Traversing in video games is important. Some video games make the traversing pretty key and it becomes one of the main talking about features for the video game. In this list, we’re going to be highlighting the best video games that offer some fun parkour maneuvering. Whether they are simple side-scrolling platformers to be big open-world AAA releases, these are some of the best video games you can pick up right now.
Platform : PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date : 10 May 2011
Genre : First-person shooter
If you don’t remember Brink then we don’t blame you. The title wasn’t that big of a hit, or at least it wasn’t as big of a hit that the marketing team was leading players to believe. This was a game that was over hyped and when it failed to deliver at launch, the product mainly dwindled to nothing. It’s a game that’s gone free-to-play although it’s not one you hear about anymore. In Brink, we get a team-based shooter which revolves around a narrative. What you have is a world that is flooding and the only chance of survival is to seek refuge in a city made to float. This of course grows to become a big problem as factions grow causing a war on what’s considered the last safe city for humanity.
As a result, this team-based shooter mixes in a few different game modes for players to compete within, either as an online MMO shooter or even through single-player using an assortment of AI bots. With that said there is a reason this game made our list and it was for the maneuvering system which was made to be incredibly simple. Players could essentially hold down a single button and it would allow the protagonist to climb up ledges and vault over objects. It was a simple system, but wrapped up in a game that just didn’t quite deliver in 2011 against other notable video game launches such as Dark Souls, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Platform : PC
Release Date : October 31, 2011
Genre : Platformer
Inmomentum is an indie title developed by Digital Arrow and released into the marketplace back in 2011. This is a platform racing game and while it doesn’t offer anything much else than that, it can be a bit mesmerizing to play or watch. The game has players going through a neon world full of platforms, walls, and ledges with checkpoints to clear off and a clock constantly ticking. Here, players are simply moving as fast as they can along the course, jumping onto the different platforms and making their way to each checkpoint. Again, not much more can be said about this game, but you might find yourself having quite a bit of fun with it, whether it’s killing time or just enjoying some tunes as you progress through the levels.
#13 Just Cause 3
Platform : PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date : December 1, 2015
Genre : Action-adventure
The Just Cause franchise is a pretty strong one for action-adventure fans and in 2015 we received the third mainline installment, Just Cause 3. This video game once again throws players into the protagonist Rico Rodriguez who heads back home to the fictional island of Medici which is under the control of a dictator. If you’re familiar with the Just Cause video games then you know there is a ton of action-packed moments and that holds with this third video game.
It’s set in an open-world environment with plenty of places to explore and battle within. Likewise, the equipment Rico has at his disposal makes it easy for players to get around the map. I’m sure you’ve seen the variety of videos surfacing online for this game as players can use their mods to lay down booster explosives and tethers to open some wacky traversing methods. It might not be parkour per se, but you gotta admit it’s quite a thrill getting from one place to the next.
#12 Dying Light
Platform : PC, PS4, Linux, Xbox One, macOS
Release Date : 27 January 2015
Genre : Survival horror, action-adventure
Dying Light, you knew this game was going to be on here. This title was developed by Techland, the same folks behind Dead Island although after their time with Dead Island, the team opted to make another open-world zombie game. Dying Light is a game where we follow Kyle Crane who is a member of the Global Relief Effort. This is an organization that assists survivors trapped within infected areas around the world. Players are jumping into a quarantine zone in search of a political figure that is out to destroy the GRE but here we have a viral outbreak turning most of the city into mindless zombie-like creatures.
While players are attempting to track down this individual, they’ll also have to attempt in staying away from these hostile enemies by any means necessary. The development team opted to bring out a more parkour movement system in this game where players can quickly zip around the city. Whether it’s sprinting down the road, vaulting over objects, or leaping around the rooftops, there’s a pretty quick way to get around the area which is a pretty key element in this game thanks to the enemies becoming very aggressive and quick during nightfall. Fortunately, fans of this game will find that Dying Light 2 is in the works for a release sometime later this year, 2021.
Platform : PC, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360
Release Date : PC January 17, 2012 / PS3, PS Vita February 4, 2014
OS X May 1, 2012 / Linux September 18, 2012
Xbox 360 April 25, 2014
Genre : Platform
Dustforce acts much like a ninja-style of the video game as you zip around the levels, gliding down walls and leaping from ledge to ledge. However, you’re far from a ninja in this game as Dustforce follows a nimble janitor who has a job of getting rid of all the debris and trash of the world. As you glide around the levels in this side-scrolling video game, players will use their broom to clear the dust and debris.
