America (redubbed Hedgehog Day by Sega), saw Sonic and Tails travelling across the levitating Angel Island to stop Dr Robotnik from stealing the Master Emerald and using its power to repair his damaged ship.
Also on the island is Knuckles, the last surviving echidna, who's tricked by Robotnik into thinking Sonic wants to steal the Master Emerald. Knuckles appears throughout the game to hinder Sonic's progress and generally be a bit of a prat.
Originally planned to be a massive adventure on a 34 megabit cartridge, Sonic 3 was eventually split into two separate games - Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Joining both cartridges together lets you play Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the 'full' third game.
Sega recently announced it will release the original Sonic to Android devices. For the first time in the series history, Tails and Knuckles will also be playable in the game (the current iOS app will also be updated to add both characters).