The Big Balloons are large round balloons, about three meters in diameter, which are colored either red, blue or yellow with either purple, orange or light blue squiggles on them. Hanging below on a string is a red handle, similar to the ones on Pulleys.
In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, the Big Balloons are only encountered in the High-Rise Balloon Climb Challenge Act. They are generated from thin machines in a steady stream and rise directly up into the air when formed. They are invulnerable to both the player's and enemy attacks, but touching a ceiling above them will cause them to pop. In gameplay, the player can grab onto their handles simply by touching them which let the player ride with them up in the air. The player can also jump off the handles anytime, but also grab onto them again if touched once more. Additionally, the player can bounce on top of the Big Balloons, but is difficult to navigate.