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The Best Platformer Games To Play Right Now

Platformers are among some of gaming’s oldest genres, having first been popularised way back in the 1980s with the Mega Man, Mario and Alex Kidd series dominating many home console systems. Platform games have come a long way since, but are still equally proving that they’re never afraid to innovate, celebrate, and initiate new ideas.

Here’s our picks for some of the best platformer games to play right now.

Credit: Double Fine

Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 is what we like to call “taking a step back in time in the best way possible.” The game takes all the right notes from its 2005 predecessor and modernises it without interference. It has this childlike, playful nature to it that you don’t experience as vividly in video games these days. But at the same time, deals with heavy subject matter in ways that feel nuanced. As for the platforming itself, it’s robust and accessible in many unique ways. There are so many times across the game’s story that will continue to surprise you. It’s a game worth playing, even if you haven’t played the first one, and should be mandatory on a list like this.

Credit: HandyGames

Scarf

Scarf is a game where you play as a hero who must save their kingdom with the help of a friendly anthropomorphic scarf that accompanies them on their journey. Throughout your adventures together, the scarf can gain new transformations that will help you navigate the world. For example, becoming a glider or a rope to swing on. While the puzzles and story of Scarf may feel a little obtuse at times, as a platformer it is an excellent time.

Credit: Extremely OK Games

CELESTe

While some of the other entries we’ve named on this list are a little easier and more accessible to your average gamer, Celeste errs on the side of being tough as nails. You play as Madeline, a young woman aiming to reach the top of a mountain, facing her fears in the process. The game is a 2D representation of your ascent up the mountain, with each new screen you enter providing a new checkpoint. Despite the frequency of these checkpoints, the game’s hazardous environments, aggressive enemies and “one-hit-kill” system makes it a challenging affair. However, you can also activate a small number of assist mode options should you find yourself in a spot of trouble.

Credit: Toys for Bob

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Who else really loved Spyro back in the day? Whether you’re an old fan or a newcomer to the series, Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a quintessential platformer to check out. The collection remakes three entire games from the PS1, giving the graphics a much needed facelift while also modernising the controls for a modern audience. Not only does it prove that this type of game design is timeless, but it’ll also allow the younger generation to enjoy these games without being put off by outdated graphics. Hopefully we can see a new Spyro sequel at some point in the future?

ratchet and clank rift apart
Credit: Insomniac Games

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

This is another platformer that serves as an accessible point for newcomers to the series. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a gorgeous game that shows us that Dreamworks-level presentation translates well to video games. The platforming, combined with action and puzzle-solving is solid, while the writing and level design feels the most innovative the Ratchet & Clank series has been in its entire existence. It’s a must-have for any PS5 owners, as it also takes incredible advantage of the hardware of both the console and the DualSense controller.

Credit: Nintendo

Super Mario Odyssey

You can’t have a list of the best platformers to play right now without mentioning Mario, right? Super Mario Odyssey feels like a true successor to the legacy of older Mario games like Super Mario 64, Sunshine, or Galaxy. Odyssey takes you through a plethora of different worlds, each with a new theme, gimmick and enemies to tackle. This keeps the game feeling fresh throughout its long 20-40 hour playtime, but with literally hundreds of moons to collect you could easily spend up to 100 hours just searching for them all. If you feel overwhelmed by that though, the game is certainly worth playing through to the end even without collecting everything. Keep an eye out for all the references to past Mario games, too!

What are some of your favorite platformer games? Let us know on our social channels! We also have lists for the best battle royale games, best open world games, and best racing games.

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Featured Image Credit: Insomniac Games