Words like "excited" and "overjoyed" can't begin to describe the hype for a new Sonic game featuring the old-school 2D blue hedgehog. When Sonic Team announced Sonic Mania's August release, every old-school fan lost their mind over the thought of seeing Sonic in the Green Hill Zone again.
Sonic Mania is a blessing for many older Sonic fans who have dreamt of getting to play 2D Sonic once again. Though Modern Sonic is great in his own way, old-school fans have felt cheated by the lack of control and personality of his 3D games. They've begged Sega and Sonic Team for years to release something in the vein of the original games that made them love the character in the first place. And those companies must've heard the fans' cries, as Classic Sonic is coming back just in time for the blue hedgehog's 25th anniversary.
As fans anticipate the release of Sonic Mania, Classic Sonic brings back childhood memories for many millennials. With all this Sonic nostalgia, let's have a look at some of the best of Classic Sonic games that we hope have inspired this throwback entry in the franchise.
Sonic Team and Sega owe a great deal to the OG game in the Sonic franchise, as it set the blueprint for the series while propelling the company into the big leagues of video gaming. In 1991, Sega released the game alongside its Genesis console to worldwide popularity that rivaled Nintendo's Super NES.
Upon its release, Sonic the Hedgehog was praised for its fast gameplay, colorful, detailed graphics, and amazing soundtrack. At the time, Sonic was faster and brighter than Mario and allowed players to do more than run and jump in the platformer genre.
At 15 million in sales and a reputation as one of the greatest video games, Sonic's legacy is still felt in everything from gaming animal mascots to animation to comics to merchandising.
As the sequel to the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was a blockbuster for Sega in the console wars against Nintendo and its iconic character, Super Mario. This game improved on everything from the original -- cinematic music, larger zones with colorful graphics, better mechanics, and of course, the introduction of Tails.
With the addition of Tails, a new feature was introduced to the game -- two-player mode. At the time of the game's release, this was revolutionary for the platformer genre. While the feature received mixed reviews, it set the stage for many Sonic games to come.
With a total of 6 million copies sold, this release's legend grew over the years from the momentum of the original, and is remembered as a worthy successor in the series.
The final chapter of the original Sonic trilogy was released in 1994, along with companion game Sonic and Knuckles. Upon its release, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was praised for its amazing visuals, special stages, and sound effects.
Sonic 3 managed to expand upon Sonic 2's progression by using 3D in the special stages and introducing new, more elaborate zones and backgrounds. The game improved upon Sonic's mechanics in lieu of challenging zones like Carnival Night and Launch Base.
For many fans, this entry served as the apex of the Classic Sonic era.
As the best-selling game on the ill-fated Sega CD, Sonic CD was a game-changer in the Classic Sonic era.
Its high-quality soundtrack and brilliant visuals took everything about Sonic up a notch, and it received praise from critics and fans alike. Two features -- the time travel system and time attacks -- threw everyone for a loop in terms of gameplay. And pretty much everyone loved this fresh Sonic experience.
The game was so acclaimed and beloved that it influenced the Sonic comic series and subsequent Sonic releases.
The nostalgia of these games makes it even more apparent that Classic Sonic is needed in today's gaming world. There's nothing like a seeing a spinning blue ball revving up against beautiful 2D graphics, accompanied by a well-curated soundtrack. Hopefully, Sonic Mania can recapture the magic everyone's favorite blue hedgehog seems to have lost over the years.
What are your favorite Classic Sonic games? Do you think Sonic Mania can live up to the hype of long-time series fans? Let me know down in the comments!