Generally favorable reviews - based on 70 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
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  1. Sep 11, 2017
    Finally, we have the return to form that Sonic fans have been waiting for all these years. This isn’t just one of the best Sonic games of recent years, but one of the best Sonic games full stop. You owe it to yourself to get a copy of this masterpiece.
  2. 100
    Sonic Mania isn't only a very good Sonic game. It's a fantastic retro tinged platformer that just about anyone can appreciate. It's beautifully realised, fantastic sounding, passionate and incredibly surprising in so many ways. It not only respects the original games in the franchise, but could well surpass them totally. Mania is a masterclass in retro revival and raises the bar for all who dare challenge it. Get on it fast.
  3. Aug 14, 2017
    It’s a fantastic entry for the franchise, and it certainly has helped to reinvigorate my interest in the character going forward.
  4. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania surpasses the Mega Drive/Genesis originals. It not only incorporates what made Sonic great, but has the inventiveness to shatter what was possible in a 2D platformer. As a nostalgia trip, it sets the bar for what comes next for the modding community. For those unexposed to what made 2D Sonic great, this is still a solid game in its own right and may create new fans in the process. If being this good took ages, it’s about damn time.
  5. Aug 17, 2017
    Overall, Sonic Mania is a remarkable game and the best Sonic game released in over a decade. When looking at the game as a whole, it’s hard to find fault with it. Some may wish all of the stages were all-new, but the existing stages have all been revamped – so it’s less a retread and more of a remix blended with a lot of new content. It’s clearly a passion project and one that should result in Sega revisiting the idea of more 2D Sonics, hopefully with a focus on taking what makes this game so good and expanding it into future 3D entries. Sonic Mania is a must-buy for anyone who has ever loved Sonic the Hedgehog games – it will remind you of why the character had such a huge peak, and is a great buy for either the Switch or PS4.
  6. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is easily the best game of the speedy blue hedgehog in years. Not only that bit it is also one hell of a game that pays tribute to all of the franchise history itself. If you are a Sonic fan don't even doubt about it, go and get it as fast as you can.
  7. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a brilliantly staged celebration of the past that acts as a true sequel to the Genesis line of games.
  8. Aug 14, 2017
    Christian Whitehead deserves an ovation for bringing back a fast hedgehog who had been injured for a long while. Sonic Mania is a worthy heir to the five amazing 2D platformers the porcupine starred in on Mega Drive.
  9. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania isn’t just a great game for old Sonic fans. It’s a great game. This inspiration from the past should be Sonic’s future.
  10. Aug 24, 2017
    About the last thing I would say about Sonic Mania is to simply go and play it — it’s awesome, masterfully blending the old with the new and reminding us all what a true Sonic game is about. If you got burned on some of the 3D Sonic titles (although Sonic 3D Blast was great in my opinion) from the last decade, set those expectations aside and get into the Mania — you’re not likely to be disappointed at all.
  11. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is not a perfect game, and the Sonic playstyle is not definitely for everyone. If you love the blue hedgehog, though, you cannot let this one go: it's huge, challenging, full of secrets, with lots and lots of different situations. Hands down, one of the best platformers of the past ten years.
  12. CD-Action
    Nov 16, 2017
    With this brilliant game Sonic at last reminded us why he was once a worthy rival for Mario. [11/2017, p.56]
  13. Sep 28, 2017
    It is surprising how well the developers understood the underlining reasons Sonic was so loved in the 16bit era. Gone are the autorun, the messy 3D levels and the horrible clown characters, gone is the linear cheap thrill design of the modern 3D games. In their place, we got excellent level design with hundreds of different routes, elegant design choices and supremely balanced gameplay which bring us one of the best Sonic games since Sonic & Knuckles. Pity Sega was too afraid to budget for modern graphics because they would have had a full priced, instant classic on their hands.
  14. Sep 8, 2017
    With excellent level design, smooth animations, impressive pixel art, and a bunch of brand-new twists on classic-style gameplay, Sonic Mania manages to feel both old and new at the same time in the best way possible. Whether you like the old Sonic games or the new ones, or even if you've never played one before, Sonic Mania holds plenty of fun for everyone.
