It used to be that platform games were the most popular type of game for home consoles. Not only did these characters drive sales of their own games but also sales of the consoles that they used to play them. They were known as “mascot characters.” As video games moved from 2D to 3D in the late ’90s, the genre continued to be popular. Sonic and Donkey Kong found it hard to adapt in the long run, but Mario and Crash Bandicoot were still popular.
Following years saw the genre fall out of favour for platformers. The PlayStation 2 had better hardware, which made it possible to make more realistic games, paving the way for action games to take over the console. Further improvements in hardware with the PS3 and Xbox 360 led to more open-world adventures and RPGs flooding the market. Platformers, which are linear by design, have struggled to offer the same amount of content as games that are more open.
In spite of the eighth generation of consoles giving game developers the chance to make games that were bigger than ever before, platformers, especially side-scrolling platformers, made a comeback on the PlayStation 4. Because the game is cheaper than open-world games, the genre seems to have found a place in today’s games.
1. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty! (84)
- Available Platforms – PlayStation 4, Linux, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch
- Initial Release Date – July 22, 2014
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty! is a remake of the first game in the Oddworld series, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, which came out in 1997 and got an impressive 85 Metascore.
Like the original, New ‘n’ Tasty is a side-scrolling, cinematic platformer that has hard puzzles to solve and a great dark, atmospheric art style. Oddworld: Soulstorm was released in April 2021, but the game didn’t do well with fans and critics, which is shown by its 66 critic score and 6.6 user score on Metacritic.
2. Salt and Sanctuary (84)
- Available Platforms – PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
- Initial Release Date – March 15, 2016
Platforming is just one of the many types of games that Salt and Sanctuary has. The game also has action, Metroidvania, and role-playing elements. This game has a lot of different types of gameplay mixed together, but the development team did a great job of making it feel balanced and unique at the same time.
In 2009, Ska Studios made a game called I MADE A GAME WITH ZOMBIES 1NIT!!!1 and in 2014, they made TIME VIKING!!!!!!!!!!
3. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time (85)
- Available Platforms – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Microsoft Windows
- Initial Release Date – October 2, 2020
For fans of the Crash Bandicoot series, the last few years have been a lot of fun. There were remakes of some of the best PlayStation 1 racing and platforming games, as well as a direct sequel to 1998’s Crash Bandicoot: Warped. For people who want to see their favourite childhood games get a modern sequel, the revival has given them hope. It has also shown how good remakes can be for an IP.
You can play Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time in corridors. There are a few adult jokes and a brutal difficulty level that show that the developers thought about Crash’s older fans when they were making the game.
4. Super Meat Boy (85)
- Available Platforms – Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo Switch
- Initial Release Date – October 20, 2010
When Super Meat Boy came out on Xbox 360 in 2010, it was the first indie platforming game, and it was a big hit. Today, there are a lot of games like this one. Game: Platforming was brought back to its roots with side-scrolling perspectives and small, contained levels. It also used new ideas like instant resets and no lives, which have become the norm in platforming today.
For the first time in ten years, Super Meat Boy got a sequel called Super Meat Boy Forever. Many people were put off by the auto-runner movement of the game. The sequel got a good 70 from critics on Metacritic, but only a 4.2 from the public.
5. Cuphead (86)
- Available Platforms – Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
- Initial Release Date – September 29, 2017
Finally, in 2017, Cuphead made its way to Sony’s console. The game was first released on Xbox One and PC in 2017. Cuphead was made by Studio MDHR, who took inspiration from 1930s cartoons for the game’s art style. The game won Best Art Direction at the 2017 Game Awards for its art style.
Only a few run and gun levels can be found in the game’s overworld. Cuphead is mostly a boss rush. This doesn’t mean that the game is too easy or that it will be over quickly, though. Cuphead’s bosses are some of the most difficult challenges from the PS4’s life cycle.
6. Hollow Knight
Developer: Team Cherry
The pitch: Exquisite exploration adventure in the Metroid mold
Hollow Knight was made by a small team as a labour of love. It was hailed as a new genre classic when it came out in 2018. For good reason. Make your way through a beguiling, sad world of warrior bugs, and you’ll get a real workout for your thumbs in the process.
7. It Takes Two
The pitch: A heartfelt adventure built for co-op
It Takes Two is a story-driven, genre-bending platform game that was made for co-operative play. You and a trusted friend must work together to help an embattled couple save their failing relationship.
8. Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Developer: Sumo Digital
The pitch: Save Craftworld as the Knitted Knight
PlayStation’s iconic threaded hero is back for a second time in a visually-exciting, character-filled adventure from the creator of LittleBigPlanet 3.
You can go it alone or with a group of brave friends (online or offline) as you embark on a whirlwind adventure filled with dozens of unique places, clever puzzles, and, of course, all kinds of colourful outfits to collect.