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Top Five Modern 3D Platformers

Source: Pexels 

Gaming began with the platformer – well, not quite, but these jumping, hopping, puzzle experiences have been around since the early eight-bit pixel days for sure. One of the most famous franchises of all time, the Mario games, brought up an entire generation of players on Bowser-beating, flag-capturing content. And it was Mario, too, that took pixels and flat surfaces and made platformers into a three-dimensional possibility. We’ve come a long way since the days of Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation 1, and a long way since Super Mario 64!

Now 3D platformers are high tech, AAA content running on top-tier machines, be they reboots, originals or a mix of the two. Here are five of our top picks for the modern genre!

1. Super Mario Odyssey

The latest and greatest in the series that started it all, Super Mario Odyssey is aptly named. With open, bustling worlds and zones it tasks the player to solve levels how they want to. Care to hop back in time and scale the mountain in 2D form? How about throwing your hat onto a dinosaur instead and brute forcing your way to the top. That’s right, your hat. Imbued with transformative power, the red plumber’s cap now allows players to harness their surroundings in a whole new, exciting way.

2. Ratchet and Clank

Banjo and Kazooie, Jak and Daxter, Mario and Luigi; platformer stars come in pairs more often than not, and Ratchet and Clank are no exception. These early Sony space aliens (and robots) combine puzzles with gadgets, jumping, shooting and smashing as they make their way across a star-studded galaxy. The cast is quirky, the worlds bright and the gameplay smooth. Rebooted and crafted from the originals the modern PS4 title plays better than ever.  


Source: Ratchet and Clank via Facebook

Ratchet and Clank is the fine line between docile jump and skip platforming and the more sinister, Castlevania-esque style. It harnesses the 3D world to its every advantage, rewarding adventurous players with extra loot and secret areas, all without getting lost in its own up and down level design. Great for newcomers, great for nostalgia, great for veterans.

3. The Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy

One platform game not enough for you? The Crash Bandicoot Trilogy does exactly what it says on the tin and brings back all three original Crash games to the big modern screen. While the controls, camera and precision carry over many of their old difficulties, the graphics, soundtrack and utter personality of the games carry them on through to a wondrously fun gameplay experience.

4. Psychonauts

Initially released in 2005, Psychonauts finds new life on the PS4. The world of modern gaming is as diverse as it is portable - today, we have casino games in our pockets offering bonuses and loot, virtual reality in our headsets and MMO worlds bigger than entire countries - but Psychonauts is much smaller than that. The levels take place inside the minds of its characters, with all the challenges and strangeness you think that would entail. Unique, simple and well worth your time. 

5. Snake Pass

Snake Pass is one of the rare few platformers to make it to market with an original protagonist and concept; the challenge? Wind your way through levels with no hands, no feet and only one scaly little body. As frustrating as it is ingenious, you’ll be begging for a checkpoint past every obstacle. Deliciously cruel.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start puzzling!