Best Zones in Sonic Mania

WARNING: This list contains spoilers! Play the game first if you wish to fully understand this list.

Sonic Mania is the new 2D Genesis-like Sonic game that was created by fans for the fans. It was an amazing game and serious contender for GOTY.

Sonic Mania included a multitude of brand new stages and revamps of old classic stages. Some revamped stages were really nice surprises and the brand new ones were so good too.

Vote for which stage is the best in the game. Might be hard because a lot of them are really high quality.

The Top Ten

1 Studiopolis Zone

Studiopolis Zone is a kind of stage that is not imaginable in any game other than Sonic. The franchise always had a weakness for funny and crazy stage gimmicks, and this time they combined the token gimmicky casino level with Hollywood/movie set and it's genius. And for once there are no slot machines but an actual Lottery. Just a shame it was a bit unspectacular. I wanted to spend hours trying to get to 999 rings, like back in Casino Night Zone. The Track is great. But to be honest, literally the only reason why I'm picking Studiopolis over Oil Ocean (which has really improved in Mania, and I already liked its original) is that I didn't die to the boss like 5-6 times.

All the stages are spectacular, don't get me wrong. Chemical Plant is like a Sonic game should be; fast as hell and a complete thrill ride. Mirage Saloon and Titanic Monarch fit the same principle. The fact that speed was always emphasized in the Modern Sonic games like Unleashed and Generations was what makes me prefer Modern Sonic.

Studiopolis understands why Sonic stood toe-to-toe with Mario for so long. Mario is a methodical platformer that causes you to think about what you're doing with every jump. With Sonic, there are alternate routes everywhere. And I feel Studiopolis does them right; never a dull moment, never a moment where you're forced to slow down, just take slower paths. Even when riding the film reel above the amazing animation of a 20s Eggman dancing, which is charming as all get out, that's more of a temporary reprieve. All in all, Studiopolis is an amazing thrill ride, with some of the best music in the game.

I would have chosen Press Garden, but the first act drags on for too long. Although I've heard Studiopolis' theme at least a billion times by now, I still think that it's amazing, and the second act's theme is somehow just as good. The devs really cared about making a good Classic Sonic game, and this zone is a prime example of it. Both acts are amazing.

This is Sonic Mania's most defining zone. A television studio, a level trope that fits so well in the Sonic series, and yet I never would have thought of it. Bursting with imagination around every corner, the map is masterfully constructed so that the player never loses interest, and the music is top notch.

2 Mirage Saloon Zone

Brand new Zone that has a multitude of references that hardcore Sonic fans will definitely geek out over. Not too mention ACT 1 is very much like Sky Chase from Sonic 2.

Sky Chase was boring. That returns here.
Knuckle's stage is really the only decent thing here.

Dessert dazzle and dust hill are finally a reality

3 Press Garden Zone

I adore this stage. There are so many level tropes smashed up into this one gorgeous zone. There's nothing else like it in any other Sonic game.

The prettiest stage in the entire game, and the freezing mechanics was funny. I wished more brand new stages

Brand new Zone that resembles a press factory that ends up being an icy forest. Music is phenomenal here too.

Act 2's song alone makes Press Garden one of the best stages in the series.

4 Chemical Plant Zone

This was great to play through again, and the new mechanics in ACT 2 were well executed. I'm happy that this zone was in the game. Originally from Sonic 2.

Not to mention a amazing boss battle in act 2

5 Metallic Madness

Metallic Madness is the perfect example of Sonic Stage design and Aesthetics alongside Stardust Speedway. The Kirby Triple Deluxe like gimmicks add some extra feelings to it. I love bouncing on the springs, going fast in the tubes and on hslfpipes, getting lunged into the air, and even playing as Chibi Sonic. Both acts feel amazing to play through, have amazing boss fights, and the best tracks of music in the game (in my opinion). My favorite zone.

Wasn't a big fan of the original zone in Sonic CD but the Mania version is outstanding. The right level of challenge whilst being fun with the background/foreground switches and the shrink rays. Plus the music for both acts are amazing with Act 2 being my favourite in the whole game. The boss battles are really cool as well.

The music is incredible, the foreground/background mechanic is really cool, the shrinking mechanic is so much fun (and adorable), and being one of the last zones in the game, it's pretty challenging, but it's so much fun after playing ti a few times.

