Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
Buy On
  1. Sep 8, 2017
    Sonic Mania is the culmination of a huge amount of work, from people peerlessly passionate about Sonic’s 2D games. Sega took a risk allowing outsiders to take the reins of their defining characteristics and it’s resulted in the best Sonic game in decades. It’s not perfect – there are occasional glitches, some people might find the crushing deaths and general difficulty of later levels a little off-putting – but as after being disappointed with many of Sega’s past attempts at following up Sonic’s early success, Mania did what I had almost given up hope on being possible. Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, and PagodaWest Games have proven they absolutely understand what made Sonic great in the Mega Drive days and have modernised this essence for a modern audience with a follow-up worthy of standing with the best in the series.
  2. 100
    This is a game that will thrill long-time fans and introduce brand new ones to what Sonic is like at its very best. Far from the tone-deaf reinventions and cynical cash-ins of Sonic at its worst, this is a love-filled celebration that also proves there is life in the 25-year-old original concept yet.
  3. Aug 16, 2017
    The game is bursting at the seams full of smart nostalgic references that hardcore fans would pick up on, while also managing to feel like a genuine new entry. Sonic Mania is not only everything fans of the classic Genesis games could have wanted and more, but it’s one of the best 2D platformers of this generation, and of all-time. It has taken awhile, but with Sonic Mania, the series is finally back in the club of truly remarkable and exemplary games.
  4. Aug 15, 2017
    With Sonic Mania, Christian Whitehead and his team have done exactly what fans have wanted for years: start with the old and incorporate the new, keeping great level design, heart-pounding music and charming art direction. Sonic’s back.
  5. NF Magazine
    Aug 24, 2017
    The hype is real: Sonic Mania is the best Sonic the Hedgehog game since the Genesis days. [Issue #29, p. 17]
  6. Aug 21, 2017
    A game that was made by fans, but has the word “Professional” written all over it. Sonic Mania is the best 2D Sonic game ever made and a crowning achievement in both platforming games and video game music. Everything in this game was made with love and care that Sonic fans desperately needed after Sonic 4. The old levels feel fresh and new, the new levels are absolutely amazing, the music is one of the best things in this game and there is just so much to do it feels overwhelming at times. Sonic Mania is a must have for Sonic The Hedgehog fans, fans of the platforming genre and anyone who grew up in the early 90's and just wants to feel like a kid again.
  7. Oct 6, 2017
    After nearly 20 years of almost universally horrible games, the 16-bit icon has returned to his former glory and redeemed himself in the eyes of this long-suffering fan. Sonic Mania does a great job of reminding us what made Sonic great in the first place, while also FINALLY bringing the mascot into the modern era. Everything comes together - the music, the stages, the boss fights and the secrets - to form a package that is both appealing to the retro gamer and irresistible to anyone who enjoys a good game of run and jump. Whether on the Nintendo Switch or any other system, Sonic Mania needs to be in your collection yesterday.
  8. 90
    There’s this inescapable rhetoric that latches onto the mere whisper of the name “Sonic the hedgehog”, claiming the blue blur hasn’t had a great game in decades. While I disagree, Sonic Mania is a liberating experience that needs no asterisks to qualify it. Sonic sequels have so often been rushed or subjected to gimmicks that compromise what works, but Mania finally stops to acknowledge past successes, adds logical improvements, and enhances it all tenfold with personality. It even proves that Sonic can be more nuanced than the cursed phrase “gotta go fast” implies.
  9. Aug 23, 2017
    Sonic Mania is probably one of the best Sonic games ever made and is a very carefully and thoughtfully crafted game. It could have easily ended up a complete mess but the design of the game is such that it uses only what it needs to and by keeping things simple, it ends up being a wonderfully focused game.
  10. Aug 19, 2017
    After many years it finally happens that the Sonic series gets a tribute fitting of the legacy of its original games. Sonic Mania positions itself as a sequel to the 16-bit titles and makes a wonderful use of a game engine that delivers the experience of the early Sonic games through contemporary technology. With its exquisite creativity and game design and content for all occasions and moments, Sonic Mania gives the blue hedgehog something to be proud of.
  11. 90
    Sonic Mania is a delightful return to the 2D platforming style that first made the hedgehog a star. The love from the development team for 16-bit Sonic is evident in every moment of the game. Fans of classic Sonic must buy this game, but the excellent level design, music, and graphics will please all people who enjoy a well-thought-out sidescroller.
  12. Aug 16, 2017
    Sonic Mania is a true return to form for the mascot, in his 2D 'Classic' guise at least. It celebrates the glory days of the original games while also enhancing their qualities and taking on new ideas. From new areas, imaginative second acts and some delightful boss encounters, the development team has poured a lot of passion and talent into the project. The occasional bug and a couple of brief and cheap areas deprive it of Sonic-style perfection, but it's pretty darn close. Is it the best Sonic game ever? It's in the conversation, though the classics it's honouring may stake a claim for slightly greater 'flow' in the campaigns. Frankly, it's better just to call it a dead heat and skip the argument - Sonic Mania belongs in the company of the games to which it pays tribute - the Blue Blur is back.
  13. Aug 15, 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.
  14. Games Master UK
    Sep 7, 2017
    If you love classic Sonic, you'll love Sonic Mania. Just don't expect it to change the formula. [Oct 2017, p.71]
  15. Aug 14, 2017
    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.
  16. Aug 21, 2017
    Very few stones have been left unturned to create what is a contender for the best Sonic title ever made. More than just an anniversary celebration, Sonic Mania is full of fresh ideas, balancing its source material and addition of all-new elements to elevate it beyond many other platformers that rely heavily on the same old formulas. It is a great pity that Sonic 4 exists, because no game deserves that name more than Sonic Mania; this is the Sonic 4 you have all been waiting for. The hope now is that it does not prove to be a one-off; a sequel with even more original zones and ideas needs to happen down the line. For now, though, it is a time to appreciate Sonic Mania and the incredible work Christian Whitehead and his fellow developers have done.
  17. Aug 16, 2017
    Sonic Mania captures what made us fall in love with this series during the 16-bit golden age, but some annoying problems prevent it from truly being a masterpiece.
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  1. Aug 18, 2017
    Sonic fans, That feeling you wanted is finally here. I felt it and I’m promising you, finally, with no hint of hyperbole or PR hype, that that you can feel it too.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 697 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 697
  1. Aug 15, 2017
    Sonic Mania should be praised not only for how awesome this game is but the context this project came out to existence. Sonic Mania is aSonic Mania should be praised not only for how awesome this game is but the context this project came out to existence. Sonic Mania is a product of love, a collaboration of long time sonic fans and SEGA. From Tyson Hesse animation to Tee Lopes soundtrack passing by Hyper Potion music for the trailers we can feel the passion this game tries to convey. Pagodawest, Headcanon and Christian whitehead did an amazing job of balancing the gameplay and gathering the memorable stages, bosses, gimmicks that we all loved in the 16 bit sonic era and put their own signature names on it.

