4 of the best retro games like the Sonic the Hedgehog you can play right now
Sonic the Hedgehog is an incredible series and is my personal favourite. The gameplay of the classic retro entries in this best selling series emphasises speed and platforming finesse. From cruising through the lush fauna of Green Hill Zone to the underwater ruins of Labyrinth Zone. The Sonic series is defined by death defying stunts and gorgeous world building.
Polarising opinion amongst even the biggest Sonic fans, the series has had its highs a lows but few among you can really doubt how incredible the first game is.
“few among you can really doubt how incredible the first game is.”
The original game sets the template for all games after it. But after Sonic the Hedgehog is finished, all the chaos emeralds have been collected and Robotnik has been crushed. What next? Here are 4 other retro games that scratch that special platforming itch.
Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind (1993)
Bubsy the Bobcat is a character that never got the chance to hit the highs of Sonic, Mario or even Crash. His very first game tells the tale of a bobcat who sets out to defeat the alien race – the Woolies. But why you ask? They want to steal all of Earths yarn, and Bubsy is the owner of the worlds largest yarn collection.
Not one to get hung up on the details. Bubsy runs, jumps and tumbles his way through plenty of colourful levels and pop culture references. Marketing for Bubsys first game was high and expectations were higher still. What could possibly go wrong?
“What could possibly go wrong?”
Lacking Sonics finesse at speed, Bubsy can sometimes feel like momentum gets the better of him. But this retro game will more than satisfy the hungriest of speed freaks. Originally available on Nintendo SNES and Sega Mega Drive. This classic (and its sequel) is now available on Steam too.
Freedom Planet (2014)
Often touted as the spiritual successor of Sonic the Hedgehog. Freedom Planet follows the tales of some very furry characters. A dragon girl named Lilac with an impressive pace and her friend Carol, who can summon motorcycles (yes it is as wild as it sounds).
Freedom Planet very much feels like where the Sonic series could have gone had Sega stucked to 2D games. The controls feel fluid yet responsive, and the action is fast paced. A modern take on retro gaming, it benefits from hindsight where older games stumbled.
With tonnes of unlockables and a wonderful story with fairly well voiced cutscenes, Freedom Planet is a great example of what could have been. Luckily for us, you can play it on steam now.
Following the story of Zool, a space ninja who lands on Earth to become a true ninja. The game features high speed action and was well received on release. The odd chupa chups product placement aside, the colourful worlds truly feel alive.
There are also neat little additions like mini games, hidden secrets and a bullet hell style shooter section. Enemies are plentiful and this platformer is one of the best retro games around.
Originally released for the SNES, Mega Drive and both companies respective hand helds, you can pick up epic Zool Redimensioned now on steam for a brilliant dose of retro remaster fun.
Aero the Acrobat (1993)
My last entry in this little list is the wonderfully styled, Aero the Acrobat. The original game saw our titular hero on an exciting adventure to free his circus from capitalism. Yes, really.
Aero can run, jump, fly and perform acts of death defying scales. Some of the more exciting elements of this retro classic see him riding rollercoasters and fighting enemies with his aerial attacks. Hidden secrets and punishing traps keep the game feeling fresh after all these years.
“Hidden secrets and punishing traps keep the game feeling fresh”
Aero the Acrobat has been re-released on the Nintendo eShop if you want to play the original SNES version of the game.
Whether you are a big fan of Sonic the Hedgehog and you’re after your next fix between Sonic Mania and the incredible looking Sonic Frontiers. The above 4 games should give you hours of fun and might even lead you to starting your own retro game collection.