  15. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Sep 7, 2017
    While the ratio of old to new ideas is a little too cautious, and the Blue Sphere stages can become annoying, this is everything fans have been wanting for far too long. It's the best Sonic game. [Oct 2017, p.90]
  16. Sep 6, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a franchise’s identity found. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it’s what Sonic should be. The developers have gone back to the drawing board and have given new life to a franchise hat was on its last legs just a few years ago. This may be new life into the series, and here’s hoping that it continues to be so.
  17. Sep 5, 2017
    I can’t begin to describe how happy it makes me to report that not only is Sonic Mania the triumphant return-to-form that fans have been waiting for over the past twenty years, but Christian Whitehead and his team have made the definitive Sonic game. Of course, this may be a tad hyperbolic coming from a longtime Sonic fan like me, but when I have children, this is the Sonic game i’m going to give them. This is a required purchase for anyone who loves this series, and that dope from the playground, wherever he is, can go launch himself into the sun.
  18. Aug 30, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a must-have title for platforming fans, retro enthusiasts, and Sonic fans of all types. It captures the essence of what made the series memorable, with a balance of high speed and thoughtful level design that guides you to secrets but always takes you to the end. Boss fights are inventive, and the title's replay value is immense, given the unlockables and various available pathways based on your chosen character. All we can hope for now is an official sequel, spiritual or otherwise, from these same fans-turned-programmers.
  19. Aug 25, 2017
    Sonic Mania is the Sonic title we've been waiting for. It's traditional in every sense of the word... and all the better for it. If not for the clunky autosave feature, the word 'perfect' might have come to mind.
  20. Aug 16, 2017
    It’s a complete, classic package, at a great price. Each character you play as feels just as you remember it, but sharper. Each classic stage starts as you remember it, and then transforms into something completely new. Sonic Mania is a love letter to fans and a testament to the Blue Blur himself - a modern classic that Sonic fans old and new have to experience.
  21. Aug 15, 2017
    Although you’ll appreciate certain elements more if you’ve loved Sonic for years, the game transcends the need for such deeply held nostalgia. In this or any other era, Sonic Mania is a vibrant and challenging platformer that draws you in through its passionate design.
  22. Aug 15, 2017
    Sonic Mania is one of those games that your childhood has always dreamed of. One of the biggest icons in the industry gets the old-school game it deserves, a nice and lengthy throwback to Sonic’s glory days that’s still spiked with the kinds of creative juices to keep things fresh, even after twenty-five years. With adrenaline-fueled gameplay, jaw-dropping visuals, and massive levels that encourage exploration, this is an absolutely terrific platformer and a true gem that’s guaranteed to please fans and newcomers alike. So yes, add a third checkmark, because this may be the greatest Genesis game never made.
  23. Aug 15, 2017
    Sega took a chance in letting a longtime Sonic fan and a few smaller dev teams bring the original 16-bit iteration of their mascot back into the modern era, and the result is Sonic Mania, one of the purest and most enjoyable Sonic games we’ve ever been given. The question isn’t if this experiment in reviving classic Sonic was successful or not—the question is what happens next.
  24. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a game made by fans for fans, fueled by passion instead of money. A wonderful trip to the golden days of the hedgehog, with great level design, faithful graphics and melodies, and the good old gameplay.
  25. Aug 14, 2017
    For Sega's mascot fans, Sonic Mania is a real dream come true.
  26. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is the return to the 2D gameplay style that the community has been waiting for for a long time, and it's one of the revelations of this year. A game made by fans, for the fans.
  27. Aug 14, 2017
    A touching, and highly playable, labour of love by fans that understand Sonic The Hedgehog better than Sega ever has in the last 20+ years.
  28. 90
    Sonic Mania doesn’t necessarily mark Sonic’s return to his glory days, but there is still much to love about this game and it can easily serve as a foundation for the future of the series if the Sonic Team chooses to continue in this direction.
  29. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania has helped me rediscover what it was I loved about Sonic growing up and it took me back to a time where I could just pick up a game and have fun. This is for Sonic fans everywhere and it will not disappoint.
  30. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a solid game that reminds us how amazing in terms of design were the 16-bit episodes. We can say this game is inarguably a new classic for the blue hedgehog and that it has to become a reference for the future titles of the franchise.