Meanwhile, for those pesky dust bunnies and other vial dirt monsters, players will use their broom to deliver a barrage of blows. There are over seventy levels available and even community-made levels to keep players going in this game. Thanks to the level editor, you can craft up unique levels and share them with the community online. However, the levels can continue to get even more challenging giving players more content to chew through in hopes of perfecting a run to showcase on the leaderboard.
#10 Prince of Persia
Platform : PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date : December 2, 2008
Genre : Platformer
Another game that you might see as a platformer is the Prince of Persia series. This is a game franchise that has quite a few installments available with players being able to quickly wall run and platform around the levels with relative ease. Not to mention the mechanic that allows players to rewind time to avoid devastating leap or combat. One of the more popular installments for this game, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is getting a remake coming out later this year. That should give players some nice refinements to not only the visuals but mechanics. We’re hopeful that this game becomes even more fluid with the new remake, but only time will tell.
Platform : Windows 98/ME/2K/XP
Release Date : April 15, 2003
Genre : First Person Shooter
Purge is quite a bit like Mirror’s Edge which we are going to be diving into later in on this list. Unfortunately, it’s a game that not a ton of information is available as it was a freeware test game made by students from a University years ago in Barcelona. The project was just a protagonist that had to escape the cities soldiers which required players to scale a tower. With the cel-shading visuals, players were sprinting across the city, scaling buildings, jumping, and sliding around buildings. While we didn’t get a full game to release for this project, it’s a freeware game that you can find featured around online.
#8 Sunset Overdrive
Platform : PC, Xbox One
Release Date : Xbox One October 28, 2014
PC November 16, 2018
Genre : Action-adventure, third-person shooter
If Sunset Overdrive proves to be true we don’t have much longer before humanity is taken over control. Sunset Overdrive was one of the Xbox One exclusives to move the console which was developed by Insomniac Games before they were acquired by Sony. Taking place in 2027 the world has become a dystopia in control by mutants. Within the game, you take the role of a FizzCo employee who is tasked with cleaning up the mess in the city after the launch of a new energy drink developed by the mutants. It’s a very action-packed and colorful game.
However, the reason it makes our list is the fact that the protagonist can quickly move around the city landscapes. Outside of having normal maneuvering mechanics such as running and jumping, our protagonist can also quickly jump and glide down around rails and power lines around the city while also using different items such as giant fans or tents to bounce the character high up into the sky.
Platform : PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Release Date :PS4, Xbox One, PC October 27, 2020 / Nintendo Switch November 10, 2020
PS5, Xbox Series X/S 2021
Genre : Action, platform
Ghostrunner is a game that might have gotten overshadowed by another highly anticipated cyberpunk video game, Cyberpunk 2077. While Cyberpunk 2077 was a hot mess at launch, Ghostrunner was a solid entry to the genre. This is a game where players take the role of a futuristic ninja that’s tossed out of this massive tower. With no memories of what happened but a voice telling him to ascend the tower, our protagonist begins a journey to figure out what happened.
Of course, there’s a heavily guarded pathway waiting for players but thanks to our protagonist parkour skills players can quickly dodge attacks. With that said, you’ll die, a lot. Fortunately, the game is great at throwing players right back into the mix and getting players into the fight. As mentioned, there are plenty of parkour skills to use such as wall running and even a dash system in the air.
#6 Bit.Trip Runner
Platform : Wii, PC, Mac OS X, Nintendo 3DS, Linux, Nintendo Switch
Release Date : WiiWare May 17, 2010 / PC, OS X February 28, 2011
Wii September 13, 2011 / Nintendo 3DS September 13, 2011
Linux December 13, 2011 / Nintendo Switch December 25, 2020
Genre : Platform, music, runner
Bit.Trip Runner is an arcade game that mixes platforming and rhythm elements. Players are going through courses having to jump over obstacles and slide under walls as they attempt to help keep the beat going. The better you do and the more power-ups you’ll acquire will give the song more exuberance. It starts very simple as you run from one side to the other, but as you progress the difficulty ramps up as you have plenty of obstacles popping up to deal with. There have been three main installments to this Bit.Trip Runner franchise which mainly follows the same style of gameplay but with some visual enhancements.
