Top 10 platformers to play right now

Platform players used to be a dominant game genre, but today they often feel like a relic of a bygone era. Still, 2021 has seen the release of several star platform players. If you’re looking for a game that will challenge your hand-eye coordination and jumping skills, look no further than this list. The following games share all common elements, but pave a unique path in the genre. Listed in any particular order, here are 10 incredible platform players that you should not miss.

Solar Ask

PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Heart Machine has delivered a visually bold, kinetic platform game in Solar Ash. A voidrunner named Rei is tasked with collapsing Ultravoid, a massive black hole on the brink of consuming her planet. Movement is central to Solar Ash with Reis’ capabilities that ensure you always move forward by smoothly skating, grinding and fighting your way through vibrant, dream-like environments. Along the way, bosses, known as Remnants, must be taken out to stop the threat from Ultravoid’s incessant hunger, giving epic encounters on a large scale to the mix. Those looking for a satisfying, often heartbreaking knowledge can find it in side activities, which also play into Reis’ personal development as she strives to save her home. With its silky-soft traversal and stunning images, Solar Ash is a fantastic journey to embark on. | Our review

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

PlayStation 5

The Ratchet & Clank series was born on PS2. While many of their contemporaries, such as Jak and Daxter or Sly Cooper, seem to have fallen out of the way, this cosmic duo continues to have fun. Rift Apart takes our best buds into a new reality and gets the most out of Sony’s new hardware with a new rift mechanic. The ratchet and fellow rivet can use rifts to teleport across environments or into completely different realities in an instant. Ratchet & Clank’s traditional platform game-mixed-with-gun game returns. We could not get enough of Rift Aparts crazy weapons, such as Cold Snap, which encloses enemies in giant, cocktail-ready ice cubes, or Topiary Sprinkler, which turns enemies into amazing garden shrubs. | Our review

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

This Switch re-release of the 2013 Wii U platform game gave fans a chance to revisit Nintendo’s 4-player adventure – especially if they skipped the Wii U. As Mario and friends rescue the mischievous creatures called Sprixies from Bowser’s grip, they turn into cats and claw their way to the top of each flagpole. But leave it to Nintendo to notice a brand new side game that shines just as sharp as the original package. Bowser’s Fury may be short, but it has more great ideas than many complete releases. This inventive new game throws Mario into an open environment and gives players the task of collecting Cat Shines before going toe-to-toe with a kaiju-sized Bowser. These small platform challenges are so rewarding that it’s easy to lose track of an entire night at once. Bowser is perhaps furious; we are anything but. | Our review

Astro’s Legerum

PlayStation 5

The 2018 PSVR release Astro Bot Rescue Mission gave us a smile on our face, but we are happy that even those who do not have a VR headset can enjoy the Astro’s follow-up adventure. Even better, Sony gave the game away; Astro’s Playroom comes free to anyone who owns a PlayStation 5. This lively experience is also a love letter to the PlayStation brand, bursting with nods to many of our favorite consoles and game franchises. We loved soaring through electric ravines, collecting coins on frozen rocks and jumping over lilypads in a mechanical seed suit. The title is also an impressive tech demo for Sony’s latest controller, and DualSense’s haptic feedback offers realistic tactile vibrations that add depth to the feeling of walking on sand, standing in the rain or pushing against the wind. | Our review

Psychonauts 2

Xbox Series X / S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac

Nineteen years is a long time to wait for almost anything, and many fans thought they would never see a sequel to Double Fine’s beloved Xbox-era platformer. The young acrobat and the gifted psychic Raz return for some fresh pranks; this time he has left the summer camp for gifted people to join the world-famous organization that gives the series its name. Unfortunately, a mole inside the organization threatens to awaken a long-buried secret that could destabilize world governments, forcing Raz to travel into a series of damaged minds and help people recover from their past traumas. We never knew what to expect next, from a casino-themed hospital to a cooking show to a psychedelic 60s band tour. | Our review

Super Mario Odyssey

Contact

Mario is the king of platform players, so you should not be surprised to see him on this list more than once. Of course, we had to choose Mario’s big Switch excursion because it remains a non-stop roller coaster ride of ingenious ideas. Each level is crammed with engaging, interactive moments, from tearing through a forest like a T. rex to jumping off springy flowers in a frozen desert to jumping into a wall for a 2D platforming sequence reminiscent of Mario’s early days . In Odyssey, Mario’s iconic headdress has also come to life, allowing Mario to possess any device that wears the hat. Sure, possession sounds scary, but who wouldn’t want Nintendo’s chubby plumber running around in their heads. | Our review

It takes two

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Hazelight Studios was groundbreaking for its co-op-only approach to action games with 2018’s A Way Out, but the team really struck out with 2021’s It Takes Two. Cody and May are a married couple staring down the barrel of a life-changing divorce as their daughter makes a wish and the couple’s souls end up inside a pair of handmade dolls. Sure, the tale sounds like a bad one made for TV Disney movies, but the ensuing jokes are refreshingly original. Cody and May must work together to swing their way through treetops, help squirrels fight a hive of angry wasps, and use magnets for platforms across a series of gears. No two moments in It Takes Two are exactly alike, ensuring its co-op action is unforgettable. | Our review

Sonic Mania

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

These days, it’s easy to make fun of Sonic, but 2017’s Sonic Mania was not only a return to Sonic’s 2D glory days, it was easily one of the best Sonic games to date. After the events of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic and his friends discover that something is wrong on Angel Island. Dr. Eggman is one step ahead of speedsters, and his team of EggRobos plans to exploit a magic gem for evil. Mania is designed by members of the ROM hacking community, who made their mark by working on Sonic fangame, and later official mobile ports, and understand what makes Sonic something special. Many of Sonic Mania’s levels start as riffs on familiar scenes from earlier times, but they quickly evolve into exciting platform experiences individually. Sonic, Tails and Knuckles run in loops through sand-swept deserts, avoiding garbage compactor death traps and using the all-new drop-dash to drive in front of Dr. Eggman again. | Our review

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android, PC

Fall Guys is not the first game you would think of when you come up with a list of the best platform players, but this nail-biting competition experience is so compelling that there is no doubt it should be here. A mix between battle royales and game shows like Takeshis slot and EradicateFall Guys pits 60 players against each other in a series of competitive platforming challenges that are as fun to watch as they are to compete in. Whether we ping-ponged from one bouncing platform to the next, raced across the vanishing floors, or When navigating around a field of spinning windmills, we could not resist the move to start “just one more fight” every time we landed on our face. | Our review

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s time

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Since the release of Crash Bandicoot: Warped in 1998, we’ve seen dozens of games starring this silly marsupial. But as the name suggests, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a formative return to the heyday of the platform game that put Naughty Dog on the map. Developer Toys for Bob did a fantastic job of reclaiming the magic of the 2.5D platform from the 90s, while keeping the action fresh thanks to the inclusions of quantum masks that slow down time, turn the world upside down and cause all sorts of chaos. Additional playable characters help shake up the action. For example, Tawna is equipped with a grab hook for some high-flying action, and Dingodile’s powerful vacuum allows him to suck boxes up from the other side of the screen. | Our review

Which games on this list do you like? Which games do you want to add that are not on the list? Tell us in the comments! If you liked this list, be sure to check out our other latest genre lists by clicking on our list hub below.

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