  31. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic is back with a unique love letter to the original 16-bit games. Mania is an amazing game, fun, long and with a lot of nostalgic elements. This is the Sonic that 2D lovers were waiting so eagerly for so many years.
  32. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania methodically uses its sentimental appeal to great effect, but in the process, it heals the wounds inflicted by its most disappointing predecessors and surpasses the series' best with its smart and interpretive design. An excellent 2D platformer, Sonic Mania goes beyond expectations, managing to be not only a proper evolution of the series' iconic formula, but the best Sonic game ever made.
  33. 90
    Sonic Mania is a fantastically well-worked continuation of an iconic franchise and a great reminder of why the Genesis games were so well loved. Everybody who has waited patiently for 20-odd years for Sega to get it right again is in for a treat. Top notch.
  34. Aug 22, 2017
    This is the Sonic game fans have been asking for. Sonic should not be forgotten, and this is the game that proves his relevancy.
  35. Aug 14, 2017
    It truly is the classic throwback longtime series fans have been clamoring for, but there’s plenty to love here even if you didn’t grow up with a Genesis. Sonic Mania is a stellar example of a retro revival done right.
  36. Sonic Mania delivers what fans waited for years. Cool soundtrack, tight controls and awesome graphics really blends in with the atmosphere of Sonic has, just like in the old school Sonic games.
  37. Aug 14, 2017
    For better or for worse, this is classic Sonic the Hedgehog at its purest. The graphics, the sound, and the controls are all pixel-perfect reproductions lifted straight from your memories. Everything you loved and hated about the old games is back. If you took the time to master the special stages back in the day, you’ll find many opportunities to dust off those skills.
  38. Aug 28, 2017
    Sonic Mania is an instant classic if we're speaking of Sonic games. The game takes you back to the Genesis time with its look and feel. Although the speed is sometimes sacrificed for platforming action, this is a must buy for everyone.
  39. Aug 16, 2017
    Stage cleared. Sonic Mania recovers the 2D essence of Sonic the Hedgehog. From fans for fans, it's a great and interesting job to demonstrate that the platformer formula is still gorgeous, although the years have passed.
  40. Aug 15, 2017
    Hell has frozen over, Sega managed to release the best entry in the Sonic franchise in years. To achieve this, the developers effectively captured what made Sonic the best console mascot in the 90s, resulting in a nostalgia fueled trip to the past.
  41. Aug 14, 2017
    A fantastic entry and a long awaited proper comeback for Sonic. The new levels are fresh and full of ideas and the tuning in the "old" levels is nothing short of amazing. A must for all the 2D Sonic fans.
  42. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is the game every veteran of the franchise was eager for in order to feel those sensations of the first time they played with the blue hedgehog once again. A new entry that takes inspiration from the originals and improves them in order to make them even better than 20 years ago. Right away, one of the best 2D platform games you can play on PlayStation 4.
  43. Aug 14, 2017
    A great return to the 2D platformer's roots.
  44. 85
    Sonic Mania successfully takes Sonic back to the formula that saw him become a big deal to begin with. That means it does bring along the flaws in that design as well, but there's no denying this is as good as the Blue Blur has been for a long time.
  45. Aug 14, 2017
    While Sonic Mania hasn’t taken the place of my favourite Sonic game, it’s definitely a top contender. If there ever is a follow-up, I hope to see it introduce even more original elements with slightly better level design but as it stands, Sonic Mania is one of Sonic’s best games to date.
  46. Aug 14, 2017
    A return to the series' roots in every sense, Sonic Mania is a joyful reminder why the franchise became such a hit in the first place. Though it's content with reliving past glories, it does so exceptionally well. Exciting level design, a stellar soundtrack, and cool expansions on the original formula work in one accord to deliver the Sonic game fans have been waiting for.
  47. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a wonderful blend of classic Sonic and new ideas, and should serve as an example of the great things that can happen when game companies embrace fan creators. There's no reason Sonic Mania shouldn't be followed by multiple sequels that continue its remixing magic.
