Do you love Sega’s famous mascot but want to play something new? Check out our top games like Sonic the Hedgehog to play in 2023 right here and embark on some epic adventures!
When we think of Sonic’s adventures, we think of just running from one side of a screen to another as fast as possible, trying not to lose rings and avoiding robotic piranhas.
And to be honest, that’s pretty much right!
We’ve been playing Sonic titles since the early days all the way through to Sonic Frontiers, however, so I’ve tried to come up with as varied a list as possible for you covering Sonic’s 2D outings and his later 3D shenanigans.
Hey, we’re nothing but thorough here at Retro Dodo!
So, without further a do, let’s put on our super-fast sneakers and get to it!
Table of Contents
Parasol Stars kickstarts our list of the best games like Sonic the Hedgehog, a game that has such a look and feel of Sonic’s early side-scrolling games that it could easily be a ROM hack.
Still, it’s actually a bonafide game from the days of the PC Engine and features Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble in their human forms, wandering around with parasols in one of the most addictive games of all time.
Remember The Avengers, the one where they had the trusty umbrella as a weapon? Well, Bub and Bob can use their parasols to stun opponents and shield against attacks from other foes.
The levels are so Sonic-esque that you’ll be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stepped into the Green Hill Zone.
Sadly, it never made it into arcades but received a lot of praise when it dropped onto home consoles. And when you play it for the first time, it’s not hard to see why!
How does a gnarly dragon and her mates fighting against the forces of evil sound for a title like Sonic the Hedgehog?
Enter Freedom Planet!
We’re talking bashing massive robots, casting cool abilities, and speeding along on a motorbike through some seriously cool levels.
Boosting and getting through levels as fast as hedgehogly 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, like Sonic’s early outings where Tails accompanied him, players have a choice of playing as Lilac or Carol. One can fly, and one can speed on a bike.
Yep, that’s definitely taking inspiration from our favourite Sega duo alright!
The Lion King takes the 8th spot in our best games like Sonic the Hedgehog list, and though it pains me to talk about this game, it’s an undeniable classic that needs to be in your collection.
Let’s start with the positives. This side-scrolling game was fantastic when it dropped back in ’94. It looked incredible, it was vibrant, and the music found throughout the game was spectacular.
But that level with the giraffes… those PESKY GIRAFFES! Do you know how many times it took me to do that level; it’s been years and the pain is still raw!
Just like in the movies, players follow Simba from a cub to a fully grown lion. As Simba, you can mainly just jump on stuff and roar a little, but adult Simba can fight like a demon.
All the famous faces from the film including Timon and Pumba make an appearance. You can even play as them in bonus stages too!
Now, this isn’t a side-scrolling game, and that’s because not all of Sonic’s games are 2D. Kirby and the Forgotten Land looks and feels a lot like Sonic Frontiers, and there might be a lot of you out there that have come to the series at the newest game in the canon!
This game shot to the 2nd spot in out list of the best Kirby games of all time as soon as it came out, so you know it’s good!
Imagine Sonic meets Mario with the Pink Peril taking charge, and you’ll get what this game is all about!
Kirby might not run at insane speeds, but he can suck in pretty much anything and steal abilities or powers from the enemies or objects he comes across.
And, like Sonic 2 where players can play as Sonic and Tails, players can go co-op with Bandana Waddle Dee!
If we’re going to go even deeper, Sonic had to save lots of different creatures from Robotniks grasp, and players have to save Waddle Dees from imminent death as well.
Ok, that might be a little too 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 without a doubt the best way to play Mega Man’s classic adventures on todays consoles.
All the best parts of Mega Man’s early career with ten epic games from his canon (thats the compendium, not his arm canon).
Like lots of our favourite game reproductions (another of which you’ll see below soon), those early titles look super fresh and like they’ve been given a much-needed lease of life. You can play them up 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 a bunch of new features like rewind mode that make things a little easier for you aswell!
Take part in Challenge Mode, while the day away in Museum Mode, and get as nerdy as possible when it comes to the Blue Boy Wonders world!
Now, this is definitely one of the best games like Sonic the Hedgehog that you all need to play once in your life. DuckTales has always been one of my favourite cartoons since I was a kid, and having the Ducktales Remastered version to play on the PS3 made my life 100% better.
That’s not conjecture – it’s true 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 gets too much airtime anyway, so it’s about time we had a top-hat wearing duck who goes into outer space taking the lead!
Payers take Mr McDuck on an adventure in search of treasure – as if he doesn’t have enough already!
Get about by bouncing on Scrooge’s cane and fight enemies with it at close range. You can even pogo over big gaps with it aswell.
This game is mostly in this list because it’s a side-scrolling adventure with a well-known hero. Apart from getting health in the form of rings in one and ice cream in another, the main similarity is the linear gameplay and the collecting of gold shiny things.
I reckon Sonic would love testing out his mettle in this game!
Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy is up next, one of our favourite game remakes of modern times.
These games were unreal, right? And yes, I know they’re not side-scrolling, but the fast paced ‘get to the goal’ feel is what Sonic has always been about.
If anything, these games feel a lot like Sonic Adventure 2 Battle in the way players control Crash. There might not be any grinding levels or snowboarding down slopes, but there certainly is a lot of riding around on animals and boulders.
So, what’s included in this package?
Well, players can relive Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped on PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.
Get right back into remastered versions of each and experience Aku Aku saving you from death once more along with all the crazy jungle beats and zany antics of Crash’s friends!
Now, Yooka Laylee And The Impossible Lair has so much Sonic energy about it that fans of the Blue Blur will feel right at home.
Honestly, if you thought the first game felt like a carbon copy of Banjo-Kazooie, then you’ll wonder how Team17 have got away with hitting the copy button again!
Having said all that, I much prefer this side-scrolling adventure to the original platform title. With Boost Rolls and enemy pounding 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 had a hand in making this game, so it’s no wonder it’s so good!
If we were to get a Sonic game dropping tomorrow that combined the graphics of Frontiers and the gameplay of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, I’d like it to look, feel, and play like this for sure!
Get ready for a massive blast from the past as we check out Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series!
Diving back into this 90s classic on my Switch felt so good, and seeing the PS1 classic with modern graphics brought back all those old memories from the first time I played this game.
Just look how sharp and full the still looks below. It’s still that same 2.5D feel but it feels way more modern, with richly textured and detailed backgrounds that, when the camera pans out, you can enjoy in all their glory.
If you’ve never played Klonoa before or want an easy route into the game, then there is a mode where you can fire your wind bullets much further than would have happened the first time around playing this game.
And to be honest, you do have to get pretty darn close to enemies before hitting them!
Sonic and Mario dominated the side-scrolling world back in the day, but after this remake, I’m wondering if we might see a Klonoa 3?
The best game like Sonic the Hedgehog to play in 2023 is our favourite Mega Drive title other than Sonic’s original adventures, Rocket Knight Adventures.
I love Sparkster so much, and this fast-paced rocket fuelled adventure more than holds its own when it comes to going to to toe with Sonic.
I mean, it came second in our list of the best Sega Genesis games of all time, just beaten by Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for crying out loud. How much more of a seal of approval can we give than that!
The levels that you’ll take Sparkster through basically feel like Konami just found the secret Sega sauce and used it to create one of their best games ever. The still above looks like a fusion of the Emerald Zone and and the Mushroom Kingdom.
Which can only ever be a good thing, right?
Listen, if Sonic is Sega’s main mascot, then Sparkster is definitely a supporting character that helped him to gain the top spot. It’s just super relaxed and enjoyable adventure from start to finish. And Sparkster is blue too, so that’s kind of Sonic-esque too, right?
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.