Do you love the famous Sega mascot but want to play something new? Check out our best games like Sonic the Hedgehog to play in 2023 right here and embark on epic adventures!
When we think of Sonic’s adventures, we simply think of running from one side of the screen to the other as fast as possible, trying not to lose rings and avoiding robotic piranhas.
And to be honest, that’s quite right!
However, we’ve been playing Sonic titles from the early days up to Sonic Frontiers, so I tried to create as diverse a list as possible for you, covering Sonic’s 2D outings and his subsequent 3D antics.
Hey, here at Retro Dodo we are meticulous!
So, without further ado, let’s put on our super-fast running shoes and get to work!
Parasol Stars kicks off our list of the best games as Sonic the Hedgehog, a game that has such an appearance of early side-scrolling Sonic games that it could easily be a ROM hack.
Still, it’s actually a bona fide game from the PC Engine days and features Bubble Bobble’s Bub and Bob in their human forms, wandering around with umbrellas in one of the most addictive games of all time.
Do you remember The Avengers, in which they had the trusty umbrella as a weapon? Well, Bub and Bob can use their umbrellas to stun opponents and protect themselves against attacks from other enemies.
The levels are so sonic you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve entered the Green Hill Zone.
Sadly, it never made it to arcades, but it did get a lot of praise when it hit home consoles. And when you play for the first time, it’s not hard to see why!
How does a twisted dragon and his companions fighting the forces of evil sound for a title like Sonic the Hedgehog?
Enter the Planet of Freedom!
We’re talking about smashing huge robots, throwing cool abilities, and speeding through some really cool levels on a motorcycle.
Boosting and beating levels as fast as possible is what Freedom Planet is all about. You can slow down and take things at your own pace, but where’s the fun in that?
And, as in Sonic’s early outings where Tails accompanied him, players have the option to play as either Lilac or Carol. One can fly, and one can speed up on a bicycle.
Yes, it’s definitely taking inspiration from our favorite Sega duo.
The Lion King ranks eighth on our list of best games as Sonic the Hedgehog, and while it pains me to talk about this game, it’s an undeniable classic that should be in your collection.
Let’s start with the positives. This side-scroller was fantastic when it released in ’94. It looked amazing, it was vibrant, and the music played throughout the game was spectacular.
But that level with the giraffes…those ANNOYING GIRAFFES! Do you know how many times it took me to do that level; Years have passed and the pain is still alive!
Just like in the movies, players follow Simba from when he is a cub to a full-grown lion. As Simba, you can just jump on things and roar a bit, but adult Simba can fight like a demon.
All the famous faces from the movie appear, including Timon and Pumbaa. You can even play as them in bonus stages too!
Now, this isn’t a side-scroller, and that’s because not all Sonic games are 2D. Kirby and the Forgotten Land looks a lot like Sonic Frontiers, and many of you may have come to the series in the newest game in canon!
This game jumped to second place on our list of the best Kirby games of all time as soon as it came out, so you know it’s good!
Imagine Sonic meeting Mario with Pink Peril in charge, and you’ll understand what this game is all about!
Kirby may not run at incredible speeds, but he can absorb almost anything and steal abilities or powers from enemies or objects he comes across.
And, just like in Sonic 2, where players can play as Sonic and Tails, players can co-op with Bandana Waddle Dee!
If we’re going to dig even deeper, Sonic had to save a lot of different creatures from Robotnik’s clutches, and players must also save Waddle Dees from impending doom.
Ok, that might be a bit much for a Kirby game, but you get the general idea.
It’s time for Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 + 2 to enter the fray. This is hands down the best way to play the classic Mega Man adventures on today’s consoles.
All the best parts of Mega Man’s early career with ten epic sets from his canon (that’s the compendium, not his arm canon).
Like many of our favorite game renders (another of which you’ll check out below), those early titles look super fresh and like they’ve been given a much-needed lease on life. You can play them on your new 4K TV without feeling like your eyes are going to bleed too!
This game pack has a cartridge for Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and a download code for the second collection. There are tons of new features like rewind mode that make things a bit easier for you too!
