The Best Platform Games For Xbox One
Note: This list has been updated in June of 2019.
Original article follows:
Platformers are for many of us our first exposure to video games, and we’re living in a real platformer renaissance. Tons of them have come out over the last five years and really reinvigorated the genre. There’s a certain feel to a good platform game that’s just right.
So what are your options if you’re playing on an Xbox One? We looked for the titles that have tight controls, original ideas, and the most interesting environments to come up with this list of the top platform games for Xbox One.
Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
#23 Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island
- Developer: Grip Digital
- Publisher: Grip Digital
Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island resembles past video game titles such as Ratchet & Clank. In this platformer, players take on the role of Skylar, our protagonist that was first kidnapped by the evil CRT and given a powerful mechanical arm with augmentations.
Escaping the clutches of the evil CRT, Skylar teams up with a talkative sidekick, Plux, and sets off to be the islands heroine. Players will battle against the evil CRT in hopes to rid his control over their home of Clover Island.
#22 Tembo the Badass Elephant
- Developer: Game Freak
- Publisher: Sega
Tembo is an elephant commando and his job is to save his town from destruction at the hands of the evil PHANTOM. The game is reminiscent of old Sonic the Hedgehog titles, with some Metal Slug thrown in for good measure: Tembo jumps and buttstomps his way through the PHANTOM forces, collecting golden peanuts and charging (literally) headlong into enemies. You’ll want to break as many PHANTOM tanks, structures, and soldiers as possible, while rescuing hostages scattered throughout each level.
A lot of folks were pretty surprised to see Tembo the Badass Elephant come out of Game Freak, who are known primarily for developing the long-running Pokémon series, but as it turns out this isn’t their first crack at the action-platformer: they also made Drill Dozer for the Game Boy Advance back in 2005.
- Developer: Playtonic Games
- Publisher: Team17
Development team Playtonic Games contains several former key staff members from studio Rare. As such, the team has opted to make a spiritual successor to one of their previous successful titles, Banjo-Kazooie.
Much like Banjo-Kazooie, there will be plenty of items to collect during your platform adventure. Furthermore, similar to Banjo-Kazooie, there will be two main characters who must stop the evil Dr. Quak from stealing all the world literature and selling it for profit.
#20 A Hat in Time
- Developer: Gears for Breakfast
- Publisher: Humble Bundle
Developers Gears for Breakfast released a platformer that resembles some of the more beloved platform titles released for the Nintendo 64. A Hat in Time, will play out similarly to Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, as there is a heavy emphasis on collecting missing collectibles scattered through the game world.
In the overall story, players will take on the role of a young girl named Hat Kid. Hat Kid has the ability to interstellar travel, though during her way home she is intercepted by a Mafia group under control of the evil Mustache Girl.
Stranded, Hat Kid must collect her missing “time pieces” that have been scattered throughout the world before she is able to refuel her ship, but she will be racing against the clock as Mustache Girl is hot on her trail.
- Developer: Coldwood Interactive
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
Unravel comes from developers Coldwood Interactive which tells a story of a small yarn figured. Players are tasked with going out to locate memories, but being made of yarn, to progress, our protagonist must unravel its body to reach new areas.
This is largely a puzzle game as much as it is a platformer. As our yarn figure loses more yarn to reach a new area, gamers must figure out a means to claim more thread or use what’s available effectively.
#18 Mega Man 11
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
The Mega Man franchise received a brand new installment. There is certainly a strong following with the franchise and we know that this eleventh installment, Mega Man 11 will once again feature Mega Man as he embarks on a quest to defeat Dr. Wily.
Within the game Dr. Wily will have his eight Robot Masters ready to stop players as they progress through the game. However, it looks like Mega Man will have a few new tricks such as the ability to manipulate time along with delivering a more powerful attack.
Outside of the new features being added in for Mega Man, players will also find that there are a few game modes included in the title such as Time Trials and Missions. Likewise you can find yourself battling it out with your friends or other players on the Global Leaderboard.
#17 Unravel Two
- Developer: Coldwood Interactive
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
Unravel Two was a surprised announcement along with release during E3 2018. Within the game, players will once again step into the role of a yarn figurine as you attempt to maneuver around the world and solve puzzles. However, due to being made of yarn and having a restriction on where along with how far you can go will make the game a bit challenging.
If you enjoyed the first title then you may want to pick up the sequel as it also supports multiplayer. There is a local co-op option where players can work together in order to solve the series of puzzles and storyline.
#16 Trials Fusion
- Developer: RedLynx
- Publisher: Ubisoft
Hey, we know, this looks like a motorcycle game, but at its heart, it’s a speed-focused platform title. If you’re new to Trials, the idea is to drive a dirt bike along a track to the end of a level, shifting your weight forward and back to stay upright throughout all the insane jumps, flips, catapults, and explosions that happen along the way.
Fusion offers a single player story mode to the formula, but it keeps the series addictive time trial elements – it’s always possible to shave another couple tenths of a second off a run, or, maybe just make it to the end without falling off during your next time around.
