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Best Platformers to Play Right Now (2024)

Platformers have long held a cherished place in the world of gaming. From the early days of Super Mario Bros. to the intricate mechanics of today's indie sensations, platformers have continuously evolved to offer unique challenges and memorable experiences. If you're a fan of running, jumping, and dodging obstacles with finesse, we've got the perfect list for you. Here's our roundup of six of the best platformers to play right now, each sure to get your adrenaline pumping.


Celeste

Celeste Gameplay (2023)

At the heart of every great platformer is a compelling story, and Celeste doesn't disappoint. This critically-acclaimed indie game puts you in the shoes of Madeline, a young woman determined to climb the treacherous Celeste Mountain. But it's not just about physical ascent. As you navigate over 700 hand-crafted levels, the game beautifully intertwines Madeline’s internal struggles with the external challenges of the mountain. Spike-filled rooms, disappearing platforms, and wind gusts all stand in your way. Celeste combines pixel-perfect precision with tight controls, ensuring that every death teaches a lesson. Additionally, its soundtrack, composed by Lena Raine, is a poignant accompaniment to Madeline’s journey. Accessibility features like the “Assist Mode” allow players to modify the gameplay, ensuring everyone can experience Madeline's story, regardless of skill level.

Celeste Gameplay (2023)

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps Gameplay (2023)

Following the success of Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps continues the ethereal, heart-wrenching tale of the guardian spirit Ori. This sequel amplifies everything – the visuals are a spellbinding mix of hand-painted artwork and fluid animations, the gameplay is tighter, and the world is denser. Players navigate a vast, interconnected world filled with secrets, intricate puzzles, and menacing foes. The Metroidvania-inspired progression allows Ori to learn new abilities that can then be customized to fit your playstyle. The orchestral soundtrack by Gareth Coker adds layers of emotion, making every jump, dash, and discovery resonate deeper. This game is not only a visual and auditory treat but a masterclass in platformer design.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps Gameplay (2023)


Mega Man 11

Mega Man 11 Gameplay (2023)

Capcom revives the beloved Blue Bomber in Mega Man 11, blending classic side-scrolling action with modern graphics. The game retains its retro heart with challenging levels, iconic Robot Masters, and the trusty Mega Buster. What sets this installment apart is the innovative "Double Gear" system, allowing Mega Man to slow down time or power up his shots temporarily. This adds a strategic layer to combat and platforming sequences. For both series veterans and newcomers, Mega Man 11 offers a balanced difficulty curve with multiple settings. The cel-shaded graphics give it a fresh look while paying homage to its roots.

Mega Man 11 Gameplay (2023)

Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 Gameplay (2023)

Tim Schafer’s long-awaited sequel to the 2005 cult classic, Psychonauts 2 is a wild, imaginative journey into the minds of bizarre characters. As Raz, a young psychic, you explore mental worlds filled with whimsy, trauma, and everything in between. Each mind is a distinct, themed level, boasting varied mechanics and challenges. From a psychedelic 60s-themed level to navigating a person's emotional baggage (literally!), Psychonauts 2 is as much about empathy and understanding as it is about platforming. The game's humor, innovative level design, and strong narrative make it stand out in a saturated genre.

Psychonauts 2 Gameplay (2023)

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Gameplay (2023)

Treasure Trove is a love letter to 8-bit classics, packing multiple campaigns into one package. As Shovel Knight, players embark on a quest to rescue their beloved, armed with a versatile shovel for digging, attacking, and platforming. The game shines with its tight controls, challenging level design, and memorable bosses. Beyond the main campaign, Treasure Trove includes additional stories focusing on other characters, each with unique gameplay mechanics. It’s a retro experience with a modern touch, making it essential for any platformer enthusiast.

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Gameplay (2023)

Snake Pass

Snake Pass Gameplay (2023)

Diverging from traditional platformers, Snake Pass introduces a unique, physics-based movement system. Players control Noodle the snake, slithering, coiling, and climbing through intricate levels. Without the ability to jump, you must think like a snake, using momentum and leveraging your long body to navigate obstacles. The vibrant, colorful world is paired with a soothing soundtrack by David Wise, creating a relaxed yet challenging experience. It's a refreshing take on the platformer genre, demanding a different kind of mastery and precision.

Snake Pass Gameplay (2023)

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