Take part in Challenge Mode, while spending the day in Museum Mode, and be as nerdy as possible when it comes to the world of Blue Boy Wonders!
Now this is definitely one of the best games like Sonic the Hedgehog that everyone needs to play once in their life. DuckTales has always been one of my favorite cartoons ever since I was a kid, and having the remastered version of Ducktales to play on the PS3 made my life 100% better.
That’s not a guess, that’s a fact!
You’ll notice that Castle of Illusion isn’t on this Sonic-licious list. Well, that’s because Scrooge McDuck’s adventure wipes the floor with it. Mickey has too much airtime anyway, so it’s about time we had a top-hatted duck going into outer space taking the lead!
The payers take Mr. McDuck on a treasure-hunting adventure, as if he didn’t have enough already!
Move around by jumping on Scrooge’s staff and fight enemies at close range. You can even jump over large spaces with it.
This game is mainly on this list because it is a side-scrolling adventure with a well-known hero. Aside from getting health in the form of rings in one and ice cream in another, the main similarity is the linear gameplay and collecting shiny gold stuff.
I think Sonic would love to test his mettle in this game!
Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy is up next, one of our favorite modern day game remakes.
These games were unreal, right? And yes, I know they’re not side-scrolling, but the fast-paced “get to the finish line” feel is what Sonic has always been about.
If anything, these games are a lot like Sonic Adventure 2 Battle in the way players control Crash. There may not be any levels of grinding or snowboarding on the slopes, but there are certainly plenty of animal and rock rides.
So what does this package include?
Well, players can relive Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Return to the remastered versions of each and experience Aku Aku saving you from death once again along with all the crazy jungle beats and crazy antics of Crash’s friends!
Now, Yooka Laylee And The Impossible Lair has so much sonic energy that Blue Blur fans will feel right at home.
Honestly, if you thought the first game felt like a carbon copy of Banjo-Kazooie, then you may be wondering how Team17 managed to hit the copy button again.
Having said all that, I prefer this side-scrolling adventure to the original platformer. With Boost Rolls and the hit-the-enemy action, it feels like Sonic-meets-Donkey Kong-meets-Klonoa, which isn’t a bad cocktail if you ask me.
Some of the guys who worked on Donkey Kong Country actually helped make this game, so it’s no wonder it’s so good!
If we were to release a Sonic game tomorrow that combined the graphics of Frontiers and the gameplay of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, I’d want it to look, feel and play like that!
Get ready for a massive blast from the past as we take a look at the Klonoa Phantasy Reverie series!
It felt great to dive into this 90s classic on my Switch, and seeing the PS1 classic in modern graphics brought back all those old memories from when I first played this game.
Just look at how crisp and full the still looks below. It’s still the same 2.5D feel, but it feels much more modern, with richly textured and detailed backgrounds that, when the camera pans, you can enjoy in all their glory.
If you’ve never played Klonoa before or want an easy route into the game, then there’s a mode where you can shoot your wind bullets much farther than they would have when you first played this game.
And to be honest, you have to get pretty close to the enemies before hitting them!
Sonic and Mario dominated the side-scrolling world in the past, but after this remake, I wonder if we might see a Klonoa 3.
The best game like Sonic the Hedgehog to play in 2023 is our favorite Mega Drive title besides the original Sonic adventures, Rocket Knight Adventures.
I love Sparkster so much, and this fast-paced, rocket-powered adventure more than holds its own when it comes to going head-to-head with Sonic.
I mean, it ranked second on our list of the best Sega Genesis games of all time, second only to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for screaming out loud. How much more stamp of approval can we give than that!
The levels you’ll take Sparkster through basically feel like Konami just found Sega’s secret sauce and used it to create one of their best games. The image above looks like a fusion of the Emerald Zone and the Mushroom Kingdom.
Which can only be a good thing, right?
Listen, if Sonic is Sega’s main mascot, Sparkster is definitely a supporting character that helped it win the top spot. It’s a super chill and enjoyable adventure from start to finish. And Sparkster is also blue, so that’s a bit Sonic-esque too, right?
Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console ever released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favorite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to return to the fold. When he’s not playing, he travels the world in his converted motorhome.