Sonic The Hedgehog
Sonic The Hedgehog was the first game to feature rule 34's favorite blue rat, released worldwide in 1991.
The game is a platformer with a heavy emphasis on physics and building momentum. Sonic can damage most enemies by rolling into them or by landing on them while he's spinning. Memorizing level layouts and enemy placements is key to getting through the levels as quickly as possible. It feels good to maintain your momentum throughout the entire level and to beat your previous times.
The game gives you 10 minutes to beat each level, which is pretty generous. The goal is ultimately to get through the game level-by-level. Unless you're really bad at the game, the 10 minutes that you are given I feel is mostly useful for learning new paths throughout the level. It gives you time to learn different paths and enemy placements should you decide to take things slow and safely reach the end.
The extra time also gives players more of an opportunity to explore and find rings. If 50 rings are collected when you reach the goal post, there will be a giant ring which you can jump into in order to access the special stages.
The special stages are rotating levels where you struggle to get sonic to a chaos emerald without touching "goal" balls and ending the special stage. There are 6 chaos emeralds in total, and you get the best ending if you collect them all.
To be real, I don't really like the first Sonic very much. I find the sequels to be better in every way. Marble Zone and Labyrinth Zone are big dookie. Not being able to spindash isn't game-breaking, but god I wish it was present.
Sonic 1 isn't really a bad game, but it's not as good as the ones that came later. I very rarely find myself revisiting this one compared to Sonic 2 or 3.
I honestly don't remember exactly when or where I picked up my copy of Sonic 1. I'm certain that the first game that I bought for my genesis in 2014 was Sonic 3. I'm pretty sure that the main reason I bought a Sega Genesis back then was to play the original Sonic trilogy on original hardware. I want to say that I bought it before I bought Sonic 2, which I know for sure was after I bought Sonic 3 and my Genesis. It was definitely sometime between mid-2014 and late-2015.