Looking for some games like Sonic Frontiers? While the latest game starring the blue blur isn't out just yet, we've got some recommendations for similar games based on what we've seen so far. If you love colourful adventures and plenty of platforming, we've got the perfect picks for you.
In this list we'll go over a few games that seem thematically or mechanically similar to Sonic Frontiers, based on their story, presentation, and gameplay. From HD remasters to side-scrolling action, there's something for retro gamers and newcomers to the genre alike.
Elsewhere, we've got plenty of other lists brimming with recommendations. Check out the best free action games and best free multiplayer games if you're a social gamer. That's on top of our choices of games like Horizon Forbidden West on Xbox!
Games like Sonic Frontiers
- Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
- Sonic Mania
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Pac-Man World Re-Pac
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
First on our list is one of the most inventive and gut-wrenchingly difficult 3D platformers in recent years. Toys for Bob took over the reigns of the Crash Bandicoot franchise after the hit 2017 original trilogy remaster, and used this renewed fourth entry to push the series even further.
Expanding on the sci-fi roots of Crash Bandicoot: Warped, in this entry you hop across time and space with gravity-bending abilities and new platforming mechanics. You'll change gravitational directions on a whim to bypass obstacles, alongside a grappling hook that introduces even more verticality to proceedings.
Releasing 22 years after the previous canon Crash game, it was a strong return to form for a series that lost its way during the early noughties. Expect brutally difficult levels, unforgiving obstacles, and a mad grind to land 100% completion.
Yooka-Laylee is far more forgiving platformer, which comes as no surprise once you know the team behind it. After Microsoft bought Rare, the developer of the Banjo-Kazooie franchise, several key members left to form Playtonic Games. Their first foray back into platforming was 2017's Yooka-Laylee, a reminder of just how pure the genre can be.
In this co-op romp through a colourful open world, you'll swap between Yooka and Laylee to collect books that unlock new realms. It's far less challenging than other entries on this list, making it the perfect choice for younger gamers getting into platforming for the first time.
But on top of that, it's a nostalgic callback to the peak of Rare's powers, when the Banjo-Kazooie franchise was dominating the scene. Followed by a top-down sequel in 2019, it seems that the Yooka-Laylee franchise is here to stay - so hop in while you can.
When looking at recent mainline Sonic the Hedgehog games, Mania is far and away the outlier. The rest are 3D platformers veering deep into action gameplay, while Mania truly looks like it could've released back in the early 1990s. That's all part of its charm though, as a full-fledged ode to the original Sega games that introduced the world to the blue blur.
Production on Sonic Mania was spearheaded by a fan named Taxman, who developed fan-made remasters before Sega hired him to remaster the original Sega Genesis games. In the meantime he quietly worked on Mania: a return to the pixel graphics with 'remixed' versions of classic levels, deeper than ever before. Think of it as a greatest hits of Sonic's early adventures, and you're on the right lines.
The game truly stands the test of time thanks to its ageless formula and zippy gameplay that helped popularise Sonic in the first place. If the series' recent forays into the adventure genre have left you missing the good old days, take Sonic Mania for a spring.
Super Mario Odyssey
Based on pre-release snippets, Sonic Frontiers seems to introduce our favourite hedgehog to a sprawling open world for the first time. In that sense, it shares a lot of DNA with Super Mario Odyssey, the 2017 Switch game that revolutionised what a Super Mario game could be.
It wasn't the first time the Italian plumber delved into the 3D world - not even close - but Odyssey provided a universe of hub worlds ranging from a real-world metropolis to fiery deserts. Across these worlds you find adventure for yourself, taking on mini puzzles and collecting stars with your trusty magical cap atop your head. It's blissful, liberating, and completely removed the tethers of previous games.
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In that sense, Sonic Frontiers seems to take a lot of cues from Super Mario Odyssey. Both emphasise exploration by placing their protagonists in wholly new surroundings, pushing the gameplay loop forward in the process. If Frontiers is half as good as Odyssey, we're in for a treat.
PAC-MAN World Re-PAC
If Sonic dominated consoles during the 1990s, the Pac-Man dominated the arcades. The simple but addictive gameplay made it easy to sink hours on end into eating all the snacks laying about those neon-inflected maze worlds. But the series changed forever with Pac-Man World, a 3D platformer from 1999 that brought the yellow sprite into a new dimension.
The game was a sleeper hit, with vibrant hub worlds to explore and a fresh new perspective that flipped the series' formula on its head. Even better, a full-fledged remaster for modern systems released earlier in 2022, giving newcomers the chance to try it out without breaking out their original PlayStation.
Just like Sonic Frontiers, Pac-Man World Re-Pac is a fresh imagining of the parameters of its main character, presenting varied new gameplay to boot. Just as Pac-Man had never explored a 3D world before, we've never really had a Sonic sandbox game. In both cases, they push the boundaries of their respective franchises.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Last on our list for now is another 2022 game that completely changed the formula, breathing new life into its title character. Kirby and the Forgotten Land was the pink blob's first foray into a 3D world, placing them in a dystopian future devoid of any natural life aside from enemies.
The key selling point is Mouthful Mode: a new gameplay mechanic where Kirby can suck up cars, traffic cones, and even enemies to temporarily mimic their abilities. It added plenty of variety to the gameplay loop, and alongside two-player co-op, made the game a joy to blast through with a friend.
Expect Sonic Frontiers to push the franchise forward just as much as Forgotten Land did with Kirby: a fresh new take on the series that lays the foundation for years of releases to come.
That's it for our look at some games like Sonic Frontiers! If you want even more recommendations, check out our list of games like Gotham Knights, another upcoming release, as well as some games like The Last of Us.