Ars Technica - Sam Machkovech - No Verdict
Sonic fans should buy. Curious onlookers should try.
Attack of the Fanboy - Jelani James - 4.5 / 5 stars
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.
CGMagazine - Remington Joseph - 8.5 / 10.0
Sonic Mania earns its spot next to the titles released during Sonic’s golden era
COGconnected - James Paley - 86 / 100
Every stage is a carefully-crafted explosion of looping paths and intricate patterns.
Destructoid - Chris Carter - 8 / 10.0
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?). As long as the same team is in charge I can easily deal with one of these every few years or so while Sega tries to strike Sonic Adventure gold again and again with their 3D iterations.
DualShockers - Azario Lopez - 9 / 10.0
From the beginning to the end, I couldn’t seem to put Sonic Mania down. One playthrough, without collecting all the Chaos Emeralds took me about six hours, I never said I was the fastest Sonic player. Sonic Mania has helped me rediscover what it was I loved about Sonic when growing up and it took me back to a time where I could just pick up a game and have fun. This if for Sonic fans everywhere and it will not disappoint.
Eurogamer - Edwin Evans-Thirlwell - Essential
1992 is alive and well. Christian Whitehead and team turn in a beautiful rewrite of the 16-bit Sonic games with all-new stages.
Game Informer - Brian Shea - 8.5 / 10.0
Sonic Mania succeeds in paying homage to the classic '90s entries that so many fans remember fondly, and in the process delivers the best Sonic game in decades
Game Revolution - Matt Utley - 4 / 5 stars
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.
Gameblog - Angel Davila - French - 9 / 10
Sonic Mania is a solid game that reminds us how amazing in terms of design were 16-bit episodes. We can say this game is unarguably a new classic for the blue hedgehog and that it has to become a reference for the future titles of the franchise.
GameCrate - Nicholas Scibetta - 8.5 / 10.0
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.
GamesBeat - Mike Minotti - 93 / 100
Sonic’s best game in over two decades
GameSpew - Richard Seagrave - 90%
This is Sonic just as you remember, but bigger and undoubtedly better. Is it the best Sonic game? That’s hard to say as it comes down to personal preference with regards to stages etc., but one thing is for sure, Sonic Mania is likely to be at the top of many Sonic fans’ lists.
GameSpot - Matt Espineli - 9 / 10
Sonic Mania is both an evolution of the series’ iconic formula and the best Sonic game ever made.
God is a Geek - Gary Bailey - 8 / 10.0
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.
IGN - Heidi Kemps - 8.7 / 10.0
Sonic Mania is the classic throwback longtime series fans have been clamoring for.
Kotaku - Heather Alexandra - No Verdict
Sonic Mania clearly articulates Sonic’s true appeal: Sonic is pure joy, a spinning ball of fun blazing a trail towards the next adventure.
M3 - Percy Oropeza - Swedish - 8 / 10
Sonic Mania is an almost perfect mix between new ideas and the same gameplay from the Sonic games on Mega Drive. A must have for any Sonic fan.
Metro GameCentral - GameCentral - 9 / 10
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.
Nintendo Insider - Ryan Janes - 9 / 10
Sonic Mania is a true love letter to the blue hedgehog’s 16-bit days, developed by a team that you can tell have put everything they have into making sure that it not only lives up to fan expectations but gamers in general. And, while there is certainly plenty to be gained here if you’re a Sonic enthusiast, Sonic Mania is an excellent standalone platformer in its own right, too, and one that will hopefully open the door to more retro-inspired ventures for some of SEGA’s older IPs.
NintendoWorldReport - Jared Rosenberg - No Verdict
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.
PlayStation LifeStyle - Jowi Meli - 8 / 10.0
Overall, Sonic Mania succeeds a lot more than it stumbles.
PlayStation Universe - Neil Bolt - 8.5 / 10.0
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.
Polygon - Arthur Gies - 7 / 10.0
If more of what Sonic is what you want, then this is very much that, but more, and bigger, and faster. But for me, as someone with fond memories but key criticisms, Sonic Mania seems content to paint over some of the series’ problems rather than fix them, making for a game that falls a little short of what might have been.
Push Square - Stephen Tailby - 8 / 10
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.
Rice Digital - Oscar Taylor-Kent - 5 / 5 stars
Every new cog in Sonic Mania looks right at home next to the old ones.
Slant Magazine - Jed Pressgrove - 4 / 5 stars
At its best, Sonic Mania makes classic zones from past Sonic the Hedgehog games feel unpredictable again.
Spaziogames - Francesco Corica - Italian - 9 / 10.0
Sonic Mania is the return to the 2D gameplay style that the community has been waiting for a long time, and it’s one of the revelations of this year. A game made by fans, for the fans.
The Jimquisition - Jim Sterling - 9.5 / 10.0
Sonic Mania is a brilliantly staged celebration of the past that acts as a true sequel to the Genesis line of games.
TheSixthAxis - Dave Irwin - 10 / 10
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.
USgamer - Caty McCarthy - 4 / 5 stars
Sonic Mania is a brilliant return to form for the series’ long-time away from traditional 2D games. Even if a few less remixed stages and more new zones would have been a nice change of pace, Sonic Mania’s joyful level of ingenuity even in reimagining familiar sights is a testament to some of the franchise’s best days.
VideoGamer - Colm Ahern - 7 / 10
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.
We Got This Covered - Ken Barnes - 4.5 / 5 stars
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.
Xbox Achievements - Richard Walker - 80%
A beautifully crafted love letter to Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Mania is everything a Sonic game should be and more. I’d be deliriously happy if SEGA carried on making them like they used to; if it carried on making more games like Sonic Mania.