#5 Titanfall 2
Platform : PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date : October 28, 2016
Genre : First-person shooter
Development studio Respawn Entertainment brought out Titanfall, an online-only multiplayer game that had players battling against each other using massive mechs or being a ground trooper fighting against the opposing team. While fans enjoyed this game, there was plenty of players wanting a campaign. Fortunately, that came with Titanfall 2. Here players not only had a short campaign but also an online component for players to battle against each other again, with massive mechs and ground troops. Despite not being in a mech, players are pretty nimble as they can double jump, run across walls, and slide under obstacles. For now, we’re left waiting to see if we’ll get a Titanfall 3, but at least Titanfall 2 is an active game.
#4 Batman: Arkham Series
Platform : Android, iOS, PC, Nintendo 3DS, OS X, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date : First release Batman: Arkham Asylum August 25, 2009
Latest release Batman: Arkham Collection September 6, 2019
Genre : Action-adventure
Rocksteady Studios made the standard for Batman video games with the Batman Arkham series. The video game series got started with Batman: Arkham Asylum and continued with Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Knight. Each installment puts players in control of the caped crusader as you protect the citizens of Gotham from the villains that seek to wreak havoc. Of course, being the dark knight comes with the perks of having incredible skills to deliver some near-fatal blows against your enemies as you drop down into the ground of thugs.
Likewise, Batman is quite quick on his feet as well being able to leap around objects, scale buildings with an assortment of gear, and gliding from great heights thanks to your cape. This is a very solid video game series all around with the fun storylines, brawler-style combat, and plenty of areas to explore especially after Arkham Aylsum when the game opens up Gotham City.
#3 Dishonored Series
Platform : PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date :
First release Dishonored 9 October 2012
Latest release Dishonored: Death of the Outsider 15 September 2017
The Dishonored series is another game franchise worth looking into if you want more of a parkour-style traverse system. While the game is based around being a stealthy assassin, players will have the ability to do the usual such as climb up ledges, slide under obstacles, and vault over obstacles. However, with the unique ability called Blink that allows the protagonist to teleport greater distances, players can make some quick work getting around the map.
#2 Assassin’s Creed Series
Platform : PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date : November 13, 2007
PS3, Xbox 360 November 13, 2007 / PC April 8, 2008
Genre : Action-adventure, stealth
The entire Assassins’ Creed franchise is one series that’s well worth playing if you’re after parkour games. Each game is centered around historical events and eras so you’re getting to experience plenty of different settings and characters with this IP. Overall, the game is based around power between Assassin’s who wishes to see a free world, and Templars that are after order. Players in this case are taking on the role of Assassin’s as they embark on different quests to stop the Templar leaders. To do this, Assassin’s are required to blend in with the crowd and attempt to steer away from gaining any attention.
As a result, players will find protagonists are skilled at climbing up large walls, vaulting across objects, and diving into the brush to keep out of an enemy’s view. With that said, what it boils down to is what era interests you. While there is a storyline to follow the video games, you could get away with just picking out an era that’s of interest and getting some recaps to help flesh out the storyline. Players can find Assassin’s Creed games based around ancient Greece, Egypt, to even the latest installment, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla following the Viking expansion.
#1 Mirror’s Edge Franchise
Platform : PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date : PS3, Xbox 360 November 11, 2008 / PC January 12, 2009
Genre : Action-adventure, platform
Lastly, and the game that I’m sure everyone instantly thought of when talking about parkour is the Mirror’s Edge franchise. This is an action-adventure platform title that launched back in 2008. Within the game, players are tossed into a futuristic world with a tough regime. However, while there is a more controlled state, an underground carrier crew that is skilled in parkour offers their services as a means to deliver sensitive packages across the city.
Players are stepping into the role in one of these carriers named Faith Connors. Faith is extremely skilled at parkour whether it’s bolting across thin platforms, vaulting, leaping over large gaps, or climbing up walls. While this is one of the best parkour games to have come out, it was a title that didn’t quite hit the level of success that EA was likely hopeful for. It wouldn’t be until 2016 that we got a reboot of sorts with Mirror’s Edge Catalyst that offers a bit of backstory of Faith Connors which again is very much focused on traversing around the area using your parkour skills.