    Sonic Mania is not only a celebration for Sonic fans but also to SEGA fans. This game is filled with Easter eggs and homages to what made SEGA beloved. Sonic Mania should be celebrated by all gamers not only because it's a very good game but also because it opens a new chapter in the gaming industry that companies like Valve used to practice and companies like Nintendo should be more lenient about (AM2R).

    Sonic Mania seems a portable friendly games which seems to be a perfect fit for the Nintendo switch. The small size of the game and its high replay value makes it a potential game that will never leave your switch drive.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 15, 2017
    Sonic Mania checks off all the boxes you'd expect from a 2D platformer these days: great controls, good level design, gorgeous environments,Sonic Mania checks off all the boxes you'd expect from a 2D platformer these days: great controls, good level design, gorgeous environments, awesome music, solid framerate etc. It's really a great game.

    HOWEVER. Sonic newbies beware.

    As someone who has never played a 2D Sonic game in his life, my first playthrough can only be described as a miserable experience. The game only gives you 3 lives after every game over, and expects you to make it through an entire zone - existing of 2 levels and 2 boss battles - with those. I've had a game over in almost every zone, and essentially had to play every level twice (one zone in particular even three times). It's not that this game is ridiculously difficult or unfair, but that can still get pretty frustrating.

    I'm honestly not sure why they thought giving you only 3 lives was a good idea; if I get a game over I'm clearly struggling already, so why give players this extra handicap?

    Fortunately it does get better after that rough first playthrough. As I said, the levels are really great, and there's a lot of fun to be had in all of them, with every character. Just make sure to grab every life monitor you come across.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 15, 2017
    I absolutely love this game. Wow wow wow

    This is the real Sonic 4. The games feels fresh yet nostalgic, something that other revived
    I absolutely love this game. Wow wow wow

    This is the real Sonic 4.

    The games feels fresh yet nostalgic, something that other revived titles like Crash Bandicoot couldnt do.
    Full Review »