There’s also four-player head-to-head racing, plus a fully-featured level editor. Once you’ve played through all the tracks in the game (plus six DLC packs), you can try out homemade tracks handpicked by the Red Lynx team.
#15 Trials Rising
- Developer: RedLynx
- Publisher: Ubisoft
If you haven’t already played a Trials game then you’ll definitely want to pick up Trials Rising when it launches in 2019. The game was unveiled during Ubisoft’s E3 2018 press conference where developers promise much more chaotic and insane courses for players to complete. As always, you’ll be controlling a motorcycle across several courses all while avoiding outlandish obstacles. Thanks to the motorcycle physics, players will make some over-the-top crashes. But with some practice, gamers can soon master each course after learning from past mistakes.
#14 Volgarr the Viking
- Developer: Crazy Viking Studios
- Publisher: Crazy Viking Studios
This is a game for those players who pine for the old days of platform games being arcade-tough. Fortunately, Volgarr the Viking doesn’t make you pony up quarters every time you die, which will be often.
While it could be mistaken for a brawler, Volgarr is much more about careful memorization of enemy patterns and trap locations along with perfect execution. Death is always imminent – getting hit knocks off a piece of equipment or armor, similar to the classic (and brutally difficult) Ghouls ‘n Ghosts.
Volgarr has tons of style, too. It’s a very obvious homage to the cabinet games of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and features terrific art, enemy design, and music. Remember, though – this one is definitely aimed at the hardcore crowd.
#13 Spyro Reignited Trilogy
- Developer: Toys for Bob
- Publisher: Activision
Spyro is back! Well, he never really went away, to begin with, but fans of the old school original Spyro titles can revisit the popular platformer once again. Unsurprisingly we are seeing the HD remaster after the success of Crash Bandicoot N. sane Trilogy where we got the free three Crash Bandicoot titles revamped for the latest generation platforms.
Players will get the first three Spyro titles in full HD glory thanks to Spyro Reignited Trilogy. You’ll find that while the visuals of the three Spyro games have been greatly overhauled, the map level layouts appear to be kept completely original.
Unfortunately, this collection actually only contains the first Spyro game on the disc. Players who wish to go through the two other installments will have to download the copies online free of charge. This is a big letdown for gamers who may be limited with internet access or potentially those who planned on purchasing a copy second hand.
#12 Super Time Force Ultra
- Developer: Capybara Games
- Publisher: Capybara Games
The pixel-art style in Super Time Force Ultra may put some players off the game, but we think it looks great: the environments all have their own distinct design, weapon effects pop and the characters themselves all bring a lot of pizzazz to the game.
The time altering mechanics sets up all kinds of crazy action-based puzzles, including fun boss fights. While they seem impossible to complete in the time limit at first, as you add more and more characters to the fight, you’ll eventually take them down in a couple seconds. Satisfyingly, too, once you’ve completed a level you get to watch the action replayed in real time.
#11 Sonic Mania
- Developer: PagodaWest Games, Headcannon
- Publisher: Sega
Sonic the Hedgehog is a staple video game character. Decades have passed and to this day, there are still new Sonic games being pumped out. While some of the more recent releases haven’t fetched the same fame and glory for Sega as the initial launches, there is one title that really became a mega hit.
Sonic Mania is an side-scrolling platformer that fans of the original Sonic the Hedgehog titles are enjoying today. This particular Sonic title returns to the original gameplay and visual art styles. However, gamers can expect new boss fights, expanded levels along with other new elements added in for the franchise.
#10 Little Nightmares
- Developer: Tarsier Studios
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
In Little Nightmares players will be taking on the role of a young girl named Six who had been kidnapped from her home and forced to work at a place known as The Maw, an underwater resort.
The resort caters to the powerful elite, forcing Six to serve their needs. One day, Six is presented with a way back to freedom, though during her journey out of the unpredictable world of The Maw, Six catches the glimpse of the corruption of modern happiness.
#9 Rogue Legacy
- Developer: Cellar Door Games
- Publisher: Cellar Door Games
Nothing gets a games website comments section going quite like the improper use of the word “roguelike.” But regardless of how it’s categorized, Rogue Legacy is a great entry for the Xbox One’s catalog of platform games.
Dungeons are procedurally-generated, and are full of increasingly deadly enemies, traps, and gigantic bosses. You’ll pick up coins by defeating baddies and smashing furniture. And here’s where Rogue Legacy gets interesting: You use the loot you pick up on dungeon runs to buy better armor and weapons for your character, who will be the son or daughter of whoever you died as on that run.
You’ll pick from three random progeny, and they’ll each have a set of quirks that can change the way you play – sometimes they’ll be nearsighted, or prone to cursing, or be abnormally tall or short.
The great part is that even on runs where you fail, you still make some kind of progress by unlocking new equipment or character classes.
#8 Shovel Knight
- Developer: Yacht Club Games
- Publisher: Yacht Club Games
When the developers went looking for inspiration for Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games dumped out the whole cardboard box of old NES titles and said “all of these.” There’s clear inspiration in their action platformer from the likes of Mega Man, Castlevania, Duck Tales, and the original Prince of Persia.