Okay, this stage has quite literally the best things ever.
Background to foreground elements, shrinking elements (oh my god tails is so adorable here) and more.

6 Hydrocity Zone

Act 2 is very easy and predictable, and its background is very beautiful. The major-boss, however, can be hard (unless you transform into Super Sonic Tails Knuckles Mighty Ray).

Act 1, on the other hand, is inferior to Act 2, but the mini-boss (that now YOU control the Egg-Mobile, so that you can create a vortex to pull Eggman into it) is pretty amusing.

This was a nice surprise to see. Good pick for a water level and I love what Tee Lopes done for the music. Originally from Sonic 3.

Act 2 is possibly my favorite level in this whole game.

7 Titanic Monarch Zone

I thought a long time about this, and I came to a toss-up between this stage and Press Garden Zone. This zone wins for me on a purely subjective matter: Act 2's background and soundtrack made me feel like I'm inside a Cathedral. And I love that kind of feeling.

Brand new zone and one of the last zones in the game. The ACT 2 boss is really tough as well. Depending on if you have the chaos emerald or not, this is the final level of the game.

Best level in the game. Act 1 is really fun to speed run. The music is on point too.

The theme sounds a whole lot like bloody tears

8 Green Hill Zone

Classic stage that was no doubt going to be in the game. What more is there to say? Originally from Sonic the Hedgehog.

9 Flying Battery Zone

The music is amazing the obstacles and setpieces are extremely cool and there is two completely different path in act 2. Plus the boss at the end is pretty cool. Apparently the original was bad but since I didn't played 3 and k I can't say anything. By the way I want you to sign the petition for making sonic 3 and K remastered on IOS. That way I and many others could play a better version of the original which from what I heard is already very good

The music is awesome, they removed those long elevators that you just wait on from the original, and act 2 might be have one of the most complex level layouts ever in a Sonic game.

Nothing tops running UNDER the Flying Battery in a severe thunderstorm.
Well, maybe except Chemical Plant.
Not even Lava Reef and Oil Ocean and I love those levels!

This level was announced before release and I'm glad they added it to the game. Originally from Sonic & Knuckles

10 Stardust Speedway Zone

Easily the best zone in the entire game, especially Act 2, which also has the best music. The iconic race between Sonic (or Tails, Knuckles, etc.) and Metal Sonic returns in the "third" act of the zone (actually still Act 2, but not the main Act 2).

Also, the transition between Act 1 and Act 2 (aka the time traveling) is the best act transition of the entire game.

Announced before release, but this was a good pick. Also has amazing music too. Originally from Sonic CD.

Very fast and cool music in a one bottle.

Should be considerably higher.

The Contenders

11 Lava Reef Zone

Oh, Lava Reef. How I missed you! Amazing music (Tee Lopes is a genius,) fun new & returning mechanics, and a beautiful setting. Easily my second favorite, besides Flying Battery.

12 Oil Ocean Zone

I think I'm one of the few people that actually liked the original Oil Ocean form Sonic 2, but this remake doesn't do enough new or interesting aside from act 2's main mechanic of clearing the smoke. Many chunks of level design are too same-y. Every time you ascend, you do so by climbing on the lids of pipes that get blown up, or you use an elevator. Every time you descend it's always, ALWAYS, just falling down those oil slides.

I was very surprised to see this level in the game as I know it isn't that much of a fan favorite. Originally from Sonic 2.

Didn't everyone hated this stage in Sonic 2? Why bring it back from the dead?

Why did this stage return?
There's no point to even having this stage...

Surprising the Sonic Mania version of this stage is way better than the Sonic 2 version.

13 Special Stage 5
14 Special Stage 3
15 Death Egg Zone

I love how you have to take so many complex steps to get here and the soundtrack is great too, but the boss can be challenging some times but luckily you can fight the Death Egg Robot Mach 2 as Super Sonic or tails or knuckles

16 Dragon Road

It's weird that they would incorporate a future stage in a game that takes place in the past but overall a really cool zone for Sonic Mania to have.

17 Egg Reverie Zone

In my opinion, every Zone is amazing. But this is where the True Final Boss waits and the music sounds so awesome! 😄

18 Oil Desert

What is this

19 Splash Hill Zone
20 Casino Street Zone
BAdd New Item