Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is coming to PC, which surprised us a bit because it’s probably the best PlayStation 5 exclusive on the console. It’s also the best game in the series, and one of the best action platformers as a result. It’s a style of play that’s not as popular as we’d like, but it’s generally a good time. Let’s be honest, rubbing shoulders with a boss with a weapon that fires nonsense is always a good time.
For this reason, and the resurgence of more games in the genre than it might trigger, we decided to put together a list of some of the best action platformers. We’ve gone for a good, eclectic mix of options to keep things interesting, so some of these games are almost the same as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apartand others capture a specific element and draw inspiration from it.
Sunset Overdrive was created by Insomniac Games, the developer behind Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, in 2014. It was an Xbox One exclusive, and due to how the Xbox One was initially received, it’s a game that few people have played. It’s a little on the gritty side of early 2010 humor, but it’s pure fun to play, and has you grinding on rails, jumping on trampolines, and firing massive guns in a cheerful open world. .
If you love action platformers but just wish there was a 2D version, then good news, because 30XX is here. Strictly speaking, 30XX is basically a Mega Man roguelike game, but because of the big old guns, the upgrades you can find, and the intense platforming action, it’s a good 2D version of a Ratchet & Clank game. It also has co-op, which is awesome, and can be played without the roguelike elements, or even be used to create your own levels.
Rain World is a beautiful stealth platform game in which you play as a little Slugcat trying to find his way home. It’s less action than Ratchet & Clank, and the pacing is completely different, but it’s a gorgeous game that’s brutally challenging. It’s also both heartbreaking and heartwarming in a way that few games manage. It’s also available on most platforms, which is always nice.
A hat in time
Here we have A Hat in Time, which looks like an allegory for kids about saving nine or something, but is actually just a very cute 3D platformer that can use hats to acquire new powers. You can explore huge worlds, all with their own themes and challenges, and find Time Coins to gain new powers and further unlock your abilities. It’s a lot of fun, and the cute style makes it good for younger players, as well as more experienced fans.
While Sackboy has traditionally been kept in the Little Big Planet games, he’s had his own adventure thanks to Sumo Digital, which is just a lot of fun. For starters, it actually offers online and local co-op, which is always nice. Other than that, it’s a great 3D platformer that has a bunch of really cool mechanics to enjoy, a fun and lighthearted story, and a cute look that appeals to anyone who likes to have fun.
New Super Lucky Tale
New Super Lucky’s Tale doesn’t have any big old guns to shoot, but it does have lots of great levels to go through, a lovable protagonist, and lots of fun to find. It’s a great example of what a modern 3D platformer can be, and even though it’s only 3 years old, it’s still one of the best examples of the genre in recent years. Plus, the squirrels are cute, so there’s nothing but love here.
Celeste puts you in the role of Madeline as she tries to battle her inner demons and climb the daunting Celeste Mountain. It’s a very precise platformer that requires you to master timing, directional inputs, and your own fear as you climb through levels. It’s really really hard, but it’s also really rewarding to master, and trying to get through the levels quickly once you’ve mastered them is awesome.
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