On paper it almost sounds like too much to actually work, but Shovel Knight pulls it off with panache. The retro look and feel is pitch perfect, but without any of the technical limitations the classics of the 1980’s faced.
Shovel Knight’s distinctly-themed levels and their respective bosses are very heavily inspired by Mega Man, and the ability to use your shovel as a pogo stick is straight out of Duck Tales. Considered as a whole, though, Shovel Knight is one of the most entertaining games of 2014, and has one of the best chiptunes soundtracks out there.
- Developer: StudioMDHR
- Publisher: StudioMDHR
Cuphead is a run and gun style platformer by development team Studio MDHR. The story revolves around a character known as Cuphead who loses a bet against the devil and in order to repay that debt, he must take out a series of bosses. Really, Cuphead is gaining all kinds of attention online simply due to its design. Studio MDHR has developed Cuphead in order to look similar to a 1930s cartoon.
#6 Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee – New ‘n’ Tasty
- Developer: Just Add Water
- Publisher: Oddworld Inhabitants
The New ‘n’ Tasty edition of 1997’s Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee isn’t your standard “remaster,” it’s a complete rebuild of the original in an entirely new, fully 3D engine. While Oddworld looked quite nice when it launched in the ‘90s, it hasn’t aged well, but the New ‘n’ Tasty version brings the game bursting into the modern era with fantastic, painstakingly modeled environments and characters.
The game’s mechanics definitely hold up: it’s a unique take on the platform genre, where you’ll more often be avoiding enemies than jumping on their heads. Instead, you move forward by sneaking, or by using enemy behaviors and environmental hazards to clear your path.
And that’s something you definitely want to be doing. As a slave at RuptureFarms, an industrial meat packaging factory, Abe discovers that their next planned product involves an unpleasant ingredient: him, and his fellow workers.
- Developer: DrinkBox Studios
- Publisher: DrinkBox Studios
One of the best in the genre of the last couple years, Guacamelee combines the unlockable open-world of the best Metroidvanias with a combo-based combat system from brawlers. As the game progresses, you find new abilities to bear against enemies that deepen the solid fighting system.
And Guacamelee is downright gorgeous. It’s a whimsical, colorful world with masterfully-crafted characters and animations set in a world of Mexican folklore. As Juan, you are resurrected as a magical luchador wrestler, and must save El Presidente’s daughter from an evil skeleton from the Land of the Dead. It manages to treat its subject matter respectfully without ever taking itself seriously.
#4 Ori and the Blind Forest
- Developer: Moon Studios
- Publisher: Microsoft Studios
A masterclass in platform game design, Ori and the Blind Forest combines fluidity of character movement with brilliant level design in a large Metroidvania style adventure about a tiny, glowing woodland creature who is trying to heal a diseased land.
The controls are Swiss-clock precise, making Ori feel wonderful to control, and each new move you learn gives you new ways to float and fly around the world, while making new areas accessible in a classic Metroidvania fashion. It’s all very carefully designed, and each move, enemy, and hazard fits together into a seamlessly cohesive whole.
It’s also one of the most jaw-dropping beautiful platform games ever made. The environments are richly textured, conjuring up the forest from Don Bluth’s The Secret of NIMH, and the music and story set a somber tone that underscore the blight that’s fallen upon your woodland home. Ori and the Blind Forest is definitely a game that you’ll want to play through multiple times.
#3 Rayman Legends
- Developer: Ubisoft
- Publisher: Ubisoft
What’s not to love about Rayman Legends? While it was originally intended for the Wii U’s proprietary gamepad, the game eventually came out across modern platforms, and we’re all the luckier for that. It’s a beautiful game about timing along with momentum, and there are several unique characters to play or team up as.
Your job is to rescue kidnapped “Teensies” hidden in each level, and as you rescue more of them, you’ll unlock new worlds to visit. That’s plenty of game right there, but Rayman Legends has boatloads of more content, including a host of secret levels, daily and weekly global challenge courses, and even remastered versions of levels from previous games in the series.
- Developer: Playdead
- Publisher: Playdead
Developed by Playdead, creators of the 2010 video game Limbo, players will receive the same feel of tone with Inside. In the game, players take on the role of a young boy who is forced to go through a harsh and dangerous dystopia.
Much of the same gameplay mechanics are brought over to Inside from Limbo. With that said, gamers can also expect a dark and gloomy artistic view.
- Developer: Matt Makes Games
- Publisher: Matt Makes Games
Celeste is a platformer developed under Matt Thorson and Noel Berry. The video game is a fast-paced platformer where players take control of a young girl named Madeline. Overall, the goal within the game is to climb up a massive mountain known as Celeste Mountain.
This is an addictive platformer where players will have to make quick maneuvers around the levels to avoid obstacles along with gathering collectibles along the way. However, there is an engaging story that will pull players in as you find out more about the mountain and our heroine.