Once upon a time in a kingdom far far away, 2D platforming games were a true work of art. Those days are long behind us as we celebrate the 3D platformer. Although this beloved genre has suffered alongside the rise of the FPS, we take a look at some of the best platformer games we’ve had in recent times.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
While most consider the Prince of Persia series to be more of an action game, the franchise has always had tricky platforming at its core.
The Forgotten Sands raised the wall-running bar once again, as players found themselves jumping and climbing in a whole new array of ways thanks to new powers, which allowed you to freeze water, swing your way across ledges, and teleport your way across strange static birds and large gaps. While the Forgotten Sands was neglected pretty quickly, it’s still one of the most attention-demanding and challenging platformers out there.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2 managed to take a great game and make it even greater. The visuals of Galaxy 2 are not worlds apart from its predecessor, but there’s definitely an improvement in the platforming madness.
The level design has taken a huge step up and all the added galaxies make you feel like you’ve been slipped an even stronger drug. You feel completely intoxicated as you run, swim, fly, and jump around the crazy looking levels, and you realise that Nintendo’s innovation in level design and gameplay trump the biggest graphical powerhouses, and their platforming ideas are definitely up there with the stars.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Donkey Kong and his simian primate friend Diddy Kong have flashed their faces across a few of Nintendo’s gaming platforms over the last few years, but something that has been lacking is a full-blown platformer reminiscent of DK’s glory days.
Donkey Kong Country Returns brought back the tough-as-nails platforming to the Wii, not to mention the stellar graphics, thanks to incredible animations and vividly coloured characters and backgrounds.
The platforming moments are definitely not as easy as they look; however, if you’ve got the time and patience, and you’re a fan of the big ape, you’re in for one of the best games to hit Nintendo’s little console, and one of the best platformers jumping around.
Sonic Colors isn’t without its small flaws, but it’s one of the best Sonic games to be released in recent years.
Sonic Colors plays out like many other 2.5D platformers these days, as the tried and tested side-scrolling formula is mixed up with 3D backgrounds and perspective changes. The difference with Sonic is that it’s fast, real fast. This is probably the fastest Sonic game since his hay days on the Sega Megadrive. The sheer pace of the game, along with intricate platforming, allows Sonic Colors to be the intense and challenging Sonic experience that we had been longing for.
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time
Since its inception in 2002, the Ratchet and Clank series has become an all-time favourite amongst fans. The famous lombax and his tin sidekick made their return to the PS3 and delivered one of the strongest games in the series, thanks to some great platforming.
Its gameplay is as solid as the metal on Clank’s back and tests your brain and reactions with some great time-bending platforming puzzles. To top it off, it’s a really good looking title that runs like a dream. Our two favourite heroes have come a long way since 2002 and even after all this time they still manage to deliver a great running and jumping adventure that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
What are your favourite platform games? Let us know in the comments below and on the MyGaming forum.