Released: August 15, 2017
I'll be the first to admit that I live my life with one foot permanently stuck on the nostalgia train. Almost any new game featuring this spiky blue hedgehog is bound to bring me back to my early days sneaking a few hours on my cousin's Genesis. But I'll also be the first to admit that many of the newer iterations of Sonic the Hedgehog, particularly attempts at 3D Sonic, just aren't memorable in quite the same way.
Sonic Mania is a nostalgic trip back to the side-scrolling Genesis years. Is it a cash grab and blatant nostalgia pandering? Eh, probably. It's certainly not perfect, but it is handily one of the best updated iterations of a 90s game that we've seen to date.
Besides, you have excellent on-the-surface gameplay, just enough of a balance between challenge and frustration, plus a golden opportunity ahead of the upcoming Ready Player One movie release to give your kids a glimpse at how fun an "old" game can be.