If it's any comfort to you, most of the Sonic fans I speak with on a regular basis (both older and younger than me) actually don't care for the classics too much. I know a good few people older than me who haven't even touched the classics and couldn't be bothered to. I think the prevelance of the classics needs to be recognized, but hot damn is it overstated- and that's coming from someone who grew up with these masterpieces. Yeah, exactly. Took the words right out of my mouth. The next games doesn't need to be Mania 2 to be well received- and it's honestly staggering how many people fail to realize that. The game just needs to be good. Mania was good. It wasn't well received because it was classic sonic- it was just a really good game. Except that's literally not what he said lmao. Ironically, Colors and Forces are one of my best friend's favorite games. Now while I sure can't say the same about Forces, Colors did unbelievably well for being Wii locked, and was one of the highest praised Sonic games at the time. Generations did very well too, and that was before classic Sonic became soulless pandering. Even still, outside of jaded old fan groups like this (including me) Forces itself did really well with casual audiences. My little bro likes it way more than the Classic games. By anyone over like, 25. Really, from my own online experience, I'm at the very very bottom of the age ladder when it comes to who really enjoyed Mania or not. I've been trying to get my friends to play the classic games more, but they just can't be bothered to (btw, my friends are all around my age- I think the youngest is 18). Mania performed well with people who knew what the classic games were beforehand, I think. I've yet to meet someone who went into Mania blind and had it rise to compete with their favorite games of all time. Whether anyone likes it or not, Mania was made for the 90s kids (and kids who grew up with Mega collection like me lmao). So literally my point, then? Classic is not relevant in a "with the times" sense, if it's relevant at all, it's in a "back in my day" sense. And what are the critics complaining about, again? Ah yes, the fact that recent Sonic media seems to be foregoing producing genuinely good products in the name of nostalgia pandering to artificially boost sales. In fact, Sonic movie 2 is reviewing worse than the first one with critics because apparently the family dynamic and interest in a unique premise has been pushed back in favor of persistent game references and "good ol' days" baiting. Go figure. You wouldn't happen to really enjoy Green Hill Zone, would you? (jk jk) My point is that when most of the Sonic fanbase is pleading for Classic nostalgia to be pushed to the back-burner to make way for genuinely new, exciting, and legitimately good experiences, I don't think it's fair to say Classic alone has been keeping the franchise alive. Also, imo that's a huge disservice to other parts of the franchise as a whole, when the only time in the past 10 years the franchise ever really felt like it was dying was post-Boom. Actually, I think it's short-sighted to suggest (intentionally or not) that recent games are bad purely because they're... *gasp*- Modern Sonic games. (Dun dun duuunnnn ). The games only score low because they're just all around not really great games, and that's not the fault of green eyes or shitty friends- it's the fault of the developers not making a good product. Mania was good. Forces was not. Classic was in both. Did Forces save the franchise too? Or did it help to kill it cause it was a Modern Sonic game? I still want another genuine 90s style classic game, but I'm so tired of seeing the same old discourse about how "Classic is the future of the franchise" that started literally only a month after Mania came out and people were already harassing Sega for a sequel. If it happens, neat. If it doesn't, I'm sure as hell not gonna lose sleep over it lol.