From retro 8-bit classics to the latest indie releases, platformers are one of the biggest genres in video game history. With an established presence on the Xbox One, a wide range of memorable platforming experiences are now available on the console. These are the top titles available in 2018.
Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest delivers a moving narrative and gorgeous art style, wrapped around its platforming gameplay. You’ll come to learn that even with Ori’s abilities, the game’s forest is as brutal as it is breathtaking, while responsive controls make every second feel worthwhile. A successor is also on the horizon, meaning there’s no better time to pick up the game. Ori and the Blind Forest is an unmissable experience, priced at $20.
Celeste is among Xbox One’s latest platformers to receive widespread acclaim, with a streamlined, lightweight take on the genre. Despite its simple trio of jumping, dashing, and climbing, fast reflexes are essential to overcome its complex puzzles. Intertwined is a gripping narrative, raising the bar for the genre, establishing it among the best of this generation. Celeste is available via the Microsoft Store for $20.
StudioMDHR’s Cuphead pays homage to simpler times, from its hand-drawn 1930s aesthetic to sleek run-and-gun gameplay. Although centered around high-stakes boss battles, the side-scroller also features brutal platforming levels. It’s not for the faint-hearted but packs appealing traits for platforming junkies. Cuphead is available digitally via the Microsoft Store, and it costs $20.
After a long string of Sonic games with subpar critical response, Sonic Mania marks a huge turning point for the series. Regarded by many as one of the best Sonic games to date, the game calls back to series’ golden era, with retro 2D side scrolling gameplay. Sonic Mania is available now via Amazon, priced at $20.
Named our favorite puzzle game of 2016, INSIDE is a mind-blowing, unmissable platforming experience for the Xbox One. Taking control of an unnamed boy, players will uncover the secrets of the game’s monochromatic dystopia through a range of atmospheric puzzles.
With finely tuned gameplay, an effective art style and an ending that’ll render you speechless, INSIDE is a must-buy platformer for any Xbox One owner. INSIDE is best purchased for $16, via a double pack featuring LIMBO.
Unravel is yet another platformer with a touching narrative, following a yarn-based figure through the countryside in search of lost memories. As its title suggests, “Yarny” unravels his body over time, in order to solve puzzles and climb across the landscape. With only a limited amount of yarn on his body, players must make sure to collect spare balls of yarn to prevent him from unraveling entirely. Unravel is another unforgettable Xbox One tale, priced at $20.
Hue is a heart-warming adventure-based platformer, which uses color and ingenious environmental design to generate its puzzles. Given the ability to change the color of the game’ backdrop, players must use this to navigate the world, phasing objects in and out of existence. As more colors are collected, puzzles will becoming increasingly complex, but never stray too far away from the game’s principal values. Hue is available for $15 via Microsoft.
Limbo is a puzzle platformer from Playdead, met with acclaim for its polished graphical and audio presentation, and intuitive gameplay mechanics. There’s an eerie vibe, from the moment you wake up in a forest, to the first time you encounter one of the game’s creatures. Although a few years old, it’s an iconic release of the previous console generation. Limbo is best purchased alongside 2016’s INSIDE, via a $16 double pack on Amazon.
Shovel Knight has received it fair share of praise since its debut back in 2014, which led to a port of the game on the Xbox One. The retro-style platformer is an amazing nostalgia trip for many gamers, with side-scrolling platform and combat. Solely using a shovel, players must fight their way through the world’s creatures, digging up treasure along the way. For any fan of 8-bit platformers, Shovel Knight is an essential purchase, priced at $25 via Microsoft.
Which other platformers should have a place on this list? Let us know in the comments, and we may include your suggestions in our next update.
Updated December 6, 2018: Added Celeste and Cuphead in the latest refresh.
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