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5 best 2D platformer games worth replaying in July 2022 (and 5 best 3D platformers)

Do you prefer the fluidity of 2D platformers or the expansiveness of 3D ones? (Images via The Game Kitchen/Nintendo)
Do you prefer the fluidity of 2D platformers or the expansiveness of 3D ones? (Images via The Game Kitchen/Nintendo)

The platformer genre is as popular as ever despite facing stiff competition from dozens of other games. From 2D sidescrollers to 3D exploration extravaganzas, both kinds have their own niche. Over the years, both sides have had appealing offerings for players to enjoy.

Given the vast number of options available on hand, it can be tough deciding what to pick up.


Most enjoyable 2D platformers

1) Blasphemous

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One of the most popular Soulslike Metroidvanias on the market, Blasphemous from The Game Kitchen is a gripping experience. Influenced by Roman Catholicism and Spanish culture, it tells a dark tale set in the religious land of Cvstodia.

Users control The Penitent One, a mask-clad warrior who sets out on a pilgrimage after being resurrected. Armed with little more than a sword, he faces various supernatural horrors and monstrosities that must be struck down by blade across various trap-laden dungeons and scenes.

It is available on PS4, XB1, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


2) Guacamelee! 2

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A sequel to the cult-classic 2013 original, Guacamelee! 2 from Drinkbox Studios one-ups its predecessor in every way. Gamers can step back into the luchador boots of Juan Aguacate as a new evil is on the rise, called Salvador.

With the Mexiverse in imminent danger, players must employ Juan's wrestling skills to take down foes. A Metroidvania just like the original, the platforming, puzzles, and combat elements are more fluid and expansive than ever before.

The fan-favorite chicken form is accounted for too. Grab it on PS4, XB1, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


3) Sonic Mania

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Created by a dedicated and passionate team of Sonic fans (and fangame creators), Sonic Mania is a homage to the blue hedgehog's SEGA classics from the 90s. Sonic and team rise again against the nefarious Dr. Eggman as the villain has uncovered the Phantom Ruby artifact.

Longtime fans of the series will feel right at home as Sonic Mania does not reinvent the wheel. Though the new Drop Dash system adds further fluidity to gameplay, they can expect to collect rings, traverse winding stages, and beat creative bosses in this 2017 adventure.

It is available on PS4, XB1, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


4) Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

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Developer Frozenbyte is known for a creative series of overlooked 2.5D puzzle platformers called Trine. 2019's Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is the latest entry and takes the iconic trio on a journey to track down the Nightmare Prince.

Amadeus the Wizard, Zoya the Thief, and Pontius the Knight each have unique abilities that aid gameplay. These include the wizard's box conjuration and thief's hookshot for platforming.

The puzzles are physics-driven, involving aspects of buoyancy, momentum, etc., and gamers must also fend off enemies occasionally. Check it out on PS4, XB1, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


5) Unravel 2

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The latest in the charming EA-published platformer series, Unravel 2 tells the tale of a red and a blue Yarny who ventures through a mysterious island. The scenic locales are littered with environmental puzzles and platforming challenges that demand using Yarny's abilities as he must use the threads from his own body to overcome problems.

Unravel 2 also tells a serious story through its levels, one of industrialization and its effects on nature. It can be played in single-player and co-op and is on PS4, XB1, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


Explore vibrant worlds in these 3D platformers

1) Psychonauts 2

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A sequel many fans would have never dreamt possible, Psychonauts 2 goes above and beyond its cult-classic predecessor. Developed by Double Fine and published by Xbox Game Studios, it is a surreal 3D action-platformer that is a trip down memory lane.

As Raz, players enter the psyches of various people to find clues about a double-agent snooping amidst them in the top-secret facility of psychic agents. With both new and familiar abilities, each mental realm highlights new mechanics and settings for them to engage in.

The title was released for PS4, XB1, XSX|S, and PC last year.


2) Super Mario Odyssey

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One of the biggest games of 2017, the latest entry in the iconic Super Mario platformer series remains a must-play for Nintendo Switch owners. Super Mario Odyssey takes the famous hero across the globe in search of Princess Peach.

With a new sidekick, Cappy, in tow, users travel to various kingdoms to defeat bosses and find the kidnapped princess. The gameplay leans towards Super Mario 64's design as a collectathon, with gamers collecting moons to progress.

Cappy is also a crucial gameplay element, not just to supplement platforming but allows to possess different enemies and use their powers on a whim.

This game is available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch console.


3) Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

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The latest entry in Sony's beloved action-platformer, Ratchet & Clank: Roft Apart, is a technical showcase for the PS5 console. The iconic duo finds themselves at the mercy of Doctor Nefarious, who manages to create dimensional rifts thanks to the Dimensionator.

The gameplay follows in the footsteps of the 2016 remake, with Ratchet being controllable in third-person and armed with a variety of crazy weaponry. A new character also appears, a white female Lombax called Rivet.

The Rift gimmick allows for some creative setpieces to be made possible thanks to the PS5's fast SSD. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a PS5 exclusive game.


4) A Hat In Time

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Developed by Gears for Breakfast, A Hat In Time is a 3D platformer featuring Hat Kid. An alien girl aiming to return home by recollecting her missing Time Pieces, she explores various themed sandbox environments.

Players can acquire new hats, each with unique properties. Enemies drop Pons, which can also be turned in for badges that boost Hat Kids' abilities.

It is available on PS4, XB1, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


5) Spyro: Reignited Trilogy

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The PS1 classic trilogy featuring the iconic purple dragon got a makeover in 2019, courtesy of developer Toys for Bob. The originals, made by Insomniac Games of Marvel's Spider-Man (2018) fame, are some of the most popular and nostalgic 3D platformer titles.

The Unreal Engine 4 remakes built all three games, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon, from the ground up. These faithful reconstructions retain all fans loved about the charming collectathons, with one-to-one levels, enemy design, etc.

Readers can grab it on PS4, XB1, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Note: This article is subjective and reflects the author's opinion.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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