  48. Aug 23, 2017
    It’s fascinating that for all of the 3D, more technologically advanced Sonic games that we’ve seen over the years, this retro approach is still the best in over a decade. It’s mainly thanks to the development team being able to channel the essence of what made Sonic so successful in the first place. The decision by Sega to engage with independent studios Headcannon and PagodaWest Games after their passionate work in the Sonic fan community was a stroke of genius. It’s not perfect and it’s not ground-breaking in the slightest, but it’s still great to see Sonic back in good form after so many years of neglect.
  49. Sep 28, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a wonderful celebration of what's made Sonic so great in the past while also striving to push it forward. This isn't to say it's perfect – it has some of the problems of the previous games as well – but it's such a perfect encapsulation of old Sonic games, it's impressive. If you've ever been curious about what makes these old games special, or if you're just interested in revisiting the series you loved as a kid, this is the best way to do it. It's the old and the new wrapped together in a way that makes both shine. I hope this team goes on to do more, and eventually break themselves away from needing to remix old levels and just make their own.
  50. Sep 18, 2017
    An incredibly addictive arcade that constantly winks at the loyal fan of the series, but also delights players with no previous experiences with Sonic. The new elements mix with the old ones, so you will not be sure if this is a new or already known feature. If you do not mind a higher speed, you will love this game. A cooperative multiplayer is also a major asset.
  51. Aug 30, 2017
    Sonic Mania's focus on the old-school merits of Sonic the Hedgehog might be slightly alienating for non-purists, or for younger players to whom Sonic is a talking 3D cartoon character (but the upcoming Sonic Forces seems to be better targeted at the latter group), but real, material gripes are hard to find. Mania offers one of the most accessible yet deepest Sonic games in years, with hours of replayability thanks to its unlockables and challenge modes. The Blue Blur is well and truly back.
  52. Aug 22, 2017
    Sonic Mania is the best Sonic game ever made. What that means to you exactly, depends on you.
  53. Aug 18, 2017
    Quotation forthcoming.
  54. Aug 18, 2017
    Sonic Mania is what Sonic fans, both lapsed and unwavering since the Mega Drive days, have crying out for all these years. It is a celebration of Sonic history. It is the greatest possible gift to the video game ilegend after spending so many years in the abyss; so great, in fact, that it took someone other than Sonic Team to give it to him.
  55. Aug 15, 2017
    If you’ve been waiting for Sonic to become relevant for some time, you don’t have to wait anymore. Mania has righted all those wrongs and then some. Sonic Mania is the best game in the franchise for years and reminds you why he managed to hit such heights to begin with.
  56. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is at once a blast from the past and a wormhole to Sonic's future, bypassing everything between it and the early '90s. Come for the callbacks, stay to get a firsthand look at what Sonic's custodians have in store for his future.
  57. Aug 14, 2017
    The fact that a large part of the levels are basically only remixes of popular classics does not bother me at all. On the contrary - it's the best levels, all in one game!
  58. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania shows how, even today, twenty-five years old game mechanics have a lot to teach in this generation. The work done is excellent: it gives freshness to the past levels while the unpublished ones keep the right retro taste.
  59. Aug 14, 2017
    Like the Kevin Smith version of A New Hope I imagine almost daily, Sonic Mania is a game made by fans, for fans. And that's not a bad thing. Newcomers may be turned off by the intermittent difficulty spikes, but others may finally understand why many childhoods were spent looking for a kid who had a Sega Genesis.
  60. 80
    Sonic Mania succeeds a lot more than it stumbles.
  61. Aug 14, 2017
    During its best moments, Sonic Mania feels like a Sonic fan's dream game. Now that that dream is fulfilled, maybe it's time for a new dream. Like an ideal, hypothetical Sonic 5 in the vein of Mania where we get only new levels thrown into the mix, instead of mostly remixes.
  62. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is both fluid and fun, and reminds us all of what a Sonic game should be. This is a game by Sonic fans, for Sonic fans.
  63. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is the best Sonic game in years, and stands proudly alongside its ancestors as a great 2D platformer. The levels, both remixed classics and brand new stages, are broad and a lot of fun to speed through, while more cautious exploration is also rewarding and just as viable. The feeling of playing an old-school Sonic title is spot on and it’s filled to bursting with secrets, Easter eggs, and surprises that will delight fans. If you’ve never enjoyed Sonic games, this certainly won’t change your mind, but anyone with an affinity for the Blue Blur’s seminal Mega Drive series can rest assured that this is more than worth your time.
