TheSixthAxis – 100
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.
Eurogamer – 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.
Sonic Mania clearly articulates Sonic's true appeal: Sonic is pure joy, a spinning ball of fun blazing a trail towards the next adventure.
Hobby Consolas – 93
Christian Whitehead deserves an ovation for bringing back a fast hedgehog who had been injuried for a long time. Sonic Mania is a worthy heir to the amazing five 2D platformers the porcupine starred on Mega Drive.
Attack of the Fanboy – 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.
Spazio Games – 90
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.
Gamespot – 90
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.
GameSpew – 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.
Gameblog – 90
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.
We Got This Covered – 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.
Metro Gamecentral – 90
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.
IGN – 87
Sonic Mania is the classic throwback longtime series fans have been clamoring for.
Game Informer – 85
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
CGMagazine – 85
Sonic Mania earns its spot next to the titles released during Sonic's golden era
PlayStation Universe – 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.
Desturctoid – 80
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?).
Xbox Achievements – 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.
Push Square – 80
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.
PlayStation Lifestyle – 80
Overall, Sonic Mania succeeds a lot more than it stumbles.
USGamer – 80
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.
App Trigger – 70
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.
Sonic fans should buy. Curious onlookers should try.
Polygon – 70
Sonic Mania is forcing me to use one of the most forbidden cliches in a reviewer's lexicon. The mileage you get out of it will depend significantly on what you want it to be. As a synthesis and expression of a specific era of Sonic, Sonic Mania is devout toward its inspiration, for devout fans of Sega's beleaguered mascot. 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.