The 20 Best PS4 Platformers To Play Right Now

Nintendo may be responsible for the world’s first ever platformer in Donkey Kong, but the genre has since outgrown a single console manufacturer to become one of the most popular gaming genres in the world. Every platform imaginable has a huge selection of platformers to choose from, and the PS4 is no different, of course. Whether you’re into 2D platformers or you prefer a 3D flavour, you’ll find plenty to love on the PlayStation Store. Here are the 20 best PS4 platformers to play right now.

1. A Hat in Time

A Hat in Time is a wonderful love letter to the classic 3D era of platforming. It plays a lot like Super Mario Sunshine, presenting a series of large, open-ended levels you must explore in order to find hourglass collectibles. The breadth of imagination on display here is impressive; you’ll be raiding an exploding train one minute and navigating a spooky forest filled with ghosts the next.

2. Hollow Knight

The amount of content on offer in Hollow Knight is frankly embarrassing to other games. This is an absolutely huge, sprawling Metroidvania platformer that takes influence from Dark Souls; its world is grim and complex, and it’s also slowly succumbing to an all-consuming plague that could destroy it if you don’t step in and do something about it. If you love the Souls series, you should check this one out.

3. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

From one Knight to another. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove contains four different campaigns, and while you’ll definitely get the majority of your value from the main Shovel Knight game, the others are worth looking at as well. Shovel Knight is a precision platformer taking influence from classic Mega Man and Castlevania games, and if you ask us, it’s every bit the equal of its influences, which is impressive indeed.

4. The Jak and Daxter Collection

The Jak and Daxter Collection boasts four games, three of which are superb PS2-era platformers and one of which is a rather odd little racing title. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak 2, and Jak 3 are all excellent games, and although the latter two branch out somewhat from platformer into open-world exploration, they still retain the core platforming gameplay of the first in the series.

5. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

There really is no better way to experience the classic Crash Bandicoot games than this collection. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a ground-up remake of the original three PS1-era Crash Bandicoot titles, all three of which have aged brilliantly thanks to the work of Vicarious Visions. There are also two extra bonus levels on offer, both of which hint at what would follow in the form of Crash Bandicoot 4 (which may well feature here as well).

6. Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Everyone’s favourite purple dragon returns in this remastered trilogy of three more great PS1-era platformers. The Spyro games took a much more open-ended approach than Crash Bandicoot, preferring to let Spyro loose in massive levels in order to search for gems, dragons, and other collectibles. Like Jak, the latter two games incorporate more varied objectives than the first, so play them in release order.

7. Ratchet and Clank

Created to tie in with the 2016 movie, Ratchet and Clank is not the best of its series, but it is a gorgeous platformer that retells the origin story of how the last Lombax in the universe met his little robot buddy. This game sands the edges off the decidedly more rebellious original, but the crazy variety of weaponry, colourful visuals, and tight platforming are all still here in spades.

8. Pac-Man World Re-Pac

Let’s get one thing straight right out of the gate: Pac-Man World Re-Pac is not a stone-cold modern classic. If you want something that’s unequivocally loved by everyone, this won’t float your boat. However, the original Pac-Man World was a solid 3D platformer, and the remake updates the visuals and streamlines the gameplay mechanics, so you should give it a look if you’re a platforming aficionado.

9. Mega Man X Legacy Collection

The Mega Man X series updates the gameplay of the classic 2D platforming series while still retaining what made it special, and the Legacy Collection on PS4 is the best way to experience that sub-franchise. It updates the visuals of the games, but not in a drastic way, and it also contains a number of museum extras and other odds and ends that you can enjoy when you’re taking a break from the brutal platforming.

10. Sonic Mania

Things have been going wrong for the Blue Blur for quite some time, but whether you’re a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog’s 3D games or not, you’ll likely agree that Sonic Mania is the best thing to star the sassy hedgehog in a very long time. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, choosing instead to return wholesale to the Sega Mega Drive way of doing things, but the new levels are well-crafted and the whole thing feels like a revitalisation.

11. Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends took what was great about 2011’s Rayman Origins and expanded it, adding more mechanics, more level variety, and even more stuff to collect. The undeniable highlight of Rayman Legends would be its music levels, which add a sort of rhythm-action dimension to proceedings as Rayman must platform his way through stages soundtracked by interpretations of pop songs.

12. Rain World

This is one of those recommendations that needs to come with a massive asterisk. If you don’t like challenging games, Rain World is very much not for you. This is a brutal game that presents its world much as the player character, an adorable creature called a slugcat, would find it; nature is cruel, red in tooth and claw, and very willing to destroy you, but if you master the game’s world, you’ll feel like a god.

13. Elden Ring

Alright, so we’re stretching the definition of “platformer” a little just so we can get Elden Ring on this list, but hey – there’s a jump button, and the game does expect you to do some platforming to reach the end, so we’re counting it! Elden Ring is From Software’s masterpiece. While it’s a little bloated in places, there are so few games that are this generous with high-quality content, so give it a look if you love a challenge.

14. Salt and Sanctuary

The followup to Salt and Sanctuary, Salt and Sacrifice, can definitely be avoided. It introduces some unnecessary mechanics and bloat to proceedings, overstuffing a perfectly satisfactory formula. The original, however, is an excellent endeavour; it’s a Metroidvania platformer strongly inspired by Dark Souls (even more so than Hollow Knight), complete with brutal boss fights and grim atmosphere.

15. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Do you see what they did there? Puntastic title aside, Crash Bandicoot 4 is a worthy revival of the series, although it doesn’t quite feel like a continuation of Crash Bandicoot: Warped (or, indeed, of Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex, which appears to be persona non grata in Activision’s eyes). This is a tough precision 3D platformer, but it has all the usual hallmarks of a Crash game, so it’s still great fun if you love the series.

16. Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Although it was essentially sold as a PS5 game, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is also available on PS4, and it’s a wonderful and underrated experience you should check out if you like platformers. It’s a classic collectathon with lots of heart and charm, and it gains a surprising amount of challenge in the back half, too, so don’t let its childlike facade fool you.

17. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

The original Yooka-Laylee is a failed attempt to cash in on Banjo-Kazooie nostalgia, lacking any of the graceful level design or compelling characters of that game. Impossible Lair, however, is a worthy followup; it’s much more in the Donkey Kong Country mould, providing a challenging 2.5D platformer with a genuinely clever twist in the form of the titular Impossible Lair (which we won’t spoil).

18. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

It’s pretty clear that Konami has little to no interest in reviving the Castlevania property for a proper game, so Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will have to do. Happily, it’s a great game; it’s a kind of “greatest hits” Iga package, presenting all of his good ideas from the non-linear Castlevania titles in one lengthy, rewarding game. The 8-bit-style Curse of the Moon games are also great!

19. Psychonauts

Psychonauts 2 is a very good game indeed, but it just doesn’t have the spark and edge of the original. The first Psychonauts is an underappreciated classic, taking place in a psychic summer camp and following protagonist Raz as he dives into the minds of those around him. Levels include an active battleground and a twisted smalltown American suburb that exists entirely in the mind of a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

20. Cuphead

Again, you might think we’re cheating a little with this one, but Cuphead does have some platforming stages amongst its relentless parade of bosses, so we’re including it anyway. This is a beautifully-animated bullet hell run-and-gun shooter that mainly focuses on its endlessly creative range of boss battles, and it’s monstrously challenging to boot. The DLC is well worth a look too!

Related Articles

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button