  64. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is short but sweet. It even functions as a proper Sonic 4 if you don't count the episodic Sonic 4 (remember that one?).
  65. Sep 5, 2017
    In spite of a strong lack of new content, Sonic Mania is a very good trip down memory lane which will appeal to all the die-hard fans out there who spent their childhood with the supersonic herdgehog.
  66. games(TM)
    Sep 8, 2017
    Ultimately this all amounts to - hold on to your trousers, because this'll shock you - a genuinely good Sonic the Hedgehog game. Yes, in 2017. That this exists at all after so many failed attempts is impressive, but the fact that it's really good is a bloody miracle. [Issue#191, p.75]
  67. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a brief yet charming tribute to the haydays of the series. Still, the developers holds its source material in such reverence that surprises or new gameplay elements are kept at a bare minimum.
  68. Aug 14, 2017
    It took two decades and change, but a team of developers has shown they understand what made the old Sonic games great with Sonic Mania, even if nostalgia is sometimes too much of a driving force.
  69. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania brings Sonic and friends back to the series' 2D roots successfully but also reminds us of many of the issues with early 90s 2D platformers. Longtime Sonic fans will no doubt find some value here, but everyone else is better off playing more modern takes on the genre.
  70. Aug 14, 2017
    At its best, Sonic Mania makes classic zones from past Sonic the Hedgehog games feel unpredictable again.
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  1. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic Mania comes packed with enough delicious, best-in-series goodness for any self-proclaimed Sonic fan to buy it immediately, with the caveat of a few bugs in the near term. Lesser series fans should tread carefully between those bugs and the pacing issues mentioned above.
  2. Aug 14, 2017
    What's old has become new, and Sonic is once again the star he was supposed to be. [Essential]
  3. Aug 14, 2017
    Sonic’s early days stressed his supposedly edgy attitude and speed, traits meant to differentiate him from the slower, more deliberate Mario. But it was never really about attitude or speed. Sonic Mania clearly articulates Sonic’s true appeal: Sonic is pure joy, a spinning ball of fun blazing a trail towards the next adventure.
  4. Aug 15, 2017
    All of this is just a fancy way of saying Sonic Mania is probably the best Sonic ever made.
  5. Aug 14, 2017
    After years of forgettable games and aborted reboots, Sonic Mania is exactly what the franchise needs. It shows you why you loved Sonic in the first place — and it’s a chance for a whole new generation to discover that feeling.
  6. Aug 14, 2017
    It's so much fun to encounter these new features, and see how seamlessly integrated they are with the old school style. This really does feel like an older Sonic game that's been given proper consideration, with thoughtful level design that encourages wild leaps of faith, and characteristic speed. And then many happy returns, with different characters, to plumb away at the game's secrets.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 697 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Aug 15, 2017
    Best Sonic game in years. This is the perfect game for Sonic fans and new-comers to the franchise. Great level design, beautiful retroBest Sonic game in years. This is the perfect game for Sonic fans and new-comers to the franchise. Great level design, beautiful retro inspired graphics, and amazing music make this the Sonic game you can not miss. Full Review »
  2. Aug 17, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a sonic game made for sonic fans. That means that if you never enjoyed sonic like me you are not likely to enjoy this game,Sonic Mania is a sonic game made for sonic fans. That means that if you never enjoyed sonic like me you are not likely to enjoy this game, this game has amazing music and sprites, every world feels new and different and the boss fight is pretty cool. But the problem I have always had with sonic remains, you are too fast to avoid anything when you are rolling and area that requires tight platforming is very frustrating due to sonic being super slippery. Overall, just because this is the best sonic game in a long time does not make it a good game to me, and if you didn't like sonic before this isn't going to change your mind, so dont buy into the hype unless you are a hardcore sonic fan. Full Review »
  3. Aug 15, 2017
    I don't need Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball, I literally creamed myself over this game. Now I need to hot glue the collector's edition Sonic figurine.